beans on toastThere's nothing like doing things the easy way. And it's not very often that mums and dads get to do that. So how about injecting a little corner cutting into your day, and trying these tips for making life a little bit easier?

Beans on toast. Kids don't need (or like) cordon bleu cookery every day. And you probably have better things to do than producing culinary extravaganzas for every meal. When you’re short on time and need to make something yummy and ok in terms of nutrition, follow this simple recipe. Take two slices of bread, put them in the toaster until golden. Smear with butter, top with warmed baked beans, and sprinkle with grated cheese. Serve with a glass of milk. Littlies love it, it's easy, and it's full of good stuff.

Have fun at home. Sometimes we just don't have the energy for the pool or the park, and when the baby's asleep, the dinner is in the oven and the weather isn't sure what it's doing, home is a great place to find entertainment. Teaching them to entertain themselves, to find pleasure in what they have and to just chill, is a great lesson, and the gift that keeps on giving.

Learn to say “no.” It can often seem easier to say “yes,” but we all know kids whose parents spoiled them with too many “yeses.” They're easy to spot, and not very nice, and you really wouldn't want to have to deal with them as teenagers! Sometimes “no” is the right answer, because that's just the way it is. Now is always a good time to teach that lesson.

Give lots of love. The more cuddling and kissing you dish out, the more loved and secure your littlies will feel. Littlies thrive on smiles, on open arms and happy times. Kind words beget kindness, enthusiasm and support beget confidence, and the love of parents promotes self esteem and happiness. Happy kids make happy parents.

Life is hectic with kids, so shave off the pointy bits where you can, and try to enjoy the ride. There are no extra points for home made pasta or the shiniest windows, so sit down, have a cuppa, and just be in the moment for a minute or two.

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