Welcome to my humble corner of the internet <3 Whether you’re new here (maybe you hopped over here after reading our “Four under Four Survival Tips“), or a seasoned Munchkins and Moms followers, I’m glad you’re here! I’m guessing most of you are here because you’ve found yourself in the interesting position of having four kids under four years old. While the rest of the world may judge you as crazy, fear not. There’s no judgement here! I feel your excitement, anticipation, worry, and exhaustion. When people found out we’d have four kids under four, the most common response was “you must be crazy!” Followed by the questions “How will you survive?” Well, at the time I didn’t really know how we’d survive. In December, after a notice of approximately 6 hours, we went from a family of 4 to a family of 6. We took in two foster kids- a 2 year old boy and 8 month old girl. Add that up with our current 2.5 year old and 3.5 year old kids, and we have a full house!
After doing a few Goggle searches, I realized that not a lot was written on how to manage a household with so many young kids, so I kind of winged it. We spent the first 6 weeks acclimating to our new normal and now I feel like we have a good routine down. Here’s how our day typically goes:
6:30 Everyone wakes up.
This happens by my two oldest boys coming into my room and jumping on the bed. I turn on Sesame Street and let them enjoy some TV time while I “get ready”. Note that by get ready I just mean swipe on some foundation and lip gloss and pull on comfy clothes that I can move and go out in if need be. I’m not dressing to impress here.
Make breakfast. This is usually oatmeal, bagels, eggs, or left overs. I try to stay away from cereal and offer more substantial foods that will keep us full longer.
(My biggest tip for any meal is take it outside. My kids inevitably spill milk everywhere, plop oatmeal on the table, or smash a banana on the floor. Inside that would spell frustration, outside it spells bird food.)
8:00 Play in the backyard
We live in a warm climate, so this is an easy choice in nice weather. But even on cold or wet days, we make time to go outside. I live by the adage that kids can’t bounce off the walls when you take away the walls. This is the cornerstone of my sanity.
10:00 Snack and indoor activity
Our indoor activity usually consists of reading books together. That is the easiest thing to do when all four of them are awake and they all enjoy it.
Be it soup, sandwiches, or leftovers, this is a quick meal followed by my two youngest going to nap.
1:00 Screen Time
While my youngest two nap, my two oldest (they are 2.5 and 3.5) get to watch TV or play on their tablet. This is my “me time” for blogging, browsing Pinterest, reading magazines, etc.
*I also use this opportunity to do short preschool lessons with my older boys. Sometimes it’s a more detailed activity that little ones might disrupt if they were awake, and sometimes it’s just watching a few educational videos on YouTube or Netflix together.
3:00 Snack and outside play
Everyone is awake and ready to eat. Once again, we eat outside and play outside. I usually catch up on chores in the house while the kids play (our yard is small and I can see them from in the house). Dad also gets home about this time, so they get quality time with him this hour as well.
Family dinner at the table is followed by indoor playtime.
7:00 Bedtime preparations
Picking up the toys, brushing teeth, and baths (if needed).
Once kids are in bed I usually stay until around 10 p.m. Sometimes I do chores, but this is usually time for me to relax.
What do you do with the baby all day?
She’s the easy one! She gets lots of floor time and a long midday nap. other times I might carry her in the Ergo (the absolute best baby carrier, in my opinion), or let her wander around in the walker. She gets lots of attention from her three big brothers and good snuggles from mom and dad. She’s a pretty happy girl!
So that’s our day….well, the general outline of it, at least. There’s diaper changes, potty trips, potty accidents, and all sorts of other fun things that fill up our time. So am I busy? YES- but it is do-able. Do I feel crazy? Sometimes, but mostly not. I’ve come to appreciate our controlled chaos. It’s only a season, and when it passes I will look back at it all and smile. I hope you find time in your day to smile as well 🙂