My husband and I always said we wanted three kids. After having our son, we thought “Oh this actually isn’t bad at all”. Then came our first daughter, (or as we like to call her, our little diva). Let’s just say…she was the opposite of our son. She made parenting challenging, but it was two of us and two of them, so we were pretty much ok. We still felt like “We can do this one more time”. So we took the plunge and had our third (and final, contrary to popular belief) child last year. Now, I don’t know what you’ve been told, but two children can’t even compare to having…well, more than two. Again, I have no idea how my mom did it with seven of us. But she did and still has her sanity, so there is hope!
See, when it was just two of them, I could pretty much manage on my own for the most part. Once our third was born, it was as if we had been wearing blinders for the first few years, and someone just disrespectfully ripped them off. Since my husband works overnight, we were just trying to survive day by day. They were all on very different schedules, so it made things extremely hectic. It definitely took awhile before I was comfortable even taking all of them out anywhere by myself. There were now three little people to wash up, get dressed, put in car seats, take out of car seats, and put back into car seats…only to get them home and take them back out. It was exhausting just thinking about it (God bless all you moms of multiples). I now also had to juggle simultaneously a nose bleed, a blow out diaper (bad enough to need a bath), and a potty trainer who just had to go pee in the midst of it all. Over a year later, I still have these “are you serious?” moments (I had one just last night), but they are a lot more manageable now.
I would talk frequently with one of my best girlfriends and she would talk about a “schedule”. I used to just wonder how she could manage a schedule with her two kids (now going on three)? But now I’m wondering, how could I have not been managing a schedule with my own kids? It’s only taken us a few years to figure this out (and to actually stick to it), but not having a schedule for us and the kids was literally detrimental to our health. There was a lot of stress and exhaustion going on, and we didn’t even realize we were the root cause. We’ve always been “go with the flow” kind of people for the most part. So we tried the same thing out with the kids. News flash – it doesn’t work. What also wasn’t working was trying to complete work, send e-mails, etc while the kids were jumping over, on top of and around me.
When I was working full-time outside of the house, I lived by my schedule and calendar. So why was I to think that I didn’t need one at home? Well I’m happy to report that for the last 4-5 weeks, we’ve adopted a daily routine that works perfectly for us and the kids! We tried a couple of different routines until we found something that worked, making adjustments as necessary. We’re both getting much better sleep. The kids are also sleeping better, in addition to having (a few) less temper tantrums. They get woken up at the same time each morning and all lay down for a nap at the same time. My husband is now also able to help me watch the kids while I cook dinner, etc, and help me out with bath time before he leaves for work — that alone makes me break out into my happy dance. So it’s a win-win for everyone. Still wondering how to go about following a daily routine? My advice: JUST DO IT! Your sanity will thank you for it. 🙂
Do you have tips on creating a daily schedule? What are some changes you made to your schedule after having kids? Please share below as I’m always looking for ways to keep my sanity in tact 🙂