10 Random Things That Make Parenting So Much Easier.

While talking with a girlfriend about all of the contraptions, toys and crap kids want and need to make their life complete, it dawned on us, that some of the most basic random things are all we want need to make our life as a parent complete. Without further ado, today's 'Top 10 Tuesday' is all about 10 Random Things That Make Parenting So Much Easier.

1. A good case for my Smartphone- I know it's probably bad to kick off the list with talk of my phone, but I'll be honest, right now my toddler is OBSESSED with it! Because of that, a good sturdy case has saved my phone on so many occasions. If the kid is not dropping it, or putting sticky finger prints on it, he is smacking it because he is pissed at a game. (We are working on reeling in the latter.)  A good phone case is key in my kingdom. Since my phone is also key in my kingdom for buying 15 minutes of peace and quiet out of my toddler.

2. The ghetto DVD car player- Just because I don't drive a fancy car with a fancy home theater in the back of every headrest and drop down DVD players, doesn't mean I can't get the same effect with a little creativity!  When stuck in traffic or on a long drive, I find Mickey Mouse Club House or Caillou on YouTube, then shove it between the headrest and seat. That way Ollie can see it, but not hold it, which inevitably leads to him screwing it up and begging me to put Mickey back on.

This is a fancy iPad holder.
I still prefer to shove my phone in the space between the headrest and the seat.
It works and it's free.

3. The safe place. Even though the wild-child is old enough to sit in his booster chair at the table without the tray attachment, I still stick him in it for snack time so I can steal a few minutes to get things done, or catch my breath. Plus, if I let him eat in a regular chair he is up and down and up and down... It drives me crazy! The safe place is safe for him to eat, and safe to stay put while I do something around the house. You know there is nothing more dangerous than taking your eyes off a toddler. Especially, mine.

4. The white noise machine. Who knew the sweet little white noise Giraffe I got at my baby shower would still be an essential part of my child's bedtime routine nearly three years later? Mr. Giraffe has been a life saver so many times for getting Ollie to sleep in a noisy house, or just to comfort him with it's soothing noises. I have a feeling we will have Mr. Giraffe for a VERY long time.  In fact, I'd probably cry right along with the kid if we lost him.

5. BABY WIPES! I love baby wipes. FREAKING LOVE THEM! There is no limit to what they can do for me in a day. From cleaning up messes, to wiping down the messy counters in a pinch, to cleaning up my car, to wiping up paint drops when I'm renovating, baby wipes are for WAY more than wiping my kid's butt.

6. Pre-planned activities. Being that my kid has the attention span of a blowfly, in a single day we can go through a ridiculous amount of activities. Anyone with a toddler knows the minute they are board, hell breaks lose. So in an attempt to keep order in my home, I always have back-up activities to do; preferably, things Ollie has never done. I stock up on cheap crafts and busy toddler activities at the dollar store and craft store, so when the kid gets crazy, I can talk him down with a paint by numbers. Works every time!

7. Child's day out program. I would be SO freaking lost without my two-day a week break from my toddler. For three GLORIOUS hours a twice a week, Ollie is at church playing, coloring and learning, while I am doing whatever I want. #Bliss #Fabulous #ThankYouJesus #WouldLoseMyShitWithoutIt 

8. The greatest invention ever, the Magic Eraser! My house would look like a toddler run shithole without those magic little white sponges. Between Ollie's art projects with my make-up, to crayon on daddy's brand new TV, to PB&J smeared on EVERYTHING, to even Sharpie on my ugly ass counter tops....the Magic Eraser never ceases to amaze me.

9. Playdates. I LOVE playdates. For the hour or so that the playdate is going on, my kid plays happily with his friend, while I chat with my friend. It's so much easier for me to have another kid over, than just having Ollie. When it's just us, he needs ALL of my attention. When his playdate is over, I might as well be meatloaf. He could care less about what I am doing. I get to sit on the couch chatting away while he plays happily at my feet with his little friend. If I could, I would have a playdate daily.

10. The Reset Button.  Above all, the greatest thing is the Mommy Reset Button. When I'm at the end of my rope, I hit it HARD! What is it you ask?  It's a night out with my girlfriends! When it's over, I feel refreshed and amazing! Here is a photo from the last time I SMASHED the reset button... (Read all about it, here.)

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com