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sonomacounty
Apr. 7, 2012, 11:16 AM
People with more than one child - how do you do it (life that is)?

I've only got one and he's just fantastic. I wouldn't want it any other way.

But, wow - the mess, clutter and how to get to the stores and things.

So, I'm wondering, people who have maybe three or so - how do you get to the store to do groceries, errands, etc. And when you do, how do you manage them? (That sounded cold, didn't mean it that way, though.) Say if you had no relatives or anyone around to watch them, that is.

Mine is at the age where he is growing a lot and wants to eat all (ALL) the time. I feel like life is making him food, cleaning that up, doing laundry, sorting papers and I can't get ahead.

Just wondering.

Tx.

pony grandma
Apr. 7, 2012, 11:47 AM
Yep :yes: just more of it!

You'e fixing food, you fix more.
You're doing laundry, you do more.

Getting thru the infant stage having to pack and carry - altho that is balanced out by more naps and no mobility :lol:

When you have multiples you have to demand manners, keep teaching, set good examples, MAKE them pitch-in.

Just roll your brain back for the next 20 yrs, go numb, and KEEP a sense of humor. :D

hastyreply
Apr. 7, 2012, 11:49 AM
You do what you have to do. It's why oldest children are usually more responsible than their younger syblings. I had 3 in 3+ years. I didn't have any help other than a dh who managed a dairy so he was gone long hours. You do what's important and worry about the other stuff later. I would ride when my dh was home to watch them when they were little. We lived in the country so the horses were at the house. I had in-laws in town but wouldn't ask for their help except in emergencies.

Curb Appeal
Apr. 7, 2012, 11:51 AM
I feel ya.

My kids are 7 and 8, so I have my days free now while they are in school, but it still feels like I am playing a constant game of catch up. I will openly admit that my kids watch more TV than they probably should, but it's the only way I get any peace when they are home. I am DREADING the upcoming summer break. My son will be going to stay with his cousins for a month, but my daughter, who has cerebral palsy, will be home with me. Due to her behavioral issues, I can't take her shopping with me, so I'll be back to counting the minutes until my husband gets home from work so I can get things done.

Does anyone near you offer grocery delivery? When I lived up north there was a wonderful service that would deliver my order once a week. It was totally worth the $8 fee they charged.

As for staying organized, I try to stay on top of things. As soon as the kids get home from school I will empty backpack and sort the trash from the keepers. Keepers get put into a bin that gets filed once a week.

You should check out www.flylady.net She's a little extreme in some ways, but she has some great organization techniques.

JohnDeere
Apr. 7, 2012, 12:01 PM
Whether you have 1 or 19 (God bless the Duggars) kids take all your time/money. Theres no giving them back. I tried. 3 in 2 years.

You just do what needs done. As long as the house isnt a health hazzard, clothes are done and meals cooked thats all thats impt. No I dont file every paper my kid ever did. No I dont keep a diary of when they talked. Theres 24 hours in each day. Fill it and let the rest go.

I took all mine with me shopping/wherever. They learned to behave cause if they dont its all over. Now they look at little kids who dont and make a face. They are all decent teens (as they can be) who act right and take care of their own stuff.

Pony gma what did you have?

Tapperjockey
Apr. 7, 2012, 12:32 PM
One nice aspect of having more than one, is they entertain each other (when not attempting to seriously maim or injure each other). Of course, that does mean slightly larger messes occasionally when they have an idea that takes 2 or more to pull off... but really, I notice that a lot with friend's kids and some family members as well. One friend even when together with other children, tends to try to hang on the circle of adults.. because he's not used to other children outside of school really. (he also isn't very popular in school sadly. He's 8 right now). Most of the others from this group have 2+ kids (or none), and the siblings tend to be more willing to run around outside with the other kids, and better at playing with each other. There is one girl, she's 12, and she usually brings a book.. but even she occasionally goes out and romps with the "baby kids" (her term for anyone under the exalted age she has reached lol). Another friend of mine is a foster (hoping to adopt them) mom to 6 kiddos from the same family, and that is one thing I really see in her oldest.. she loves to interact with her siblings (though my friend is trying to find her more hobbies, outside of the kiddos, because she tends to be a bit "mothering"). My friend has 1 son, who's in college now, and she finds more to actually be easier. Part of it, is probably that she's relaxed a lot more now.. and she said part is, she doesn't worry about them as much as she did with her son, or second guess yourself as much. She used to worry about every single decision she made with her son.. down to pro/con lists.. and You just can't worry about everything with 6 kids as often.. you're too busy raising them to worry as much. She enjoys being a mom a lot more now than she did before.

pony grandma
Apr. 7, 2012, 12:40 PM
3 in 5 yrs and the teenage stepson from hell. No family within 3-5 hrs away, just moved to area, no network of friends, lived out in the country, had to drive them to town to learn to ride bikes! Gravel doesn't work.

Manners if they didn't behave I would whip that car around and drive straight back home, have been known to push a shopping cart aside and march their butts straight out to the car and back home. A lot of midnight Krogering :lol: scary neon lights and drunk college students keeping me company.

I worked a part-time job just to put them PT in a campus preschool near the married student housing, very international - for the cultural diversity and art. (loved the pitch-in suppers!)

With multiples and activities you drive alot, alot, alot. And esp the advice don't sweat the small stuff. Spend time watching them grow up, you never get that back.

bumknees
Apr. 7, 2012, 01:22 PM
I have 2 they are mmm 12th of month to 3rd of mth= how many days if month has 31 days in it...about 20 days of being 6 yrs apart to me that was perfect unplanned mind you but perfect.. only one in diapers :p and the other in school with of couse the walking, talking, house broken etc...

For me the first 5 or so yrs were perfect the oldest doted on the youngest. Then the oldest became a teenager.. and well all heck broke loose... and life has not been the same since...

We lived aprox. 1500 miles from inlaws not quite far enough and no more than 500 from at least one of my parents( not planned just happened that way) until oldest tuned about 11 then we returned home so I could tend to dieing mother. but that is another thread...

Before teenager ages hit believe it or not it was not my kids who had a difficult time keeping things picked up but dh. I would ask or maybe I trained them well at an early age but I woauld assk and they would pick up their stuff. thy would either sit quietly in shpping cart or walk next to it. I could not always count on dh being home for him to watch kids as his job would someties require him to be gone for extended periods of time.

But it was dh who could and still can wreck a perfectly clean top to bottom front to back side to side house in less than 10 minues... Normally in the time it takes most to walk into a room and sit down.. So after about 18yrs of this I just quit doing. I stated if you want it clean either 1)help me do it, 2) you do it or 3) hire a cleaning lady... Well he has not hired a cleaning lady and he is not doing it... He does help out when he is home and the kids help when they are home. I dont let the dogs help..
But for the most part I ignore the house until it begins to scare me little not a lot but just a little. Like when I get fur bunnies...( I have 4 dogs so that is not very long) and I make sure the sinks are empty every night before I go to bed..

didgery
Apr. 7, 2012, 01:40 PM
I have three daughters. I have built an at-home part time business as a contractor so that I could be an income-earning stay-at-home mom. Due to time and money constraints, I have limited my equestrian pursuits to having one very easy, very tidy, very sweet, very low-key mule gelding.

I think every day about what it would be like to have a riding mount (mule is retired due to hock issues) and ponies for the girls . . . to be able to get them into pony club, if they were interested (two are) . . . to go to horse shows together as a family . . . to fix up the house . . . to buy more land (we have 1 acre). Right now, I'm looking for full time work. That, I'm sure, will bring its own new set of challenges.

My girls play beautifully together, so three is easier than one!

BuddyRoo
Apr. 7, 2012, 04:23 PM
Sonoma, how old is your child?

I have two stepdaughters, now 12 and 14.

Until rather recently, they simply didn't have any expectations placed on them to help out around the house, be responsible for their own stuff like homework or permission slips or lunch money. It was chaos.

More structure and higher expectations have made life a lot easier. There's no good reason that a child even at the age of 3 can't help pick up. And by 9 or 10? Help with laundry, dinner prep, setting the table.

There's a lot that goes on in a home and everyone who lives there can do something to work together to take care of what needs to happen IMHO.

Our life has gotten considerably less chaotic by treating the kids like the adults we want them to be rather than babying them and doing everything for them. My husband used to stay up til 1 or 2 in the morning doing laundry because the kids would notify him at 9pm that they needed X clothes for tomorrow. He'd be tired and cranky the next day. Now that they are responsible for their own? Hey, your crisis is not my crisis. Plan ahead.

And they do. They can.

Even if your child is younger, there are things kids can do to help out.

As for your grocery/dinner thing? I meal plan a week in advance and post it. Dinner will be X and done at Y time. In between, I make sure that there are plenty of fruits and veggies and yogurt available for snacks. We prepare little snack sized bags of veggies on Sunday and throw them in a bin in the fridge for anyone to grab for a quick snack. I prepare one meal a day. That's it. (but your kiddo might be a lot younger)

Best wishes!

littleum
Apr. 7, 2012, 04:27 PM
Recently my biological clock has been sort of making noises it's perhaps not dead. While my husband looks at me sideways with a great deal of nervous fear.

Threads like this just shove it back in its grave.

BuddyRoo
Apr. 7, 2012, 04:37 PM
Little--I hear you. I thought mine was dead til I finally met my now husband. But the fact that at 33, I've walked into a life with 2 teens has really tamped down my desire for kids. We've looked into our medical options--and have some--but I keep wondering if I REALLY want to start over when the end is kind of in sight. It's a lot for sure. But I suspect that if you think you want kids and you're willing to train 'em up right, it doesn't HAVE to be such a huge challenge. Challenging of course. But I think that some people make it harder than it has to be by treating kids as guests in the home.

S1969
Apr. 7, 2012, 04:48 PM
Recently my biological clock has been sort of making noises it's perhaps not dead. While my husband looks at me sideways with a great deal of nervous fear.

Threads like this just shove it back in its grave.

Aw, don't say that. :)

At every age there are issues. As much as people talk about the terrible twos and threes, they are really not that bad because you know you just have to do everything for them. As they get older, it becomes more of a challenge for the parents because you want them to help out more.

As far as clutter - American kids have way more than they need. When my kids were really little they forgot all about toys and games they owned. They don't need that much stuff and they can't use it anyway. Less is more. :)

I agree with BuddyRoo - you don't have to treat your kids like babies forever. They don't need special meals, they can be expected to help out, and they don't need to be catered to every single minute. My kids are involved in 1-2 activities at a time, period. They don't need 3-5 scheduled activities a week and a full time chauffeur. (This seems to be the thing I see most parents struggling with.)

Good luck! :)

IdahoRider
Apr. 7, 2012, 04:54 PM
Well, I spread my two out. There is a ten year age difference between them.

Funny story. And true. We bring our new baby home from the hospital. I am thrilled beyond words, although still stinging from being called a "geriatric Mother" by a nurse (hey, I was only 36 years old!).

So, new baby has little itty-bitty poos for a few days. Older son is almost 11 years old at the time, and he is watching how everything is done, wanting to help. Maybe he is thinking that all baby poo is tidy. So far, it has been.

New baby has an explosive diarrhea poo. I mean, it is leaking through the leg holes in the diaper. New baby is a poo dripping mess. Older son is fascinated, and I tell him that the worst poo mess he had ever made as a baby was when he was about the same age.

I carry new baby into the bedroom and lay him out on the changing table. Older son is right there, watching everything. I unfasten the diaper and peel it off new baby's bum. Poo every where. I hear this gasp and I look up in time to see older son turn to me and ask in this horrified voice, "Do you remember how to clean this up"?
Sheilah

Tapperjockey
Apr. 7, 2012, 05:28 PM
Well, I spread my two out. There is a ten year age difference between them.

Funny story. And true. We bring our new baby home from the hospital. I am thrilled beyond words, although still stinging from being called a "geriatric Mother" by a nurse (hey, I was only 36 years old!).

So, new baby has little itty-bitty poos for a few days. Older son is almost 11 years old at the time, and he is watching how everything is done, wanting to help. Maybe he is thinking that all baby poo is tidy. So far, it has been.

New baby has an explosive diarrhea poo. I mean, it is leaking through the leg holes in the diaper. New baby is a poo dripping mess. Older son is fascinated, and I tell him that the worst poo mess he had ever made as a baby was when he was about the same age.

I carry new baby into the bedroom and lay him out on the changing table. Older son is right there, watching everything. I unfasten the diaper and peel it off new baby's bum. Poo every where. I hear this gasp and I look up in time to see older son turn to me and ask in this horrified voice, "Do you remember how to clean this up"?
Sheilah

ROTFL. It's been almost 20 years since I changed a diaper.. and I still remember haha.

Funnily though. My mom had 5 children (in 10 years) and now has 4 grand kids (all under 6). She decided to take the kids all last weekend. (5.5 yo, 2yo, 5 month old and 3.5 month old). She said she doesn't remember it being that hard lol.

Leprechaun
Apr. 7, 2012, 06:52 PM
My girls are 10 & 11 and do a lot for themselves and to help generally. They clean up their own rooms, put their laundry away, cook basics, do dishes, help with regular house chores, yard work... We certainly don't work them like dogs, even remotely, but they have real chores & responsiblities and are expected to get them done PROPERLY.

I am the Mother, not the Maid!

Guin
Apr. 7, 2012, 07:14 PM
I like having 2. They're grown ups now (Son 21 and daughter 19), but after they got to about 5 and 7, they entertained each other. They'd play games or watch cartoons for an hour or so before they got annoyed with each other. I think with one, you have to amuse them ALL THE TIME because they don't have a sibling to irritate. ;)

I could never have done more than two, though!

Edit: When they hit 12, I taught them how to do laundry. I'd do their school clothes, but if they had some emergency they could do their own. They were both in private school from 7:30 am til 5:30/7:30 pm (with sports and riding) so they could not realistically do "chores" during the week. When they started driving, they took the dogs for walks on the weekend. (We go to off-leash parks.)

sonomacounty
Apr. 7, 2012, 08:33 PM
Sonoma, how old is your child?

6 1/2

Thank you all so very much for the great ideas !

FlashGordon
Apr. 7, 2012, 08:41 PM
Bwahahaha.... two kids here... oy vey.

Well we adopted our daughter, now almost 6, when she was 2 days old. We thought she would be it for us, as we couldn't afford to adopt again and she quite liked being an only child it seemed. Life was still pretty "normal" with just one.

Then SURPRISE.... I found out I was pregnant. OMG going from 1 kid to 2 was hard. I now had to balance the needs of two kids and it could be overwhelming at times, especially as my daughter was kind of high intensity/high needs. It was hard for her to adjust to having a sibling.

And it's harder to find babysitters for two kids, and alone time pretty much goes out the window as it's easier to divide and conquer than leave both kids with one parent.

Now he is 2 and I cannot imagine NOT having both of them. They are truly best friends and watching them together makes my day. I adore them and am so lucky to have them both.

I've even contemplated having 1 more.... not sure I could do another pregnancy but would love to adopt again someday.

I dunno as someone who never thought I wanted kids, I am often surprised by just how much I love them, and love being a mom. :) As crazy as they make me sometimes. ;)

tpup
Apr. 8, 2012, 07:15 AM
When we had our 2nd, I had a friend tell me it was more shocking than having the first. It was. She laughed saying, "I love seeing the '2nd child daze' in Mom's eyes when #2 arrives". Honestly, I did feel it was way harder and more shocking than going from zero to 1. I only have 2, and have such admiration for my my neighbor with FOUR boys under the age of 12. I go crazy managing work, soccer schedules for both, school concerts, activities.

I will say, from day 1 - with no family close-by, we were never, ever hesitant to use babysitters. Find a good one, or two...and it's a huge help. When our son was a baby, we still had date nights,etc - found a great sitter who was also a Gymboree teacher. My advice to Moms....JUST DO IT. Don't feel guilty. Want to go ride? Go shopping? Find a reliable sitter for 2-3 hours and DO IT. I am a firm believer you can't be a good Mom if you feel constantly frazzled and exhausted. I'd rather have a good sitter and a few hours to myself than a manicure or a new outfit, so the money has always been well worth it to us.

sonomacounty
Apr. 8, 2012, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the ideas & inspiration. I just bookmarked Flylady.net.

as long as the house isnt a health hazzard.
That is a truly great line.

I'm trying to be merciless with my tossing & filing. Make a decision and go with it. On the Hoarders show they say people just can't decide what to do with it, so it stays & sits there. Good show.

I love them, and love being a mom. As crazy as they make me sometimes.

Yes, absolutely !