How I do it.
To answer the most common question I get: “how do you do it?”
(I'm not sure if the question is in regard to having three kids under three, being a stepmom, or having nine beautiful children), BUT...
The short answer is: I just do.
In my mind, If I have one kid, I'd take care of him. If I have nine kids, I'll take care of them. Step or biological kids don't make a difference.
Is it challenging? Not always, but yea, it definitely can be!
Just the other night all three of my babies (26 months, 13 months, and 1 month old) were crying. At the same time, for 90 minutes, from 9-11:30 PM.
My husband was out for the night and it was on me. I tried alternating who I would hold and rock in the rocking chair, I changed all of their diapers, continued to take the 2 year old back into their shared bedroom, sang to them and eventually, I began to take deep breaths in, then and on my exhale I would make a solid “OM” sound. My “OM” turned into a closed mouth vibrational “OM” for about 30 minutes, or until we all fell asleep.
The next morning I felt traumatized. I couldn’t “shake off” the feelings from the intense crying. I felt guilty for my 13 month old bc I couldn’t cuddle her as much as I wanted to, and I could already see how middle children develop “middle child syndrome.” (I’m a middle child myself).
Nine kids wanted my attention in the morning, but I just couldn’t be present for them. After reaching out to my community and sharing my experience, I realized I needed to “feel my feelings,” a good cry, and needed to write it out.
I’ve thought a lot about “how i do it” and below are some of the tools I use:
Focus on what needs to be done at the moment
When there is a brief free moment:
start prepping food for school lunches or the next meal.
Prepare a bucket of sliced veggies to keep in the fridge
Wash vegetables that need to be washed
When financially possible - outsource. If the amount I pay for help is less than ⅓ of my hourly wage - it’s worth it.
I Hire someone to fold laundry, help organize, and clean the kitchen and floors.
Pick a weekly intention! For example, welcome “joy” into bedtime routines.
Find a way to “check out” - for me - netflix or amazon prime.
Do computer work in the same room my kids are watching tv. We’re all doing our own thing, together. Presence = connection.
I offer them a snack right when they come home so I can have an hour or so to do other work.
Delegate! I made an awesome chore chart.
It was received with a lot of resistance and arguments, but eventually it became just a part of our routine.
Work on myself. I put myself first, at least once a day. This might just be for four deep breaths, but I make sure I recognize myself and where I’m at. Alternatively, it could mean I’m working on a new certificate or my business - just depends on the reality of each day.
Set myself up for success. I make a list of three things to achieve each day. If I do these three things - my day has been a success.
My list could contain big things or little things. It’s all relevant to where I’m at each day. One day “drinking a glass of water” might be on my list. Another day “reorganizing the girls closet” might be on my list. As long as I achieve the three things I set out to achieve, small or large, my day is considered a success!
Decide what NEEDS to be done and what can wait until later. A mess will not be the end of the world, but not feeding my kids dinner might be!!
NAP WHENEVER POSSIBLE!!!!
These are just some of the things I do to help me! What do you do to help you?? Share with me in our online community!