Toddlers are unpredictable. You don’t know what mess they’re going to make next, what they’re thinking, or who they’ll turn out to be. With so many uncertainties, isn’t it comforting to know that some things don’t change? Like the never-ending pile of your toddler’s laundry, for instance.
And while you can’t be expected to love the task, these tips can help make it more manageable. Because after all, it’s not going away anytime soon – and it’ll be a few more years before your little one can wash his own clothes!
1. Keep Things Separate: Having a separate hamper or laundry basket for your little one cuts out a step when it comes to sorting. Don’t co-mingle loads unless you need to fill the machine – and with toddlers around, that is rarely a problem! Plus, their clothes will come out smelling baby fresh free of their dirt and grass stains thanks to Dreft Stage 2 Active Baby.
2. Complete the Task: Try to only do laundry when you have time to follow through – all the way to the folding! You might think this sounds impossible, but it actually makes the process much more manageable and you don’t have that dreaded half-done laundry situation happening. Because no time to fold or put away means mountains of clean clothes in every room and while your toddler might have fun with those, you certainly won’t!
3. Bag it Up: Keep a mesh bag in the laundry room to collect single socks. Once a month, go through the bag and if a sock hasn’t found its mate, it’s time to add it to the dust-cloth pile.
4. Start Your Helpers Young: Make your toddler a part of the action by letting him help sort or “fold” the clean laundry clothes. Or hold him on your hip while loading the machine and let him toss clothes in basketball-style.
5. Enjoy the End Result: The best thing about laundry is that it comes out smelling so nice, especially when you use Dreft Blissfuls in-wash scent booster to bring back that baby-fresh scent you love. It might even make you look forward to washing your toddler’s clothes!
What’s your best tip for staying ahead of the laundry pile?
The following is a post from our sponsor, Success® Rice.
I used to have a lot of guilt about family dinner. Or the lack thereof. When I was growing up, my mother had dinner on the table every single night at 5:30 p.m. She always served a meat, a vegetable, and a starch. And we always had dessert.
I have one less kid than she did, but I’m also three times busier. While I don’t for a minute doubt that she had her busy days, she was a stay-at-home-mom from the get-go. She kept a clean house and drove us around and managed to play bridge with her friends once a month, but she didn’t have the pressures we have today. We are all working mothers both in the house and out, juggling multiple kids with multiple activities. I couldn’t imagine having a set dinner time, let alone a last-minute meal that included more than chicken nuggets or sandwiches.
Somewhere along the line, I realized something had to change.
I got over my guilt and took charge, looking for quick, easy meals that actually tasted good. The one food all of my kids will eat on any given day is rice. So the trick was to find a way to cook rice that didn’t take a half hour and to discover new ways to spice it up.
I found Success® Boil-in-Bag Rice! There are all different kinds (so in my book, that’s a week’s worth of meals right there!). There’s Whole Grain Brown Rice, White Rice, and these absolutely delicious aromatic varieties like Thai Jasmine and Basmati Rice. My kids’ favorite is Success® Basmati Rice. It’s got that yummy and distinctive fragrance that they can identify the minute they walk in the door. It’s a long and slender rice that elongates three to four times in length when it’s cooked, and it’s got a great fluffy texture that kids love. All the Success® Rice varieties come in a BPA-free boil-in-bag, which is so simple and so quick! In 10 minutes, you have perfectly fluffy rice ready to be topped with just about anything. Add a salad (I always go for the bagged salads — they are so much easier), and you’ve got a well-rounded, healthy alternative to fast food and spaghetti.
My absolute favorite recipe is the Sweet and Spicy Apricot Chicken. The only thing I do a bit different is to omit the cayenne pepper altogether and serve the hot pepper flakes on the side. My son loves things spicy, but my daughter is not as adventurous in that area. So they both can spice up their dinner to their own liking. (Check out other great recipes on successrice.com, and tweet some of your favorites to @Success_Rice)
Life is hard enough without adding guilt and five-course meals to it. I believe when a simple solution comes along, you grab it. And that, my fellow moms, means success!
Sweet and Spicy Apricot Chicken
Contest winning recipe from the 2009 Restaurant Recipe Challenge.
- 2 bags Success® White Rice, Success® Jasmine Rice, or Success® Basmati Rice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small strips
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 package (16 oz.) broccoli slaw
- 1/2 cup carrots, cut in matchstick strips
- 2 Tbsps light soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3/4 cup apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup water
Prepare rice according to package directions. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan. Stir frequently to break up chicken and cook until completely done, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Turn heat to medium-high and add remaining oil. Add broccoli slaw and carrots; sauté for about 3 minutes. Push vegetables aside and add soy sauce, spices, preserves, and water to skillet. Stir in chicken, bring to boil and simmer to heat through. Place rice in serving dish, make large well in center, and pour chicken mixture into well.
What’s your family’s favorite rice dish?