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15 Things Only Parents Of More Than One Child Would Understand

15 Things Only Parents Of More Than One Child Would Understand

Children are truly amazing, but being in charge of more than one at any given time can be a genuine challenge. If you are a parent of more than one kid, you know what was difficult with one can snowball into quite an adventure with multiples! But you’ve gained some real insight into parenthood on your journey. You go you! Here are a few things parents with more than one kid learn through the experience:

1. You know calendars make for sane parents

When your kids hit the after school activity age, thing get busy in a hurry. Your daughter has ballet, softball, and karate while your son needs to get to his music lessons, basketball practice and his volunteer project at the animal shelter. Add all your regular shopping needs and the PTA meeting you’re hosting, and you have got to keep a ton of stuff organized. The solution? Break out the planner. Whatever calendar system you use, you love it and know that its the key to the land of sanity.

2. You realize sleep is a precious commodity

Keeping up with one kiddo can really drain you. This is especially true when your offspring are very young. Add a toddler to the household of a newborn and suddenly parents start to forget what sleep can feel like. But oh, when they find a moment to snooze it can be so wonderful.

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3. You understand the value of a giggle fest

While the kids may make you tired, they are also so darn cute. The silly things they do can induce a big laugh which can lead the whole group into bursts of laughter! As your kids and you are laughing hysterically, you realize just how awesome your life is.

4. You know how to prioritize happiness over task lists

With multiple kids, you simply can’t get everything done everyday. In order to stay clam and happy, you’ve learned how to determine what things are most important and what things can wait for another day. While the trash really needs to find its way to the dumpster, that pan from dinner really can wait. After all, tonight is simply better spent watching Toy Story with your daughters.

5. You are filled with joy when your kids play together

One of the best parts of having more than one child is seeing them interact. Sure this can seem negative when they are pulling each other’s hair and playing tag in the aisles of the grocery store, but in those moments where they are sharing their favorite toy and laughing together at the silly cartoon, you know that this is what its all about. Nothing can fill the heart faster than watching two of your kids be kind to each other.

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6. You know how to work the relatives for babysitting

When its your turn to go to a grown-up event, you see a perfect opportunity to squeeze in some grandma, niece, or cousin quality time. These little bundles of joy won’t be little forever, so why not pull in some trusted relatives to enjoy the journey. Plus, family baby sitters tend to come with a nice discount. Score!

7. You love buying in bulk

Trips to the grocery store become more complicated with several kids. Fortunately, buying in bulk decreases the number of trips dramatically. Who wants to spend time walking through the laundry soap aisle when you could be having princess tea time with your kids?

8. You realize little people can create a lot of mess

Even though you may only have a family of four or five, the amount of dirt and mess generated can get out of hand quickly. Just because your kids are small that does not mean your cleaning regiment is small. But, that’s ok. Cleaning up a bit seems like a small price for all the laughs and joy of taking care of this family.

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9. You’ve got packing lunch down to a system

When the kiddos reach school age, they need some lunch to take with them. When you’ve got multiples to prep, you’ve got to make sure nothing gets left behind. To get everyone ready, you’ve got the lunch boxes ready and a tried and true system to fill them.

10. You drop some knowledge when your single child friends complain

For every problem a parent with one child has, a parent with multiple kids gets those issues compounded. Trouble getting the house clean, try multiplying that by twice the number of kids. Issues with scheduling play dates, try doubling the headache. Single child parents are cute, but they don’t even know. Fortunately, you are here to help them out.

11. You know it gets easier by the second or third child

With your first child you were stressing out about everything from getting the bottle to the right temperature to what kind of music he or she fell asleep to. By kid number two or three, you’ve got all that stuff figured out. You know what is worth your mental energy and what isn’t.

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12. You love going to the park

The kids get to run around, and you get to sit and supervise. Sure you may be called in to repair a boo boo or provide a snack refuel, but really you just get some time to relax while the kids get rid of their pent up energy. Your relaxation time is made all the sweeter knowing they will sleep well tonight.

13. You know not to play favorites

That one time you gave your daughter a slightly bigger piece of candy than your son made this situation very clear. You spend time making sure each child understands they are loved and equally special. You can see the stress playing favorites can cause, and you work hard to prevent it.

14. You buy toys in multiples

If one child gets a toy, its important that the other child receives something as well. So long as the kids preferences for toys are similar, the best choice is to buy in multiples. This keeps everyone on an even level and makes your life in the toy department a lot simpler.

15. You love story time

Reading stories to your kids is the best. Not only do we get the opportunity to snuggle, but watching their imagination take flight while engaging with literature is truly special. If you had your way, you would have story time all the time. Bonus- the kiddos often nap after their literary adventures!

Featured photo credit: gellert via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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