Being a mom of three is madness. It is absolutely chaos most of the time. With three kids ages five and under, you can pretty much guarantee that, at any point in time, one is crying; one is hungry and one wants to be held. But, as I trek on this bumpy territory, I sometimes learn new ways to calm the chaos.
Maybe they will work for you? Maybe you’re already doing them? Maybe you have a better idea?!
1. Choose your music wisely.
I find, pretty often, that we are in the car when meltdowns begin. The kids want snacks; they’re thirsty; their sock is bunched up in their shoes, and there’s not much that I can do to remedy the situation while I’m driving. One thing that I’ve learned is to play specific music that seems to calm them down. I’ve tried classical music like “they” say, but that didn’t work at all. What does work is slow, acoustic music (think Ed Sheeran, Lauren Diagle, etc.), I even have a playlist of piano backings of popular songs, and a few of the Piano Guys’ tracks. This doesn’t always work, but it almost always helps, at least, calm everyone down a bit. Sometimes, it only calms me down, but I’ll take what I can get.
2. Prepare the night before.
With my husbands busy work schedule, most of the time I’m hauling the kids back and forth by myself, and, doing so, can make for hectic mornings that end with me being frazzled and sweaty. So, I’m always getting as much prepared the night before. I pack lunch boxes, get sippy cups filled, and have everything sitting on the counter that doesn’t need to be in the fridge, ready to grab and go in the mornings. I put what I can in the car the night before and it makes mornings incredibly smooth. This helps me to A) Not feel like I’m forgetting something and B) Not actually forget something. Each kiddo also has their own lunch box or small backpack that we take with us if we’re going to be in the car for a while. They hang in the laundry room, so they’re easy to grab, fill up and go.
Even on mornings when we don’t have anywhere to be (hello, summer break!), I often times will still do a handful of things the night before, just to make morning a little more relaxing. I typically wash sippy cups, fill them up with milk and have them in the fridge, ready to go! I also lay out a (first) breakfast for my kids, because they are ravenous when they wake up, and I’m not trying to make breakfast at 6AM! This usually consists of muffins, a granola bar, etc. Just a little something to hold them over to real breakfast (aka, cereal once mom is caffeinated).
I also put a new load of laundry in the washer and a new load of dishes in the dishwasher before I go to bed every night. That way, they’re both ready to go in the morning, or afternoon, whenever I feel like getting to it.
3. Pick out clothes for the week.
A while back, I bought one of these handy closet organizers for my 5 year olds room. Since she can dress herself, we pick out her clothes together on Sunday nights, so that she can wake up and start getting dressed on her own. That saves me the hassle of finding everything during the morning rush and it lets her get a head start on getting ready. This also prevents the full on meltdowns (most of the time) when deciding what she will wear that day. I don’t know about you, but my 5 year old is obsessed with boots and she does not care if it’s 90 degrees outside, she wants to wear them, so picking out her clothes together gives her some satisfaction, even if she’s not getting to wear her boots.
4. Simplify dinner.
My Crock-Pot is usually the only reason we eat dinner every night. I throw my stuff in the Crock-Pot during nap time and I don’t have to worry about trying to entertain the kids while simultaneously cooking a meal that will feed all 3 of them, plus myself and my 6’8 husband (he eats a lot).
On days that I don’t use my Crock-Pot, I will either use my Express Pot or cook a freezer meal. With a husband who’s typically still at work for dinner time, there’s nothing that I loathe more than trying to cook and deal with screaming kids without any help. Making dinnertime simpler was a game changer for me.
5. Get Up Early.
Yeah, I know. You thought that one perk of being a stay-at-home mom was going to be sleeping in, and, as you’ve probably already realized, that is incorrect. Up until a few months ago, I let my 2 year old wake me up bright and early at 6AM. The problem with this, is that by the time he makes it to my room, he’s already demanding snacks and drinks before I’ve even wiped the sleep out of my eyes. So, I started getting up before him, at the lovely time of 5AM. Now, I’m not saying that you should also get up at 5AM, but getting up before your littles makes a HUGE difference. Even if it’s just 15 minutes. Even though I’m not a morning person, and I don’t *like* waking up at 5AM, I actually look forward to having my morning coffee in peace- sometimes outside on the porch watching the sunrise or sometimes reading my bible. That quietness is sacred to me now.
6. Do Laundry Every Day. All day.
I wish I could say that I don’t ever get behind on laundry or that my husband always has his favorite shirts clean, but that’s simply not true. However, I’ve found that laundry is just a constant thing. It never ends. I don’t like schedules that much, so doing so and so’s laundry on one day, and someone else’s laundry on another day just doesn’t work for me. Instead, I am just always doing laundry- moving room to room, in the order of most importance (that means mine is always last). I always start the day with laundry and end the day with a new load in the washer. Even if I don’t get around to folding the last load, I get the new load to washing!
7. Clean at Night.
If you walk into my house between 9AM-6PM, it will typically be a disaster. You’ll find Cheerio’s and spaghetti all over the floor, toys all over the living room floor and pots/pans from dinner still on the stove. That’s just how we roll. But, after dinner every night, the kids and I clean up. The kids clean up the toys in the living room while I clean up the kitchen. After the living room is picked up, the kids work together and clean up their rooms, and since we do this *almost* every night, there’s usually not much of a mess and they can knock all of this out in less than 30 minutes with minimal crying on their part and minimal yelling on my part.
Then, I vacuum the living room, sweep the kitchen up and mop the floors before everyone is tucked into bed. I mostly do this because I have a hard time relaxing and watching T.V. if there is crap all over the floors and I live for my Netflix & chill (with Halo Top) date every night. I also hate waking up to a messy house (it still happens, though).
And, that’s all I’ve got, folks!
What little things do you do to help calm the chaos??
Comment below or on Facebook using the hashtag #CalmTheChaos!