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A question to stay at home parents...

I am looking for ways to help structure my day. I am a stay at home mum. I have four children aged 8, 6, 3 and 2. The older two are at school, the third goes to nursery every morning from school start until lunch, and the youngest from next week will be at preschool Monday and Tuesday mornings.

I feel I am pretty productive. Me and the husband both have certain tasks that are important for me to do so I prioritise those and fit in the other stuff around them. One is dinner ready for after he gets in from work and we all sit round the table together.

The problem I am having is that come 4pm when me and all the kids pile in the door, it is carnage. No other way to describe it! Chaos. Then hubz comes in around 5:30pm and it's still chaos. It seems to get gradually more stressful from after school right up to bedtime.

Me and hubz are perpetually knackered. We are stressed with bedtimes. I spend some time with the older ones doing their reading and homework after dinner and washing up. This time is important as otherwise I'd only really be spending time with them over the dinner table.

This means hubz takes care of bedtime for the younger two. He likes doing this but it is hard work as the younger one is particularly "spirited":rolleyes: and when he's tired after work I understand he'd like a hand. So I'm splitting myself in two trying to go back and forth between all four kids to help hubz which means time with the older ones suffers.

I really need to schedule my day more. I often feel like housework takes priority over quality time with the kids... but with four kids there is a lot of housework!

It's pretty much standard that after kids are in bed and lunches are made for the next day, we chill out. We're usually in no fit state to do anything else.

So far I've worked out if I get up earlier, I can do showering etc before everyone is awake and start on the laundry. Throw some stuff in a slow cooker for dinner. Ironing can be done when the youngest starts preschool, can reserve a morning for that.

I NEED to schedule in quality time with all four kids... Individual where possible.

Anyone want to offer any helpful tips and hints so me and hubz are less stressed?
 

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Join up with some websites that help you schedule your day and divide tasks, maybe another that does the thinking for you for meals -
Flylady, emeals, things like that.
 

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1st of all, I haven't ironed since the dark ages. I have a steamer that I use as necessary. that and wrinkle release spray and I'm good. I know that you want to take the stress off your husband, I get that, but kids take a lot of attention and need it from both of you. Does he ask you for help in the bedtime routine, or do you just feel guilty? We moms are packed with guilt, and you have a large brood to manage. There is only so much you can to do control chaos with 4 kids. Sounds like you are organized in my book!! I think you need to give yourself a break. There is only so much you can do with 4 kids to manage. It will get easier as they get older.
 

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I NEED to schedule in quality time with all four kids... Individual where possible.

Anyone want to offer any helpful tips and hints so me and hubz are less stressed?
To be less stressed, do less, plain and simple. Look for optional activities to omit. Your 8 and 6 yo's can get their quality time helping you with chores. Individual quality time with the 3 and 2 yo's is less important. You and your husband need to operate as a team with one or the other in "reserve" so they can take over when the other gets in over their head.

Plan every meal in advance. Try to make large amounts of certain dishes in advance so meal prep become more reheating and less cooking
 

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Your 8 and 6 yo's can get their quality time helping you with chores. Individual quality time with the 3 and 2 yo's is less important.

Plan every meal in advance. cooking

I totally agree with this. At the same time, you're also teaching them responsibility & team work. Have them help with the meals as well. In doing this, you're getting the help both you and Hubs need plus you're giving your little darlings life skills. This would also make any future daughter/son n laws happy!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
*makes lots of notes*

Ironing I haven't done for a while but school uniforms need doing definitely.

The quality time with the older ones is more important as I have most of the day to fit in time here and there with the littlies. However doing chores with the older ones tends to be difficult as the little ones want to hang around or take that opportunity to cause mischief:rolleyes:

Hubz said he'd like more help with bedtime. I'd feel the same the other way round. The littlest can be a nightmare to get to sleep and the two share a room so that makes it worse. I try to so what I can by getting them in pyjamas and brushing their teeth and looking at a bedtime story.
 

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you could try keeping a weekly schedule, like a daily routine thing, thats what i do, of course i do not mean where the kids are involved i mean fitting in the housework chores i find that it really helps me to get everything donexx
 
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