Parenting can sometimes get incredibly hard, especially when one is feeling outnumbered by the ratio of kids to parents. However, with the support of friends, and family and the tips discussed below, you can have an easier time parenting more than one young kid.
1. Prioritize Outdoor Play
Experts agree that kids who play outside are happier and stronger than their counterparts who are mostly indoors. Playing outside also helps kids burn a lot of calories, which means they can wear themselves out outdoors so that by the time they get back indoors, they’re tired, calmer, and ready for bed.
The outdoor play could be as simple as building a trampoline in the backyard and letting them jump around on it for hours until they’re tired. You can get a sit to supervise or join them on the trampoline if you like. The secret is to try to find the best trampoline for kids so that they can jump safely for as long as they want without any accidents.
You can also take the kids outdoors to child-friendly locations in the neighborhood. Popular options include the local parks or meeting up with other families with kids for play dates. Depending on how many kids you’re taking out and their ages, you may have to use a car, a double stroller, or a baby carrier. Going out often to socialize gives kids a sense of normalcy and outdoor play helps them expend energy making it easier for you to manage them indoors.
2. Don’t Expect Too Much From The Older Kids
Whenever there’s a new addition to the family, the older kids feel the change and sometimes it takes them a while to adjust to these changes. This is the best time to keep your children safe and happy. You may expect that your toddler will be fully potty trained by the time a newborn arrives but this is not always the case and there’s no need to get frustrated by that. You may also expect an older kid to help out more around the house since you have your hands full but ensure you’re not demanding too much from any of the kids. Try not to rush the older kids or the newborn into more independence as this would lead to frustration on both sides.
There may be some chaos with every new addition to the family, try to manage these changes as calmly as possible so that the rest of the family adopts the same approach. It’s easy to focus on the needs of a newborn and forget that the older kids have needs too. As much as you can, try to give attention to every individual kid and hire paid help when you need to. This is not to say the older kids shouldn’t help out at all around the house, you just have to ensure they do not have to handle more than they can bear.
3. Routines Make Life Easier
Embrace routines if you have to manage a couple of kids daily. Knowing what to expect will help kids adapt to changes in the family better. Create a schedule for the mornings, afternoons, and evenings so that the children know what to expect every day. Get a planner and try to plan everything at least a week in advance. Note down doctor’s appointments, meetings, and playdates. Make a habit of writing down everything because when managing multiple kids, you may forget important dates because you have your hands full with the kids.
Try to routinely clean your home as you go. If you plan to clear up messes later, you might get stuck with a messy house. So clean every new mess once it occurs and also create a cleaning schedule for when you have some free time. Meal plans are also extremely important. Draw up a table that shows what’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for every day of the week. This saves a lot of time on meal planning and preparation.
Finally and most importantly, create a budget. Without a doubt, raising multiple kids cost a lot of money, so you have to make sure that your money is spent on the most important things so that you don’t go broke.
4. Create Time for Adult Relationships
If you’re married with multiple kids, it’s easy for you and your spouse to focus so much on the kids that both parties stop working on the relationship. Research shows that a whopping 67% of couples noticed a decline in their satisfaction with their relationship after the first baby arrived. Plan a date night at least once every other week, and hire a nanny to stay with the kids so that so you and your spouse can spend some quality time together far away from the chaos that often comes with having multiple children. If for any reason you cannot go out, create time to hang out alone with your partner after the kids go to bed at night. Also, create time to hang out with your other adult friends occasionally. This way you can take a break away from running around in sweats all day smelling like baby food, to dressing up nicely and having nice adult conversations.
Photo by Robert Collins , Ben Wicks , Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash