AS A busy mum to two stepchildren and six-month-old daughter Bebe, time is something Kate Davies definitely doesn’t have much of.
Which is why she’s come up with her own set of parenting hacks to help her cut down on time taken up with chores.
Kate Davis with her six-month-old daughter Bebe[/caption]
From an ingenius way of keeping things tidy when her messy baby is eating, to an extremely tongue-in-cheque dusting method, Kate has mum hacks down.
She told Fabulous Digital exclusively: “When you have so much to do with a baby anything that reduces the chores is a joy.
“I refuse to spend needless time cleaning.
“I have a young baby who spends time on the floor so it needs to be clean. With three kids I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time sweeping up.”
Kate’s partner is a firefighter and has the same attitude as Kate – constantly thinking up shortcuts to make their parenting easier.
He reckoned they should go one further with their ambition of keeping the floor clean– getting the kids to clean and polish it themselves.
While it was initially a joke the couple got baby Bebe wearing dusters attached to her Babygro and the older kids were kitted out in cleaning cloths as slippers.
Kate laughs it’s the best £4.40 she has ever spent on cleaning gear, because it also doubles up as toys for the kids.
“My partner is always coming up with crazy ideas. It’s good fun! When Bebe started to crawl he joked we should get some clothes and attach them on her knees!” she said.
“I ordered some off the internet. I tacked the cloth on to the Babygro and with elastic made slippers out of the dusters too.
“Everyone has a right laugh sliding up and down our tiled corridor.
“It’s one way to entertain the kids and yes it does work! The floor definitely looks cleaner.
“When the older two get in from school they want to put them on. They keep their feet warm and they keep my hallway clean.
“My husband thinks it’s hilarious. He’s got a pair as well. We all do it as a game and a competition to see who can cover the most of the floor first!”
Clean freak Kate, 40, who runs a business consulting company, only takes her pram out of the house if it has shower caps on each wheel of the pram.
“I had a 20-year career in the City and I used to travel a lot for work. As most of us do I’d take home all the complimentary knickknacks from the hotel,” she said.
“I walk the kids in the park. I’m out every day with the pram at least twice a day taking the older children to and from school. It gets really muddy. It’s the perfect way to avoid bring in dog muck or dirt from outside.
“I do get funny looks especially if the shower hats are in bright colours. I’ve no doubt they’re thinking ‘crazy person!’ but I don’t care. They stop mud getting all over my floor. So, job done!”
Kate has come up with a number of ingenious ideas to cut down on the mess at home.
While most toddlers leave the family kitchen looking like a bomb has hit it the first time they feed themselves – the same cannot be said for Kate’s kitchen.
“We put a small paddling pool under the highchair to catch the food so the cleaning up is much quicker,” she said.
“She’s throwing around spag bol, egg, cottage cheese and loads of fruit and veggies. At this stage she is trying stuff, she sucks on it and then it can get chucked.
“With all of the food dropping on the floor at meal times three times a day the paddling pool catches everything.
“It means I don’t have to sweep multiple times a day either.”
“I could spend that time playing with the children or catching up on some much-needed sleep.
“I got the idea in the summer. We eat outside on the patio to avoid mess in the house. The highchair went in the paddling pool so that the left overs were easily tipped into the chicken pen.
“It made sense to carry it on inside. When the baby is rolling about the floor you don’t want her to be filthy!
“Even my friends have now bought blow up paddling pools to copy me. I take it as a compliment!”
Kate’s hacks continue everywhere in the house.
“We have a sun visor that Bebe wears on her head when I’m washing her hair,” she said.
“It’s one of those retro ones from the 80s. It only costs £1.59 online. She doesn’t mind it either. That way she doesn’t get soap in her eyes. There is no crying involved and it keeps the process quick and easy.”
Even when the family go on holiday Kate is constantly looking at ways to streamline the amount of prep time.
She dresses kids in their travel clothes before bedtime when they’re catching an early flight.
“No one has time to mess around at 3am in the morning trying to get everyone dressed,” she explained.
Yet on one holiday trip to the beach Kate forgot a sunhat for her daughter.
“I’m very good at improvising. So I used a nappy on her head. I laugh and call it #badparenting in my mummy message group! Like most mums I’m winging it!” she explained.
Kate has hacks for every part of the day and every area at home.
She gets the kids playing on the floor but only on a big blanket so it can be picked up and tipped into the various toy boxes.
She has even invented a special meal called “Bits and Pieces” which the kids love. They see it as a special treat – for Kate it’s a perfect way to use up left overs.
In the car she uses an old cereal box with a proper lid on it as the bin. If it falls over it stays closed.
“I love being a mum, but I work for myself. It’s important that I focus on the kids when I’m with them. If I can find shortcuts around cleaning then I always will,” she says.
“For me – at home an ordered house means an ordered mind.”
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