Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Coping with 4 kids under 6 - "How do you do it?"

"How do you do it??"

Is something I'm asked on a regular basis.

''I can't handle this 1 (or 2)  and I often think of you with your 4, How do you do it??"

I do it because I have to. It's what I'm used to. It can be very hard at times, but there are things we do (and don't do) in order for us to cope a little easier..

My husband works the afternoon shift.
My husband is home during the day, so basically, I'm only on my own for 5 or 6 hours before the kids go to bed. This time is spent with kids naps, play, dinner/bath/bed routine, and unless we're having a particularly bad day, this time goes pretty fast. Granted that is the busiest part of the day, but more on that later :)

We're a team.
We help each other. We both do the housework and we both see to the kids. There are things either hubby or myself do the bulk of, for eg. I do the cooking, he mowes the lawns and does the yard work. Having said that, if hubby hasn't had time to mowe the lawn, I'll do it (I draw the line at the whipper snippering though lol), and if I can't be bothered cooking, he'll do it. We both know what needs to be done and do it (routines - see below)

We don't stick to a schedule.
Schedules don't work in our family. Not with an overactive toddler and a baby who doesn't know what sleep is. Maybe when the kids are older one may work, but at the moment, it's more of a headache trying to stick to a schedule.

This is a must! We've had our fair share of failed attempts and disruptions, with the birth of our 4th bub, illness, 1st born off to school and life in general. But without a routine life would be much harder to deal with, especially when we're hit with major disruptions.
The older two know the routine. For eg. They know they have to play quietly in their room if they wake up too early, and to tidy their room and make their beds before breaky. They also pull out their bowls, spoons, cereal and milk (or spreads if they want toast) and set it up ready for us to make - this was their doing, we got up one morning to find it all out ready to be made, and they've done it ever since :) 
I'll do a post on our typical day and what I do to cope with the busy time before bed at a later stage.

Communicating with each other.
Another very important one. We tell each other everything. We need to stay one step ahead at all times, especially where Mr 2 is concerned, and in order to do so, we have to communicate. If we have an issue whether it be with each other or something totally unrelated, we'll say so. We give credit where credits due and we know what we both want out of life.

I'm throwing this one in, as we are best friends first and foremost and we share a great bond. Without it I really don't think we'd cope at all.

There are other things we do, but I think the above are the most important and without them I'd hate to think how our lives would be. We have our fair share of bad days, recently, more than our fair share, but we get through, we have to :) 

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