There’s plenty of parenting advice out there, but some of it is a little outdated—and a lot of it is of the “do as I say, not as I do” variety in that it’s much-discussed but rarely actually put into practice. The gap between widely shared parenting tips and the parenting hacks parents (especially younger ones of the millennial generation) actually use can be pretty large, so the hacks, tips, and tricks young parents are actually using to make their lives less chaotic can be a little mysterious.
To that end, the 2019 State of Motherhood Survey from parenting site Motherly seeks to reveal the pain points of parenting for young mothers—and the ways they strive to manage it all. The survey asked almost 4,000 millennial moms a number of questions about their work-life balance, the support they receive at work and at home, and more—and one question focused on the so-called “life hacks” these parents use to try to make every day a little bit easier.
The number one parenting hack is shopping mostly online, with 65 percent of millennial moms saying they did so regularly. The next most popular parenting tip, with 59 percent of moms calling it a go-to, is using calendars, to-do lists, and productivity apps (or perhaps a daily, weekly, or monthly planner) to manage everything. Other popular tips are waking up before and going to sleep after everyone else (43 percent do this), childcare assistance (used by 22 percent), and serving pre-prepared dinners, either through a delivery meal service or meal prepping at home (popular among 21 percent). Less popular, but still trusted by some moms, is using cleaning or laundry services and scheduling working hours for times when children are asleep or napping.
Will adopting one of these parenting hacks change your life? Probably not. But they can cut down on the number of tasks weighing on you—especially if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed. If that’s the case, try some of these millennial mom–approved parenting tips—but also consider tapping into your community and network to see if there are places where you can get a little extra support (looking at you, co-parents and spouses). With any luck, solid parenting tips will become less of a necessity and more of a luxury, letting you relax a little bit more.