As a mom of four, I’m often asked how I manage my brood and stay sane. A. I am far from sane and 2. There are far more people with the same if not more children that handle it much better than myself. I’ve been complimented on my ability to be so relaxed… don’t worry, my give a shit is just a little lower than it probably should be. But after so many kids you start to realize what you actually need to worry about and what you can let go.
Here are my go-to’s to getting through as a mom of many.
1. Let it go.
This is not an ode to the ever famous Disney movie. There are so many little things that will stack up and topple down… you can choose to pick up the mess or let it knock you down too. You have to decide not to let little shit get to you. Realize that your home is never going to be perfect, your life is never going to be perfect, you are never going to be perfect and your kids are never going to be perfect. Once you realize this, you can get through any of your hard days.
2. Let the kids be kids.
They’re going to fight. They’re going to fall. They’re going to get hurt. If there isn’t blood, take a deep breath and let them do their thing. If something is really wrong, they’ll come to you. Brush them off, check them out, give them a hug and send them off to keep playing.
3. Have the big kids help.
Luckily I have a big gap between my older and youngers. But older kids – no matter the age difference – are going to help the little ones. Let them. Why not take advantage of it and lift some of the weight off of your shoulders.
4. And on that note – everyone should be helping out.
Give age appropriate chores to your whole brood. You shouldn’t be doing everything on your own. It makes you become resentful. Even if all your kid does is throw his diaper in the trash, pick up their own clothes or clear their plate… it helps.
5. Feed them.
As long as your kids are fed and you’re trying your best to get them something healthy at every meal, you’re doing it right. Your life doesn’t have to be 100% organic. Hell, I let my kids eat day old apples and cookies off the ground. Know why? It isn’t worth the fight and the tears and the screaming. Sanity mama, sanity.
6. Weather appropriate is what matters.
Eventually you’re going to let go of the need for your kids to be matchy matchy and perfectly dressed. It is so much easier. Let them be creative and dress themselves. If its weather appropriate, its appropriate. If your kids are anything like mine, they should probably have a wardrobe change at least once a day. But if you’re really like me, it won’t happen until bedtime/bathtime.
7. Screen time saves lives.
We’ve all heard the studies on screen time. And we all know the mom who doesn’t allow any and the mom who lets it happen whenever. I’m a firm middle of the ground mom. Sometimes I need that movie/tablet to help wrangle these kids into submission so that my sanity doesn’t fly out of the window. Sometimes, you have to do, what you have to do.
I’m a firm proponent of surviving parenthood. To me that means you do whatever it takes to get through your day. Some days you’ll have it all together and other days you’ll want to hide in your closet with a pint of ice cream and a bottle of wine and just cry. As a mom though, you don’t really get to do the second option. So instead, follow my little rules for survival. Let it go. Breathe. Try your best to raise your kids in a nurturing environment and if shit hits the fan and is filled with temper tantrums, fussiness and just plain old meltdowns … throw on the television, sneak a candy bar and BREATHE.