The other day, I posted a Facebook status that read, “Feeling like Wonder Woman after managing a trip to the park with all 3 kids, washing dishes and getting them dinner. Add in a trip to Target with Jasper before all of that and I’d say this day was full!” It got a lot of likes (which isn’t the main point, so stick with me) and a comment from a new mom asking how I do it. In the spirit of solidarity, I’ve decided to #keepit100.
The answer to how I do it? Well, easy. Since finding out about baby #3, my standards have plummeted.
It sounds awful, but it is actually quite liberating. I’m not saying I have no standards at all; rather it’s just that I’ve learned to go with the flow and relax a bit more.
I hate doing laundry. My washer and dryer are in the basement, and it’s just a pain to drag loads of laundry up and down the stairs. So I let my own laundry go … and go and go. I actually bought more underwear at one point instead of doing laundry. I didn’t go around wearing dirty clothes but basically washed the essential items I wore all the time. By the time #3 came along, my room was a mess and I was totally overwhelmed by all the laundry. So I found a service that would come and pick up my laundry, wash it, fold it, and bring it back. And just like that, all my laundry was done. They even sorted my socks! Now, I realize that this sounds like a luxury, and it is, but the message here is that with baby #3, I gave up my ideas that I had to do it all. I took the easy way and outsourced my problem. Note :: my kids get their basket of clothes washed once or twice a week by me. I try to put it away but let’s #keepit100. They usually live out of laundry baskets or clothes straight out of the dryer.
The other job that no one in my house likes to do is dishes. We have a dishwasher. It basically serves as a storage receptacle for whatever was washed last in there because no one wants to put the stuff away. We are the family who opens the dishwasher to get a clean fork instead of putting all the forks back where they belong. Our solution to this issue of not wanting to wash dishes is simple. We use paper plates and bowls. I also hoard plasticware from my favorite takeout spots. Now when my kids insist on separate plates for all of their food, I don’t have to wash 5 dishes.
Television and iPads
Moving on to entertainment … we recently decided to put a television in the playroom. It started as a way to be able to watch football in peace. But it’s become so much more. If I need a break, I can now turn on Littlest Pet Shop and both girls are happy. The upside is that since they are in the playroom, they actually end up playing with all the toys all over the floor. We also used the iPad as a way to get things done. Someone needs their hair brushed? iPad time. Need them to sit still while you get them dressed for school? iPad. Long car ride? iPad. That glowing screen works wonders!
It happens less often than it used to. I used to bathe them every day. But every day has now turned into every other day with hair washing 3 times a week unless it really needs it. I wipe the kids down on the in-between days, but really… my kids aren’t working in a coal mine. They don’t get that dirty while at school. As for me, I managed to rock the same blowout for 5 days. Sure, I showered but not having to wash or style my hair was a huge time saver. It actually saved so much time, I’m considering it a weekly addition.
Basically, he is along for the ride. I try to let him nap at home as often as possible, but with two other children, a husband, and a house to tend to, he usually ends up napping on the go. He sleeps in the carseat like a champ. During the witching hour, he naps in the baby carrier while I prepare dinner for the kids. His clothes – some are new but most are hand-me-downs. With the first (and even second), I would change the outfit with the slightest bit of spit-up. Now, unless his outfit is really wet, I wipe it off and move on. Changing clothes equals more laundry which equals more work.
Reading this, you may think I am just lazy. But the truth is, I use all these shortcuts to save my sanity. Having me less stressed out ultimately makes me a better mom to my kids. I consider it a win if my kids are dressed in clean clothes, fed, and arrive to school on time. At the end of the day, we are all trying to do out best.