Top 10 Parenting Products
In her 20 years of raising 8 kids, Mighty Mommy has used every childcare, organization, and cleaning product you can think of. Today, she shares her top 10 picks for products no parent should live without.
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Product #5: Audiobooks
I have been an avid reader since I was a kid, but once I started having kids of my own, sitting down to read became a thing of the past, leaving a tremendous void in my life. That all changed, however, when I was introduced to audiobooks. I use Audible.com to get all my favorite titles in audio format, so I can listen anywhere, anytime.
Folding laundry is no longer tedious because I’m listening to a great read while doing it. And when I’m shuffling the kids to all their activities, we listen to audiobooks together in the car. I still enjoy holding a book in my hand, but I’m also hooked on Audible.com. It's a great mental escape during some of those tedious parenting chores.
This week, I'm listening to Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline. It's the story of a father, a son, and a split second decision that has devastating consequences. The powerful story gives new meaning to what it means to be a parent. I also love that the audiobook is narrated by actor Ron Livingston, who has had roles in Office Space, Sex and the City, and Boardwalk Empire. The book is totally gripping. I know you'll love it!.
Product #6: Collapsible Trunk Organizer
Many parents spend hours in their cars throughout the week shepherding kids to after school activities. Having an organized and orderly car is just as important as having an organized house, so having a handy product such as the Collapsible Trunk Organizer to store your groceries from the supermarket as well as all the items your family needs such as cleats, water bottles, extra workout clothes, diapers, sippy cups, toys for road trips, snacks—you name it —is essential.
The large interior is divided into three compartments so you can organize winter emergency supplies or up to four bags of groceries. The auto storage container has four mesh pockets and two zipped end pockets where you can store smaller items so they don't get lost. The best part is you can easily carry the organizer around with the provided side handles allowing for easy back and forth from house to car when necessary.
Product #7: The Crock-Pot
I’ve had the same crock-pot for 25 years and still continue to find new recipes that my family enjoys. I’ve made everything from stuffed chicken breasts to desserts like double-fudge brownies in my crock-pot. Most dishes only require that you add your ingredients, choose the cooking setting, and walk away.
When you return from a long day at work, your dinner is ready. There are many terrific crock-pot recipes out there, including the Domestic CEO's amazing Salsa Verde Pork and Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese. Try these, or any others you find online, to add variety to your weekly meal plan. As a bonus, meal preparation in the crock-pot makes it easy for every member of the family to pitch in and make mealtime easy and delicious.
This is a fairly recent find but I'm so glad my friend introduced me to Scrub Daddy sponges. Instead of needing different tools for different surfaces, now I can just use these cute smiling Scrub Daddy sponges to clean any room.
The unique thing about these sponges is that they change texture with the water temperature. So use hot water for more gentle cleaning and cold water for a rougher scrub. The sponges rinse clean so they won't hold debris like a traditional kitchen sponge, and the fact that they are crafted to look like actual smiling faces is even more of a bonus.
Product #9: Treadmill
Yes, I’m including a piece of fitness equipment in my top 10 parenting picks that I can’t live without.
My sport of choice to stay fit is power walking. However, New England weather does not always allow for a vigorous stroll outside, so when walking outdoors is not an option, hopping on my treadmill is. Not only does it keep me healthy and energized, I’m setting a good example for my kids when I use it to improve my overall health, not just hang my clothes on it!
See also: Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Active
Product #10: Lysol Disinfectant Products
Let’s talk germs. If you’ve got kids, you’re exposed to more germs than usual. Regular hand washing throughout the day is imperative at keeping germs at bay, but I also rely on a little help from my favorite germ-fighting product, Lysol Disinfectant spray. It kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria so I use it regularly on commonly touched surfaces like the phone, sinks, in the bathroom, on toys, in the car, and even on shopping cart handles. Lysol even comes in pleasant fragrances now - Jasmine Rain and Early Morning Breeze are my two favorites.
What products help make your life as a parent easier? Share your thoughts in the comment section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy or post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT where I continually update my selections.