Having 6 kids is quite a busy thing. At this time we only 1 activity going for the kids, but with naptimes & meals it can be overwhelming for someone to take the kids.
We have been quite fortunate to have made really good friends and those friends offered to watch our kids so Jase could take me to Hawaii with him. (a free trip is hard to pass up)!
Before leaving I made a Great Big Plan to include everything that Jacki needed to know.
Breakfast – I kept our schedule of oatmeal 5 days a week & cereal for the other 2. I have quite a bit of frozen fruit to add to oatmeal to make it so yummy!
Lunch – Most kids have lunch at school, but I did buy extra bread and sandwich supplies for the littles that would be eating at home.
Snacks – I purchased a ton of snacks….things I normally wouldn’t have. I had lots of extra fruit, crackers, dried fruit & treats.
Dinner – I had quite a few frozen meals made already that could be easily reheated or thrown in the crockpot. I made sure it was all easy to make & easy to eat.
Nap times, Bus Schedules & special events were all included on the BIG Dry Erase Board.
I set up many playdates, so Jacki could get a break…or atleast have LESS children.
I tried to supply rides to Karate, Activity Days, and playdates from other friends, so that Jacki wouldn’t have to drive kids anywhere to make her life a bit easier….she still has her kids that she is looking after as well.
I have posted a lot on this in the past. But I find that if I keep the routine of expectations the same when I am gone as when I’m here, the kids behave better.
Kids receive tickets/points/etc. for doing their responsibilities: homework, showering, brushing teeth, chores, clean rooms & clean bathrooms. I fill a treasure box with treats, toys, books, privileges, school supplies, basically anything that I find that the kids would like. They use their tickets to “purchase” the items they want. Kids love to do extra chores to earn more tickets.
I find that Mommy store is quite effective for getting things done and also for helping kids to learn about paying for items they want.
With Babysitters, friends watching or grandparents…I notice that kids like to push limits and see what they can get when mom or dad would normally say no. I like to write our Family Rules and go over them again with the kids & whoever is watching them so there isn’t any confusion. I find that the kids listen better and are happier when they know what to expect.
Our rules include:
Morning Routines – kids dressed and ready to go to school
After School Routines – getting homework done & chores before dinner
Dinner Helpers – the kids are in charge of getting side dishes prepped and ready & also help cleaning up cooking dishes.
After Dinner Routine – prepping kids to go to bed
Bedtime Routine – MOST IMPORTANT! I know that kids can be happy while they’re at school, doing homework, playing and eating. They tend to miss Mom & Dad most at bedtime. Jacki was amazing at keeping our routine: scripture study, singing and prayers.
Kids loved Jacki & Scot, they really took care of our kids. We have really grown to love them & we really appreciate their friendship.