First off, let me be real with you… the first couple of weeks going from a family of 3, to a family of 5.. was just plain insane. I finally made a plan on how to be successful raising 3 kids, and I was ready to implement it!
- First and foremost, and probably the most important thing of all, is making a schedule (and sticking to it). I decided to create a schedule in my mind when and how things were going to happen, and it relatively stayed the same each day except on school days (Tuesday and Thursdays) and weekends. This helped me the most, for example, Brielle takes the longest to put to bed each night, so we save her for last and it works.
- Have a lot of snacks. This goes without explaining, except for the fact that they have to be readily available and easy to clean up (because seriously who wants to clean up in between meals as well). My go to snacks were chips, crackers, blueberries, strawberries.
- Pre-plan. This means every night I would lay out the next day clothes (bows, socks, and underwear included for Brielle) and every afternoon I would lay out the night clothes. This helped so much because when it was time to shower, read books, and get ready for bed, there was never any confusion.
- Have a “safe” place, where the kids can play, without needing any of your help. Toys that can allow independence, but is age appropriate and safe for them as well. My favorite were little trucks and toys that made noise for little man (he was 16 months at the time) and little barbie play dolls, and puzzles for Brielle (she is 3).
- Remembering that there is always another tomorrow, and what didn’t go right, can be re-started and done correctly the next day. Kids are resilient and will only remember bits and pieces of the entire day.
- Pray. Pray whole and solid prayers. Pray for specific reasons, and pray for a purpose. When you cannot believe what is happening or how you got to where you’re at (having your entire house destroyed by little kids and you’re the only one left to clean it up at night), just pray. That really got me through the good and bad days. God continued to answer my prayers and bless us tenfold!
We are now back to being a family of 4 (little man left to be with his aunt, that is why I am using him in past tense). It’s just me, my husband, Brielle, and our foster baby girl.
** Let me know if you have other ideas as well, I would love to know what worked for you!
©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved