When you have your first baby everything is so carefully considered from whether you will let them sleep with you, on you or in your room. You tiptoe around a sleeping baby barely daring to breathe just incase she/he awakes. When number two comes along life gets busier and some of the small stuff, well you don’t sweat it so much. Let them sleep where they are and maybe even break your own rules anything for peace.
If (like me) you go for number three life just gets faster, crazier and you lose all the good intentions. Now it’s not about tiptoeing around the baby but rather dragging that poor baby around with you. Sleep – what’s that – oh they slept in the car earlier or on the school run and that’s as good as they get it!
I survived the babyhood and toddlerhood with three and now they are all at school. Yet life with three is still manic and here I share my life hacks with three children.
1. Buy plain colour socks for each child and buy plenty of pairs. That way they are easy to match up and easy to give to the right child. However you will still end up with odd socks somehow.
2. Down brand your cereals but keep the expensive boxes. It is not about the taste it is all about the packaging. Pour supermarket cereal into premium brand boxes. However treat yourself to expensive coffee (you’ll need it) but pour into your coffee jar and claim that the whole family are economising together.
3. Glue on cubs and swimming badges. Who has time or patience for sewing. Just whack it on with superglue. However make sure you stick it in the right place they are tricky to move if you make a mistake and then the shirt looks tatty (said no one who has ever done this).
4. Grate vegetables into food. Grated carrot and grated celery is great in lasagna, bolognaises and mash potato. I still cook vegetables and they are on the plate but the ten year old doesn’t like them. He gets his surreptitiously served up in home cooked meals.
5. Arrange playdates to all happen at the same time. I will invite Erin’s friends and Dylan’s friends on the same evening. This way they don’t tend to bother each other as both have friends. It might be one loud afterschool playdate but it usually means the children get an invite back and I have two afterschool evenings with only two of three children. Result!
6. iPads and tablets are great. They are ideal for in the car to stop them annoying and arguing with each other. They buy you a little bit of downtime, you can drink a coffee when they are playing. As far as not letting younger children have screen time Erin is the master when it comes to the iPad. I convince myself that because I have put Educational apps on it that I am not failing her. However she chooses to watch children opening kinder eggs on YouTube instead. Seriously you can actually watch that and it is brilliant in my five year old’s eyes!
What is your favourite life hack for busy families – do share then I won’t feel quite so bad!