Me and my three sweet kids...November 2010A good friend of mine asked me a question on Facebook the other day and I thought that here was as good of a place as any to answer her question.
She asked what advice I might have for taking three kids out and about ALL AT ONCE all by myself.
First, I must explain that each of us mom's have challenges. For some of us going from one kid to two blows our minds! For others of us, going from two kids to three makes our head explode! I would fit into the second category.
Also, I was alone for the first 6 weeks that I had three kids. But that's not an excuse, I think three kids is hard. I think that their ages have a lot to do with it, but it is also completely manageable. I've been doing it for 8 months now and I have not lost a kid or lost any hair!
So here goes, when taking my kids out and about ALONE I:
1. Always get the shopping cart before getting the kids out of the car. This makes a huge difference. That way I can snap each one in at my own speed. I always look for the carts (or buggy's) that will hold 3 people. These are always at Wal-mart and Target and some grocery stores. If they don't have three people carts, put the car seat in first, the next youngest child in the basket and have the oldest hold the side. That way you always know where they all are at all times. Same goes with the stroller, don't let any kids out until you have the stroller ready
2. Always have snacks in the bag. You just never know when you'll have to pull over on the side of the road to nurse. You never know when the dressing room at Target will be you "mother's lounge". You just never know.
3. Always make sure the potty trained kids go to the bathroom before leaving the house. This is HUGE! It's not fun to drag three kids into a nasty public restroom to help wipe a dirty bottom. Trust me, been there, done that!
4. Always let the big kids help with the baby. Like, my buddy is the paci finder. My Princess holds the little man's hand. My kids love to help and so giving them an assignment is something they love. It also lets them feel like this baby is "their" baby.
5. Have fun. No matter what you're doing or where you're going, have fun. People are going to look at you like you have two heads because you have three kids. Let them look. You're doing what you love and what you know is right. You're blessed because you get to be a mother of such beautiful Children of God.
It might be hard at first, but once you find a system that works for you and your family, it gets easier. This goes for 2 kids or more. You just have to find what works for you.
Tell us, what are things to do to ensure a smooth outing when you have more than one kid with you?