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Tips for a Less Stressful Home

Tips for a Less Stressful Home

The Sleep Store asked:

Do you have any tips to share for making life run smoothly in your house? Or tips for calm mornings & less stressful evenings?

Our Facebook Community shared the following words of wisdom - thanks ladies!

Try to make kids lunches the night before..there is enough to do in the morning when you are trying to get everyone out the door to school, playcentre etc

Bath the kids before dinner, so there is one less thing to do at bedtime.

A meal plan, so sick of being asked, "What's for dinner?"

Aim for dinner between 5-5.30pm, we find this means calmer kids, more time to get cleaned up and the kids can get to bed at a decent time

Get dinner ready/prepped in the morning to make it easy at night

Recognise that different aged kids can have different bedtimes and not everything needs to be strictly 'fair'. Older children can go to bed later than little ones and littler ones understand that if you say something like '9 year olds can go to bed at 8.30pm, and when you're 9 you will be allowed to as well'.

And any tips on the content of lunchboxes? My biggest daily dilemma's is what to put in there to ensure they are getting a balanced, healthy, nutritious diet and controlling the 'treat' items!

I always have a stash of spaghetti Bol ( with hidden veggies in!) in the freezer. Defrosts quickly in the microwave and pairs well with dinosaur shape pasta! Great for days when things have not gone suite to plan !

Routine at night is a must in my house dinner bath bed bottle works for my wee girl she sleeps over 12 hours

Jennifer, that's an awesome topic...I look forward to hearing suggestions too!

Never let the little people get hungry! Regular snacks to avoid the grumps!

Watch football it's extremely calming

Put dishwasher on straight after dinner, then unload before you go to bed. 1 less thing to do in the morn and makes for a tidy and less stressful kitchen at breakfast

Have a list of things to get done each day on the wall to help you remember and try to do most of it to keep on top

Also select children's clothes for the next day at night time. Everything read to go in the morning even if you don't have to be anywhere

If you can see a child is going to lose the plot and needs to go to bed earlier then planned - its ok to give them an easy dinner, rather then making them wait til dinner time. Fish fingers are always handy! It can also be nice as it means you can then actually enjoy your own dinner after the kids are in bed.

My tip is to not give children too many choices, especially over what they would like for breakfast!! Give them max of 2 options e.g its either porridge or fruit and toast, which one would you like?! Then vary what you offer each morning. Works well in our house with a very assertive nearly 3 yr old girl!!

Get them involved in as much as possible, my 2.5yr old helps me unload the dishwasher, gets herself dressed (kind of) sets the table, tidies her toys etc etc helps us get out of the house on time and makes her feel important.

Keep to as much routine as possible if they know whats coming next make them feel more secure.

Sounds odd, but a shoe basket. I used to waste so much time when trying to get out of the house, finding shoes. Now, all shoes live in the basket and if they ain't there, then no shoes!

My son is 2.5 - I lay out his clothes for the week on a Sunday night, have a menu plan for the 5 dinners Mon - Fri, try to keep the freezer stocked up with staples like spag bol, fish cakes, fish fingers etc, one parent gives him his bath and the other does the washing up, cleans kitchen and puts the toys away so that when he is in bed the house is tidy and I try to stick to my motto of "don't put it down, put it away" :-)

Don't sweat the small stuff it will all work out in the end!

Bed time for us start after I get home from kindy at 4 I have dinner preped in the morning so by 4.30 they are in the bath my 3 year old is straight out of the bath into bed at 4.45 I then bfed my 7 month old and he is I'm bed at 5 both sleep till 6 with no wake ups my 4 year old then has a nice quiet dinner with mummy and daddy and bed at 6.30 and we have very relaxed evenings. Routine routine routine!!!!!

Really the one thing that makes the biggest difference to things running smoothly in my household is my attitude! Taking a deep breath and staying calm! :)

My daughter (5) helps get her little brother (3) ready by helping with dressing and putting on shoes while I'm feeding 6 month old. It's a great help!!

Put a load of washing on every night before you go to bed. Cheaper to run at that time and easiest way to stay in top of it.

We have a 'to do' list for the night before. After bubs goes to bed, my husband and I work as a team, pack lunches (bubs goes to home care so we send his lunch), defrost BM, sterilise bottles and breastpump, get everyones clothes organised, pack nappy bag and get dinner organised for next day. Working as a team it takes approx. half an hour and then we sit down and relax. I think the key is team work and being organised...and of course im a list freak!! Lol!

Not sure on the health level of these lunch box ideas but: a item of fruit every time (mandarin, grapes, kiwifruit, etc); home made savoury muffins with grated courgette, chopped up celery and some cheese (add anything else, recipe in edmonds c/b) pancakes with added banana, or else I buy the big bag of frozen berries and add a few of these, or I grate in spinach. Long slices of carrot. Yoghurt (only $5 for 12 at PnSave) Sandwich, or left over spag bol, mothers earth fruit bars. Mini vege chip packs from PnSave (not sure how healthy though) You could also make up mini egg pastry things in the muffin tray and add in different veges like peas, grated carrot, corn kernels, cheese. Sushi. Left over chicken on rice (dependant on age) Cruskit crackers with vegemite. Celery sticks with some sort of filling inside (cottage cheese/peanut butter)

Thank you sleep store!! Loving this- I look forward to seeing the finished product. Now having 4 kids, I am always in the look out for tips, hints & ideas to help make my days run more smoothly.

Kids have leftovers of previous nights dinner. Such a nice feeling knowing that it is ready and waiting! Dinner between 4.30 and 5, before all hell breaks loose due to hungry children. 20 month old in bed between 5 and 6, sleeps 12-13 hours and 4 year old 6.30-7. Early bedtime a godsend to all involved!

My 3 year old likes to get up at 6 am. My 7 month old and I like to get up at 7... so before I go to bed I set the tv to abc 4 kids, put the remote on the couch with a blanket and his slippers. Beside this a vegemite or peanut butter sandwich on a glad wrapped plate with a piece of fruit and a cup of milk in the fridge. He's happy, I'm happy, we're all happy :)

Not that it always goes to plan!

Put my sons uniform socks etc at the end of his bed so he wakes up and puts on straight away and always have my keys somewhere visiable the night beofre so can grab when dashing around in the morn!

Try and make your own chicken nuggets - cut up one breast of chicken into little chunks, coat with a little egg and then bread crumbs, then cook. Much nicer to know how they have been made and all proper chicken. I have also made my own sausage rolls. Get some raw mince and put in a bowl. Squirt in bbq sauce, chunks of onion, grate in some carrot, throw in some garlic and one egg. Mix into a meaty mess with your hands. Get a sheet of flaky puff pastry and cut length ways. Put some of the meat length ways on each piece of pastry and fold over so the pastry overlaps brushing with egg to make it stick. Place on a tray seam side down and put in fridge till firm. Glaze again with left over egg, prick the sausage roll and then put in oven at 180 for 25-30 mins. Yum

Not that this is very organized, but i find it easier to get the kids in the car, put on a cd they like and THEN put my makeup on sitting in the car in the driveway. Used to be the last thing I did before leaving the house, and kids where itching to go and under my feet. This works for me :)

Have some fun music on and dance with the kids whilest you cook and do dishes. happy kids makes everything more fun!

If the kids look as though they'll take a limb before dinner is ready, sit them up and feed them raw vegetables. Avocado, carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, hummus etc. You will be amazed at what they will eat and it is totally guilt free... if they fill themselves up, then so be it. But it is all on good stuff and you needn't worry if they subsequently decide they don't want their dinner.

Oh, and sad to say, but turning the heater up hot and full blast ( in the car) with all the vents pointing at me doesn't do too bad a job at blow drying your hair! Horray for naturally curly hair! Hehe!

I used to stress out if my son wouldnt eat his tea... it was a battle of wills and tea time used to take over an hour and he went to bed without eating anything on a regular basis - but we went and bought a simple timer (from Farmers that is a magnet and has a visable red section that gets smaller as the time runs down) and I have removed myself from the situation, I dont say anything, he knows that when tea is served the timer will be set, if he chooses not to finish his tea before the bell goes (and we give him a very fair 25 minutes) dinner time is over and the dog gets his tea... sounds harsh... but the dog has only over gotten his tea once, and Im pretty sure he was just testing to see if I would actually do it!

Maybe not so great but Cartoons on whilst making dinner really helps!!!

Same routine, same pattern makes everything go easier (although it's a nice treat to break it occasionally!)

We keep a nice looking box in kitchen with things we need before leaving the house e.g. KEYS! Saves having to hunt everywhere for your own stuff when you've finally got baby sorted :)

We do a family dinner at 6 which I love. But the kids are bathed and in pjs so its just brush teeth, stories and bed after dinner.

Bedtime routine for our 6 month old is a godsend. Bottle at 6 pm and quiet time with dad for 10-15 mins then bath time story time and bed. Sleeps 12-13hrs at night. Works every time and we never vary from it

Realising that routine is the dinner, bath, bottle, book, bed, not necessarily the actual time of bedtime. So now i know that my very tired baby can go to bed super early if need be or later, without a hitch as he hasn't a clue what the time is but has had his bedtime routine!

St John's Wort.

Routine! Works FAB for me

When u cook dinner make double and freeze in the muffin tin for those nights following where you run out of time or just need to make the dinner routine easier

Menu planner!! Shopping list. Home delivery. And a Cleaner once a week. More time to spend with the littlies makes for contented littlies and therefore contented home. Plus, a routine, makes for a contented mother too.

Do what works for you and your family. my 2.5 yr old has a 2.5 hr nap each afternoon and a later bedtime it gives us a chance to enjoy the cooler part of the day without rushing through dinner, bath bed. (we live in the tropics so cooler times are the only time you can get outside

A slow cooker! I'm amazed at the millions of recipes for these things and there's nothing more rewarding than walking in the door to the smell and sight of dinner taken care of :)

Routine routine routine . Same everyday no surprises & everyone knows what's expected of them.

Keys ALWAYS hang on hook by the front door- Jo searching when running late in the mornings.

Teaching son from a young age 2 how to wash himself in the shower (I can b/feed miss 3months while he scrubs himself)

Dividing the housework with husband to avoid drama- we both have clear expectations on who does what

Kids watch tv for half hr while I cook dinner - then its no screen time until morning. (means quality time together) and my son loves to 'zone out' after a busy day and I cook in peace!

Monthly meal plan and each week shopping list template  

I pre chop all my veg for the week, carrots bro colli pumpkin etc then store in sealed cont in fridge makes it so easy at dinner times to grab a few handfuls to throw into the dinner than battle with a toddler and a knife at "feral o'clock"

Ihave bags packed for everything, a swimming bag, a ballet bag a kindy bag, a weekend baby bag, when i get home i repack it and hang it up, that way we can get out the door fast.

Loving the fact that there are other mums who swear by an early dinner time! I often get some strange looks when people hear my 4 & 2 & 9mth old are eating dinner between 4.30 and 5. Any later than that and dinner time is just an absolute circus! Straight in the bath and then stories, bottle for baby, and inbed asleep by 6.30 at the latest! I couldn't cope if my kids were up any later than that. My husband and I enjoy eating our dinner after kids in bed and then a relaxing evening doing housework lol My kids all sleep 12 hours and an earlier wake up is actually better for getting us all out the door to kindy on time, otherwise it is all too much of a rush.

I have holiday bags "pre packed". So all our medicines live in a back pack, which I just pick up and throw in the packing pile when we're off on holiday (because you can always guarantee that you will need some funny medicine that you've only used once or twice as soon as you leave home!). And I have a permanently packed "rainy day bag" full of various activities, for the same reason. And a "day pack" with summer and winter hats, rain coats, sun screen, change of clothese, first aid kit, cafe amusements etc. These three bags have made life much easier for us.

Slow cooker is a good one. Also make sure I wash my (long) hair at night so I can just whip it up with clips in the morning and go without the drama of washing and drying before we need to be out of the house.

When I'm drowning in washing, I take a huge load to the laundromat for the full service - wash, dry, folded. Costs about $20 for 20kg and saves a lot of sanity, if I drop it before work it's ready by the time I finish - Megan

I make dinner in the afternoon while my 21 month and 4 month old sleep so I can play with them for the afternoon and enjoy them rather than having to rush cooking dinner later on. Oh and dinner is between 4.30 and 5 as well!

My favourite one is loading up the machine with washing the night before and putting it on in the morning - sooooo much easier for me

Ok, washing freak alert - but I always do 2 loads a day - one nappies and the other clothes, one day light, the next day a dark load. such a geek

Putting the washing machine on at night so can hang it out first thing, or sometimes even hanging it out at night if fine weather predicted.

Dinner in the slow cooker prepared during a free minute or two during morning, ready for eating once baby in bed. Daycare - everything ready night before. Have even considered nabbing baby's puppy toy out of her cot once she's asleep, so it can be packed too!

Both my 2.5 year old and 1 year old have toddler backpacks which I take wherever we go. They have nappies, wipes, suncream, extra set of clothes, hats and raincoat. If we use anything I replace as soon as we get home and then hang on backs of bedroom doors for next outing.

Evening - routine, routine, routine! Dinner @ 5pm, bath @ 6pm, milk before bed @ 6.30pm, 1 year old - story, song and bed by 7pm, 2.5 year old - story, song and bed by 7.15pm.

Though of another one, maybe the best timesaver of all ..... avoid facebook ;-)

Slow cooker on during the morning nap!

Hi liking the advice as husband working long hrs so am wanting some tips as have 4 wk old and 19month old want to have things done and only me to do it taking advan tage of visitors is a good idea too

When my girls are grumpy and I'm trying to get them moving in the mornings, I jump around saying it's time to do the Conga and then we conga to the bathroom for teeth and faces, then conga to the shoe box and then conga to the front door - Megan