My first two babies were born in the mid-eighties, with the first one being a bit of a surprise and the second one born 2.5 years later.

I clearly remember after the first birth being in the lift en route to my room with my newborn, husband and midwife and talking about having number two!  The midwife was astounded to hear my enthusiasm as the birth was very long, and completely natural. Lamaze was popular back them!

The early years were wonderful, hard and challenging. My family were 150 km away and ‘new parent’ groups were unheard of. My only support was via phone to my mum, or the visits to my local Health Centre, now Maternal and Child Health. Some days were really long, and although focused on my children, I still had the need to have ‘me time’.

 “I get another turn…wisdom is a wonderful thing”

Fast-forward to 2007, with the first born already left the nest and the second an independent teen, my maternal instinct was in overdrive. After years of trying for baby number three (yet I had been adamant that two were enough), we welcomed another son with a gap of 21 years between baby two and three.

Oh, what joy! We were over the moon and despite the pregnancy from hell, feeding and sleeping issues, I realised a way down the track that I was actually a multi-generation mum that had evolved with the times, taken on new parenting trends and could reflect on what did and didn’t work while parenting the first two. Yes, I am a proud multi-generational mum!

“Have you commented to your parents that they let the grandkids do things that you were never allowed to do?”

Now mum to Mr. 9, the time is flying by in that all too familiar way, and ‘Grandy’ to Miss 5, I find myself wanting to share some wisdom with younger mums. Hey let’s make parenting as positive and joyful as possible.

So here are my 15 parenting hacks to make life easier, to be aligned with best practice mental health and most importantly, cherish your little ones childhood. Some hacks have taken me a while to discover, others have simply evolved from time and experience and a will to do it better.

1. Don’t encourage independence too early, soon you will be wishing your big one was still a little one!

2. It’s definitely OK to tell your child you over reacted and are open for compromise and discussion. You don’t have to always be ‘the boss’. A simple hug goes a long way!

3. Don’t agree with others when your heart disagrees. Trust yourself and seek support that aligns with you!

4. True friends should never presume to ‘parent’ your child. It oversteps the friendship boundary.

5. Never boil peas. Simply pour boiling water over them and let them defrost and heat up.

6. Discover how many things regrow from waste. Spring onion, leek, lettuce, tomato seed just to name a few!

7. Get a wok, super fast, easy and nutritious cooking. A real time saver and less washing up!

8. Manage your screaming, overwhelmed toddler having a public meltdown with a big cuddle.

9. Don’t stress at meal times. It’s OK for kids to not want to finish everything on the plate. If it stresses you out, simply feed smaller portions.

10. Punishment creates disharmony. Psychologically damaging punishment is a negative action and a bully tactic. Communication, setting boundaries, cause and effect are better options.

11. Understand that your child is not a little adult. They cannot think, react, understand, negotiate or reason like an adult. What they do brilliantly is mimic your actions and reactions!

12. Screaming at your kids is a total waste of energy. Put yourself in their shoes, would you like to be screamed at?

13. Time-out only teaches that isolation is good. Isolation is what we never want in a stress situation.

14. Your children are small for such a short time. Enjoy the moment!

Do you have any awesome parenting tips to add to this list? Share with us below.

Image source Shutterstock.

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • I agree that they are only little for such a short time so try and delight in it.
    I loved having my littleones at home and felt sad when they started school. Especially when the youngest started school and I had no more under 5’s at home.
    I had my eldest and the 2nd was born 3years later, the 3rd 5yrs after the 2nd. My eldest was an awesome help with the youngest.


  • Oh wow. You’re a very lucky lady to gave been able to gave baby number 3. I was the same, wanted number 3 a long time after 2, but it didn’t happen. I still have that cluckiness at times


  • Hope this site is around for the next 12 years – would love to hear your feedback of how different or the same your two children were at 21 yo. Parenting has changed so much over the years, but has it been for the better? I’m still on the fence about this – watching my grandchildren who were born in the 80’s and those born recently, I am wondering what the difference will be in the long term. I know about the short term and it’s chalk & cheese from my children and my children’s children of varying ages.


  • I really love your tips, I enjoyed the article.


  • All good tips. We can only do the best we can.


  • Some good tips here.
    I agree that communication is so important.
    Instead of time-out we do time-in.


  • Agree with most of these. I have 30 years between my oldest child and the youngest ones (twins). My first 3 were born in the 80’s, then 2003 my first daughter a pleasant surprise. Come late 2012 a complete surprise of boy/girl twins with a grand child 2 years later. So many things have changed over the years. What was used for my oldest as safety in the car would be “how did he survive), a net over his bassinet was all that protected him in the car. The way children are brought up changes as we age and what is thought to be normal.


  • Most of these tips are common sense, and always something that a little retrospect helps with.


  • i like these tips, now just to remember to implement them, i am not the calmest mother even though i know it doesnt help.


  • Great tips and above all communicate with your children.


  • The communication tip is the most important as everything flows from good communication.


  • It depends whether or not I have been asked to correct the child by their parents and they are in my home. If my home is damaged I am responsible for the repairs whether it is major or not. I will not let the children do what I know they are not allowed to do. It sends a confusing message to them, especially little ones. I have been told by their parents that regardless of where they are if I see them doing something that is not allowed I am stop them from doing it.

    • I agree with you on that one, but I think the writer of this article means something else when she says that others shouldn’t ‘parent’ your child and that this oversteps the friendship boundary. And I agree with her that we shouldn’t overstep the boundaries regarding parenting.


  • I don’t agree with some of these how ever there are some great ideas too.


  • I like the pea hack


  • All excellent tips and especially no.3,thanks so much!


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating