I partnered with Allstate for this post because it was such a great fit and really ties in to my message and goal here: mom life is busy, unpredictable, and amazing. All opinions are my own.
After our third baby was born, the most common question I received was “how do you handle it all?” And honestly, I don’t know. Being a stay at home mom is HARD. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Being outnumbered by children every single day is busy and messy and stressful and fun. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being a mom of three. I think it suits me….which is funny because I am an only child and am used to calm and quiet. But with three little ones my house is the opposite of calm and quiet these days. And I LOVE it. So today let’s chat about how it all goes down in my house every day and how I make it work. I’m the furthest thing from an expert, but some of my favorite things to read are just the day-to-day inner workings of people’s lives. I find it so interesting! I hope you find mine interesting too, haha!
Most days I just do what I have to do to get by. Please realize that for every pretty picture you see of my kids on Instagram (or even in this post!) it does not represent my entire day. We have our moments of bliss….but we have a lot of surviving not thriving moments too. I try to find the beauty in every day things and some days I’m great at it. And some days I’m not.
The two best things I can do to get our day off to a good start is to prep everything the night before and wake up before my kids. Does this always happen? Absolutely not. But when it does I am happier, more organized, and feel less frantic throughout the day. After the kids go to bed each night Jon and I spend a few minutes straightening up the living room, cleaning up any dinner mess that we didn’t get to earlier, and run the Roomba vacuum. Then, if it’s a school day, I make sure our bags are ready to go for the morning. Hudson attends a young fives program Monday-Thursday mornings. He doesn’t eat lunch there and snacks are provided, so all I have to do is make sure his backpack is ready to go with a change of clothes (I always keep them in there so unless he had to use them the previous day at school I just don’t touch them) his snow pants, hat, gloves, and coat during the winter, and a water bottle. If we are going to bible study, I have Belle’s diaper bag packed and ready to go too. I wish I could say I was super organized and had their clothes all picked out for the next day too, but I don’t. Maybe next year.
Then I try and wake up before the kids. This one is super hard. Especially since I’m sometimes up with one or more of them during the night. But even an extra 30 minutes in the morning to myself really helps me feel ready for the day. I make my to-do list, and check our schedule for the day too. Oh, and make coffee!
Once the kids are up it’s non-stop go go go all day long. Since we have a baby, we are at the mercy of her schedule most days. I know so many people say that their third baby is very “go with the flow”….and Belle is, to a point. I realized quickly that if she doesn’t get 2 solid naps a day she can easily ruin the day for the rest of us. So I try to prioritize her schedule and make sure she is home at nap times (typically 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.). But it doesn’t always happen. So, in between the kids getting up and nap time I make green smoothies for the kids, make breakfast that usually only Belle and I eat, and play play play.
The kids LOVE to do art projects and I love to watch them create. I found these no-mess paint sticks and they are a game changer! They can paint without destroying the house and it dries in less than a minute.
For me, the transition from two kids to three kids has been a little easier than the transition from one to two. Does it sound crazy when I say that? Usually people give me a weird look whenever I mention it, but it’s true! And it’s true because now Hudson and Sadie can play with each other (for short periods of time) while I take care of the baby. When Sadie was a baby Hudson had to entertain himself, and that is HARD for a 3 year old to do. But now that he is 5 and Sadie is 2 and a half, he likes to be “in charge” of his sister and play with her while I take care of Belle. It is so helpful! I typically bribe him to help me….usually offering him a quarter works! When Hudson is at school in the morning and it’s time for Belle’s nap, I typically bribe Sadie with some iPad time. Yep, I said it. I bribe her with technology. And it works.
While Belle naps I usually play with the big kids. We go outside or play in the basement or jump on the trampoline. Anything to burn off some energy! After she wakes up I have a small window of time before lunch if we need to run any errands. I hate running errands with all three kids so I try not to unless I have to! The biggest help for me when it comes to errands are grandparents. Once or twice a week either my mom or Jon’s parents watch the girls in the morning while I drop Hudson off at school and then go run errands or go somewhere to work and get some blogging done. When I had just two kids, Sadie would nap in the afternoon and Hudson would have “rest time” for about an hour. So I could always count on that time to get something done. But now with three, the girls’ naps overlap for only about 20 minutes or so in the afternoon. So having that morning once or twice a week to work and get stuff done is a GAME CHANGER for me! If you are a mom you absolutely NEED some alone time. I am lucky that I have so much help from family. If you do not have family near by I highly recommend finding a baby sitter you trust. Having just a few hours to yourself every week will make you a better mom, I promise!
Another game changer? Grocery delivery.
After everyone is up from their naps, I go in to survival mode. Some days the kids all play together for a little while and it is the cutest and best thing ever. I can do a load of laundry, clean up the kitchen, and prep for dinner. But some days they all need something or have to be touching me all at the same time. And those days are hard. We get through it by playing, reading, snacking…ANYTHING. Those are the days when I text Jon over and over asking when he’ll be home!
On days when the kids are cooperating, I try to squeeze in a little cleaning too. I wipe down our kitchen multiple times a day, but the other areas of my house are often neglected. If Hudson is in a good mood, I can sometimes bribe him (yes, I bribe a lot I guess) to help me clean. His favorite chore is to “dust the lines”…which means dust the baseboards downstairs for me. Sadie happily cleans with him and they make a game out of it. He’s having a hard time grasping the idea of chores or a chore chart. So we are going to wait until he’s in kindergarten to work on something like that. I’m totally choosing my battles here, and right now having official chores is not something I’m willing to fight over.
Don’t let these photos fool you. My house is a mess a lot of the time. See what I mean?
And yes, we all look cute reading together. But then this happens……
Just keeping it real for all of you. I guess I’m just trying to show you that I do not have it all together. That each day with three little kids is highly unpredictable. I have had to learn to go with the flow, and it hasn’t been easy. Usually I have a huge to-do list and actually do very little of it. That’s just how it is in my life right now. But it’s just a season. Next year Hudson will be in school full time and Sadie will be in pre-school. And I’ll have more time to get stuff done. But for now, this is how it is!
Then comes my least favorite time of the day. Dinner prep. This is when all of my kids choose to absolutely lose it. I try and combat it with a movie for them, music for a dance party, or sometimes send the big two outside and say “figure it out”. Everyone is tired and cranky, including me. I just do what I have to do to get by. And that is totally the theme of most of my days. Surviving, not thriving, remember?
Jon and I were talking the other day about how much I contribute to our household. It’s easy to think that since I am not going to a typical job every day, that I do not have as much worth. Thankfully I am married to an amazing guy who totally understands and knows the work that goes in to running our house smoothly and taking care of our children. He not only understands it, but values it too. And constantly reminds me that he couldn’t do it…..which makes me feel kind of like a superhero. We’ve talked a lot about life insurance and both agreed that I need coverage in case something was to happen to me. We both know that I could never be replaced…but if I wasn’t around to take care of the house and kids, who would? And how would Jon pay for that? Because you know that’s worth WAY more than his salary, am I right moms?
We have a life insurance policy to help cover the expenses if something happened to me. Life with three kids is crazy and busy, and it’s not always fun to talk about these types of things….but it’s so necessary. This article by Allstate has some great information about why stay-at-home moms need life insurance too.
And this is a great resource from Allstate about how much life insurance you might need now that you are a parent.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I’ll be sharing what a typical week looks like for us soon, so stay tuned!
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.