Abigail is officially eighteen days old. Seriously how did that happen it feels like just yesterday we were walking down that long hallway and leaving the hospital. We have crammed so much into that seventeen days that I’m not exactly sure how were still in one piece but more on that later. So today because I’ve been a mother of four for a whole seventeen days I thought I would share a few small words of wisdom on how to survive life with a whole lot of kids.
Make sure you are ready for any situation by packing a bag before you leave the house. It’s a good idea to re-pack it when you return home just in case you need to go out again in a hurry. Be prepared for blow outs, hot weather, air conditioning, that impulse trip to the water park and anything else you might encounter on a regular day.
This has been huge for us, the kids finish school at 2:45 and each day we have been travelling 30 minutes each way, sometimes 40 minutes in the morning so most afternoons you will find us hanging out in the car park from as early as 2:15. The little girls often fall asleep on the way and that leaves more time for ME! When we are settled in our new house we will only be 5 minutes drive from school so the commute won’t be such a big deal and we won’t need to leave so early but will still need to be there early to score ourselves a car park.
Arriving early means keeping kids entertained if they are not asleep. Usually I would turn on the tv and let Violet watch a movie but this week we have had to be super clever and think ahead, Violet is in serious denial about not having a tv in the rental car. With all of the changes the past few days Violet has been a little moody so I like to make sure I’m on top of things when it comes to snacks. Violet will have a snack when she gets in the car after school drop off and I will keep another in my bag for a mid morning snack and another one for all of the girls when we pick them up from school. Violet is big on fruit so I always make sure I have a few apples floating around my bag and some ice cold water.
I have multiple forms of kid wrangling, baby carrying equipment in the back of my car. These include a double pram, sling and a hug a bub. I never know what kind of mood Violet is going to be in when it comes time to leave the car. At school drop off I will have Abigail in the sling 99% of the time and let Violet walk beside me. This way is definitely slower and it’s sometimes a pain in the bum but she likes to explore and it gives her a chance to burn off some steam. When we are going to the shops there is no other option but the pram. I’d much rather have the security of the pram and have her strapped in then have to deal with a toddler tantrum in the middle of the shopping centre.
This week I’ve been asking myself the question: Do I really need to go in there? a lot. A few weeks ago this wouldn’t have been such a big issue but in these early weeks with a new baby and a new city it is definitely on my mind more. A few weeks ago if i needed a loaf of bread I would have pulled up at the store, turned the tv on for Violet and run inside to get my loaf of bread. Now were in civilisation this simple task requires me to take up to four kids out of the car and take them all inside. Why has somebody not invented a drive through service for bread & milk, seriously..get to it people! Its for this exact reason that I have avoided going to JB Hi Fi and buying a new charger for my phone. Who on earth would take four kids in there?
and last but not least..
If life gets you down, if the kids are screaming in the back and you feel like your head is going to explode or the baby has just exploded for the 27th time today. Don’t stress, take a deep breath and leave the room for a minute or two and find your calm again. If your out and about pull into the closest fast food joint you can find and order yourself a hamburger to devour in the car park. I usually opt for a coke in these situations and I’m not saying you should go out and do this as an everyday activity but once or twice a week is totally ok in my books.
So there you have it folks. Just a few things I have learnt along the way in my short time as a mother of four. I’m sure I’ll learn a few more along the way but that’s all part of the adventure.