29 Mar OUT WITH SIX KIDS, ON-TIME, OR THEREABOUTS
The exercise of getting out and about with any number of kids can feel like purgatory and you might think the more kids you have the more gnashing of teeth you’re in for.
Some ask, ‘how do you do it?’
‘What?’ I ask
‘Get out of the house with six kids?’
I run a tight ship! is the answer, not because I’m a crazy militant, but because I like to chill and ultimately value my mental health. Therefore, a solid routine and a good system have become my non-negotiables.
Whether it’s getting yourself, one kid or a hoard off to school, you’ll need your logistics cap on, when it comes time to move.
Here’s a sneak peek at our family’s movements in a morning.
It’s the little things that keep you from getting out the door, like shoes! It’s always someone’s shoes!
Everyone’s responsible for taking off and putting on their shoes – at the SHOE RACK.
That doesn’t mean that a pair won’t get left behind at your destination, but it sure as heck means they’ll arrive – they might be on the wrong feet… but that’s just detail, that we don’t have time for, and we need to get moving!
THE NIGHT BEFORE…
If you have a truck-load-of-kid and you don’t use the night before to get yourself sorted, you ’re already sunk and there ain’t nobody gettin’ outta that door on time.
Uniforms clean and ready and lunch boxes prepped and packed in the fridge. These will ensure there’s no morning faff-about. Your systems will be serving you well.
Dresses on, shirts buttoned, laces tied!… it will be move move MOVE! special compensation needs to be made for the child who is evidently incapable of lining up his shirt buttons.
Breakfast options are slim at this restaurant, it is what it is. Breakfast’s eaten and bowls in the sink. If you make a mess mop it up or tell mum about it, and get those teeth brushed!
Discovering a shortage of breakfast supplies will take your morning routine to Defcon 1.
All hair’s brushed but braids and ribbons are luxuries and unless they’ve slept in them the night before, are non-essentials and will make this mumma late! Let’s move!
GET CLEAN AND DRESSED
House scattered with random pjs and undies? not if they get ready in their bedrooms!
‘Mum! where’s my other sock!?’
‘In your room! Move!’
All kids are scrub-a-dub-dubbed at night. Morning bed-head?.. a bit of mummy-spit and a quick brush will do the trick.
Pillow fights, cubbies, craft and lego are fine by me, but everyone knows it all gets packed up before this family bus leaves for school.
Toys packed up, pjs under your pillow and bed made? Good one kids! Let’s keep this MOVING!
Having one of your kids old enough to help with laces and hair ties is a winner and can be the difference between a dry-shampoo and a shower for mum.
No morning devices for any of the digital natives under this roof, there are things to be done and help is needed. Move!
Bathrooms are forever entertaining and toothbrushing is waayyy too exciting when there’s more than one kid brushing at the same time.
A one-kid only bathroom rule ensures toothpaste and ‘sword fights’ are kept to a minimum in this household.
I call it out. Literally.
Library bag!, show and tell!, swimmers!, laptop!, sports shoes!, softball mitt!, guitar! STAT… they know to grab it and pack it as this is a once-only announcement and a lesson that is learnt fast.
Then, it’s bags on backs and straight into the car…
And we’ve done it. We’re ready to go now… there’s the usual elbowing and squabble to get aboard that family bus…. but before long, we’re moving.
I drop them off at school and give my self a high five as I return home and enjoy my medication, I mean.. hot coffee and some peace and quiet, before I start my PAID job.
I’ll enjoy this cuppa and by this point it couldn’t come soon enough.
It will give me the energy required to turn around and head back to school – for all the essentials they left behind in the car on the first lap (and to quickly re-dress kid#6 who I forgot to remind it was sports day).
Mum of six fabulous kids and foster-mum to numerous others. Event manager, doula, childbirth educator, lactation counsellor, owner of Sydney Birth Support, Mamaway Advocate and an encourager of all mums out there giving it their best crack!