I am continually asked how I do it. Well here it is for the most part. Not everyday runs smoothly but these things help to keep our day on track. Remember every kid is different and will not fit a mold. Some things may not work for everyone but this is what works for us. Please feel free to ask questions. I am here to help, share, and encourage.
1. Organize. Hooks, over the door storage, and shelves Oh my. Keeping things such as the pantry organized can save time. Hooks are a great space saver and work well for hanging up Wii controllers. I use quite a few over the door storage for anything from keeping the shoes off the floor to keeping craft supplies organized.
2. Stop folding their laundry now. There is no chore I hate more than laundry. I recently read a blog post by An Inviting Home about not folding laundry and saving time. We started this recently and so far so good.
3. Don’t be afraid to try something new. If your current method of discipline, chore chart or reward system just stopped working or isn’t working as well make a change. I have used several different varieties of each to find one that works. For example stickers for chores or keep your room clean for a week and get a book. I can’t promise anything will work but it’s a good way to find something that does work or to reinforce what you know works.
4. Paper plates, paper cups, and plastic forks and spoons. Less dishes means more time to spend with the kiddos or cleaning up messes.
5. Time limits. We have time limits for all technology. By technology for us I mean Wii U, Computer, and Netflix. We give them 10-20 minutes depending on the age. We do have days that we just play games but those are few and far between.
6. Buy Multiples. If one needs a toothbrush go ahead and buy one for everyone. It’s a lot easier than making X number of trips to the store.
7. Quick Easy Meals. Always have last-minute recipes on hand. I love to cook chicken or roast in my crock pot making dinner prep quick. A good husband who doesn’t mind cooking from time to time can’t hurt either.
8. Free, Clearance, and Thrift Shop. Three of my favorite words. Also the best ways to save money. The best things to get are clothes, birthday supplies, and school or craft supplies. We also don’t care about name brands. My kiddos are happy to get the thrift shop finds as well as the hand-me-downs.
9. Chores. My kiddos all help with chores. I make sure the chore is suited for their age. My 4-year-old can feed the cats and wipe off the kitchen table. My eight year old can unload the dishwasher and clean the bathroom. Just to give you an idea of what they do. They know that once chores are done and Mom is happy they can enjoy their free-time.
10. Don’t over schedule. We like to have a very minimal schedule. With 6 there is no way we could make it to 6 different activities. The girls are currently doing Tae Kwon Do and Duke has tried out Basketball and Baseball. Other than that the older 4 all go to Religious Education. A few activities a week is plenty for us. I’m not stressed and they aren’t over stimulated.
11. Alone time. I love my kids but I need me time. A break in between the madness is good. It will make it easier to refocus and accomplish what needs to be done. I spend my time reading, watching my favorite show at the time, catching up with a friend or reorganizing.
12. Stick to what works. Find something that works and stick to it. Don’t let peer pressure or society make you think you are doing something wrong. You are a good Mom/Dad and always trying to do what’s best for your kids.