5 Mom Hacks I Learned the First Time Around

I’m 23 weeks pregnant now – and the nesting is already setting in. Poor Dan.


Today I spent the morning going through all of Mia’s old clothes and washing/sorting the newborn and 0-3mo outfits. I’m not sure if it’s actually nesting, or just my desire to justify more baby clothes shopping, but either way it’s making me realize that I’m going to have to do this newborn thing ALL OVER AGAIN very soon.

Don’t even talk to me about labor. That’s the one thing I still remember crystal clear. FUCKING CRYSTAL, okay?

But the waking up every hour and tarry poops and constant breastfeeding hasn’t been a part of our lives for so long I sort of forgot about it. And now, as I get closer and closer to a new little lady entering our household, I’m starting to panic that I can’t remember anything. Really.

How often do I breastfeed? Do you use soap in the bath? What happens to the umbilical cord? I’m pretty much a first time mom all over again, except worse because I don’t have time to read any parenting books or anything.

Just add that to my list of #momoftheyear nominations.

Anyway, there are a couple things I learned in round one that I will definitely be applying to round two. They’re not particularly important or helpful in terms of keeping a newborn alive, but they helped keep me alive…so, there’s that.

Without further ado…5 moms hacks I actually remember from the first time around:

1. Naptime is for napping, not showering.

Nap Time

When Mia was first born I used her naps as a break to take a shower. That’s fine when you’re a first time mom and your kid naps like 20 hours a day – but once they get a little bit older, or you add a toddler to the mix who only naps once (maybe) a day, you need to reserve nap time for napping. Or eating. Or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and feeling jealous of all your friends who sleep more than 45 minutes at a time. Save your shower for while your kids are awake (see #3 below for my favorite shower time entertainment tip) – it gives you more time to relax during naps, and ticks a few minutes off the clock in the morning as you countdown to naptime 🙂

2. Painted nails are possible…in the car.


I’ve never been a manicure girl (except for special occasions), but I ALWAYS have my nails painted. Mostly because otherwise you can see all the dirt underneath them. Having a baby is a double whammy on nail care. For one, your nails are constantly dirty due to having your hands in poop all day (don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true!), and two, you never get a stretch of time to yourself that is long enough for painted nails to dry. I can hardly wait for my nails to dry without a toddler eating trash or newborn crying or a dog peeing on the sofa (wait, maybe it’s the toddler peeing on the sofa and the dog eating trash, I can’t remember). Anyway – I discovered this mom hack and it changed my life. Paint your nails in the car. Not while you’re driving, obviously. But keep a bottle of nail polish in the glove compartment of your car, and whenever you know you’ll be in the car more than 10 minutes or so, strap everyone in (including yourself) and then throw on a quick coat of polish and crank the heat. The drive time combined with the heat = no smudge nails by the time you arrive at your destination. Genius. I know. You’re welcome.

3. Chore time = playtime.


Another mistake I made as a first time mom was using nap time to accomplish chores. Things like laundry, sweeping, dusting, etc. As I said before, nap time is for napping or other mindless activities. It’s only an hour or two a day and dammit I NEED THAT TIME. So, because I’m also OCD and can’t let all the chores fall by wayside, I quickly figured out how to turn chore time into playtime. Mia loves to “inspect” the dirty laundry before it goes in the washer. She pulls each piece out of the basket and lets me know if it needs stain stick before I throw it in. She also likes to help me vacuum, using the BEST PRESENT EVER that her grandparents bought her for Christmas last year – a kid’s vacuum. The only thing that would make it better is if it actually cleaned rugs. Next year, I guess.

4. Laundry baskets are the best.

Laundry Basket

As parents we’re always trying to buy toys that will keep our kids entertained – especially during critical times like shower time and dinner time and take a shit time. The problem is, kids don’t like toys. Not as much as they like non-toys anyway. And this is where the laundry basket comes in. When Mia was little I used to put her in an infant seat or pack and play while I showered with maybe 3,576 toys, or so. She screamed her little head off. Then, one day I couldn’t find the damn infant seat so I grabbed a laundry basket and tucked her in there. She fucking LOVED it. No need for toys. No need for milk. No need for iPads or puffs or stupid vibrating chairs that automatically shut off after 3 minutes (whose goddamn idea was that?!). Just put the kid in the laundry basket and let ’em go. They poke their fingers in the holes, grab the sides, and laugh hysterically like a drunk college girl at a frat party – “oh my god Tiffani, am I seriously in a laundry basket right now? Like, LOL. This is HILARIOUS. You better put this on snapchat.”

5. Never go anywhere without marshmallows.


As a first time mom of course I said I would never let my kid have screen time or sugar or processed foods or a hundred other things that experienced parents know are essential to daily life. I also said I wouldn’t be one of those moms that bribes her children, especially not with candy. By “one of those moms” I guess I meant every mom because it turns out toddlers are demons and there is only one way to tame them. In Mia’s case, marshmallows are the trump card. I carry them with me everywhere, in case of tantrum, screaming, not listening, excessive talking, grabbing, hitting, and refusing to smile for a picture – you get the idea. And now you also know my trick to achieving cute Instagram photos. Toddler photographers take note. Screw the stupid camera monkey, bring marshmallows.

21 weeks pregnant

How far along? 23 weeks (picture is from 2 weeks ago, I’m not so good at remembering to take pictures anymore)

Total weight gain: 12 freakin’ pounds (2lbs more than I had gained with Mia at this point)
Maternity clothes? DUH. I was watching an episode of 16 and pregnant the other day, though, and at 36 weeks the girl had her regular jeans buttoned underneath her basketball belly. Bitch.
Sleep: Depends on the night. My shoulders have been so sore recently from all the ligament loosening, the throbbing has been keeping me up at night. If anybody has a cure for this that doesn’t involve PT (been there, done that, can’t afford it anymore) I’m all ears.
Best moment this week: Finding out for sure that our little peanut is a….GIRL!
Miss Anything? eating without acid reflux
Movement: all. the. time.
Food cravings: been on a salty kick recently…luckily I live with a chef who will make me nachos at 10pm. So much for exercising all the time and not gaining any extra baby weight…
Anything making you queasy or sick: looking at the scale every week
Labor Signs: had my first braxton hicks contraction yesterday. Forgot how much pregnancy sucks sometimes.
Symptoms: tired, hungry and tired.
Belly Button in or out? In still
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: now that I’m in the “happy trimester” without morning sickness but before I turn into an elephant- I’m feeling pretty good.
Looking forward to: Spending Thanksgiving with my California fam.

I’ll leave you a photo from our most recent ultrasound…confirming we’re having a baby girl, and even getting a sneak peek at her adorable little face 🙂

Baby Richards #2 - 23 weeks

4 thoughts on “5 Mom Hacks I Learned the First Time Around

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