People often ask what it’s like to be a mother to four young children, my answer, hectic! I am constantly busy, from the second I wake, sometimes until 10pm in the evening, cooking, cleaning, washing, tidying and sorting. I like our house to be neat & tidy and have a few OCDs like washing, if there’s enough dirty washing for a load of laundry, well… it can’t just sit in the laundry basket, can it?
We always seem to hit a point mid-August when everyone is exhausted, tired and grumpy (that’s just me!) and needs a few days off just relaxing at home with no plans.
Mr T returned to work after his back operation last week, and we decided to have that quiet week at home to adjust to our new routine and to continue toilet training Amy. I have been worried about how Amy (2yrs) would react to sharing Mummy, but she has been absolutely fine. Amy turned a huge corner with toilet training too, we have had no accidents for a few days now, luckily as she refuses to wear a nappy!
Quite often we have several things happening at the same time, yesterday for example. James (5yrs) and Lily (4yrs) were upstairs playing on James’s computer, Amy(2yrs) was playing with a princess castle in the living room, and I was preparing dinner in the kitchen with Ava(3 months). Dinner was nearly ready and everything was going to plan, when I remembered that I needed to check if Amy needed the toilet. I walked down the hallway to the living room, but Amy wasn’t there, so I headed upstairs to find her. In the bathroom I found her and Lily, “Its okay Mummy, I am helping Amy”, Lily was helping Amy to wash her hands. She had spotted Amy in the bathroom using the toilet, and had stayed with her.
Amy likes to be independent, and will often wander to the toilet without telling me, which is rather strange as Lily at 4 years still informs me now when she needs the bathroom! I try my hardest to spot when she is about to embark on such a mission, but with a newborn its easier said than done! I absolutely love to see them helping and caring for each other, it makes me really proud (and maybe a tiny bit guilty that they are doing ‘my’ job).
I have been worried that James and Lily would be bored, with stay at home while we were toilet training Amy, but then Yesterday, they all decided to ‘help’ me change the bedding on our king-sized bed. I watched them try taking the pillow cases off and talked them through putting the new ones on, I helped them to put the fitted bottom sheet on, and I watched as Amy bounced on the bed for a while, she had such a big smile on her face. In reality the job took three times as long, but they absolutely loved it.
I think that’s when I realised, that by involving them in the ordinary things, encouraging them to work together is probably more important than having activities planned all the time. Including them makes them feel valued and loved, and I love helping them learn.
It reminded me of a saying too;
I stood back and just observed them play, and for the first time I noticed how much they involve each other in their play, asking each other for help, and even helping Amy without being prompted. They do have disputes and tell tales, but on the whole they are a good little team, and I’m proud to be part of it. They do make my ordinary, extraordinary.
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