I have a very busy household. At any given time there is someone wanting, needing or requesting something. I am finding the hardest part of having 4 kids is balancing my time with each of them. I thought I would put together a list of things that make my life easier as a mom of 4.
The 5 things that help make balancing life easier with 4 kids and that I can’t live without are:
- My family calendar. I can’t live without this calendar. It has magnets and is stuck on my fridge. It has important dates, birthdays, appointments and the kids school activities and events. I would be lost without this calendar and although I have my cell phone with a calendar option, I will always go to the one on my fridge first. My absolute favourite one is Moms Ultimate Magnetic Family Fridge Calendar, this calendar costs around $12-$15 depending on where you buy it. They come out in September as the calendar runs from September of the previous year to December of the next.
- My iPad. Although I never ever thought I would get one, it has been a huge lifesaver. I was lucky enough to win a contest and part of the prize was an iPad mini. I can’t even imagine not having it now. I use it for everything. I use the calendar to help me keep track of social media engagements mostly and the odd appointment for the kids. I use it to read other blogs and keep up with the news. I also use it to write some of my blog posts if I’m breastfeeding the baby and can’t have the laptop on me. It also has been used to keep my older kids busy when I just need a few minutes to get dinner done or a load of laundry.
- My Cell Phone. Although I just recently changed from the iPhone to the Samsung S4 (of which I am still getting used to) I absolutely can’t live without it now. I use it for everything from checking e-mail on the go, keeping my appointments and schedule close, sending tweets, putting up Instagram pics and getting caught up on Facebook. I also use it for the obvious reason of getting a hold of people while I am away from home and as of next year keeping track of my oldest as she walks to school on her own for the first time.
- My Slow Cooker. If you don’t own a slow cooker or if you do own one and never ever use, what are you waiting for?? I have made so many meals in mine (I use it sometimes twice a week, even more when it’s hot in the summer) that I am almost due for a new one. It can make your day that much easier, you just set it and forget it. When I was working full-time before the baby came, I would put a roast with potatoes and carrots in it at 7 a.m. before I left for work and dinner would be done and ready when I got home. It is honestly one of the best gifts I was ever given. I have cooked spaghetti sauce, chili and even BBQ pulled pork and chicken it in too. I think I may even post a recipe or two for the slow cooker. My only advice is buy a decent one, cheap isn’t better in this case. I have a Hamilton-Beach 6-quart and I love it.
- My PVR. I know this may totally sound selfish but with a busy household and 4 kids doing something with school or lessons, I don’t very often get to watch my shows when they are actually on. I am so super glad for my PVR, when I get a few minutes (it doesn’t happen all that often) I can sit down and watch my shows (can’t get enough Coronation Street) without commercials and when I have time. The other great thing is that I can record by the series, so I will never miss an episode either as the box will take care of the details.
These are just a few tools that I use to make the chaos that I call life have some kind of organization to it, as well as trying my best to make things just a little bit easier on all of us. I am sure that one or two of these will probably make it onto some of your must have lists. What other things do you use to balance your life? What are some of the things you can’t live without?
We went to antenna only after Bae was born. I miss Coronation Street. I agree with your whole list. Especially the iPad. Got a new one for Christmas and I think I’m burning it out already.
It’s crazy. I never even wanted one and now I can’t be without it. Trips in the car, something to read when I am waiting for lessons to end, it has been a lifesaver. I think I could give up my PVR but I won’t give up Corrie. That is my Sunday morning coffee show. I watch the entire week. 🙂
I still have a Blackberry tablet from when I was a Blackberry lover, I will splurge on either a laptop or newer tablet soon. I really want a calender on my fridge but its stainless steel and magnets dont stick to it 🙁 Love the list Jessica, thanks for the tips 🙂
We can’t live without our family calendar (that is colour coordinated) and my cell phone – they are my life line! Great tips – thanks for sharing!
I cant live without those things also. Only thing is, I dont have a iPad I have a samsung Galaxy tab3 and it lives with me. If I need to edit while im out and all the other many tasks that it handles for me.
Is a PVR like a DVR? I need to use my slow cooker more often. I normally cook stews but I need to seek out more recipes my girls will enjoy.
LOL I love all your ways to balance life with four kids Jessica, they make perfect sense! Although I just have two kiddos I rely on pretty much all of the same things. 🙂
I do spend a lot of time on my daughter’s laptop (yeah my ex decided my 10 year old needed her own laptop) but I do love my Ipad when I can’t have the laptop on me. I would be lost without my family calendar but you can hang it on a wall as well 🙂
Thanks for reading! Calendar and phone are mine too. I do use them constantly. I will have to colour code next year now that I have kids in 2 different schools 🙂
I wasn’t really particular on what tablet to have and since I won the IPad that’s the one I use. I also have a Kobo Arc 7, but it doesn’t get used as much as the Ipad. My only issue is that I can’t use the Ipad when I’m out as it can only work on Wifi.
Yes PVR is the same as DVR. There are some really great recipes online as well as some great cookbooks. I love using the Club House slow cooker seasoning packs as well. They have some great flavours and they tell you what you need right on the package. I have really picky eaters and they always eat what I make in the crockpot. I have done everything from spaghetti sauce to roasts and sausages. It’s such a time saver.
I think the things I listed are great for all parents whether you have 1 or 10 🙂 Now if I could only organize the rest of my life! 🙂
If your children like playdates, you might want to check out http://www.PlaydatePlanet.com. It’s a free web and Facebook App that lets you plan playdates quickly and easily online. You can set up one account for yourself and add each of your children. You can post playdates to as many others as you would like, but by indicating how many kiddos you want to host, the playdate gets filled on a first accepted basis. That way you can avoid the endless games of phone tag or rounds of e-mail. Plus, the app lets you enter emergency contact info, features about your home (pets, pool, trampoline, etc.), any medical information you want to share about your child, and you can even share photos and video from the playdate with your friends. If you give it a try, we would love your feedback. Two moms created the site to make other parents’ lives easier so your blog post on this topic caught my attention!