Mom Hacks - Kimberly Thompson


Here are some of the mom hacks I have figured out over the course of almost 30 years. Look through them … maybe you’ll find one you haven’t thought of yet!

1) Keep a full medicine kit packed and ready to go anywhere. Don’t leave home without bandaids and triple antibiotic ointment, anti-nausea meds, cold meds, allergy meds, and pain reliever. Make sure you have a good supply of meds for each age group (infant, child, and adult). Saline solution and toilet paper are good to have in there, too.

2) Keep a 5-lb coffee can, a box of gallon-size Ziploc bags, and a roll of toilet paper in the trunk of your car. Bathrooms are not always available when littles need to go. And sometimes the bathrooms available are just nasty.

3) A dish towel and a clothespin together make a great bib.  It’s a lot bigger than your average cutesy-cute bib too … great for smeary, watery foods.

4) On long driving trips, start way before dawn, and stop for the day in mid-afternoon. Find a place to stay where the kids can swim and run around, then put everybody including yourself to bed early. It makes the journey part of the vacation J.

5) Carrying a picnic lunch when you are going on a trip is well worth the extra effort. When you stop for lunch, your kids can run around and get their energy out instead of having to be confined to a chair in a restaurant.

6) RVs are worth the investment, especially for families with more than one child. You can rent them, too. You carry everything, including a refrigerator and a bathroom, with you. Load sports equipment and bicycles inside, and when you arrive at a campground or park — voila! Outdoor activities are ready to go.

 7) A prepaid mobile phone can solve a lot of problems. For those instances where you need to stay in touch with your child, and you are not ready to get your child her own phone, get a prepaid model with a very limited amount of phone time (an hour or so).  Having one ready works when your teen is grounded from their own phone too.

8) Sandboxes are great for the littles, but the neighborhood cats love them just as much as the kids do. Plan for a lid when you install a sandbox. (Am I the only one who didn’t know this?)

9) Save any kind of material that looks like it might make a good craft supply — freebie pens, scratch pads, twist ties from bread bags, straws from fast food cups. Put it all in a bag or box and bring it out on a snowy or rainy day when the “real” toys have lost their charm.

10) For the first child, put one X with indelible black marker on the tag of clothes. When it’s passed down to the next child, or when you buy child #2 something new, add an X. And so forth. You will always be able to figure out who it belongs to (even if everyone has a matching outfit).

11) Having trouble with kids using too many towels? Assign everyone exactly one towel, and install a hook beside each child’s bed. You can buy new towels and give everyone their own color, but it works equally well to write the name at the edge of an old towel in indelible black marker. Take up the rest of the towels and store them away from the bathroom. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

12) Struggling with kids constantly losing their jackets? Schools usually have tons of jackets left in the lost-and-found at the end of every school year. Often they give them to charity-run thrift stores. Find out where the best jackets in your town are going, and buy several over the summer. It won’t stop your kid from forgetting his jacket, but it will make the whole problem cheaper.

13) Brand-new band instruments are way overpriced for middle school students. Also, beginner student instruments usually aren’t of very good quality. It’s a better deal to look for somebody selling a used instrument the summer after they graduated from high school – it’s likely to be of quality since it made it through four years of marching band, and much cheaper. Your child’s band director can probably recommend someone to refurbish it, or ask at the local music store.


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment.