Coping strategies for Summer 2016 with 4(8 Posts)
Me again. I am expecting ds4 July 2016. I'm due on the 8th so hopefully DH and I will get a few days alone with baby before the children break up from school.
However, once they are all home for 7 weeks how do I entertain 4. I love our age gaps but it does make things more difficult. We have ds1 11, ds2 10 and ds3 3. That will be their ages when baby arrives as ds2 & 3 have may birthdays. Ds1 is autistic.
I'm thinking of just getting ds2 and 3 a load of new garden toys for their birthday so at least we can get out in the garden over summer.
Can you break it into chunks so 7 weeks sounds less daunting? If it helps ours get 9 weeks here! I have 4 under 10, were 4 under 6 at one stage.
I have a week at home, a week where the older 2 do a summer camp (a sport they both do), then a week at home, a week where daddy is off, a week at home, a week at summer camp, a week daddy is off, a week home etc. So it is smaller blocks? Appreciate your options may be limited with DS1.
With summer camps we share lifts. Do you have local friends you could all book kids into and share runs? I have a 7 seater and regularly take extras so others do it in return for me.
I order as much school uniform online as I can and school shoes we go get first thing in the morning when shops are quiet.
We try and get out every day even if it is just to the local park with a picnic and ball.
Remember newborns sleep a lot in those first 6 weeks so you might get most of the holidays in whilst the baby is still at the sleepy stage although they feed often. At that stage they don't really care where they sleep. My DC4 quickly learned to sleep when she could, very different to DC1. Do you have a good sling?
I'd get together a list now of easier activities and easy meals from the cupboard or freezer. So that on days where it all goes pear shaped and you are sleep deprived you can get an idea of what you can do?
Could you send them to some holiday clubs some of the time? That's what my mum used to do to break things up a bit (I was one of 4)
Fresh and Throwingpebbles thank you for some great ideas.
I hadn't even thought about holiday clubs/camps but I know our local leisure centre do some clubs for the older ones. I'm going to look into that today as I know these things get booked up quickly.
I am going to get a sling for baby. I'm just trying to decide which is best. Quite like the idea of the close caboo.
I've actually asked DH to take the week off when the children return to school to help me get my routine in that first week. I will have three different places to get to in the morning. They are all within a 10-15 min walk from us so I'm planning on walking every day.
I used the sling heaps for DC4. I had a Baby Bjorn just because that is what I had had from DC1. I worked out it was very useful in the house too especially at teatime. The only thing I couldn't do in it was iron as the babies feet dangled at the wrong level.
Can you look at Tesco Delivery Saver? I do it and get 2 smaller deliveries a week. With 6 you are easily over the minimum order amount. I found I could see what was in the fridge and it only meant dealing with 3 or 4 days meals at a time rather than 7 at once. Twice a week we do large pot meals that last for 2 nights. Eg. Spag bol, chilli con, stew. So they are there on nights we get in late from activities and kids are starving.
Not sure if you breast or bottle feed but if breast feeding my way to get out of the house in the morning with 4 was - give the baby one side at 6/6.30am, baby back in cot, get me and everyone else up and dressed. Whilst kids ate at 8am give baby the other side and put it into pram or car seat so it was good to go at 8.30. Then it usually woke around 9.30 for another feed but I was home by then. My DH was back at work less than 2 weeks after DC4 and he is away 7.15-6.30pm. A friend whose husband works away all week has recently done this and she found it worked too.
Excel spreadsheet. One day in, one day out. Even if it is just the park. Split days into morning and afternoon. So day one in, morning x activity. Afternoon y activity. Day two out. And repeat. That way you can say we did this yesterday so today we are in relaxing and tomorrow we can do this. Make sure some if the split day sessions are chill out time. Both for you and the kids.
You don't need to share the schedule with them of course but it does allow you to feel some control and gives a rhythm to your days. Pack lunches for the days out and when you do the online shopping order make sure you include a set of snacks that live in the car, including a pack of bottled water. Put these in the car straight away and you will always have snacks and drinks to hand when out and about. Also keep a spare change of clothes, swimming gear and towels in the car for unexpected invitations and impromptu activities or accidents.
I didn't find it very hard when DC4 came along. They sort of fit in with everyone else. A sling is a very good idea, but then I found if I had the buggy (it was a double in our case) then baby didn't care whether she was at home or in the park or at soft play as long as milk came at the right time and a cuddle and sleep followed.
I think holidays will make it easier, my older DSs just wanted to be with the baby and were annoyed at having to go to school when everyone else was fussing over baby. Also we had a lot of visitors, and that kept the older ones entertained.
I hope it goes well for you.
I had dc4 just before the start of the summer holidays - I'm in Canada where our kids get 10 weeks off! My oldest went to a week's camp, then the two older ones went to stay with my granddad and his wife for a week. DH only took the first week off after she was born, and used it to take DC3 (who was 4) out. It was a looong summer, but we have a pool so we used that a lot. I sent the older two out with their friends a lot and we did some things together like the movies (baby slept through), museum etc.
We are now moving back to the UK just before the summer, and I'm dreading not having my pool! I'm not sure what I'll do with them all, even for the shorter time, that won't financially cripple us
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