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Posted by on Jul 20, 2013 in Baby, Breastfeeding, Children, Choices, Cooking, Creative, Economical Activities, Family, Healthy Lifestyle, Homeschool, infant, Kids Activities, Library, Life, Marriage, Moderation, Motherhood, Motivational Posts, Natural Parenting, newborn, Parenting, Philosophy, Stay At Home Mom | 2 comments

How I Function {With Three Kids}: Part One

How I Function {With Three Kids}: Part One

Be realistic. Generally I never make an appointment before 10am. It takes at least one half-hour per child to prepare to leave the house, just to exit the front door. Why make yourself crazy?!

Go easy on yourself. I breast feed on demand until my kids are at least 12 months old. Trust me, it’s easier!

•Like I said, Go easy on yourself. I co-sleep. We’re all much happier and there’s much less wailing, crying and whining, and much more sleep for everyone.

(As I type these facts, I realize this is a great reminder to myself that it is all worth it! The love in our family is apparent and whole.)

Let them do it. We teach our children (usually with their lead) to brush their own teeth, wash their bodies, clean themselves, get themselves dressed, clear their plates from the table after meals, etc. I’m not ashamed to say we potty train at an early age, with baby-led signs, simply to make it easier. Our kids have usually been ready by eighteen months, and we’re just fine with that! They love to get themselves dressed and brush their own hair after baths. Obviously it builds self-confidence and boosts their big little egos. It’s a win-win!

Eat well. We eat whole, raw foods often; I cut up fruit and vegetables to have ready to eat in the fridge. I make crock-pot meals and sauces and many times I don’t cook! (Thank you to our local grocery store, Wegmans, for your super easy $6 Meals which provide my family with a nutritious meal when I am too busy to cook.) When we DO cook, we pretty much make meals in an assembly line, healthy pyramid-style, directly to the kids place at the table. Time-saving and nutritious!

(Speaking of time-saving, invest in an inexpensive, clean-able, wipe-able tablecloth. HomeGoods has pretty, inexpensive padded plastic tablecloths that are appealing enough to use while your kids are young.)

•We read a lot and watch tv only sometimes. Our 4 1/2 year-old now loves to read to her siblings, which is truly the most precious thing ever!

Live comfortably. The house is most certainly always messy. We’ve agreed that our priority is the children, so any disarray that gets in the way is just secondary to them. (And they’re ALWAYS the ones creating the mess so we know they’re enjoying themselves thoroughly!) As they say, a messy home is the sign of happy children.

Relax. I take baths to relax, about once a week, in the evenings when the kids go to bed (or sometimes before, thanks to my dedicated husband!). Everyone has their thing, mine is often baths. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I read, but the most efficient way for me to relax is a hot, steamy bubble bath.

Date other people. We take our kids on one-on-one “dates”, even if it’s just to the grocery store, the library, or to fill up the tank with gas. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just a little something from time to time to let them know they’re important and loved.

Get creative. Literally. We pile up the scissors, glue sticks, crayons & paper and ask them to make a castle or a butterfly, a rocket ship, whatever! They’ll come up with something even if you can’t, don’t be afraid to get artsy. Check Pinterest for ideas if both you and your children are at a loss. {Doubtful.}

Call in the troops. We enlist help. We have family that is close & we call in them when we need their assistance. We don’t take advantage (we rarely go on “date nights” and even more rarely go out with friends together – and we’re ok with that.) so we only utilize their loving babysitting when needed for work-related things, appointments, outings like that.

Above all, enjoy the ride. Love your children, kiss and hug them often. There is always one piece of advice every new Mom hears repeatedly: It flies by. And it really does. In the blink of an eye, you will be choosing a first birthday outfit, picking which soccer camp they’ll attend, playing ‘Tooth Fairy’, teaching multiplication, then *gasp* applying to colleges.

Just. Stay. Little.*

What are some tips you would like to share? What gets you through the day with your family?

*I met this beautiful woman who creates beautiful pieces for little girls. Debbie from Sweet Lemonade has a cute little necklace with this phrase, “Just stay little”, and it says it all. We are collaborating on a few sweet surprises to come! Stay tuned.

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