As a mom, one of your major concerns with your kid ends up being the person you leave them with when you go away, either to work or to even just to run errands. If you're a dad, you're probably much less worried. Because of this, it's easy to wonder how moms and dads parent differently, because for the most part, they do end up doing things quite differently from each other overall.
Where Mom might prefer to be more lax with the whole potty training reward system, Dad might be more stringent in keeping with the strict system you've come up with together. Or, you know, vice versa. Or, you might find yourself as a mom spending all of the extra time you need in the morning styling your kid's hair, while Dad is more than happy to toss a headband their way and be done with it.
Regardless of the differences between the parenting hacks of moms and dads, we can assume that at their core, they have the best interest of their kids at heart. Taking shortcuts or creating hacks for parenting is nothing new and really, if that's what keeps parents from going absolutely crazy, then why not, right? But for the most part, the parenting hacks of moms and dads tend to differ greatly.
Mostly because dads, without that handy maternal extinct moms are privy to thanks to carrying the kid for nine months or so, tend to be more lax in getting things done in their own special ways.
The motto of dads seems to be something like, "If it feels good and gets the job done and I can still look cool doing it, then so be it." Or, something like that at least. Which, if we're being honest here, is pretty admirable as far as parenting goes. No parent wants to end up being the strict, cookie cutter one, who is meticulous almost to the point of being annoying. And to the same tune, no parent wants to be seen as annoying to their kid.
Dad parenting hacks and mom hacks differ for sure, but it's all a part of learning the whole parenting thing. Which is a total adventure in itself.
9 Spending Quality Time Playing Games
Moms: Break Out The Indoor Games
Whether moms choose the typical board games or opt for some of those awesome DIY indoor bowling or ring toss games that Pinterest tells us all about, they tend to go for the more common route of finding common ground with their kids. Which is totally fine, and downright awesome, since most kids respond pretty well to any sort of game play stimulation. And what better way to engage them than games that don't include screens, right?
Dads: Break Out The Video Games
Which is where the great parenting hack differs. Although we must say, dads who choose to introduce their kids to their own beloved games at a young age are pretty cool. Typically, it's more difficult for dads to find that maternal common ground with kids and if they must resort to video games, then so be it.
Only, for this particular dad hack, playing video games with their toddlers involves giving them controllers that are unplugged so that they can "play along." So, it's pretty much a win-win situation.
8 Helping Babies Fall Asleep
Moms: Use An Affordable Fan For While Noise
White noise machines are almost a must for new parents, but moms know how much of a frivolous buy this can seem in the long run. Especially since these types of machines end up not being quite loud enough, especially as kids get older and their ability to hear you having fun watching TV while they should be sleeping gets more prevalent.
That being said, moms know that an inexpensive boxed fan can do the trick, and remains totally adorable until it needs to be replaced down the line. Oh, and it doubles as a way to cool off in the summer months. Not too bad, moms.
Dads: Use A Broom To Keep The Cradle Rocking Slowly While They Watch TV
This may be more of a lazy dad's solution than a dad's genius parenting hack, but then again, aren't all parenting hacks meant to help us do things more efficiently, anyway? This little trick enables dads to leave the room or even sit further across the room, getting a breather for themselves while baby has no daddy distractions. And all Dad needs is a broom stick to lightly rock the cradle and lull them to asleep.
Moms: Make A Chore Chart With Rewards
Everyone can agree that all kids need to chip in and help with chores because they're never really too young to take part in something. Moms know this and opt for chore charts or wheels that reward kids with media time or special treats for getting things clean and neat. And luckily, Pinterest seems to have a few choice ideas to DIY.
Moms want kids to do chores to stop them from feeling entitled, but also to teach them about responsibility and chipping in around the house. After all, it's healthy for your kids to do their part around the house, no matter how small that role is. No mother wants to raise kids who refuse to lift a finger or worse yet, want mom and dad to do everything for them.
Dads: Attach Sponges To The Bottom Of Their Kids' Slippers
It's one thing to teach your kid to sweep and mop from right around the time they leave the diaper stage, but it's a whole other awesome thing to be able to trick the wee little ones into cleaning. Dads know this all too well, as they attach mop-like "bristles" to the bottom of their kids' slippers in order to have them dust every inch of hardwood or tiled floor in their homes, without actually nagging them about any of it.
Dads feel like mom on this, but they feel that if they can get the kids to help out without actually realizing that they're working, then they kids will do even more cleaning. Well played dad!
6 Playing "Pretend"
Moms: Break Out The Costumes And Build Forts
Who can blame moms for all of their creativity that goes into costumes and forts and turning their dining rooms into imaginary castles? It might be the more traditional way to go, but we don't think any kid would be disappointed to find their mom dressed up like a medieval knight, with a village of forts made out of almost every blanket and sheet in the house.
Moms get in on the action and love to see their kids dressed up and taking on roles. It's funny to see kids act out a different persona and see how they think that character would live. Imaginary playtime is just too fun to pass on, so moms love being part of the action.
Dads: Make Swords Out Of Toilet and Paper Towel Rolls
Dads are all about simplicity and being minimalists and that's totally okay! Especially when it comes to creating toys and fun for their kids. In this case, all it takes it the left over empty paper towel rolls and bare toilet paper cardboard in order to create some pretty cool pretend swords. Splash some paint on them and you've got a bona fide project on your hands. Not too shabby, eh?
Dads know kid love to paint and what could be more safe than a sword fight made from thin cardboard as apposed to plastic swords from the dollar store. Plastic swords can cause injury to little bodies and property damage if used in the house or in the garden. So dads opt for the safest play swords they can find (not to mention the cheapest).
5 Bottle Cleaning
Moms: Let It Soak With An All-Natural Pinterest Cleaning Recipe
We are all guilty of the "let it soak" mantra when it comes to pans or plates that have too much caked on residue from dinner. The same goes for bottles, though, and Moms know all of the tricks to have the "let it soak" method work well for them in getting the bottles clean and milk stain free.
Besides, unless you like spending precious minutes at the sink desperately trying to get the milk out of the bottom of the bottle, then you'll find the let it soak method time saving and way more effective when you finally get around to cleaning out the bottle.
Dads: Attach The Bottle Brush To Their Drills
This particular dad hack is one that all parents should try to adopt, if we do say so ourselves. In the simplest of terms, they take a typical bottle brush and attach it to their hand drill, thereby gaining enough speed and power to get those bottles clean in double time. Or, you know, in no time at all.
So if bottle cleaning were a sport, dads would have the upper hand here. Of course parents could just argue why such a bottle cleaning system doesn't already exist, what parent wouldn't want such a cool devise to take care of bottle cleaning?
Moms: Wait Until Baby Is Asleep
Yes, we know, everyone says to sleep when baby sleeps and handle everything else in due time. Moms know that this isn't exactly doable, though. And they also know that once baby is asleep they can handle enough chores, tiny projects, and meal prep to make them feel like themselves again.
Some women can't let the laundry pile up, or dishes sit in the sink. These women will forego sleep in order to get some cleaning in while their mother counterparts have no shame in sleeping alongside their babies trying desperately recuperate any lost sleep.
Dads: Find Ingenious Ways To Prop A Bottle
Moms might know the trick to getting things done around the house, but dads aren't too shabby either. They know all of the tricks to help their babies drink their bottles without having to actually sit down and feed them for 30 minutes at a time. They might prop the bottle on a pillow, expertly balancing it in their little one's hands and mouth, or even cradle their baby in their arms while the bottom of the bottle rests on their own chin while at the same time, they're getting in some video game playing--of course.
Dads want their children to blend into their existing lifestyle, so they create these genius hacks that allow them to carry on as normal with a baby in tow.
3 Potty Training
Moms: Stick To The Chart
Simply plopping your toddler down on their miniature potty just won't do it, and moms know this quite well. So in an effort to entice them, moms develop potty charts in order to keep track of the progress and reward system. Because you know your toddler isn't peeing on the potty without the promise of some fruit snacks or stickers.
Many moms will read books, consult with other mothers trying to find the perfect potty training recipe that works for their little one. They want their toddler to get the hang of it quickly so potty training doesn't lag on for months, and in the worse case scenario, years.
Dads: Let Them Run Wild
Dads, on the other hand, have no qualms about letting their little ones run wild, free, and well, naked throughout the potty training process. Since dads tend to be much more lax and unhurried about these sorts of childhood bumps, they aren't concerned with how many times a day their kid made it on the potty, but more like how many times they didn't have accidents on the carpet.
Of course the best time to let your children run free is summer time, during the colder months, dads might opt for Cheerios in the toilet for target practice with their little boys and socks on the toilet seat for a non slip experience for their little girls.
Moms: Cut Veggies Into Fun Shapes
If there was ever a way to trick kids into eating their veggies, it unfortunately involves trickery of any kind. Because sometimes, that's just the only way to go and hey, it's for their own good anyway. Moms might find it easiest to break out the tiny cookie cutters and make the veggies into stars or hearts. We aren't sure if the kids will fall for that a second or third time, but hey it's worth a shot.
Another idea is to hide all nutritional facts in ways that cause the kids to be more likely to eat their food without knowing what they're eating, and thus cuts down the amount of complaints that mom has to hear about the type of food she's serving for supper. There are a number of cookbook recipes that make this completely possible.
Dads: Hide Veggies In Snacks
To the same tune of using trickery, dads might choose to disguise veggies as something much more appealing, like muffins or mac and cheese with a little something extra that kids can't quite place their finger on but go ahead and eat anyway. See - moms and dads aren't so different. Not too much, anyway.
Moms: Consult The Organized Supply Of Brushes, Sprays, And Ties
You know those awesome hairstyling hacks that help us style our hair pretty amazingly without much YouTube tutorial help? You know, those awesome fishtail braids and all. Well, moms take their well-organized drawer of hair styling supplies and take pretty special care in working on their kids' hair. Even if that means waking up an extra half hour early.
Most mothers will agree that the state of their children's hair is pretty important to them. The importance placed on well coiffed hair goes to the judgement mothers feel from other people when their kids hair looks less than perfect. No mother wants her kids to have the dishevelled look, nor do they want to deal with hair that can't easily be brushed through without crying.
Dads: Consult The Toolbox (Kind Of)
As in, doing that move that involves taking the vacuum and using the hose attachment to suck their daughter's hair into a ponytail that would have otherwise been too difficult for them to handle. Because, let's be honest, perfecting the non-bumpy ponytail is no easy feat and if dads can resort to their parenting hacks to get them done, then so be it, right?
And kudos to the man who first thought of that, now that's a genius parenting hack!