It takes me about an hour to get everyone ready to go somewhere. Therefore, whatever I am going to go and do had better be worth it. I have to really need something, want something, have to get out of the house, have specific people I want to see or whatever my reason may be. It is probably not going to be "just because." Not until the twins are a little older, at least.
Before I can go anywhere, I have to pack the diaper bag: diapers, wipes, pull ups, changes of clothes (at least one for each baby, depending on how long we will be out and maybe one for DJ too), bottles, formula, baby snacks, DJ's snack, a couple toys, blankets (depending on the season and weather), sippy cup, possibly child sized cutlery, Desitin, wallet, phone, sunglasses, keys, sometimes coupons/vouchers...and always Neno Bear (DJ's woobie). In the winter time...let's not forget hats, mittens, boots, jackets and snow pants for all!
Then I make sure all three little ones have clean butts and clean clothes on. I check on the dog and turn off all the lights. I may have to cover the giant stroller and bungee it on to the back of my Yukon. I bring the diaper bag and anything else we are taking along and load it into the truck. If I am home alone with the three little kids I corral one baby in the living room, bouncy chair, swing or somewhere else safe and carry the other baby to the car and then run back into the house as quickly as possible to grab the second baby and DJ. If my husband and/or my two teenagers are coming with, the getting into the car logistics are a little easier, but really it is just more people and more stuff. Away we go.
I also make sure to get as much into a trip as I can. The less total trips out of the house, the easier it is on me. A perfect example was three months ago. The babies were due for their six month check ups. I decided to make all of our family appointments for one day. Some might think this is crazy, but in my opinion it was so much better. We started out the day with five dentist appointments at eight o'clock in the morning. I had my husband go first so he could get to work as soon as possible...again, crazy, but the hard truth is we are a family of seven on one income. Daddy's gotta work. After the dentist, around ten o'clock, we went over to the pediatricians where the babies had well baby checks and my two older boys each had an appointment for something specific to each of them. We went out for lunch together after those appointments and then we had a little bit of time to kill so we ran into Walmart and the grocery store for a few things we needed. After all of that we went to the eye doctor where me and the two older boys had appointments at around three thirty or so. I believe we left there at five-ish. It ended up being a long day but I found it easier than doing it all in three or four different days. I have also been blessed with pretty well behaved children. Thank goodness. Pretty sure I ordered pizza that night, though. Who wants to cook after all that noise?
These pictures are from the babies nine month check ups, but it gives you a glimpse into what it can be like...
I gave up trying to get them to not tear up the paper roll within a few seconds. Ah well. As long as I kept them from rolling off the doctor's table, I was good. They can only wait patiently for so long. And most of you have been in a doctor's office...you can't see in these pictures, but my other three children are in the room, too. Think about it.
I found a perfect example of the ridiculousness that can ensue while bringing multiple children out and into the world to go somewhere. This image is from www.ninjamomblog.com. I recently found her blog and I think she is great.
|Image from: http://www.ninjamomblog.com/p/other-writing-and-pr-info.html#.UfLtCI1r2a9|
Too true! I can't even begin to tell you. I laughed so hard when I saw this the first time. Thank you, NinjaMom!
I have also come up with a new way to decide who gets my grocery shopping business, if I have to bring all three little kids with me, now that the babies grew out of their car seats with carrying handles. I go to my favorite grocery store first, Cub Foods, and drive around their parking lot, checking in all the cart corrals until I find one of those shopping carts with the kid car on the front. Those carts have TWO baby seats with buckles in addition to the fun car. If they do not have one of those kinds of carts on the lot, I leave and drive to the next grocery store and drive around their lot. This is the only way to ensure maximum success and safety getting them all from my car and into the store. It hasn't happened yet, but if neither store had a cart like that available, I would either call it quits and go home, or if I really needed to, I could drive to yet another grocery store.
This is where it gets a little heavy. I am adding a link to a video I saw last night that someone had shared on Facebook. I sat in silence, with my headphones on, and watched it while tears trickled down my cheeks. I almost turned it off when I realized exactly where it was going but I decided to force myself to sit through it anyway. It is fake. It is portrayed by actors. It is not dramatized. In real life it happens too often and sometimes it is good to have a reminder. Watch at your own risk.
Some days can be hard or stressful. There have been times when I am driving home from somewhere and think to myself. "Oh crap, we are out of milk." or that I really wished I had something or another. But if I am not willing to take every single child out of the car and in with me to a store or anywhere else, I am NOT going to go! Absolutely nothing in the whole wide world is worth the risk of leaving a child in a car. I don't care about the weather or the location or the circumstances. It can be such a pain in the ass to haul them all around but I just have to deal with that. I will never do it. And I probably won't ever watch this video again. My heart can't handle it.
Parenting is joy and sacrifice. Pleasure and pain. I take one day a step at a time. It's the best I can do.