Myself and my husband have 3 lovely boys, who are currently aged 2, 4 and 7. To say our house is noisy and busy is an understatement! We do have some methods to help us manage a household with 3 very active children, plus 2 dogs.
- Spending a lot of time outdoors – we try and spend some time outdoors most days. On the days where the weather isn’t too good, we have full wet weather gear to ensure we can still get out there and burn off some energy.
- Keeping active – on days that we don’t have any set plans, we try and get out for a walk or bike/scooter ride in the morning and we find that this sets up the rest of the day nicely. Otherwise we can have boys with excess energy charging round the house, fighting with each other or breaking things!
- Local free/cheap things to do – we find that days out as a family can be expensive, so we do a lot of free activities. Local parks, playgrounds, the Skate Park and Country Parks are all favourites of ours, even better if they are within walking distance. We do go to the local skate park first thing in the morning before the older children turn up though!
- Planning ahead – especially for school mornings, it pays to be organised when trying to get 3 young children ready on time. Every evening, we lay out the breakfast things, clothes/uniforms, ensure bags are packed and make lunches for the next day. We then usually have a set order in which we get ready in the morning to help manage the children’s expectations, we eat breakfast first, get dressed, teeth and then shoes/coats and out the door.
- Encourage independence in activities that are appropriate - Getting dressed goes without saying, but also our 7 year old is completely responsible for showering himself and getting ready for bed in the evenings, which helps with the bedtime routine immensely. (We do check he has cleaned his teeth properly though!)
- Extracurricular activities that more than one child can do at the same time- this eases the management of who needs to be where and childcare. We currently have swimming lessons that the 2 older boys do at the same time, although in different classes. We are planning on doing rugby next season, for the same reason. I am sure this will change as they get older though and all have different interests!
- Having ‘escape’ time – as we don’t have family close by to help with childcare, it can sometime feel relentless between working and caring for children. So we ensure that we can both let some steam off if it has been a particularly stressful day. I go for a run and my husband shuts himself away and plays his guitar. It is easy for us to do, and just half an hour can make the world of difference!