How Erika Does…

First up, I hope today’s post is more like a group discussion.  I am NOT an expert on this subject, but I’m hoping we can all share something (or a few things) we do at home that keep things running smoothly no matter how many children you have in your home.

Maybe you make your kids sleep in their clothes for school the next day to save time in the morning?  Or you give your kids a monthly chore they have to do daily?  Whatever it is, please let’s share some things we do at home that helps keep our homes in order.

With children, the second I get something mastered they’ve moved on to a new stage.  Do you guys ever feel like that?  I’m contantly changing up what they should be doing at home and trying to give them more responsiblity.  

These are the things that keep being a mom to three a little more manageable.  (I realize those of you with four and five kiddos are probably laughing at me right now.  I’d be laughing too if I were you.  Weigh in!  We need your tips!)  

A few of my tips:

*Homework-I know every class is different but both of my big kids have pretty flexible homework calendars.  They have a date to turn it in but can complete it whenever they’d like.  We try to do as much homework as possible on Monday afternoons.  #imnotaprocastinator  I just know every Monday we’ll be doing homework for a bit.  The rest of the week we get to be a lot more laid back in the evenings because the majority of their work is done.  It helps our homework situation tremendously.

*Drop Off-When everyone walks in the door after school, it can go from squeaky clean to tornado-like chaos in under three seconds.  The kiddos are responsible for everything they’re bringing in the door.  {Do I have to remind them of this?  ABSOLUTELY!}  But I have to step back and let them do it or they never will learn.  They must put all their stuff away before snack, drink, or anything else takes place.

*Laundry-You guys know this is my struggling area.  🙂  I fold clothes downstairs, place them in piles, and then the kids are responsible for carrying them to their rooms.  The big kids can put the majority of their things away.  I do most of Bowen’s for him, but it’s such a big help to have them carry them up.  This was a GAME CHANGER for me.

*Pick Up Before Bed-Before it’s bedtime, we do a big sweep through the house.  Everyone pitches in and we get the house ready for the next day.  With everyone helping it doesn’t take long.  I think sometimes as a stay-at-home-mom I get caught thinking I should be doing things for them.  I have a friend whose kiddos are a couple stages ahead of mine and she is constantly telling me to make them do things or one day they’ll come in after high school and still be requesting I make them a snack.  The point is…no matter what we do-work from home, stay-at-home, work outside the home…our kiddos need to be pulling their weight.

*Write it Down-If I’m worried about forgetting something, then I write it down.  When it comes to kid parties, items to send to school, field trip money, etc….I write it down so I don’t forget.

*Give Yourself Grace-No one is perfect.  God created YOU to be the wife and mother you are.  No one else is more perfect for the job.  Remember that.  We’re all gonna mess up, but we’re trying our best and that’s the important part.  

Just a little proof I do NOT have it all together…this picture was taken the day after Tab had knee surgery.  Tab was resting in bed.  I let the kiddos play outside, told them to clean up, and then they came in for dinner.  I didn’t think about checking the yard for toys.  The next morning as I was driving the kids to school I saw Bowen’s blue car IN THE STREET and then halfway down the road was our pink basketball!  #momfail  #weallhavethem

Something to make that little confession sweeter is the fact that Tab is a bit over the top about our yard.  He is on the meticulous side when it comes to the front yard so knowing our toys were out all night IN THE STREET just makes that even more crazy.  Don’t worry, I sent a “I’m SO SORRY” text to my neighbors.

What about you?  Please share your best motherhood/keeping things running smoothly tips with us. Or if you have a good mom confession you’d like to get off your chest, feel free to share that too.  🙂

A few other topics we’ve covered over the years…
How Erika Does The Pool

Happy Monday!  XO

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  1. 2.13.17
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    We clean as we go! I love it when my kids get out puzzles/games/crafts/projects/etc but as soon as they're done, they clean it up and put it away. I know it's a no-brainer idea…but it's one that keeps my house nice and tidy (and yet they still play and have fun!). We play, we clean and then we move on to something else. And I laughed when you told me about your stuff all over the street ;)!

  2. 2.13.17
    Unknown said:

    I've learned that picking up before bed is a GAME CHANGER! Nothing better than waking up to a clean (well most of the time semi-clean) home!

  3. 2.13.17
    Unknown said:

    We make the kids earn screen time with chores. Laundry, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping the back porch. They all know how to do those things, and it's a win-win for everyone in the house! 🙂

  4. 2.13.17
    McFarland Family said:

    Ugh every time we get a routine of cleaning, chores and life and new sporting season starts which includes a completely different schedule. I have a 8 year old and 13 year old and I'm pretty pumped if we get home before dark. So honestly we just wing it over here. I remind the kids to do laundry and clean up their rooms but most night if they want to live in their own nasteyness…well that's ok too….sometimes. We take up the slack on the weekends

  5. 2.13.17
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    Especially with 1 kid, I think I easily fall into the "I'll just do it" trap. Just last year I had him start helping me with unloading the dishwasher (thinking it was going to make the chore longer, not shorter). And he was AWESOME at it. And now I love when he's in the kitchen with me emptying the dishwasher!

  6. 2.13.17
    Bailey Bryant said:

    I only have 1 18 month old but crazy enough, that has made our laundry more daunting! I start a load every night, move that to the dryer the next morning and then start a new load to be dried once I get home. We don't seem to get backed up that way. I love picking up every night before bed because I HATE walking into a thrown about house after school!

  7. 2.13.17
    Britt Hensley said:

    I love this! I've started folding in the laundry room using the tops of the dryer and washer, or it will sit in piles. If it's in my way, I have to put it up! Great post about life outnumbered. #Tribeof5

  8. 2.13.17
    Megan @ Letting In The Light Blog said:

    Don't feel bad. My kids are constantly leaving random toys all over our cup de sac. And my sweet neighbors just put them next to our garage door when they find them. The inside of our house we have a clear organized routine. Outdoor toys and bikes are a hot mess! Love reading everyone's comments!

  9. 2.13.17
    Laura said:

    As the Mom of 4 kids I have quickly learned that you have to have it together! We have systems for everything! Whose turn to sit in the front, who sits beside Mommy at church, etc… A few things that help me out a whole bunch…
    1. When I am out of something I go on my Walmart Grocery app and add it to my cart. This is especially helpful for the kind of things you don't buy on every trip (foil, baggies, deodorant, etc…)
    2. I keep a small 4×6 notebook in my purse. I use it to jot down things I don't want to forget. My to do list, what I signed up to bring to a class party, notes from teacher conferences, etc… When I am finished with whatever I wrote down, I tear out that page.
    3. One load of laundry every day. I am blessed with a laundry chute (the best thing EVER). I have my 4 baskets under it and sort immediately when I notice a pile there. Wash one load every time a basket is full.
    4. I menu plan every week. I just make a list of 5-6 meals and have the ingredients on hand. I TRY to meal prep 2 meals while I am preparing the easiest meal. Like, roast a chicken while making pasta sauce & taco meat all at the same time. Three meals ready and one big mess keeps us from having to scramble and/or clean up a big mess every night.

    Just a few things I do to keep my sane.

  10. 2.13.17
    Jessica said:

    My kids have homework every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. What was a game changer for me was having them do it the second we walk in the door. Last year I felt bad and would let my oldest play first but then you get into the dinner time rush and it was a nightmare. This year has been much easier just getting it over with, even though my husband gets a free pass on the helping with the homework…which, by the way, is not my finest hour. 😬 #keepyourpencilstoyourselves #poopisnotasightword

  11. 2.13.17
    Loren Lately said:

    My older son really wants a bird. I told him if we are able to fill this vase with kindness stones "aka mini m&m's" we can get a bird. Every time Evan is doing something kind for others he can add to the vase. He is working really hard at it but there is a really big catch. Every time he is mean to his brother, the little brother gets to eat one of his m&m's from his jar. I swear it is a win win for everyone 🙂

  12. 2.13.17 said:

    Good for you for starting young. I was a bit late on that and it bites me in the butt.. but I'm training them, my house is the same way 3 minutes after school and I look around and think. . Are u kidding me and my kids are 13, 10, 9!!!
    They really can do more than we think. My oldest does her own laundry, my middle cleans her bathroom and the baby well according to the 2 oldest girls #hegetsawaywitheverything #baby # only boy #mammasboy I realised they were right so he empties the dishwasher and helps clear the snow and he loves it!

  13. 2.13.17
    brookerichardson said:

    I need to give my kids more responsibilities. I do so much for them bc a lot of times it's faster but then they get taught nothing and just want me to do it! Ugh. This is an area I need to step up my game and start having them help more.

  14. 2.13.17
    Tara Usher @ Mommy in a Nutshell said:

    We are discussing having a third so I need all of your tips!! We try to never walk through the house empty handed. I pick up as I go and there is always a cup that should be in the kitchen or laundry that should be upstairs. Plus, I am a serious list maker. Everything is on a list or I would forget it all.


  15. 2.13.17
    Megan said:

    I'm going to come back here later and read all the comments!! In preparation for #3 I've started working on some more responsibilities for the boys. I've got Baker washing himself (with supervision) in the shower/bath. I'm hoping by July this will be a task he can do alone!! And Fisher follows suit bc he wants to be a big boy too. I'm so ready for them to have a few more responsibilities. I know it's work now but I'll appreciate it in July! Same with potty training!! I pushed through when I had sooo much morning sickness bc I know July will be easier if fisher is fully potty trained!!

  16. 2.13.17
    Lindsay's Sweet World said:

    We really need to work on giving our kids more responsibility. Granted, they're only five and two, but it's never too early to start, right?!

  17. 2.13.17
    Lee Family said:

    I'm super picky about the yard and have found all sorts of treasures out there after trusting the kids to pick up. Moms of 3+ kiddos are in a special (outnumbered) club and I love reading about your tips. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  18. 2.13.17
    Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said:

    Our culdesac constantly looks like our garage threw up all over it. haha. There are always random balls, bikes, helmets, gloves etc scattered throughout the culdesac. 😉

  19. 2.13.17
    Kathy said:

    My two are grown, but I want to encourage you mommas to keep at it. Teaching the kids how to run/manage a household is an invaluable skill. You will meet with resistance, and often it is easier to just do it yourself, but one day they will thank you. I am in the midst of recovering from my 2nd broken ankle/surgery in 9 months. The same kids who hated chores and housework have willingly made trips home to cook and clean to help me out. I highly encourage you also "train" your husband how to manage the house in case you are out of commission.

  20. 2.13.17
    Beth said:

    I'm sure most moms would confess that they need to give their kids more responsibility, myself included. But one thing I started this school year and has gone wonderfully is that I allow my 3rd grader to pack her own lunch the night before. I sold it as "Look what you get to do now!" and she was excited! I eyeball her lunch before she sticks it in the 'fridge to make sure it's a balanced lunch, but she's in charge of making choices that she will like the next day. Its been SO NICE to have that daily chore taken off my hands! I wish I would have done it a yearsooner!

  21. 2.13.17
    Unknown said:

    I have 4 kids and my first three are significantly older than yours (14,12, 9). Last summer vacation I started my greatest idea ever and it's still going strong! Every night before bed, they have to turn in all devices, in order to get them back the next day after school and homework, they have to do a chore. My floors are swept and mopped daily, bedrooms are vacumed and it has helped out SO much! My youngest is 2,so she doesn't have any chores yet, but she loves helping me do other things that don't happen by them trying to get their ipods back.

    As far as homework- they get 30 minutes of free time after school and then homework gets done.
    They all make their own lunches and once they come in the door after school, everything gets put away!
    I do laundry because I'm OCD and I actually like doing it.
    I can't really think of much else, I work really hard to ensure they are self-sufficient, independent little humans!!


  22. 2.14.17
    Angela Ellingson said:

    Love this! Such great ideas! Love the stuff in the street overnight picture! Lol

  23. 2.16.17
    Tara G. said:

    We have a spot accessible to all the kids where they sort their laundry after they're changed so I can grab a basket and wash. They're responsible to fold and put it away.

  24. 2.19.17
    Dana said:

    Just had a few your kids have spelling tests or math facts from school? Mine do and it takes FOREVER for them to write them out while I call them out to them. Any suggestions on how to make this not so stressful? Thanks 🙂