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15 Parenting Hacks, According To Black Millennial Moms

All in a day's work.

Look — being a parent is hard.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, your kids are the sunshine of your life and seeing their smiles makes everything worthwhile, but before you get that smile, there is a lot of shenanigans you have to deal with.

That's why we asked the moms of mater meaa community that celebrates Black motherhood — for the parenting hacks that make their lives a little easier.

If you're a mom, you may have already put many of these tips to use. Got any ones of your own? Share in the comments below the post.

1. Label and fill healthy snack baskets and place them at your kids' eye level.

"Kids love to be hungry. I got each of mine a basket and put their name on it. I then filled each one up with healthy and tasty snacks (whole fruit, nutrient-rich snack bars, sweet potato chips, peanut butter crackers, apple sauce cups, dried fruit, sliced sweet peppers, etc.) for the day. I put the basket at their eye-level and allow them to pull from it throughout the day.

The awesome thing is if they fill up on snacks and skip lunch, I don't feel bad because the snacks were nutritious." —Krissy Coggins

2. Teach your kids how to help you in the kitchen.

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"My daughter loves helping with dinner, but oftentimes she can make the process much slower and messier than I'd like. Instead of hurting her feelings by just sayin 'no' or 'not right now,' I let her know she can help with one part.

For instance, tonight I made spaghetti and when she asked to help I said, 'When mommy is ready, you can pour the sauce.' She was satisfied that she got to help and it didn't add any additional time or stress on to me." —Jessica Schrody

3. When flying, keep your baby from crying by giving them a bottle on take off or landing.

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"When flying with babies be sure to nurse or give a bottle on take off or landing. This prevents their ears from popping and provides comfort and prevents crying induced by pain." —Monet Hambrick

4. Carve out some time for yourself by letting your younger children sleep in bed together.

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"Let young kiddos (between the ages of 2-7) sleep in the bed together. Yes, they may not go to bed immediately when you lay them down, and they may keep each other up a bit longer, but they don’t feel as lonely, I don’t feel guilty for leaving a crying kid in bed by themselves, and I can head into my room for some alone time.

Also, once they do fall asleep they are more likely to stay asleep and not want to crawl into the parents’ bed because they have their sibling to cuddle with." —Anjelica Malone

5. Pump milk while driving.

"Pump while driving! This was an undiscovered talent until I recently had a new baby and not enough time and/or space due to working out of my car. I literally would drive from site to site pumping and storing in a cooler. Saved tons of time!" —Brandy Wells

FYI: According to the DMV, most states prohibit handheld devices that can cause a distraction while driving, so wherever you are, make sure you're using a device that lets you pump hands-free. And before pumping and driving, check local laws, and make sure you can do it without getting distracted.

6. Meal plan every weekend and save yourself hours of weeknight kitchen time.

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"Planning is sacred! We do a family plan every Saturday that helps us balance our lives. We are a blended family so my two kids go between their dad and us. They have school, my partner and I have multiple businesses and projects running at once, we work from home, AND we have a one year old and we aren’t doing child care yet 😂😂. We can’t stand trying to figure out dinner at 4 or 5 p.m., so all our meals are planned for the week." —Tiffany Krystal Hinton

7. Sneak greens into their smoothies and juices.

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"Veggies aren't a problem when you start young. My son will do anything for Hulk Juice (a smoothie with two cups of raw spinach and some pineapple juice). Any fruit mixed with carrot also makes for a great smoothie." —Nikki Jae

8. ...Or grate similar-colored vegetables into their meals (like carrots in their mac 'n' cheese).

"One thing I do to get my son to eat vegetables is hiding them in his macaroni and cheese. I've been grinding up carrots into his pasta from time to time and he still hasn't noticed." —Terri Huggins Hart

You can also try this recipe for carroty mac 'n' cheese.

9. Wake them up using the theme song to their favorite show.

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"My son can be rather cranky when waking him up. I found that I can wake him up with a smile just by playing the theme song to his favorite show, Puppy Dog Pals. Once he hears that he pops right up ready to start the day. It's helped to have several episodes of the show on the DVR ready to go." —Terri Huggins Hart

10. ...Or try starting their day with a 5-minute meditation, or some mindfulness games.

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"My last recent hack has been introducing morning meditation with my older kids. I wake them up 15-20 minutes before they have to get ready and we do a 5-minute meditation, play odd man out and rock, paper, scissors. Then we pick a word, animal, element, color, or number for our day. It’s been a great way for us to connect and have them wake up slowly before being forced to get up and get dressed." —Tiffany Krystal Hinton

11. Use bubbles to practice deep breathing.

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"Use bubbles to practice deep breathing! Deep breathing is a tool we use as adults to help with overwhelming emotions or just to be mindful. A great way to extend that courtesy to children is also teaching them to take deep breaths by making it fun! Use bubbles, pretend to pump air in a balloon or hiss like a snake! Coping skills 101." —Brandy Wells

12. Stock up on vaseline to prevent diaper rash (it's a classic tip for a reason!).

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"Vaseline has been my family's miracle cure for diaper rash. At every diaper change, my grandma spread a thin layer on my mom's butt. My mom did the same for me. And when I had a son 13 months ago, my husband and I did the same for our baby, and we've all been diaper rash-free so far." —Lauren Floyd

13. Store breakfast in your car.

"This one is for the working mama with early mornings. At the beginning of the week, I put 3-4 ziplock bags of cereal and granola in my car so that on the mornings that I wake up and throw myself and my daughter in the car, she has something to snack on before she gets to daycare and has breakfast (although I am usually still starving lol)." —Jessica Schrody

For an alternative high-tech solution, you can also store your cereal in plastic to-go cups with separate milk compartments in the fridge the night before, and grab it on the way out. Get one from Amazon for $8.98.

14. Label everything in your home.

"Label everything around your home to teach early reading, language, writing, and comprehension skills!" —Brandy Wells

15. Use videos to initiate hard conversations.

"Use videos to go over hard topics with older children. It’s a great way to break the ice without initiating the conversation. My oldest daughter (11) and I started to watch Red Table Talk together. It lead to great conversations, even ones I wasn’t so prepared for." —Brandy Wells

Check out mater mea for more content at the intersection of motherhood and career.

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