Vanessa Quigley, mother-of-seven (yes, seven!) and seasoned business owner, is giving moms everywhere their own parenting cheat book on everything from cooking and cleaning, to tips for road trips. Quigley and her husband own their company Chatbooks, which makes photo books out of Instagram pictures automatically. She notes Chatbooks is her “ultimate mom hack,” as it allowed her to get her photos to family members without having to do any work. Wanting to do more to help everyday families lives easier, she started up a private Facebook group that offered an open space for moms to ask questions from “What kind of jewelry should I buy,” to “How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?”
After one mom cried out for advice on the Facebook group, writing about how tired and frustrated she was, the rest of the women showed up to help. “We had an incredible response,” Quigley says, “Some of the things I had already discovered in my 20+ years of mothering, some things I’d seen my sisters do, and some totally brand new things I’d never seen before.” She realized a lot of the mothering tips she had were from friends and family. Quigley decided to create her book Real Moms, Real Hacks as a way to compile parenting hacks from a variety of different people to share and make other mom’s lives easier.
“The book is almost entirely collaborative,” Quigley says, “In the book there are 107 tips, maybe a dozen of those are from me, one from each of my sisters and sister-in-laws, and the rest are either from community members and Facebook group members, or from customers.”
There’s no question about her expertise on the matter; not only having a big family now, but growing up in one too. Quigley grew up with 11 brothers and sisters, so she cites her mother as being the inspiration for a lot of her parenting tips. “Our whole house in Florida was tile, and to get it clean my mom would just dump a bucket of hot, soapy water and then give us all rags. We thought it was so much fun to slip and slide around the floor. So she was keeping us busy, but also getting her floors clean,” Quigley writes. Taking after her mother, she says enlisting kids to help around the house is one of the most important tips in the book.
Real Moms, Real Hacks is pertinent for parents with kids of any age. “I mean there is a section on babies, so if you don’t have a baby that section might not apply. But all the other sections, about keeping organized, helping with healthy habits, traveling with kids of all ages, will,” Quigley says. The biggest book in the section is, of course, kitchen tips. Quigley notes that there was an overwhelming response of cooking advice contributed as so many people have their own advice on the matter. “It’s a job you have to do three times a day or more because if little aren’t in school, they’re home and they want snacks. It’s just a constant thing,” she explains.
The message of her book is to not only give a helping hand to families who may need some quick fixes, but also to encourage parents that they’re doing a good job already. Quigley states: “I hope that by reading this, you know there’s probably one or two of the hacks that you already do so you’re like ‘Man, I’m a pretty good mom, I have some things figured out.’ I think it can just boost our confidence that we already know a lot, and then maybe come away with something that just makes life a little bit easier.”
To learn more about Real Moms, Real Hacks, visit chatbooks.com/realmomsrealhacks!