When people hear that I have 6 kids, they always ask me how I manage them, after which they want to know what my days are like. Here’s a peek at what a typical school day looks like for me.
7.00 am: Send 2 of them to school with Kate along for the ride. The other 3 are either on school bus or public bus.
7.30 am: Feed Kate her breakfast and have a quick bite as well (usually her leftovers).
8.30 am: Take Kate to the playground. We rotate the playgrounds in our neighbourhood, if not she gets bored of them.
|She loves sand play.. who doesn’t?|
9.30 am: Take Kate home for a shower and our helper settles her down for her nap at 10.30.
10.00 am: Either breakfast with the hubs and running of errands, brunch with friends or yoga.
12.30 pm: Feed Kate her lunch and play with her before the rest comes back.
1.00 pm: Cook lunch for the kids if helper is busy with housework or if the kids have specially requested for something e.g. #4 will say “Mummy, can you make me baked rice tomorrow for my lunch when I’m back from school”.
1.30 pm: Pick 2 of them up from school if they are not staying back.
2.00 pm: Have lunch with whoever is home while keeping an eye on Kate. We’ll chat about their school day and it’s usually this time straight after school when they are bursting with things to share with you.
3.00 pm: Pick #1 from the bus-stop, fix her a salad and sit and chat with her about her day. The rest of the kids will either be doing their homework, playing with Kate, reading, or wasting time doing what-not. We have a no TV, no computer/ipad rule on school days.
|#1’s salad: Tomatoes with baby mozerella|
4.00 pm: Off to pick #4 from school after her CCA (the 3 youngest have their CCAs on different days so it works out perfect for picking them up). If Kate follows me, she will play with #4 and her friends in school for awhile before we head home. But if #3 is free, she will take care of Kate and I’ll go alone to pick her. I’ll take the opportunity to take #4 for one-on-one time somewhere nearby where we’ll grab a bite and chat while she does her homework. On days where no one stays back and I’m home with them, we’ll either be hanging around the kitchen making some snacks like ice lollies or their own culinary creations (read: peanut butter and cheese sandwich with blueberries squashed in between), going over to my sister-in-law’s place for tea, or the kids will jump into the bathtub and have some water fun with Kate if the weather is really hot (which is most of the time!).
5.00 pm: Watch Kate while the helper prepares dinner. The younger ones usually play in the garden with her or sometimes we all head off to the playground. If anyone has school stuff for me to sign or requests for supplies or other issues for the next day, I’ll get it settled.
6.00 pm: Dinner time! The older 2 come back late twice a week on CCA days, so they’ll eat by themselves later.
|Dinner is at 6pm everyday|
7.00 pm: See that everyone has their shower and are settling down to prepare for school the next day.
7.30 pm: Remind #5 to brush his teeth and get into bed. (Yes, I have to remind him everyday, if not he’ll read past his bedtime).
7.45 pm: Pick #2 from the bus stop as it’s dark and she’s tired after a long day at school, and it gives me a few minutes to chat with her about her day. Warm up her dinner and sit with her for 5 minutes to finish our conversation.
8.00 pm: Read to #4 before she goes to bed.
8.30 pm: Read to #3 before she goes to bed (they are in separate rooms and have different bedtimes).
(Nowadays, Kate doesn’t want the helper to settle her to sleep so I have to do it. Some days, I fall asleep while doing that so the bedtime stories for #3 and #4 doesn’t happen)
9.00 pm: Check if #1 or #2 have any other things they need me to settle or discuss.
9.30 pm: Exhausted. Unwind and relax by blogging. In. Peace. I have never liked watching TV or surfing the Net, so previously, I used to read or sleep. Now, by blogging, I am able to sieve through all the thoughts swirling in my head and by putting it all down, somehow it clears my mind and I know what to focus on.
So, this is what I do everyday, day in day out. Honestly, it is quite enjoyable as the 5 older kids are between the ages of 7 and 15 and we can have proper conversations about things they learn in school or issues they are facing. When they were younger, a typical day revolved around feeding them, showering them, changing diapers, putting them to bed, cleaning up spills, breaking up squabbles, carrying them when they are cranky, disciplining them, yelling at them. Sounds chaotic? Imagine doing all of that on 4 hours of sleep every night, and being pregnant half the time. Sometimes, I don’t know how I did all of that without running away. Hmm, I think there WERE many times I wanted to run away! So yes, life is great now. Well, if I didn’t know the bitter, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the sweet right?
Here’s what a typical Saturday of ours looks like.
To read how having 6 kids has changed my life, click here.