Coping With 4 Children Under the Age of 5
Hands full. Zombie apocalypse. Chaos. These are probably some of the expression you might hear from people when you tell them that you have 4 children under the age of 5. Well, the first thing to do is to congratulate yourself, mum. You are brave and you have what it takes to overcome a house of four little creatures.
Of course, you will also hear solid advice from mums that have been further down the road. Take from them too. Now, listen to the advice from mothers who once had a family of 4 kids under the age of 5 and have lived to tell.
Lower Your Standards
Don´t get me wrong here. I don´t mean lower your personal standards of what is moral or anything. But you see, all types of extremes are usually unhealthy. If you are a neat freak, you will hardly have an ultra-clean home having four kids at home. But then here is what you need to convince yourself of: it is ok.
Nobody is expecting for you to have a pristine home with four lads and lassies correctly sitting on the couch waiting for your next command. So, relax! Remember what I mentioned about extremes? It is not about dwelling on a messy home either.
Focus on doing the basic chores, like doing dishes and cooking dinner. Those are needed chores that must be completed. But try not to worry if the clothes are perfectly folded or if the floor does not have one speck of dust on it. Instead, take more time to spend with the children. Play with them, read them a book, snuggle with them, go to the park or any other fun activity you can think of.
As with the kids, don´t be surprised if you find your 3-year-old spreading your 15-mo old son with peanut butter while you were rocking the newborn baby in the living room. Remember they are kids and kids are all about playing and having fun, no matter the cost.
This is important for you to do. But remember that the goal here is not to get the most done in the shortest time. It is not a race and nobody is breathing over your shoulder. So organise yourself with the time you have.
There will come days in which you feel overwhelmed and kind of wished for another life if you know what I mean. One thing that can help you is to make a basic structure of what your day should look like. Write it down as a schedule if you must. Keep a diary to remind you of appointments for the children, errands that you need to run and other important events such as family birthday’s etc.
Be considered for yourself and the kids. For example, if everyone had a good night sleep, get up early and begin chores. If your night was not the best, consider doing some less stressful activities and more fun games with the kids. It is possible to be organized without being too rigid. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’ve had a terrible day with screaming children and feel you haven’t got much done because you have, you’ve taken good care of your 4 babies!
Take Some Time for Yourself
Unless you want to put your sanity in jeopardy, make some time for yourself. In other words, take care of yourself. If possible, try to put your kids on a nap schedule and take that time for you to nap too. Have your husband or family members help you with the kids while you go out with friends even if it is just to nip out for a 1 hour coffee.
Your children will not be young forever and will soon become more independent, being able to dress and feed themselves meaning the pressure relaxes from you slightly.
You are a dedicated mum but it is so important to stay in touch with your self of identity away from the children. This is time that is being consumed and is not coming back. You deserve it!