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Problems/solutions for larger families - share!

(9 Posts)
supagirl Thu 04-Jun-09 09:46:37

Hi all

Dp and I have 4 kids between us and a 5th on the way with ages ranging from 1 - 10 years

I thought it might be helpful for others with large families to share their problem areas and also any helpful hints on dealing with some of the issues - maybe we could learn something....I'm sure I could!

My biggest problem is swimming. The kids love it, but I dread it as the whole process of getting in and out seems to take so long! How do others manage?!

I also struggle with toilet stops - how many times do they say they don't need to go, then 5 mins later they do?! On days out it seems we are always having to stop for someone to go the loo/have a nappy change.

Top solutions - I find it's really helpful to have a "seasonal" draw string bag hanging by the front door for each child. In the summer this contains their sunhat, sunglasses, spare long sleeve T-shirt and swimwear. In the winter it contains their gloves, hat and scarf. This has saved us so much time hunting for an missing glove or whatever when we are trying to get out of the door. As soon as they come in, those items go straight back into their bag.

To get quality time with each child I have found it helps to involve them in the household activities. If the older ones take turns to help prepare a meal for example - ie one helps with breakfast, 1 with lunch, 1 with tea, then they all get one to one time with a parent but the household routine doesn't grind to a halt in the meantime.

It would be great to hear top tips/top problems from others.......

SG

lljkk Fri 05-Jun-09 16:31:45

Your post intimidates the blank out of me, supagirl, seasonal drawstring bag? I'm afraid I leave mine to ferret thru an old cardboard box for gloves and scarves and mitts. Household chores with parents? Do you pay them or guarantee extra computer time? Coz mine need pure bribery to help out, alas....

About your swimming problem, can you not do them in stages? And/or leave the older ones to sort themselves out (with a dedicated bag for each, I mean).
Oh, and I don't take them all with me at once, my youngest (toddler) gets too cold so he rarely goes and the eldest is lazy so also rarely goes.

Swimmng lessons with a toddler to chase around while an emotional 4yr old wants me to watch him every second -- that's what does my head in. I do note that almost no one else ever brings toddlers along!

If I have a current large family dilemna it would be... er,
1. How soon can I leave the eldest two (2 year gap between them) alone all day long so I can take the others out places when we feel like it? grin

AND

2. At what age do they stop trying to compete over everything?

Blottedcopybook Fri 05-Jun-09 21:04:29

We can't take our DCs swimming because our local authority forbids an adult from being responsible for more than one under 4 at a time. It really sucks

My time saving tip? Even if I'm going to be home with the younger 3 all day, either DH or I make all our lunches the night before whilst making DH and DS1's. That means come lunchtime there's no faffing about, they can grab their own bag from the fridge and it saves me trying to organise lunch with three horrors around my feet.

alysonpeaches Thu 18-Jun-09 22:19:35

We dont have a seasonal drawstring bag but something similar. The younger ones obviously share a changing bag where there is a change of clothing also. The older ones have a PE type bag with an (oldish) change of clothing ready packed, and it always goes with us. The one time it doesnt someone pees themselves or spills juice down their front. These bags live in a box near the back door and I try not to forget them. The middle two have ready packed bags at nursery with a change in and it stays on their peg, in case of accidents.

I am debating whether to get them all a kagoule in a bag to add to it all.

I also have a potette and all the necessaries permenantly in the car. When I have a tiny baby the "necessaries" includes a disposable bottle and tetra pack of feed just in case.

alysonpeaches Thu 18-Jun-09 22:20:23

Oh, and I meant to say, I am way too cowardly to take them all swimming. Well done if you do!

CarGirl Thu 18-Jun-09 22:24:41

Our local pool says 1 adult per child under 8, plus dh refuses to be seen topless anywhere!

We have a hat and glove drawer which I then swap over seasonally to a cap/hat drawer in the summer.

Other thing I do is hang all the clothes up out of the washing machine straight onto clothes hangers (obv not socks & pants) and they dry like that either in the garden or the house, I don't iron either. Makes the washing mountain seem easier to deal with.

Mybox Fri 19-Jun-09 23:07:44

I have a basket with all the hats in so they just rummage to find them. Also have a good selection as there are always hats missing.

Also keep wipes & nappies in the car plus handwash and change of trousers for smallest.

aRLcat Fri 03-Jul-09 00:29:50

It's only reading this that has made me realise that I do a 'seasonal bag' too! In my case it's one for all children, stocked with suncreams, hats, sunglasses, nappies, etc. It's an evolution of the changing bag!

I could see the benefits of a winter one too (the hours of my life I've wasted searching for winter bits is unreal).

I find a '5 minute list' quite helpful in sorting my home out (it's not a house really, just a pile of clothes with a front door in the middle). When I do get a free 5 minutes I pick a task from the list (put bin out/wash up/rotate laundry/hoover a room) and it takes me a step closer to a nicer place to live.

christie2 Sat 04-Jul-09 19:22:04

I have 6 (oldest 12 and youngest 1 year) and we do things together like museums and parks. My trick is to set out expectations 0r lower them), like we will go to 2 sections of the museum, pick them in advance, then agree the next time we do 2 others so no big fights while there.

What else, we do a friday night movie night (rentals or free from the library) and call it "junk food night" with snacks and a movie. The kids love it and look forward to it.

What else? I have to confess I don't know what a seasonal bag is. I have instituted a "special box and shelf system to protect loved things from the lack of privacy. The kids put their "valuables"into their special box or on their shelf and it is untouchable by the other kids. I hated my siblings rifling through my stuff.

I have a lot of storage so I have shelves for each kid and when people give me hand me downs I put them on the shelf and I go to it and bring out the clothes as they grow.

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