If motherhood has taught me anything, it’s that hindsight it a wonderful thing! In my pre-mum days I remember thinking I could just accumulate all the advice from people and prepare myself adequately for what was to come. Sleepless nights, check. Changing nappies, check. Baby proofing corners, check.
My reality was very different. Suddenly I felt like I’d lost every single spare second of time. I didn't, it would seem, have time for anything so in effect, getting everything done with no time felt very stressful.
This for me was the biggest adjustment. Once I’d realized and accepted the limitations of time and learnt how to adapt to it, adding more kids the mix seemed inconsequential, sort of.
The critical key to 2+ kids is organization and routine. I know there is a school of thought around letting kids run their own lives to develop who they really are. This sounds lovely but as previously mentioned, there is no time left for anything in our house and this includes self discovery so we forge ahead running our tight ship.
Our strict method of parenting affords us the luxury’s like getting everyone fed. Getting out of the house and to scheduled appointments, work, childcare etc.. within reasonable late time frames. Sometimes, when we’re really strict we make them on time! Going into public fully clothed in weather appropriate attire (most of the time)…the list of successes continues.
Some key components of our approach:
- Whatever can be prepared the night before, gets prepared (school bags, lunches, cleaning the kitchen, loads of washing)
- Give kids ownership of processes (age specific). Getting dressed, cleaning teeth, eating own breakfast etc.
- Fit your own mask before assisting others…AKA Get up and ready before the kids get up. Getting multiple kids ready is a challenge akin to juggling so it’s best to not be trying to get ready yourself
- Have a game plan. Know exactly what needs to be done and by whom i.e. to get out of the house of a morning, shopping list, weekend plans etc..
- Have and monitor a household to do list so that everyone knows what needs to be done and can pitch in
- Take/enlist any help you can get/afford e.g. a fortnightly house cleaner is an investment in sanity.
So, in the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)