Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life Hacks from a sleep deprived mom of 3

Sleep deprived mom of 3 here.  I have been thinking lately about the ways I have made life easier, more bearable or just survived the addition of a needy newborn to our family.  Most of them are total common sense but they have worked for us and might just work for you too!  My friend Mari and I have been exchanging ideas ever since we exchanged pregnancy stories 9 months ago.  We decided to blog our ideas to help other moms of 3 (or 4 in her case!)  Here's my best ideas so far.  

Every Sunday morning, I make 5 lunches.  I made both kids lunches for Mon, Tues, and Wed.  I put them in the ziplock bento boxes.  It's nothing fancy.  Its usually pb&j or turkey wraps, goldfish, trail mix and always carrots or broccoli.  Lincoln gets half a sandwich so that's how I tell them apart.  I make 5 because Jackson goes everyday while Lincoln is only Mon, Wed.  I put all 5 stacked in order in the fridge and they boys are responsible for grabbing their own lunch and placing it in their lunch box.  They are also required to empty their lunch box and place the bento box in the sink upon return home.  

I like to call this double-duty dog bed.  I was making changing table plans and all of the traditional changing tables were too long and bulky for my space.  That's when I happened upon this idea,  Dog bed/ pillow. I bought one from Marshalls that works perfectly and is just the right size!
This one may have been Mari's idea but having the nursery upstairs requires changing materials downstairs.  I have 2 changing stations.  One in the living room and the other in my bedroom for nightly changings.  Nobody's got time to run up and down stairs to change diapers however, it does sound like a great "get fit" plan now that I think of it!

Back to boys and the feeding frenzy!  The boys are responsible for choosing their own snacks for school also.  These are the bins I have for snacks.  One also has breakfast bars, granola and pop tarts in it for grab and go breakfast days.  They still have to ask permission to eat these "snacks" but they are mostly healthy choices that I don't mind them having.
Snack bins courtsey of IKEA and Rubbermaid!
At bedtime every night, I lay out the boys clothes.  When they get up in the morning, I expect them to be dressed down to their shoes before they come downstairs.  It keeps me from repeating "get your clothes on", "get your shoes on" mantra before breakfast.  They actually like the responsibility of being ready as soon as they come downstairs.  I like not having to hear myself yell the same thing over and over.

Most mornings, I also lay out their breakfast.  They can always grab a bar or pop tart but on the mornings I want them to have a more proper breakfast, I lay out the bowls, spoons and even the cereal.  I have been known to put the cereal in the bowls even.

I have been adamant  about the boys helping around the house and with the new baby.  One of the biggest things I've been trying to teach them is to notice when people might help and step up to help out.  When the car seat stroller combo came into play, I started insisting they open the door for me (and for everyone else) for that matter.  Lincoln has embraced this duty and now usually remembers to hold the door for me when we go places so I can get his sister and all of her gear inside.  I try to instill that I should go BEFORE them and not just follow after.  I also tried to help them help me by standing on the outside of the door rather than going through it and attempting to hold it that way.  It just shows more respect to allow me to go first.  We have plenty of manners to learn but it thrills me to see them picking up on a few.  Another one we are teaching at our house is once I sit down to the table for dinner, I don't get up to get anyone anything.  They were bad about requesting  more water/milk or additional food or desert and I had not even eaten yet.  We try to eat together and my errand running was preventing that.  Now they know if I am seated, they will have to get their own water or wait until I'm done to make other requests.  

What are some of your best life hacks for multiple children?  I'd love to have a few to add to my life.  Anyone have tips on getting out of the house by 8am?  I still don't have that one mastered!

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