Life gets crazy when there are lots of littles around, we all know that. We currently have a 3-year-old, an almost 1-year-old, and a newborn in our house of all girls. It can be exhausting, but here are a few of the tricks I’ve used to survive these first few months as a family of five.
With baby 1, I was a by-the-clock scheduler, but that just isn’t possible these days. We still have a good routine- a time when each child wakes up, when we all eat, and when naps happen. The difference is that flexibility becomes a much bigger factor. Knowing about when kids will nap/eat helps me to plan the rest of our day. We make sure to work outdoor time into our daily routine for everyone’s sanity!
Whether it was meals brought from friends or those awesomely fresh, oven-ready Costco meals, food that I don’t have to actually cook goes right to the front of my meal plan!
We usually don’t use these, but survival mode will make you do crazy things. One less household chore means a few more minutes to snuggle a baby … or to breathe.
Sometimes, a Baby Cries
I’m not saying that my kids sit and scream for hours, but I can only make so many bottles while changing diapers and dressing Barbies. Someone may fuss for a minute while I tend to someone else, and I’m a-okay with that! I have learned how to prioritize the most urgent needs, and my girls are learning to be patient and to work through some of their own issues.
This is one of the newest additions to our family structure. There are three designated levels- floor, seat, and table- and usually only one kid is allowed on each level. If the newborn is on the floor, the baby is in the walker. If the baby is on the floor, the Barbie shoes are on the table and the newborn is on the sofa. This prevents the baby from getting the big girl toys and from lovingly attacking the newborn!
Relying on Community
This is the hardest one for me. I like to be independent and to take care of what I need on my own. But when my mother-in-law offered to do our laundry for a month, I begrudgingly yet excitedly said yes. I take friends up on their offer to keep the big girls when I have appointments. It is so hard for me to ask for help, but it really makes life easier and makes me feel less isolated.
At the end of the day, having lots of littles is hard. There are awesome times, but it is a very demanding season. Use your resources, cut yourself some slack, and love on those littles!