Thursday, June 7, 2012

How Do You...Balance the Needs of All Your Kids?

How do you balance the needs of all your kids?
I feel like I’m juggling my kids (5, 4, 22 months, and 2 months) throughout the day, but I can’t juggle.  I’d love to keep them with me as I go about my day, as much to be engaging them and training them as to keep them out of trouble. I’d love to know how you do it, or even how you did it when yours were 5 and under.  
submitted by Babychaser

I have such compassion for moms of all little ones because I remember those days well and I remember how hard it was both physically and emotionally.  Three little ones was the hardest for me because when my third child was born, other kids were 2 and not quite 4.  I had this perfect ideal in my head of what our day should look like and it rarely happened.  I thought I should be able to get up before the kids in the morning and dress for the day and have my devotions.  Then the kids would wake and we would spend the morning eating together, tidying together, and reading together.  We'd do a few reading or craft activities together while the baby napped and by dinnertime, we'd welcome Daddy home with smiles. 

In reality, my kids always woke before me, the baby napped in my arms well into his second year, and he cried during every quiet activity I planned.  I felt guilty much of the time because I was constantly tired and felt like the kids watched too much TV.  It wasn't until later that I realized we all would have benefited from relaxing our standards.  No, I wouldn't have wanted my kids vegging out all day, every day, but sometimes survival mode is okay! 

Still, I kept my children close whenever possible.  The played in my bedroom while I got ready in the morning.  We ate a simple breakfast around the table together.  I rocked and nursed on the floor while we read books. The crowded around me and interrupted while I read my devotions.  The kids sorted socks while I folded laundry.  We went outside and I let the kids play while I read a book on the front step.  The kids watched a movie while I went to the bathroom for a quiet moment.  I napped on the sofa with the baby and the toddler napped in the floor beside me while the preschooler played trains in the same room.  I taught the kids to tidy up while I directed from the sofa.  We ate the simplest of dinners.  The kids played in the next room while Brian and I did dishes.  In the evening, we took walks or sang loud songs in the living room to get out the wiggles.  The kids spent time upstairs playing alone before bed until the arguing started.  Then we gathered everyone together for prayers and kisses and  tucked them in early.  And though this sounds simple in writing, the average day was never simple (or quiet or without arguments). 

Those days were not perfect.  They were filled with tears-- theirs and mine.  I yelled more than I wanted to, but I prayed for forgiveness and continued on.  

It takes work, but life with little ones is an adventure worth living!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kristin, for your words. I always find your posts honest and uplifting. I don't have multiples, or even a very young one (she's 9), but your posts are always very encouraging, and many times, just the words I need to hear. Thank you :)


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