SURVIVING MULTIPLE CHILDREN: TIPS FOR PARENTS FROM PARENTS

Multiple children playing in the kitchen

We know what it takes to be the parent of one or more kids. Usually, parents of multiples may be tired, too busy taking care of the children, they may feel like they do not have enough personal time and space or they may also feel socially isolated. To survive multiple children and their needs, they have to mentally prepare themselves each day. Therefore, having more than one child makes it easy for the parent to become completely consumed in caring for them as this brings challenges all of its own.

If you’re looking for ways that will help you as a parent to still be able to chase some of your favorite hobbies, in this article you will find some tried and tested tips from other parents that we are sure will make your life easier and assist in balancing your needs with those of your children. There will be no need to abandon all of your hobbies and interests. What’s more, you will also be able to create a bit more peace in the household. 

So let’s get started!

TIP 1→ ASK FOR CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE TO CREATE A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM.

The more kids you have, the more likely you are to be pulled in many different directions. As we all know, it’s impossible to be in more than one place at once, therefore you might find that you need someone to watch the kids for just a couple of hours so you can finish your household chores, go to an appointment, prepare meals, or do your taxes. Or if you’re working at home—actually get your work done. Sometimes, you also just need a quiet afternoon to yourself to appreciate a little silence or spend time doing what you love (hobbies). This is why we recommend you to ask for help (no matter the fact that it can be tough, especially when it comes to your kids) and also consider who you want to approach.

You might be lucky enough to find yourself in the position of having many people who can pitch in—neighbors, family (grandparents), or friends. In this situation, you may want to think about who will best care for your kids and who is most reliable and dependable. On the opposite, you may want to get to know other parents in your community. And it is going to feel more comfortable to ask if you can share tasks, rather than ask for them to watch your kids without anything in return.

Furthermore, during the process, it is very important to manage the emotions associated with getting help as you may experience guilt, anxiety, or sadness. Just don’t let these feelings lead to unhealthy behavior. Instead, try to acknowledge your feelings and use healthy coping skills to deal with them. Remind yourself that this is the best for you and your kids as it might help you silence any negative thoughts you have.

Grandparents reading a fairytale to their grandkids.

TIP 2→ CREATE CLEAR RULES AND UNDERSTANDABLE CONSEQUENCES FOR YOUR CHILDREN

With a list of rules, everyone in the family becomes clear about your expectations. They help create structure. No matter how much your kids protest, they need and want boundaries to feel safe. Creating household rules is essential as children have limited experience and knowledge and are not always a good judge of what is right and wrong, good or bad, safe or dangerous. Family rules help children understand what behaviors are okay and not okay. And as kids grow, they will be in places where they have to follow rules. Following rules at home can help the child learn to follow rules in other places.

So that all family members get on the same page about rules parents should:

  • talk about what rules would help their family and agree which ones to set,
  • post the rules in the house so everyone can know them,
  • make sure everyone knows what is allowed and not allowed,
  • ask all caregivers to be consistent in monitoring and enforcing the rules,
  • and lastly, remind children about the rules by repeating and posting them in the home.

Furthermore try to use discipline to teach, not punish.  It is very important to understand that it’s all about teaching and education, not punishment, threats, and training. Never forget to show your child you respect them by explaining why the limit needs to be set. Help them understand it’s for their good and the benefits to them. Respect is a gateway to your child’s cooperation!

TIP 3→ PLANNING OUTINGS TOGETHER BENEFITS EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY.

Do you sometimes feel pressure to make your children’s childhood “magical.” We know parents often feel like they are not doing enough for their children. Keep in mind that those special things kids really want are not fancy getaways. It’s not some amazing destination they care about — it’s the time spent together. Getting out into nature is a wonderful family activity.  It promotes physical activity, family bonding, and learning — not to mention, it’s really fun!

When you’re active with your kids, they’ll learn the importance of being physical, getting into the fresh air, and spending time together as a family. This can also be the perfect time to ask questions about each other. It will help to check in with your child, especially if you’re concerned about their mood.

Walking through a park, checking out a new neighborhood, and exploring a local nature preserve are fun and inexpensive ways to discover and learn new things. But if you have got two very young kids it is worth noting that you will need a stroller to help make your walks convenient. 

Take a look at Hop stroller

Taking the weight of your children off your shoulders, this double stroller is, accordingly, an exceptionally advantageous method for keeping your infants with you at unequaled without depleting yourself excessively.

Having to carry one kid and push the other can be stressful on the body.  Not only is it nearly impossible and completely impractical to try and push two single strollers at once (especially if you’re also juggling an overfull diaper bag), but it is also very unsafe for the children and tiring for the parent. Hop allows you to quickly place both of your children into a secured space and head out the door with no fuss. It also comes with car seat adaptors, which can make life as a parent even easier. All you have to do is move your car seat from car to stroller and vice versa without the hassle of having to unbuckle and re-buckle your babies.

Red double stroller for big kids that is not banned in disney parks

TIP 4→ A RESTED PARENT IS A BETTER PARENT.

You need to (unapologetically) prioritize your sleep. Different research suggests that parents who have kids are more likely to be sleep-deprived, but having kids does nothing to men’s sleeping patterns. There is a gender sleep gap, and the myth of the supermom allows it to continue. Moms need sleep as much as dads do. We also do not recommend making the mistake of trying to sleep in sync with your partner. One parent may need more or less sleep at different times of the month, so matching bedtime isn’t as important as listening to your body.

It is worth noting that insufficient sleep doesn’t give us more hours, it just makes us less productive in the time we do have. For sure parents will do better if they get the recommended amount of sleep every night, not just on the weekends. Sleeping enough will make you happier and healthier and a whole lot of other things are life-changing.

TIP 5→ BALANCING WORK AND HOME LIFE CAN MAKE QUITE A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR FAMILY.

When you have a good work-life balance, you’re more likely to have the mental and emotional energy to give your children the loving attention they need to develop, learn and thrive. A well-balanced family life can also help you enjoy life, manage stress and prevent burnout at work. It is true that small changes in the way you organize and think about work can help you feel more satisfied with your work-life balance.

Organize your work:

  • Take on the most challenging tasks at the beginning of the day, instead of at the end.
  • Set boundaries around how much work you do outside hours, including limits on checking and responding to emails or phone calls or attending out-of-hours meetings.
  • Emphasize your work hours to your coworkers and clients (include work hours or days in your email signature).
  • If you work from home, have clear start and finish times or block out parts of the day for work, rather than constantly checking in with work. Also, try to keep your work area separate from family areas.

LEAVE WORK BEHIND AT THE END OF THE DAY

Before you leave or finish work gradually shift to thinking about home and family. Call your partner, your child’s caretaker or your child on the way home. This can take your mind off work and give you a chance to catch up on your family’s day.

We recommend you to have a ritual or routine to mark the physical, mental and emotional move from work to home, from worker to parent. It can be as simple as changing out of your work clothes. If you work from home, try going for a walk around the block or doing a five-minute workout.

Furthermore, to help yourself change your perspective on work start to take a moment in your workday to think about your children. This could be just looking at a photo. It will be easier to remember the reason you’re trying to achieve a work-life balance.

Parent pushing a stroller after leaving work

Furthermore, to help yourself change your perspective on work start to take a moment in your workday to think about your children. This could be just looking at a photo. It will be easier to remember the reason you’re trying to achieve a work-life balance.

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