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Routines with lots of kids

(10 Posts)
OhWhatNoooow Sun 13-Jan-13 23:11:05

I have 5 DC and really struggle to stick to an after school routine. It just never seems to work out. I'm usually on my own with them, so its up to me to cook dinner, do homework with them, serve them dinner, bath them, and put them to bed. DH comes home and then helps with the cleaning. How does your after school routine work? How do you do homework with the bigger ones and supervise the littles? How do you put them all to bed?? Its usually abit chaotic rather than calm.

lorisparkle Mon 14-Jan-13 14:32:18

I have only got three DS so slightly calmer here. teatimes is 5.30pm. table cleared and wiped after tea and colouring activity or similar on table. I do reading and homework with ds2 whilst ds3 causes merry hell. then put ds3 to bed leaving older 2 to play. then ds2 goes to bed then i sit with ds1 to do his homework then he goes to bed. they don't have daily baths and I do feel guilty ds1 doing his homework so late.

timetosmile Mon 14-Jan-13 14:35:45

OP what are their ages?
I only have 3 but I have to say that I recognise the frazzled mother calling in that opening post!
All I can say is that it does get so much easier as they get older smile

OhWhatNoooow Tue 15-Jan-13 02:03:16

They are 10, 8, 6, 4, and 8 months. Its just that i dont know wether I'm coming or going sometimes.. If I had a routine to follow it would be easier, but I cant even make one!

timetosmile Tue 15-Jan-13 10:10:39

Are you also having to haul the littlies about after school while you take the older ones to dance/football/swimming?

Can you ask the older 2 how they would like their evening to work i.e. when they would like to do their homework (before/after tea?)
Can you bargain - if you lay the table for me then you get to choose desert/ choose what DVD to watch?

Do you work outside the home too or SAHM?

OhWhatNoooow Thu 17-Jan-13 21:51:06

I'm a SAHM, I used to do loads of after school stuff but now the DCs dont really want to do much. The older 2 have a couple things but thats it. I just cant seem to figure out how to make the evening work for everyone. Even if they choose to do homework at said time, i may not be able to help them as I'm getting littles ready for bed, that tyoe of thing.

Does anyone have a good working routine they can share?

lia66 Thu 17-Jan-13 22:03:36

I have 6 dc's but only 5 at school. My afternoon runs like this

3.10pm leave house to collect ds 9, dd 7, and dd 5 from primary school in village. I also have 21 mth old dd in car

3.20 dc's in car, drive 3 miles to ds 15 school in city

3.50 home.

Monday and tuesday no after school clubs so kids free to do what they like. Primary school dc's get homework on a Friday so are able to do it over weekend.

ds (15) is allowed 2 hours of xbox time per day, taken after his hw if he has any.

5pm ish dinner, I wash up by hand after. Maybe we'll play a board game if the toddler doesn't stand all over it

6pm bathtime for younger dc's

7pm, ds 9 is allowed to read in bed for a while, he generally puts his light off before 8.

7pm take 2 girls up to their shared room, story, dd 21 mths comes along and potters in their room or sits and listens to story. kiss then lights out.

take 21 mth dd into our bed where i feed her to sleep. This could take ten minutes or an hour.

spend couple hours watching tv mn'ing with dh if he is home.

bed around midnight

KateShmate Thu 17-Jan-13 22:05:00

I have 5 under 6 so I know how demanding everything can feel without having a routine.
I'm a SAHM too, so before I go on the school run I set out their comfy clothes to get changed into straight away when we get home. They also go and wash their hands and sort out lunch boxes/book bags/ school letters and then sit and have a drink and snack at about 3.45/4ish.
Normally they want to get on playing with things so will do that for a bit and when they get bored I will usually get arty bits out - my 5 are all girls so love to do crafts - normally they will sit for a good hour doing colouring whilst I'm doing dinner.
(When they were little I used to have them in their highchair in the kitchen with my whilst I was cooking!)
Mine finish dinner around 5.30/5.45pm (DH gets home around 5-5.30) and then I encourage them to sit and read books, do puzzles or watch a DVD.
Bedtime prep takes quite a while so I normally go upstairs about 6pm to set out PJ's, and generally get everything ready for bedtime.
6.30pm we go up for bath and bed - routine that can take anything up to an hour, but 9 times out of 10 they are all in bed by 7.30.

I suppose it isn't a 'routine' as much, just having everything organised - I find that otherwise I am just running around and nothing gets done because no one knows what they are doing.

With your DC who have H/W - just wondering when you cook dinner? Before now, I simply did not have the time after the school run, to cook a whole dinner from scratch so started cooking after DC's were in bed. Me and DH would eat it hot, and then DC's would eat it re-heated the next day. It made things so much easier as only takes about 5 minutes to re-heat everyones dinner, yet they are still getting a good meal.
The time between getting home from school, and dinner time, could that be your older DC's HW time? Maybe say that you want all HW done before you eat dinner so that you know you can all relax and watch TV together?

OhWhatNoooow Thu 17-Jan-13 22:25:08

Thanks for posting. My DC get home at 4:30, and the oldest at 5:30. I cook during the day usually, unless its a quick grilled chicken or eggs etc. If I let them have a snack when they get home then they wont eat dinner until much later. But I cant feed them straight away its too early. Another issue is that they watch dvds straight away and then dont want to stop to eat dinner or do homework. Is it ok to include the older 2 in a routine or let them decide when they want to do what?

Lets say they come home and watch tv for a while. If dinner is at 5:30 should they do homework first? If I wait till after then it get abit chaotic for me to help them with it. The hard part is going up for baths. If I go up with DC 4 and 6 for bath, what do the big ones do meanwhile? It takes so long to get them ready for bed and into bed, that by the time I'm finished I send up the older ones to bed. Do you do bath, teeth then straight into bed? How do you put each one to sleep individually without everyone else disturbing?

The older 2 want to watch tv while im putting the littles to bed, but then the littles come down because they want to watch too.

And if I give them chores, where do I fit that in?

Gosh, so little time, so much to do!

KateShmate Fri 18-Jan-13 22:24:55

Maybe you could say that older kids can't watch telly when they get home, but have to do HW, then tea and whilst you are bathing little kids, they can watch their own telly? Maybe say that as they are older they can have a longer amount of time?
I know it's hard when they argue about TV - but maybe it will be good for older ones and younger ones if they have to respect each others TV time. If it becomes a problem, maybe you could start taking away TV time for anyone that plays up?
Do any of yours still share a bath? Could they all go up at the same time to have a bath - kind of like a conveyor belt system!? This is what we do and it does take time before to lay out each childs towel and PJ's!
I have 5 but only have 3 different age groups as we have 3YO triplets, a 5YO and 6YO. My older girls go in first whilst triplets are allowed to take books into their bedroom to look at. Triplets are already undressed and lining up when its time for older girls to get out.
It's hard to explain, but our bed is right in front of the bath in our en-suite; so I sit and do stories for little ones whilst older girls are in the bath together, but still in full view. We have done stories in the bathroom though!
I then get older girls out and leave them with their PJ's whilst putting younger ones into bed. (Do you see what I mean by conveyor belt now! Ha ha!)
I can't give any tips on chores - I know what you mean by lack of time and to be honest I don't have the time to watch over them doing chores.. is easier to do it myself!

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