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Moms of 3 or More Do you have 3 or more children? Often times, parents with 3 or more kids face challenges that those of 1 or 2 just do not. This board was set up for those parents to ask others how they cope with issues such as making time for each child, who stays u

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Old 04-22-2004, 01:42 PM
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Feeling overwhelmed...

I'm sure you've all heard that often but I'm still getting the hang of having 3 kids. My dd#1 is 4.5 yrs old, will start K 1/2 days next Fall, dd#2 is 2 yrs old, will start preschool 1/2 days 2xs a week next Fall, and ds is 4 months old and was just diagnosed with having a cataracts in his left eye. We are doing a patching method to help prevent him from going blind. The outcome is uncertain for his eye until we see how the patching method works. My dh works long hours and unusual shifts so I basically am doing this on my own most days. I have a few close friends, only 1 lives a few miles away but she also has 3 kids and dh works long hours so it's hard for us to get together enough.

Right now I could really use some advice on how to get things back under control in my home or do I just do what I've been doing and throw my hands up in the air and say, "it can all wait until the are grown up."? Of course, that makes for a messy house and more stress for me because I'm a perfectionist and I've learned to change my ways greatly since having my 2nd child, who is VERY strong willed but wants me to hold her constantly.

I've tried flylady...it's too hard for me, I love to be organized but I just don't know why her methods don't work for me. I think my problem really is finding the time to really do the organizing since I'm always taking care of the kids. Currently I can't even get the floors vacuumed because there is always someone sleeping in the house...dh works night shifts, than ds takes 2 to 3 naps a day, and dd#2 takes a nap from 2 to 5 each day. I try to get most of my cleaning done between 2 and 5, including preparing supper but I love to do crafts and that's where my dd#1 gets this love for it as well. We craft about 30 minutes starting off each day after I put dd# down for her nap unless my ds needs me first for feedings, than I let her play with what she has created and I try to get my chores done. Those 3 hours aren't enough to accomplish all that needs to get done around here including preparing meals. Where am I going wrong? 2 to 3 hours a day should be enough to get the house cleaned, right?

Thanks for any advice, I love this site just signed up today!
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:22 PM
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Hi Craftymom, Welcome to Family Corner!!

I have 2 kids, a boy who is 6 1/2 and a girl who 11 months. They keep me very busy too. I feel like I get nothing done in the mornings because my DS goes to 1/2 day kindergarten and we have to pick him up at 10:55.

My Dh works midnights and one trick that we use so that we dont wake him up is running a box fan in the room when he is sleeping. In the summer, he has the noise of the a.c. too. Maybe you could use that for the kids too in the summer or look into a white noise machine.

Im lucky because my kids can sleep through anything,lol. I can vacuum with my DD asleep in her playpen in the same room.


Dont stress about having a perfect house......it aint gonna happen now. Another thing that works for me is having a regular scheduled bedtime for the kids. That way, they go to bed, Dh & I have a little time together and then he leaves .....that is when I do a lot of my cleaning or organinzing or have my computer time ( could be some relaxing craft time for you)

Im sorry to hear about the problems your son is having. Take time to focus on him.....the house will wait, he needs you now.

Dont forget to take at least a few minutes for just for you!!


Check in here at FC, relax and gab with us!!! We are a crazy bunch here and we are always ready to give a shoulder to lean on.


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Old 04-25-2004, 09:20 AM
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I am a mother of 3 as well. DD#1 is 2 1/2, DS is 1 1/2, and DD#2 is 4 1/2 mos. I know exactly what it is like to be overwhelmed.
It seems like no matter what it is I do all day long, at the end of the day it looks like I didn't do a thing. The thing that helps the most is my children have me for a mother LOL, ever since they were born i have always vacuumed right under the swing even if they were sleeping, listened to music. I was just never quiet so when my kids do go to sleep they can sleep through almost anything.
The only way around that in my opinion seems to be accept the fact that your house will never be neat and clean. I take the time to pick up toys and such a few times a day. Usually while the kids are eating their meals. For the most part though I tend to run around somewhat like a chicken with it's head cut off, I wipe a counter off while I am in the kitchen refilling juice cups, or clean some of the bathroom while my daughter is sitting on the potty. My children are in cloth diapers, and the oldest is starting potty training. So the fun never stops.
I know this post doesn't have the magical answer within it, but what seems to help me out a lot is the fact that i KNOW i am not the only one going through this.
I believe the most important thing throughout it all is DO NOT get caught up in what needs to be done, relax and take time out to enjoy your kids. They are only this age once.
Hang in there
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Old 04-25-2004, 09:28 AM
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Sounds like you need a service provided by the churches in SC, called "Mother's Morning out". There is a charge, but not like daycare prices. It give you a Morning to yourself! You could spend it doing things in the house or out doing errands. I see it advertised at many churches here. I don't know if they would take your youngest, but you could take her on errands with you. I did it with my daughter and Granddaughter! One child should not be a problem.
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Old 04-25-2004, 12:42 PM
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Hi CraftyMom,

I have 3 children also, all boys, ages 12, 10, and 8. Things are less hectic now that they are older, but I do remember those days. What I did was decide what had to be done everyday. For me that was dishes, laundry, and cooking. Any time I could squeeze in extra chores, I did. But I decided I had to learn to live with getting less done. It is more important for me to have time with the kids, than to try to squeeze in every chore. I did try to let the kids help with things. They have a short attention span, but I would say, lets do a 5 minute cleanup of this room. Let them dust pick up stuff, help move the vacuum.

They're not young forever, so you'll eventually be able to get more housework done. Hope this helps.

-Andrea
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Old 04-25-2004, 02:30 PM
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Take a deep breath!

Its hard to get anything done when you're being pulled in all directions! I've had 3 children and crazy person that I am I also kept children until my own were in school. Now I work for a school, and when thats out I'm keeping my friend's grand daughters.
#1 rule you aren't going to have a perfect house, so quit stressing about it.

#2 Family revolves around YOUR schedule

It might help if you started turning on the radio and getting your family used to noise. Clean when its easiest for YOU. If dh complains you ask him if he wants to do it.... Usually with that "I'm looking for an excuse to kill" look in you eye and he will leave you to it. Have your oldest help pick up toys, etc. make it a game. It can be play for both of you, and help relieve some stress. If dd doesn't want to then you can play pitch it in the toy box. Don't focus on whats wrong, but whats right so you don't get depressed.

If you go to church find someone to talk to. If not maybe you need to look for one. People of faith are very supportive, at least everywhere I've attended. You may find a Mom's Day Out, or a group of moms that get together to help each other once a week, or you could start one.

Also if you're praying for patience QUIT thats why you are having problems . How else will you get patience if you aren't stressed to the max. Thats a little thing my Mom use to tell me!

I'll keep you in my prayers! I've been there and done that, and all I can say is This too will pass!
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Old 04-25-2004, 05:43 PM
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Hi,

I'm a mom of 6 (ages 18, 17, 15, 9 and twins 7). Other than church, Special Olympics (thru the school system for my 17 yo) and Girl Scouts for the twins (provided by and during afterschool care), my children aren't in any extra-curricular activities...I don't have the extra time. I work part-time as a teacher sub for Head Start (preschoolers) -- and I love it! (glutton for punishment most people say...lol)

My house looks like a disaster zone most of the time! I dust when I "have to" - do the dishes every day or so (as well as vacuuming - a must with so many in the house going in and out) - and do at least 2 loads of laundry every day.

Thank goodness the kids are getting old enough to help with most of these things nowadays, so I can bargain with them. "You want me to sew a dress/shirt/hem/sleeve? == then you have to help me with _____"

It might be a "laid back attitude", but you cannot let the mess & stress get to you. I guess it gets to all of us sooner or later, but there is a saying something like this....

In 100 years, it will not matter whether your house was clean (etc...), but how much time you spent with your children. (I know that's not the entire saying or if it's even right...but you get the picture I hope).

My motto is to do what I can with what God gives me each day...that's all anyone can do.
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Old 04-25-2004, 07:21 PM
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Hi. I'm a mother of five (17, 13, 8, 7 and 6-months). I go through times when I feel like the house is turning into a giant science experiment, but those times usually pass with a little encouragement from friends.
I would tell you to keep in mind the big picture. I believe that our homes are our children's life-laboratories. Do I want my children to be little machines or great minds/personalities? What will they remember when they grow up? Just the fact that you are conscious of wanting a well-run, clean home means that they will eventually learn to do their part at age-appropriate times, and you will eventually have the clean home you are looking for. In the mean time, these are important times for your small children to learn about love, laughing, and enjoying life, and they will only learn this from you. There will always be more stuff to do, but your children will only be this age once.
I ran across a saying that sums it up for me:
A CLEAN HOUSE IS THE SIGN OF A MIS-SPENT LIFE.
Keep your chin up! I'm sure you're doing better than you think
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:27 PM
kellyandkids
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It is OK to let it out!

Keep talking! Let the stress out. Then tell someone who could really give you some help that you need it! Reach out as moms of older kids will understand and give you a half day of clean bathrooms or a chance to go to the store ALONE !

You can hire some house cleaning help without guilt ($13-15/hr). I offer as-needed-cleaning service as that is hard to find around here. Better yet, find a mother's helper teen/pre-teen to hire. One hour a day to walk and get in a shower before hubby gets home.

And take care of yourself. Get a walk in everyday - alone; it helps your immune system and sunshine wards off depression. It isn't the same when you are pushing a stroller and asking the other kid to keep up. Avoid reliance on caffeine and sugar; they suppress your immune system.

lol How many of us are on the half years with our kids. Now I had better go get in my shower.
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:21 AM
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coping with kids

I agree that you need to lower the housekeeping standards a bit. And what you said about 'waiting for them to grow up' is to some extent true - really, the early years are hard work, not the Laura Ashley advertisement I'd imagined! It gets easier as they get bigger. Some stuff can't be fixed, just weathered.

Try to adapt some of the basic Flylady stuff - if you only do the evening routine you're well on the way.

A housework tip: get a carpet sweeper, they don't cost much. You know, those old-fashioned box-shaped sweepers with a round brush underneath. Brilliant! You can do it while people sleep and they pick up an amazing amount of dust and hair. The kids love using it. I do the 'five minute room rescues' with the kids all the time and they love racing the clock. If you can afford it, use disposable cleaning wipes occasionally.

the main thing is to enjoy your kids, they aren't little for long.

best
E.
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