So we are back into the ‘normal’ swing of things here now that our extra visitors have left. The girls miss their cousins though and have had to get into the Facetime action to catch up. I know that they would have made some great memories though…and those are the best memories I have of my own childhood – hanging out with cousins in the School holidays.
Now as for all of you who have more than 2 children, I take my hat off to you. DEAD SET. I had 4 girls for just 5 nights and I was just about SPENT at the end of it. So much noise. So many fights. So much squealing. So much mess. SO MUCH FOOD.
It was an interesting exercise in parenting though, having a few extra kids for a while. Here’s some of the stuff that I learnt and what I will be trying to do ALL the time with my own kids.
Treat the house like a school
With just two kids, and usually just one during the day with me while I try to work, I tend to go with the flow and tend to needs as they come to hand. It’s part me being lazy and part me being busy. You just can’t do that with more kids. I had to break the day up like a school day and let EVERYONE know at the start of the day what was going to happen so everyone knew what the plan was. I would round them up around the breakfast table and say “SO. Ladies! Attention please! We are having breakfast, then you are going to get dressed and play outside. At 10am there will be morning tea, then you can do craft, then we will have lunch then you can watch a movie, then we will go out and then afternoon tea and then outside play until dinner. Then bath, then books, then bed.” Everyone knew what was going on (including me). The big kids could keep the little ones on schedule and no one could ask what we were doing. I was like a bloody drill sergeant. I need to do this more often with my own kids.
Feed me Seymour
I am SO slack with meals for my kids. Again it’s the lazy/busy part of me that means that I will realise it’s 9.30am and my kids still haven’t had breakfast. I was SO strict with food with more kids. We knew at 7.30 we would have breakfast, 10/10.30 morning tea, 12.30 lunch, 3.30pm arvo tea and 5.30pm dinner. There was no asking for food in between and I made sure I made an effort with each meal – lots of cut fruit, cheese, crackers, variety and they swept in, demolished and moved on. No one nagged me for food in between – I suspect because they were actually too busy to care, but we ate better, wasted less, and ended up eating everything in front of them. They were happy, I was happy. I am taking this shit on board with my own girls. Time to get bothered Beth, and get on track. Again, it’s routine, routine, routine. So boring! So works!
I usually have juice in my house. I do! Poppers and stuff and I inevitably get asked for it, because, you know, it’s there. I made sure I had NONE. Just water. That was it. They couldn’t ask for anything else, because there WASN’T anything else. DER BETH. I kept drink bottles in one place, made sure they returned them and if they needed a drink at ANY stage in the day, they could get it themselves. How long has THIS been going on? DER BETH. No more juice. Water. In the one place. Genius!
I know you are all probably rolling your eyes at me…I mean this is just good practice right? It’s like saying you can take snacks of cut fruit in small containers when you are at the park…but for someone who has NEVER done that (yes I was always the Mum whose kid stole your kids cut up fruit) it’s been quite the parenting lesson. Routine. Order. Food. Water. Who knew?! I hope I can keep this up – the girls loved it and it’s time for me to BE bothered. I’ll be bothered Beth! For a week at least…
What’s your parenting tip I need to know?
That one thing that will be a game changer for a complete moron like me?