Life with little ones can be hard. No, it IS hard. In fact, life with multiple little ones can seem like more than we can bear.
As a mama to three little ones under four years old, I can sympathize. I have an 8 month old, a 2 year old, and a nearly-4 year old. We have certainly had our rough times. I can say with certainty, that it gets easier!
Here are 7 ways to thrive with multiple little ones:
1. Babywear – It is always helpful to have an extra set of hands! Wear your baby and have two hands free to help the others. Look for a comfortable carrier that supports baby in the seated position (Boba, Ergo, Becco for example). These will be more comfortable for both you and baby and can also be used with older children up to 35 – 45lbs.
2. Routine – Start early with creating a general and predictable flow through the day. Strict schedules work for some, but a routine will work for just about everyone. All children feel more secure when they know what to expect to happen next. You can set your children up for success by using routines to ensure they are fed and changed before outings.
3. Extra time – Realize that most everything will take longer than it did in the past. A lot longer. Realize that you may no longer complete as many tasks in a day. Take this fact into consideration when planning events and outings. By planning for the extra time, you will be less rushed and stressed.
4. Simple and few rules – Set just a few rules that can remain consistent regardless of location. Our rules are “Inside Voices,” “Be Kind,” and “Obey Right Away.” Remind children before going someplace of the rules. Practice at home. Children cannot be expected to understand and obey without practice. Children WANT to be successful! Set them up for success with simplicity and practice!
5. Repetition – Take your children out often. Sure, it is difficult and overwhelming at first. With repetition, it becomes so much simpler. You as a parent will learn what works best for you. Your children will learn what you expect. You will be amazed at how quickly these excursions become old hat!
6. Support system – Work towards creating a support system. Join a mommy group (like MOPS International), find friends on facebook, join a meetup group. There will be times when you need advice, need a helping hand, or just need to vent. Support is vital for mommy’s mental health!
7. Have fun! Give yourself a break. Kids will only be young for a short time. There will always be housework. Don’t stress over mess. Do what you can while ensuring you take the time to enjoy your children. Time goes by so quickly!
Do you have young children? What tips would you give for thriving during these early years?