The Overwhelmed Mom System

We’ve all had that feeling – you wake up and are instantly overwhelmed after looking out at the mess in the living room from the night before. The amount of things you thought of that need to be done are already flowing and the idea that it’s only Tuesday is so frustrating. You are in overwhelmed mom mode and need to get out. Have no fear – we’re going to tackle this together.

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Lazy Mom Cleaning Hacks

Cleaning – does anyone actually enjoy it? I absolutely do not. So I decided to compile a list of lazy mom cleaning hacks for you. Check it out, and print it so you can have it on hand when you feel like you should probably tidy up a bit.

 

lazy mom cleaning hacks

(This post contains one or more affiliate links)

I am lazy. AF. During the day, the last thing on my list is cleaning. I’d like to say it’s because I spend so much time with my children that I just can’t bother with it. Truth is, I just hate it. I do the necessary things – sweep the floor when things are getting stuck to my feet, vacuum under the kitchen table when Reagan can muster an entire meal from the “crumbs” (I miss my dog), laundry when Dylan has to break into his whitey tighties, clean the toilet when….I’ll spare you the rest of that one.

I do have a few cleaning hacks that I use so I reached out to my Facebook group of moms and asked what their hacks are. Because let’s be honest – we all have at least one. AT LEAST!

Meal planning made easy!

I compiled them for you in a nice little list (you can print it out at the end, too.)

Cleaning Hacks to Keep Life Mostly Under Control
(You see what I did there?)

  1. Sprinkle baking soda in the garbage can (and diaper pail) before putting in the new garbage bag, but after you take the full one out.
  2. Essential oils in the air filter for your house to drown out the smell of stinky kiddos/animals.
  3. Put the toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet bowl before cleaning anything. Do your other cleaning, them come back and do the toilet. It has sat there for so long that it has already done most of the cleaning for you. So much less scrubbing.
  4. Baby wipes. You’d be amazed at how well they clean.
  5. Take a bath with baking soda – good for you, good for the bathtub.
  6. Fill one of these bad boys with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 dish soap. Keep it in the shower and clean the shower while you’re showering. Mind. Blown.
  7. Clean your bathroom mirror and/or counter while you’re brushing your teeth or swishing with mouthwash.
  8. Dryer sheets on the back of a fan to bring a fresh scent into the room.
  9. After cooking something in the microwave with water, wipe away the grime and caked on food with a cloth right after you take out the food. The steam from cooking the food helps loosen up the yuck.
  10. And the obvious – cleaning lady! Treat yourself!

Download and print the list here.

Are you looking for laundry specific hacks? Check out Keri’s post about Life Without Laundry.

Happy “cleaning!” 😉

Alphabet Blocks

This alphabet activity is a great way to get exposure to the alphabet during block play. Do you have a kiddo who loves blocks? He/she loves blocks so much that you just can’t get them interested in anything else? Here is a way to incorporate their love of blocks and stacking with learning the alphabet.
alphabet activity - teaching creative minds the alphabet
This post has been updated from September 2, 2016.
This post contains affiliate links – this means if you click on the link and purchase a product, I will receive a small kick back at no extra charge to you.

Happy Friday!

Sometimes you have a kiddo who really enjoys playing with one thing. This may make you feel like you can’t work on any skills besides that one thing. We need to get creative!

As a parent, you may not have time for that – ha! And I totally get it. So I’m here to get creative for you with a great alphabet activity for kiddos who love blocks.

Dylan has been having a blast with his big Duplo blocks. He grabs the big bucket and drags them into my craft room and goes to town. He builds trains, spiders, buildings, cars, “shooters,” airplanes…you name it, he’s built it. He even uses the bucket as part of his play. It’s usually a body of water – ocean, lake, river, whatever.

Photo of alphabet blocks - letters B and G

I have been wanting to get him exposed to the alphabet as he starts preschool in a few weeks (right after Labor Day) but he has no desire. So I thought back to my preschool days. When lesson planning, I always catered to the boys because they were more stubborn. I would be more likely to see boys doing a “girl activity” than girls doing a “boy activity.” So I used the blocks to my advantage a lot.

Sensory activities can be enhanced to work on any skill!

It’s important to take kids’ favorite toys and incorporate other skills into them. This is also why I did so much sensory when I taught. Most of the students I came across really enjoyed sensory play. I learned that they would pretty much do anything, as long as I added it to the sensory table. So, if we were working on colors, I would add different colored items to the sensory table and we would work on sorting. If we were working on numbers, I could add number cards to the sensory table with small objects so they could count and work on one-to-one correspondence. You can adjust your targeted skill to their interests.

Find out why I think flashcards are a waste of time!

Photo of alphabet blocks - letters B and G

I took out his Duplo blocks, measured them and then created rectangles for the 2 part blocks. I printed this out and cut them up and taped them to the front of each block (I didn’t have a lot so I used both sides of the blocks for the letters – uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other side).

Photo of alphabet blocks - letters B and G and J

At first, I’m not gonna lie, he ripped them off and told me he didn’t want them on his blocks. So, obviously not on my side. But I put them back on and he was playing with them. He wouldn’t stack them according to their letter and picture (which is fine because my intention was just to get him exposed to the letters), but I did catch him repeating the letters as he picked them up or saying the picture.

In my book, that’s a success.

You could really do anything on these. Animals, people…tailor it to their age group and interest.

Alphabet Block Activity Skills

  • Exposure to letters: As I mentioned, the alphabet is not super age appropriate for a 3 year old, but that doesn’t mean you can’t expose them to the letters so they start to recognize them. My intention of this activity was NOT to get him to match letters with their sounds. It was to expose him to the alphabet.
  • Fine motor: Stacking the blocks helps strengthen fine motor skills, which I always talk about. It is important for pre writing, too!
  • Creativity: If they bypass the alphabet activity altogether and only stack/build (which is fine, by the way!), then they are working on exercising their creativity. Don’t worry – they’re still seeing the letters!
  • Turn taking: If they grab a sibling or a friend, this works on turn taking and cooperative play.

You can download the letter version here for your own use.

Looking for more activities that help with letters? Check out this simple DIY Letter Flip Book!