Hey! My name is Ashley and I am a 30 year old mom with 6 kids born in 6 consecutive years. I love Jesus and have been married to my amazing husband for 10 years. I am also trying to navigate life with a chronic illness- I may not be able to control what it does to my body, but I can control what it does to my spirit. I'm in the middle when it comes to parenting and life..too crunchy for some, too mushy for others- but just right for me. My life is blessed and I want to share my journey with you.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Let's Talk- Logistics
Good morning! How are you doing today? Anything major going on today? Well I hope you are all doing well. Today I am going to answer a few questions that I have been asked, and actually these are questions that I have asked other people myself. These questions are all about actual logistics- how things literally get done. There have been times I have asked a mom something, and she will answer me vaguely and I will say “no really, I mean how do you LITERALLY do such and such?” So today I am going to answer some of the “literals”.
How do you go grocery shopping?
Jeff and I coordinate as best we can for me to go shopping when he can watch the kids, but sometimes it doesn’t work out and to be honest, if Jeff’s home then I prefer for all of us to be together. So sometimes I do take all 6 kids with me. There are a couple of different ways to execute this. First, is to use my quad stroller. 4 kids in the stroller with me pushing it, then my oldest pushes the food cart and my other son walks. So that’s 4 in stroller, and 2 walking. The other option I did before I had a quad was to put 4 kids in one cart (3 in back, 1 in front), wear the baby in a carrier, and have my oldest walk and push the food cart. There are many options for keeping kids contained, you just have to be creative. I offer incentives to behave- if you make it through shopping without getting 3 warnings then you choose a small treat. But you have to be firm on this- 3 warnings must = no treat or they will learn to ignore warnings because there are no consequences.
How do you keep the house in order?
Well, this assumes my house is clean, haha. My house is not clean, but it is usually “in order”. I hate clutter and toys all over the place, so this is one I have gotten my kids trained on pretty well. I let them play and make messes, but we regularly do “quick cleans”. This is where everyone walks around every room of the house and picks up- cups go in the sink, clothes in the hamper, toys put away. We do this 2 or 3 times a day, at the most crucial times. Before lunch, before dinner, and before bed if needed. If the kids are really motivated (like if they know they wont get to play the Wii until the house is clean) then I just tell them they have x amount of minutes to clean and they all help. If they are sluggish, moody, or it’s just been “one of those days”, they I will give them each their own room to do. They handle that better because it’s not fair that one or two kids do all the work, so this way once their assigned area is completed, they are done.
How do you get dinner cooked with all the kids running around?
Dinner is a hard part of the day for any household. The day is winding down, kids tend to be restless, mom is trying to cook dinner, etc. My kids are pretty good about staying entertained, so they play while I cook. But I also save the big guns for this time as well...a movie or the wii. And if they have already done that too much during the day, then you pull a “quiet time” on them. Just what it sounds like- they have to pick a room and stay in there and quietly play until the timer runs out (usually about a half hour). Then you can throw in a quick clean to keep them further occupied while getting your house straightened up. Also, I may put one or two younger ones in the high chair and booster with a snack or a toy to keep them from being under my feet.
What about bedtime?
Bedtime is really easy when Jeff is home- we just divide and conquer. However, there are 4 nights a week where I am by myself, and that requires some finess. After dinner the older kids wash, brush, and get dressed for bed. While they do that, I clean the dishes then work on the little ones- changing them and putting their jammies on. Then when we finally get everyone “bed ready”, I close off the house and pick one room that we all occupy, usually the living room. This keeps everyone in my eyesight, the house clean, and it keeps me sane. Then I do something like sing songs, read a book, put on a movie...and as time goes on I take them out one at a time. Sing a few songs then slip away and put the baby down. Then come back and a few minutes later grab two other kids. I keep doing this until it’s down to my older 2 or 3 kids, because they are at the age where I can just tuck them in and they know to stay in bed. So I let them stay up a bit longer and play a game with me, and this gives the other kids time to fall asleep (or at least get settled) and then the older ones go to bed. They are all in bed by 7/7:30...this is for my sanity.
Hope this helped! Keep your eyes open the next few weeks...I am going to be doing some more interviews and getting input from you for some upcoming posts. Hope you have a great week!!