The 11 essential items that every parent swears by.

Parents: You’re going to want to have these tools by your side. Always.

Here is a taste of a few things I’ve dealt with this morning.

1) Two sets of wet sheets 2) Vomit 3) Weet-bix smeared on a wall 4) Five tantrums 5) Two pairs of lost shoes 6) And a last-minute reminder that it was show-and-tell day at school and the required item was a hand-drawn map of the family tree.

And that was all before 8.30am.

Yep – this parenting gig can be tough at times – so you need all the backup you can get.

There are a few essential items that I turn to daily to get me through…(coffee being number one). Parents? I’m sure you’ll relate to these.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this is an advertorial for Volvo.

1. Wifi.

All those questions. Why does dew form? Where does the cow get her milk? How does a baby bird learn how to fly?

I don’t know how parents used to answer them before Google. I think that’s what encyclopaedias were for.

2. A good babysitter.

This is a must – someone who doesn’t charge too much, and someone you can trust, rely on and always know that your kids are safe when they are in their care.

3. A smart car.

Just think about what the family car really is for busy parents: it’s a mode of transportation, sure, but also a mediator, a storage facility, a jukebox…

Have you seen the Volvo XC60? I am not sure you can get a more family-friendly car. This vehicle has in-built two stage booster cushions that allow you to switch configurations to stop the kids bickering about where they want to sit, a rear parking camera, an automatic tailgate in the boot (which is a lifesaver when you have seven bags of shopping in one hand and a wayward toddler in another) and City Safety auto emergency braking to keep everybody extra safe. It’s perfect for those long car trips – and every parent needs a car like this to see them through.

4. An odds and ends drawer.

It’s that drawer that you once thought was full of junk – you know, the one that every so often you would vow to clean out. Until you have kids, and then it becomes a godsend.


“Muuum I need a safety pin for my art project, Muuum I need paddlepop sticks to make a splint for my doll. Muuuum do we have any more batteries. Muuuuummmm I need a piece of chalk.” Yep. That drawer is now essential.

5. Good friends.

These are the people who really get you through those last-minute play dates and Saturday soccer that turned into lunch, and then turned into an early dinner. These are the moments that kids love.

6. A large laundry basket.

I have three kids aged four, five and seven, and the thought of how large my laundry pile will be in their teenage years scares me. On some days I could lose myself in the current pile if I cared to dive in.

7. A massive supply of Band-Aids.

Band-Aids have a magical quality. The moment they are produced after a child falls, the tears dry up and the wound is healed. It’s the idea of a Band-Aid rather than the actual plaster that helps.

8. Go-to recipes.

The easy ones. The ones you know the whole family will eat and won’t take an afternoon to cook. For my family there are a few firm favourites – honey soy stir-fry noodles, Spaghetti Bolognese, soft boiled eggs, and fish and chips (hey, I never said they had to be healthy).

9. A special place.

Did you have one when you were a child? A summer beach you spent your holidays at? A camping ground you went to as a family? Or was it a simple hike you liked to do together? Every family needs one.

10. Wine.

Er, yes, almost as important as coffee.

11. A sense of humour.

I’ve saved the most important tool of all until last – a sense of humour.

Now THAT’S what is really essential.

Did we miss any? What other essential items help you get through the day?

Want more? Try these:

33 ridiculous things you had no idea you had to teach your kid.

Life hacks for all your kid related needs.

Parents, it doesn’t matter whether you spend all day with your kids or not.

Sometimes two hands just aren’t enough when you’re trying to juggle the ins and outs of raising kids – but don’t worry, the Volvo XC60 has been designed to help. It comes with a number of in-built family-friendly features (with a few more you can add in) to help make parenting look easy.
So if you’re trying to navigate the shopping centre with groceries in one hand, and a screaming child in the other, just know that in the car park sits your chariot, the XC60, ready to help get the job of being a parent done.