Thursday, February 3, 2011

Secrets to "How I do it"

Having three kids is a relatively small family here in Sheboygan, but to many of my Chicago and college friends it is large. (When we were pregnant with Chloe we got quite a few "why? You already have boy and a girl?" or "woah, I guess you guys are gluttons for punishment.") Quite a few people without children or people with one or two children will say to me, "Wow, I don't know how you do it." I usually just laugh cuz let's face it we all do what we have to do. Anyone is capable of doing my life and quite frankly most would probably do a better job at it.

I had to laugh today as I was getting out of the house with my kids and realized perhaps I do have a few secrets that I should share.

1) Getting out of the house is a headache, everytime and sometimes I actually break a sweat. Here is how I have developped our getting out plan: I start the car first (it IS winter in Sheboygan). Then I get Chloe bundled up and put her in the running car, then Ava, and then Phin. Then I go back into the house, put my own boots and coat on and gather our things. Here is the confession- sometimes they are in the car for a good 5-10 minutes. I seize the opportunity to do things like actually go to the bathroom by myself- after all they are all buckled in and not going anywhere. Moms of one child would probably be horrified at this; it has become a sanity saver for me.

2) We eat fast food atleast one day a week and more if I feel like it. I strive to feed them healthy but I give myself a lunch off once a week. No set up and no clean up means being able to take a breather during naptime. If it's a bad week it happens more than once and I really never feel very guilty about it.

3) My kids watch one hour of TV every morning from 8-9. Chloe usually doesn't go down to nap until 8:30, but I use this time to clean up the kitchen, shower/dress, and have a little quiet time to myself. If mama ain't taken care of the day just is all discombobulated. They often also watch a half hour from 4:30-5 cuz some days I just can't handle them in my way while I'm trying to get dinner ready. I once swore my kids would hardly ever watch TV...and then I had kids.

4) My kids clean up after themselves. Sure it is a headache in the beginning to teach them and in that moment would probably be easier to do myself, but it's worth the teaching. I have plenty to do without picking up after them. Ava being four also does the dusting, sets the table, and helps with the dishes. After dinner both Ava and Phin clear their own plates and help put things like ketchup and butter away. They also put away their own folded laundry. (There are risks to this one, as sometimes I find Phin's piles in the linen closet or bathtub- who knows what goes on in a two year old's head!)

5) I have a cleaning lady. This week she didn't make it because of the snow. We live in a big house. I did not have a moment of rest yesterday. I even had to vacuum while holding Chloe. With kidcare and cleaning I was literally on my feet for 13 hours....can't do that every day and be nice to my husband- therefore cleaning lady. I cannot do a messy or dirty house for very long- I start getting itchy acting one wants that:)

6) Chloe sometimes has to cry in her crib until I am finished with what I am doing. Ava never even cried. I'd here her chatting and rush to her side. Poor Chloe has to cry loud enough to get my attention and even then has to wait a minute or two while I wrap up what I am doing.

7) We have a date night once a week.

8) I totally pick my battles, therefore, I ignore my son when he steals lollipops and sometimes find candy wrappers in the play area that I had no idea were consumed.

9) Sometimes when it's a bad day and I just need a few minutes to think, we go for a drive. I get out the DVD player that we are only supposed to use for long trips and let the older two watch a show. Chloe is always good and quiet in the car. Sometimes I just need a few minutes of thinking if you see my driving in circles you now know why.

10) My husband helps a lot...he's the real super hero in the family. He does dishes and picks up regularily, doesn't complain when we have to do an errand or two on date night, and is very gracious when he is out of clean laundry (like Tuesday this week when I had forgotten to put the whites in the dryer the day before and he had no clean underwear).


  1. These are great! and absolutely necessary! You are amazing and I love you!

  2. I love your list Kim! You inspire me...more than one child is possible. :)