Juggling Life with Many Small Children

Posted by  | Monday, April 5, 2010  at 2:00 AM  
I don't know if two counts as "many" or not, but sometimes it seems like it. And, we'll be adding one more to the total this summer anyway, so Ben and I will be outnumbered. Right now I feel like I have two hands and two kids so everything is okay and I wonder how I'll do it with three. Then I try to remember how I survived having just one when I thought I couldn't, and then two, when I thought I couldn't. I know that by the Lord's grace I'll survive three on those days when I think I can't. This post was supposed to be about managing my day-to-day schedule, but I recently detailed our schedule in here. So, I'll try to give a few quick tips instead.

First, be flexible. Potty accidents will happen at the worst possible time, usually when something is burning on the stove and the doorbell rings and you are on the phone. But, a charbroiled dinner never hurt anyone and you are raising young kids - so don't be hard of yourself. Take a few deep breaths, pray for strength, and move on. (All of this is easier said than done, of course).

Second, don't overplan or overbook. We have two standard "outing" days per week, aside from church days. There are other things we could easily be involved in, but I choose not too. We all need time at home to get things done around here, or to simply sit on the floor and play together.

Third, remember that there is a season for everything. My mom once told me that she was most frustrated as a mother when she had something she was working on and couldn't get to it. I TOTALLY know that feeling. My husband has called me "project girl" since we got married. There is always something I'm crafting, decorating, or sewing. I love to do these things and even find it relaxing to work on one of my projects. But, it isn't relaxing or fair to my family if I'm frustrated and snippy because I'm interrupted while working on something. I usually save my project time for when my kids are in bed at night. The house is quiet and I can get the hot glue gun going without worrying about a toddler grabbing it. Right now though as I'm in the third trimester of my pregnancy I find myself simply worn out at the end of the day and can't manage to stay up very late crafting as I'm used to doing. But, I know that this will pass and in another 6 or 8 months (once the new baby is sleeping really well), I'll be able to get back to my projects again.

These are just a few things I've learned in these last couple of years and I still have so much to learn! I do not always handle the craziness of having young children with the patience and grace that I should. But, like our Lord, children are very forgiving. I have had to apologize to my kids for being frustrated and short with them and they always respond with warm hugs and sweet smiles that remind me that they still think I'm great. What a wonderful blessing mothering is!

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