As a mum of 6, things can get quite hectic at times, today has been no exception if im honest. I dont tend to shout at my children very often but today called for a very stern telling off from me in the kitchen whilst three of the kids shouted and bickered at each other relentlessly for a continuous hour in the next room. Cue early bed times and a large deep breath from me and the hubby and peace was restored, my quiet chilled house was back to its usual self.
Just yesterday my lovely neighbour told me you would never think we had so many people in our house, she wouldn’t have said the same had she been here this evening. Anyway as a mum of more than a few kids, i do get asked a lot, mostly by other parents, how we cope. My answer is always the same, organisation!!!! being organised is a must or those little buggers will run rings around you. You don’t get chance to take your eye off that ball or all hell breaks loose.
Having household rules does help, it gives the older kids clear instructions what they need to do and the little ones usually love having their own little pieces of responsibility and take their roles VERY seriously. My 2 year old Nell loves her job as chief nappy getter, its her job when its time to change bums to get the nappies (even if i end up with 6 nappies on my knee for just 1 child, at least she’s trying).
A tidy house is a must, or at least as tidy as you can get it, i am one of those really sad people that proclaim “a tidy house is a tidy mind” but this is so true and i inflict this on my husband and children practically daily because i believe it so much. I’m also a firm believer that everything has a place, keep those things in those places and nothing ever goes missing (except socks, socks don’t count, they have a mind of their own). Also when you have a tidy home, you actually spend less time tidying on a daily basis because there is less to do, that way you have more time to have a time out for yourself, a quick shower or a cheeky glass of wine before tea, if this keeps you sane then do it.
Me and the hubby take out an hour together every afternoon once the older kids get home from school, we just sit with a brew and a biscuit completely on our own, its a no kids allowed area for just that half hour or an hour of the day. Us time is an important part of family life, we dedicate every waking moment to our kids and i think its only fair to have that time together just the two of you to sit and enjoy each others company, to just be Laura and Anthony, not just mummy and daddy. We don’t go out and we are not massive drinkers but we do love cooking together and listening to music while we chat away about anything and everything, if we do feel like having a drink we do and its bliss, it keeps the romance alive in our relationship and it gives us chance to have conversations that dont involve choo choo’s, pooh or Kylie Jenner.
Mummy and Daddy
Another survival tip is sharing your time individually with each of your children. Keeping an eye on whats hot and whats not and showing an interest in what your child is interested in is also a huge help. We all use social media and that can give us all the answers we need. Taking time out with each child makes them feel more secure and equal to their brothers and sisters, none of them are left out and it shows in their behaviour. A well behaved child is so much easier to deal with that goes without saying, they all have their moments, don’t we all but if we can get them happy and smiling at least for the most part then things are good and productive.
Mummy and Ollie
Other than behaviours there is a list of items that will always come in handy when you have a big family, items that can stop a fight in 2 seconds flat, stop a runny nose, make you look less Night of the living dead and more yummy mummy, make a cut knee feel better instantly or just give the kids something to do on a sunny day when they won’t get from under your feet while you put the washing out.
Here’s a few of my fail proof items:
Liquid eyeliner, makes your eyes look brighter after 2 hours sleep with your teething baby, can also double up as a mascara to dye your eyelashes and literally takes 2 seconds to slap on, if the eyeliner goes slightly skew wiff you can just pretend your starting a new trend and wear it with pride.
A massive tub of Aqueous cream, this big tub is my go to “magic cream” when one of the kids has a catastrophic accident such as a grazed knee!!! quick splodge on they think it takes the pain away and off they run. This also doubles up as a moisturiser for your face on those dull skin days, as well as a good bum cream when the hubby has ring sting from his piles (because noone else has ever had piles as bad as his!!!!) or if the baby’s bum is looking a bit pink, it is quite literally “Magic”.
A deck of cards, hidden in the crap drawer (we all have one), when the kids are stuck in on a rainy day and all seem to want to use the living room as their squat but refuse point blank to get on, the pack of cards get dished out and off they go to play as many games of 21 or snap as they can until either the tea is ready or i threaten to lock them out in the garden. If all else fails just throw the whole packet up in the air and tell them whoever gets the most can pick the next programme to watch, its a long shot but it does usually work.
Plastic cups, plastic picnic cups are fantastic inventions, they can be used for juice, ice cream, jelly you name it but the one thing i use them for that always keep my littlest ones entertained is filling the sink with warm water and along with a couple of small pans, let them splash until their hearts content. Bit of advice id put a towel on the floor and either side of the sink because it can end up like a tsunami.
Bubbles and a bubble machine, my god every parent should be given these before they take their little angels home from the hospital when they’re first born. All kids of all ages bloody love bubbles, they love blowing them, catching them, chasing them and just running stir crazy all over the place with them. They are fabulous for cheering everyone up and better still are cheap as chips, i paid £2.99 for a fish that blows bubbles from B&M and a GIANT bottle of bubble solution from Home and Bargains for 99p, worth every penny and even when they run out, it doesn’t break the bank to replace the solution.
Baby Wipes, even for those who’s children no longer need wet wipes they are a staple part of every families cupboards in my opinion, they clean kids, animals, work tops, sinks, windows, doors the list goes on and on. There is hardly anything you can’t use them for, when the kids have a cold i use them so they don’t get sore on their little noses, i use them for making my sinks sparkle, i use them to clean my cooker, washing machine etc and they all come up brilliantly. Although putting wipes down the toilet is not recommended, they do come in handy for those instances where we have ran out of toilet roll, as we regularly do in our house.
A fabulous lipstick or lip gloss, the bolder the better. My first choice is ALWAYS red, red, red and more red i just adore it. I can have no make up on whatsoever and a quick splash of bright red gloss can make me feel like i have my whole face on, 30 seconds and its on, just remember to keep checking the teeth because that bugger literally gets everywhere!!! The colour can be whatever suits you, but if it can make us feel glam even just while we pop the shops or do the school run, why not give it a try and and the way i see it if all else fails and i still look like shit it will at least distract attention from the rest of my gob.
The list goes on and on with survival tips for being a mummy or daddy, im no expert, im not proclaiming all my tips will work for you and your family, but they work for mine. We don’t do too bad and me and the hubby are pretty proud how well we run our ship, our kids have their moments as we as adults do, but on the whole we are a happy household, with lots of adventures to be had.
Us and two of our brood