Life With 3 Kids

Now that our three kids are older, our schedule is slightly more manageable. At least I have an hour at noon each weekday, when I’m all alone at home sans kids! Yes, one precious hour!

Although our schedule is different now, most days I still feel quite breathless looking after 3 kids without a helper.

Anyway. Here’s the post written in my old parenting blog.

If you’re juggling multiple kids by yourself too, I hope you’ll find these tips helpful.

{Post from 2011: Life with 3 Kids… 5 Survival Tips!}

We’re into the fourth week of school. After some trial and error, here’s our daily schedule for weekdays when the boys have school.

7.00am – Hubby and I wake up, hub has breakfast, makes milk with cereal for the boys
7.20am – Boys wake up, have breakfast, prepare for school
7.50am – Hubby sends boys to school, hub goes to work
8.00am – I feed and change baby
9.00am – Baby naps, I have breakfast, time for myself (read, exercise, go online etc)
10.00am – Housework, prepare lunch
11.00am – Fetch Jay from school
11.15am – Jay showers
11.30am – Jay plays on his own, I feed and bathe baby
12.00pm – Fetch Zac
12.30pm – Boys have lunch, watch Okto
1.00pm – Jay naps, Zac showers, I have lunch
2.00-3.00pm – Homelearning with Zac
3.00pm – Jay wakes up, boys have snacks, I feed baby
3.30pm – I try to do some homelearning with Jay on some days
4.00pm – Boys play while I prepare dinner
5.30pm – Outdoor play (e.g. water play at the corridor, playground, cycling downstairs)
6.30pm – Boys have dinner, hubby back from work, I feed baby
7.00pm – Boys play while hub and I have dinner, wash dishes
8.00pm – Hubby showers the boys, makes milk for them, reads to them, gets them ready for bed, I feed baby, change her, put her to sleep
9.15pm – Boys sleep
10.00pm onwards – Personal time
12.30am – Feed baby
1.00am – Sleep!!!
4.00am – Feed baby

Some things I’ve learnt along the way and am still learning:

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1. Be realistic.

There’s only just so much one person can do. As much as I wish to be a supermom, there is no way that I can do EVERYTHING by MYSELF. The above schedule is just a guide. Some days, we don’t get to do anything much and the boys just go around the house aimlessly or simply just watch cartoons. I used to feel really lousy and guilty but I’ve learnt to accept imperfection.

2. Know your priorities.

I no longer fret over undone housework or a messy house. I used to want everything to be clean and tidy, and I ended up spending time doing housework while leaving the kids alone. And I got all frustrated when the kids messed up the house. Then I realised that I’m staying home for the kids, not for the housework! My priority is the kids. Housework can wait. Anyway, they’ll be done sooner or later.

3. Be willing to accept help or ask for help.

There are no supermoms. There are only moms who have alot of help, be it from husbands, grandparents, relatives or domestic helpers. I’m grateful and fortunate to have my mom come over to help me during the day. My father also helps me fetch Jay from school 3 times a week. I have a husband who helps around with the kids and housework too. As for the major housework, such as washing the toilets, ironing, mopping, we have a part-time helper who comes in for a few hours once a week.

4. Be flexible.

Have a plan but be willing to change plan at times. Of course, ideally, I want to cook nutritious, delicious meals for my family EVERYDAY. But on some days, it is simply impossible. And ideally, I want to stick to our schedule and have homelearning with the kids, but I’ve learnt to be flexible and not to feel bad about it if we’re unable to do anything on some days.

5. Take care of yourself!

I’ve come to realise that this is so important. I used to want to do housework when the kids nap. Then before I have time to rest, they’re awake. Now, when the kids nap, I try to do something nice for myself. Simple things like making a cup of coffee, reading a few pages from a book or magazine, or simply sit down and stone. Housework can wait. At times when I’ve had it to my eyeballs by the kids’ tantrums and crying, I’ve learnt that the best thing to do is to switch off and walk away for a few minutes. Moms can get too overly involved emotionally and mentally with the kids. It is vital for our sanity to walk away for a while at times. I call it “leave to re-enter”. We leave the scene temporarily, and when we re-enter, we will be a happier mom for our kids.

How do you juggle life with kids? Share your tips with us in the comments!

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13 thoughts on “Life With 3 Kids

  1. Woot, you have a busy life out there with 3 kids. Yes like you I started to accept imperfection, knowing my priorties and accept help. Be flexible is impt and not forgetting ourselves!Jia You. You are a supermummy in my eye!

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  2. Ing, I am so impressed by your systematic schedule…you made everything seem so easy, yet we mothers know it takes herculean effort to go through your schedule. I do agree with the "leave to re-enter"…it is easy to get too involved in the moment, and the easiest way to avoid more conflicts is to walk away! Take care and am glad to see you have your own me-time, which is so important for our sanity! πŸ™‚

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  3. Your #2 on things you’ve learned – so true! Lately, I seem to be buried in constant housework and I wonder when will I ever catch up so I can enjoy more free time with the kids? πŸ˜› Not cool. I need to prioritize.

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    1. Hi Valerie, I’m being buried in the never ending housework too! I guess we will never catch up. So, I’ve decided that housework can wait! But kids… They grow up too fast! πŸ™‚

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  4. Thank you for all e tips and encouragement. I’m all alone with no in laws or parents or helper. I’m actually ok with all e mundane work sometimes but it’s e loneliness that’s a challenge than e amount of housework sometimes. I sometimes wished we were living back in e old days when the kampong spirit was alive πŸ™‚

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    1. Hi Rebecca, thanks for sharing. I agree it can get pretty lonely sometimes, when we’re at home alone with the kid(s) most days. Which is why I think getting some time to go out and reconnect or meet up with friends is so vital, not only for us but also for our kids and family.

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    1. Me too, Christy! I’ve been staying up way too late at night for the much coveted me-time. Doesn’t do too much good to my health though…

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