Advice from a mom of four for life's greatest juggling act.
I have two singletons and one set of twins, and I’ve discovered a few life-saving tricks to mommying multiples. I hope these will help you out, too:
MAGNETIC NOTEPAD ON THE FRIDGE
Let me tell you, this $1 item is a sanity saver. The trick is to run to the fridge immediately upon realizing what the needed item/errand is. Write it down, quick, before another request comes in for strawberry milk, juice, animal crackers, first-aid, bathroom assistance, breaking up a fight, fixing a toy, etc.
EXTRA LAUNDRY BASKETS
I have a laundry basket that doubles as a “stuff” transporter. It’s used to carry items to and from day care, preschool, friends’ houses, playgrounds, etc. With so many little ones and all of their little stuff, trying to keep track of it all is mind boggling at times. After losing the best blanket on planet Earth and the following hysterics, I had to come up with something.
I know some people think it’s strange, and it became kind of a joke at preschool. I sometimes walk in the door and hear, “Mrs. Mitchell is here with her laundry basket!” but I (almost) always leave with everyone’s lunch boxes, sippy cups, blankets, school work, art projects, homework, rewards from the treasure chest and dirty clothes. It seems to help the kids, too. They know if they want it to come home, it better be in the basket. When we walk into the house, the basket comes with us. Everyone’s shoes come off the feet and go into the basket. Lunchboxes cleaned out and into the basket. Take-home folders emptied and back into the basket. The basket has its assigned place in the laundry room, and there it stays until the next day.
PATIENCE/A SENSE OF HUMOR
I remember one evening I was feeding the twins in their high chairs. One was happy with a glob of food dribbling all over the place while the other one was crying for more. I fed the crying one. Now that one was happy, but by then the other one had swallowed his blod and was crying for more. Scoop food, shovel in mouth, scoop food, shovel in mouth. One happy, one crying. One happy, one crying. Back and forth and back and forth. I took a deep breath and hollered to my husband (who was in the kitchen making dinner for the rest of us), “Get the camera out, Honey. Someday this will be funny!” During the photo shoot, something happened. Things settled down again. We all found some patience to get us through to the next event. Somehow, we all managed and continue to do so every day.
Heather Mitchell is a sleep-deprived, yet loving, wife, mother of four, health-care professional and writer.