A Mom’s Perfect Chaos

Syeita Rhey-Fisher
Syeita is a teacher, author, writer and advocate for educational equity.
Children And Families

Oct 30,2016

When describing what it is like to be the working mother of 3 children under the age of five, Ivanka Trump said it best, it is “the perfect chaos.” I couldn’t help but draw the similarities between Ivanka and I (albeit my wealth status and net worth is substantially less). I have two girls (ages three and one) and a baby boy that is 6 weeks old. As you can imagine, there are adjustments that need to be made each time you welcome a new bundle of joy to your family. These are 3 major things that many moms of 2 babies or more struggle with and the tricks used to address them…

I. Time Management: Trying to get down the timing and schedule for feeding, bathing, playing with my newborn and toddlers and work. Here are a few adjustments that have allowed me to manage my time better:

  • Making sure my toddlers have had time to run around and burn a lot of energy during the day so they sleep through the night
  • Turning bedtime into a game so that there is minimal resistance
  • Being consistent with routines so that they do them with automaticity (if I do something differently, they actually tell me no, and show me the right way…hehe!)
  • Allow my oldest (3 years old) to help in whatever way she can.
  • And follow some of these steps listed HERE to make more time when there is none professionally.

II. Sleep: If you have ever welcomed a newborn into your home, then you know that you sleep when the baby sleeps. Since the baby must feed a minimum of every 3 hours, doctor’s orders require you to sleep on the newborn’s schedule. Unfortunately, when you have one or more other babies, this is not necessarily an option. Many people don’t have or can’t afford help. If this is you… Here’s my suggestion: naptime for the other two at the same time the newborn is sleeping too, this is instead of at the traditional 12:00pm or 1:00pm time. But, make sure you have given them a bath, fed them and that there are some type of loud noisemakers sounding off if they wake up before you and move. All child gates should be up as well so they don’t wander.

III. Undivided Attention: All three of my children want it, demand it even. But giving my undivided attention has proven to be impossible (except when 2 out of the 3 are sleeping). What has been a lifesaver for me?

  • iPads– my 3 year old attends preK for only half day so I make sure I have the iPads charged up and ready for her when she comes home. She is captivated by educational videos and netflix kids movies.
  • Ice– the only thing that has worked to keep my teething 1 year old busy is crushed ice or popsicles. No ice or popsicles equals no peace…plain and simple.  

It is difficult to give advice because every baby, every child is different. But some of what I described above has worked for me and has kept me sane… so far.

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