When I was finding my feet career-wise the kids were coming along, first two (yes twins) then two more. I was up to my eyeballs in not enough time in the day. If you’re there now-take solace in knowing that it will all work out somehow.
Just picture yourself as a juggler. One ball is work, another is family, another is the glue-the you-that binds it together. Take care of yourself. Take a few moments to think, to read and write, plan ahead, learn something new every day, ask questions, smile, laugh and don’t get overwhelmed. Take care so you can live to “juggle another day”. Do things that you like to do. If your time is limited, do some planning. Shop online or don’t.
Make a menu for the week and prep-cook ahead of schedule to make it easier come meal time. Have the kids join in to spend time with them and teach cooking lessons along the way. Kids love to be read to. Find something to read to them online or go to the library. Soon they will be starting a book collection of their own.
My best friend JC told me a long time ago to “live each day like it’s your last” and “keep a smile on your face it’ll help keep you happy” Wise words like these will go a long way because they stick in your mind and well up when you need them, just like the “Little Engine That Could” managed to help you when you were little.
“I’m In a mad rush but thought I’d make a quick 3 minute call to you, just to see how you’re doing and say I was thinking about you. I’ll call back when I have more time.” I call them quick-calls. You get the drift. It’ll get you outside yourself, thinking of others. You think its a coincidence when someone says, “Oh wow! funny you should call, I was just thinking about you”? Things that make you go, hmmm, anyway just a variation into something different, plus I still get to write, which I love to do so much.
Focusing on the next day, week, month and year can prove exhausting but a non-negotiable item. The guidance required per child only increases with each addition to the family. So it’s a big help to incorporate these little ones into the daily routine as soon as they are old enough for tiny tasks. You are training them to be a part of a unit, a team player in the best team you can create. Don’t allow unending gaming time, chores THEN reward.
Hold the devices till they meet the standard if need be because you are the grown up and call the shots. Set up work stations around the house where each child can invest learning and hands on then performance in said station. I would make a cleaning station with sprays, towels and laminated Job Cards. The first job would be to dust off the tv stand followed by making the peanuts disappear from the dish that popped up just minutes before. Sweep kitchen floor followed by finding the envelope hidden under the trash can. Enclosed would be found a dollar bill. Making these tasks as pleasant as possible allowed my creativity to operate in overdrive as I thought out my interactions for them. The rewards increased along with the difficulty and or unpleasantness factor. Carrying in the groceries earned a hug or a quick backrub and getting to pick dinner from two options. It’s important to teach children how to perform the different household duties and give them slack when they are sad or mad or complacent (within reason). Let them know how much you appreciate their help and how much you need and love them.
I also found giving an allowance was a helpful tool in teaching them to earn their pay and not to just expect to receive free money. Using it as a disciplinary measure was helpful too. Give bonus for well done work. Withhold as a last resort punishment, which does the trick I might add. Get dad onboard with outdoor and lawn work too. Discuss and praise good work in front of the other kids as a booster but don’t belittle or scold in open, much to harsh. Share stories of when you yourself were learning or practicing jobs and some of the outcomes you experienced. Good and bad to show you are human and had a learning curve like every one else.
Have a great day!
Bye for now,