Things I’m loving/not loving in my life this week.

Hi lovely readers,

I thought it would be fun to write a recap of my week! Here goes!

What I’m Loving this week:

The school holidays. The relaxed mornings are what I love the most about the holidays. Every morning this week after breakfast, we all head out for a morning walk for an hour or so. The house is left, dishes undone, hair unbrushed. All that can wait until we get back. If I got all the stuff done before we left we would never leave! After our walk we have a warm cup of tea and something to eat and I notice the children play really happily for the rest of the morning into the afternoon because they are feeling refreshed from the fresh air and sunshine and relaxed from getting out excess energy.

Today is Willow’s 2nd Birthday! Wow I can’t believe my baby is two! Yesterday we had a fun day out in the city eating lunch and buying presents and celebrating Willow! Of course, everything she wanted was Peppa Pig! We had lunch at the mall and afternoon tea at the botanical gardens.

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Botanical gardens vege patch

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Listening to a busker while eating lunch

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The girls found some friends in Toy World!

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Peppa pig birthday girl!

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What I’m reading:

Fast Food Genocide by Joel Fuhrman. M.D

A book I borrowed off of my parents. It certainly makes you want to stay away from fast food!! It’s scary to learn about what processed food can do to your brain!

Fast Food Genocide : How Processed Food Is Killing Us and What We Can Do about It - Dr Joel Fuhrman

What I’m Watching:

I can’t put down Sarah’s YouTube vidoes from ‘Our Tribe Of Ten.’ Her channel is my absolute favourite! I’m learning so much mum wisdom from her and am enjoying watching her beautiful family.

What I’m Eating:

This week I turned a Dahl soup recipe into a casserole type thing by adding sweet potatoes, white potatoes, broccoli and spinach to the original recipe. It was so yum! I didn’t take any photos though!

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I also made my fav sweet potato and apple brownie recipe this week. Most of my children love this too and it didn’t last long.

The recipe for this brownie is in my ebook Yes You Can Lose Your Pregnancy Weight

Challenges I’m facing:

Luke’s back keeps getting hurt at work. Eight years working in Aged care have really taken it’s toll on his body (lots of lifting people and rolling large uncooperative people around in bed). His back is getting worse and it’s looking like a career change will possibly be necessary. He does graphic design and web design on the side but the business is very slow. If you have a website you need designed he has a very unique style CLICK HERE to be taken to his website. CLICK HERE TO GO TO HIS AWESOME FACEBOOK PAGE!!

I have also gained a couple of kilograms slowly over the past month or so. I like food and in general I think I have just been eating too much. It’s enough gain to make my jeans feel really tight, so I will be trying to lose this weight again in the upcoming week.

Coming up…

Term two of the school year is coming up on Monday for us. This term I have Arrow at home homeschooling. I’m very pleased to have him home again. He is studying grade 2 and doing really well. We have a good plan worked out and a gentle approach to home education so not to get overloaded. Francis and Savannah are still in school for a while longer before we work out the right time to begin home educating them again too.

I hope to film a home school day this week and put it up on our YouTube channel.

Thanks for reading!

Leave a comment and don’t forget to like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram.

Blessings, Peta xo

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Saturday Morning Routine. With 5 Children ages 8, 7, 5, 3, & 23 months.

Here is our current Saturday Morning routine. Every second Saturday Luke works. So I’m on my own with the children one Saturday and on the Saturday Luke has off we often go out on a day trip somewhere.

Right now we wash all the children’s hair on a Saturday morning and I also like to have a slow morning and cook pancakes for a bit of fun.

I also included what the children get up to and how I keep them busy while I get all the morning jobs done.

7am – My alarm goes off – I like to sleep in more, but…those kiddos need supervision or I wake up to all sorts of ‘fun’ that they got up to while I was asleep…anyhow, I turn off my alarm and fall back asleep!

7:38am – I’m awoken by Savannah (5) who wants me to help put her dressing gown on.

I get up and get Willow out of her cot, she has spilled a bit of milk on the carpet left over from her overnight sippy cup. We clean that together.

8am – I serve Willow and Holly a little bowl of strawberry yoghurt to distract them so I can have a shower. They sit up at the table and eat and I get a shower in and wash my hair.

I’m super excited to get dressed this morning because I picked up some new comfy clothes last night from late night shopping at Myer. I took a photo to show you. I love this short gray tee by Princess Highway with flower embroidery near the shoulder and these black leggings from Miss Shop basics. Yeah, I’m aware that leggings are actually underwear – I even wrote a song about it back in my punk days with my electric guitar! But I love wearing leggings at home. Sooo comfy and stretchy and much less frumpy than tracky pants – which I used to wear way too much!

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Hmm I need to clean that mirror!

I also drink at least two large glasses of water when I first wake up. It helps me to feel refreshed and gives me energy.

8:30am – I head to the kitchen and get started on making pancakes. I make two batches of pancakes one from the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook for me and one recipe that I love from Taste.com for everyone else. I use half white flour and half wholemeal spelt and I reduce the sugar. The kids love these.

It’s challenging getting anything done this morning because Willow is tired from our late night last night shopping and is being cranky. I make myself a green tea and have this while I cook.

9.45am – All the kids are done eating and I finally sit down with my own pancakes. I have a little coconut yoghurt on mine and a smear of fig jam. It’s SO good!

10am – Bath time! I run the bath and wash Holly and Willow’s hair. The two older boys (8 & 7) have showers all by themselves and wash their own hair – I finally taught them how to do their own showers the other week. And it has really been a load off me!

10:15am – Savannah is in the bath now and I wash her hair. I remember the meat and get out some chicken thighs to thaw out for a casserole I’m planning on cooking for tea.

10:20am – I begin what I call my ‘morning routine’ which is just a list of jobs that I need to get done every morning. I put on a load of washing, take my supplements and wipe down the benches. Savannah wipes down and cleans the table, with a bit of help.

The boys work on their chores enthusiastically because when they are done they can have a screen turn.

Arrow does Transformers app on the tablet for 30 minutes and Francis watches a LEGO making YouTube channel and builds LEGO with the tutorials. Savannah and Holly watch My Little Pony on Netflix and Willow heads out into the backyard to play.

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11am – I notice that the dishes are still piled high and floors desperately need sweeping. But I’ve been running around after Willow for a while now washing her hands and arms three times because she kept finding left over wet paint outside from the other day. And I changed her nappy once.

I decide to call the morning work done and head to my room with a cup of white tea. I spend some time in prayer (something I try to do before the children wake up but this does not usually happen on Saturdays) and I put on some basic makeup.

11:40am – both boys are finished their screen turns and are looking for something to do. I set out a find a word activity for them.

My eldest son enjoys academics and will happily do things that resemble school at anytime. He has a go at it. This find a word activity was supplied to us from Education.com.

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Learning reading skills will be a blast with this word search while pretending to kayak down the river. For more fun, visit Education.com’s activities, worksheets and more!

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The worksheets all look really well done. I’m planning on printing out some preschool worksheets for Holly (3) next week.

There it is, our Saturday morning routine.

Thanks for reading,

Please leave a question or comment. Would you be interested in me doing a routine type blog post on my own health routines that I use to keep feeling fit and healthy? I’m thinking of a video or written blog post…or both? Let me know what you prefer, reading or watching. Thanks!!

Blessings, Peta

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel too HERE

Buy my Ebook Yes You Can Lose Your Pregnancy Weight

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Spirit Led Problem Solving.

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My mind is not the mathematical type. However at times I see life as a wife and mother as one large puzzle. A puzzle filled with many different shaped pieces and facets. Each area of being a wife and mother needs to fit together in some sort of organised manner, clipped in place like a 1000 piece puzzle.

Meal planning and preparation being one piece of the puzzle, keeping up with dishes being another,  then there is the laundry piece, finances piece, quality time with the family piece, showering piece, hair cuts piece, homework piece and even little things become puzzle pieces like the getting out the door on Sunday mornings piece.

There are many problems that need to be solved when you have a family – and even when you are single! Just the problems to be solved seem to multiply when you have a family.

How can I organise my life so all the puzzle pieces fit together and my life runs smoothly in an orderly way and not in chaos?

I pray. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed with a certain area in my life I try to remember to bring it before the Lord. The Holy Spirit gently leads and guides me on my path. For example, our bath times used to be very chaotic and exhausting. For years we tried to give all the children a shower or bath 3 nights a week. It was always right at the end of the day after tea when Luke and I were tired. The tea dishes often didn’t get cleaned because it took so long to bath every one. It would take a good hour or so to get everyone bathed and dressed for bed. Often Luke did this completely on his own because I have been either pregnant and feeding babies for so much of the last several years. Bedtimes were often pushed back later then we would like and it was getting to the point were ‘bath nights’ were causing us a great deal of stress.

I prayed to the Lord about it. I was instantly reminded of how during my childhood I only had a bath once a week. This may sound gross to some but it was just the way my parents used to do it. The only time I bathed more often was when I had been out with my dad doing sheep work on the farm or if I had gone to the beach. I showered more often when I reached puberty but throughout most of my childhood – one bath a week was it.

With this in mind Luke and I decided that we would do the same. We also decided to change their wash time to the morning so not to upset our already busy evenings anymore. In the morning (not too early) is when I’m feeling most energetic and bright and fresh.

So now every Saturday morning I give all five children a shower or bath and shampoo their hair. I will also check their toenails and clip any that are getting a bit long. During the week our two youngest daughters get sticky hair so we often give them a midweek bath – but I now do it in the morning after breakfast when I have the most energy.

Making a little change like this can really lift the organisation of our household and make it run smoother with less stress.

Beating the overwhelmed feeling all comes down to prayer and problem solving. If I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed by my day, I need to try to relax, take a step back and look at my problem from a strategic perspective.

What is it exactly that is causing me stress? It could just be the dishes that were left from the night before that is causing me so much work and setting my mornings back. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your life or job at home as a mum then just tackle one problem at a time. Lean on the Holy Spirit and ask the Lord for wisdom. He cares about the small details of our day and if you take time to listen, He will reveal to you the solutions to your challenges. No problem is too big or too small for our Lord Jesus.

Here are some areas which I’m feeling aren’t working as well as they could be and need some work and orgainisation in our house.

  1. Dishes being left overnight
  2. School lunches
  3. Snacks
  4. Dining table mess left overnight
  5. Clutter on the kitchen floor and under the table left overnight
  6. Mornings (I keep sleeping in!)
  7. My Bedtime
  8. After school (homework, chores AND piano practice AND tired children…)
  9. Breakfasts
  10. Gardening/watering plants and lawn
  11. Car cleaning
  12. Compost
  13. Sunday mornings/little ones during church

Slowly slowing I WILL become organised!!

Are there any areas in your life and homemaking/mothering that are bothering you and causing you stress at the moment?

I pray that you can leave overwhelmed behind and find the organisation and peace you are looking for.

Blessings, Peta xo

Get my new ebook Yes You Can Lose Your Pregnancy Weight HERE. 87 Pages of tips, tricks and encouragement. Also included is 10 nourishing recipes and a copy of a whole week of exactly what I ate to lose weight.

Spending One On One Time With My Five Children – Vlog.

Hi lovely readers!

In this vlog I show you the butter cake that I love to make for the children.

I make the ‘Brown Gravy Stew’ from the new Trim Healthy Table cookbook.

I show you my ‘chore alarm.’

I unbox an order from Koorong bookstore and explain why I decided to get the children more meaningful gifts for Easter this year instead of just chocolate.

Lastly I take you on a mum and son date with almost 7 year old Arrow and share with you why I believe a good relationship with your children is so important.

Blessings,

Peta xo

Feeling Lonely As A Stay At Home Mum.

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It sounded simple. I was invited out by some friends for tea in the park. Come and join us they said, it’ll be fun. But I just couldn’t and I knew they wouldn’t understand. I had a baby, actually two babies really, under the age of two. It had been a long day. It was summer and taking the babies out in the searing heat wasn’t sounding appealing. Also, it was my little boys bedtime. Sure I could have taken him out past his bedtime. But not this day. He missed his nap and boy was he cranky! He needed to go to bed and taking an overtired toddler and a baby out at bedtime to me spelled chaotic disaster. I knew he would screech and pull me this way and that and I wouldn’t get to sit and eat, let alone get a word in with my friends. Then there was the baby. I would need to find somewhere at the park to breast feed him. Plus I would have to pack the pram, sippy cups, nappies, dummies, blankeys. And my baby was starting solids soon which would mean I would have to find a place to feed him at the park, probably sitting in the pram, and it would go everywhere. Plus how would I heat the food up while I was out?

With all of this swirling through my new mummy mind. I told my friend,

“sorry I can’t make it.”

No one in my friends group had started having babies yet and I felt very alone. I got married at 18 and had my first baby at age 20. They tried to include me. But after a few night time invites out by our friends to cafes, movies and eating out I knew that my life as a mum would be very different now.

I could let it get to me and vent about my lack of freedom since becoming a mum and live a miserable lonely life. Or, I could embrace my new role as a mum and move on to bigger and better things. Find new friends who also have children and change the way I go out, perhaps to play grounds instead of cafes.

I’m happy to report that I chose the latter.

Eventually. 

It did take me a few years before I moved on and embraced my new life as a mum and left my past child-free life behind me. It took an attitude change and the Lord gently guiding and directing my heart. I began to see my life at home as a mum in a whole new light.

I was listening to Vision Christian Radio this morning and they were chatting with a past radio host who had left on maternity leave to care for her baby. She admitted on air to feelings of postpartum depression and said she had been feeling lonely.

She spoke about the importance of reaching out to other new mums around us and to check in on new mums at our church and in our community.

It got me thinking about how hard it is sometimes to deal with the loneliness of being at home all day every day with babies and young children. It really can be challenging and lonely. I know too well what it’s like to want to reach out to others in the community around me. And to pray that others would reach out to me.

I have some mum friends who I love very dearly and we share the same values and hopes and desires for our families. When we catch up with a long chat and cup of tea it is like my soul and entire being has been deeply refreshed. But our times like this are few. Between homeschooling, appointments and day to day schedules, months will go by before we can have this kind of conversation again.

I decided last year, after we sent our older children to school that I would take the my little girls to the local playgroup. I wanted to get to know some local mothers from my town, not just for my own sake, but I felt like I wanted to minister to the hearts of young mums who may need some encouragement.

But it hasn’t been easy! I’ve had to fight somewhat, just to get there! Between my five children catching sicknesses and having to stay home, to appointments, other life things that pop up and sometimes, just plain “I’m exhausted and need to stay home, ” I haven’t actually made it to many play groups! This term alone, I have gone to 1 in the past 6 weeks!

What I am trying to get at is, sometimes even when a mum really tries her hardest, it is still sometimes almost impossible for her to get out to things.

This is one of the reasons I began blogging over five years ago. I found encouragement in the words of others mothers blogs. I read them for hours and felt like someone out there understood what I was going through.

The online community back then for me was a God send. I believe He put these virtual mothers online for me at that exact moment, for me to read words of hope, friendship and understanding.

So, what makes me continue opening up my laptop and blogging away, is the thought that other mothers out there who may be feeling lonely, like I was, will find some encouragement here. If I can hardly make it out of my house to offer my friendship and a listening ear to other mothers then at least I can do it right here on this blog. Lately I have really being enjoying Youtube too. I have found some really great stay at home mother’s on Youtube and have been learning a lot of wisdom from them. Lately I have really been enjoying watching Sarah from ‘Our Tribe Of Ten.’ I put one of her videos below.

 

So don’t feel bad if you have been feeling lonely while at home with your children. Even if you have just had a baby that you have been longing for a long time for. It is perfectly normal to feel some loneliness as you adjust to life at home with a baby. The more you fight against it though and wish for your old life back the worse you will feel. So look ahead. Having a baby is a massive blessing and can be a real joy! Look for joy in little things throughout your day and take one day at a time.

Thank you for reading!

Please leave a comment and connect! I am here if anyone needs a listening ear.

Please also check out my new Youtube channel: Here

God’s blessings as always –

Peta xo

Getting Our Five Children Ready For Church – Vlog!

Hi lovely readers!

If you’ve ever wanted to see a glimpse of what it’s like for us to get our family of seven ready for church then watch this vlog! Lots of hair to brush but what a blessing it is to now have three precious daughters!

We were surprised with 4 free tickets to a play cafe and had a great time there after church.

Blessings, Peta.

How I Handle One On One Time With Each Of My Five Children.

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My children are not a pack. I need reminding of this daily. When you have lots of little children all in a row it can be easy to think of them as a group. But really they are individual people all with different, unique, and complex personalities. They have different individual needs as well as the same basic needs of food, love, care, shelter and clean clothing.

Spending one one one time with my children is a constant struggle. I need to work hard at this and be intentional about how I handle it. They all talk to me at the same time and I turn this way and that trying to work out who to give attention to first. The children love their siblings though. Never have I thought things would be better if we didn’t have any one of our children. They each play a special part in our family and in our lives. They all love their brothers and sisters and it brings me joy to see them playing with and enjoying each others company. None of my children hold any resentment to each other. They are happy playmates. Sure they fight too – but that is just life!

It is my hearts desire that my children have a happy childhood where they look back and cherished the way their mum showed them love and attention. I have a few traditions and ways that I have set in place in our home to ensure they get the attention they need.

Firstly prayer.

I spend time everyday in prayer pouring out my heart to the Lord for him to reveal to me any of my children’s needs that have been overlooked.

Reading times.

This has been something that I haven’t always been consistent at but when all the children were very little I would do a reading time where I told everyone to choose a storybook. I would read a book to them one at a time. All the children would gather around close to listen, however, I made a point to let only the person who’s turn it was to sit in my lap. I included the baby in this too and it was lots of fun!

Bed time tuck ins.

This has been something that I have started this year. I am so tired and drained in the evening (sometimes I am just plain in a stinky mood and really need some space!) and the last thing I feel like doing is just one more thing with the children. Luke usually gets all the children’s teeth brushed and PJs on and does a Bible story app on his phone with them at bedtime. I used to just say good night to them from my comfy chair in the lounge but we noticed that the children often didn’t settle well and got out of their beds way too many times. I knew I had to change this habit and go into their rooms for one last time with mum. They just needed their mum and I had to push myself.

I now go in and spend a few minutes with each child snuggling with them on their beds. I try to open up conversation to see if there is anything on their hearts. I ask questions like “what was the best thing that happened today?” and “is there anything bad that happened today?” I make sure I end our little time with a prayer of blessing.

I make sure I speak positive words over them at this time of day and thank the Lord out loud for how smart, kind, and wonderful each child is. It gives us a chance to right any wrongs that have happened during the day. Sometimes I have even apologised for snapping at them or being in a grumpy mood. We end our time with lots of snuggles and kisses. All my children have responded so well to this special time. I’m sorry I didn’t begin it sooner! It took the Lord to give me a bit of a kick up the be-hind to get me out of my comfy chair! 🙂

The days with my children can seem so busy as we rush from one activity to the next and I don’t want anyone to get lost in the rush. Spending a few minutes with each child at the end of the day is a great way to catch up on any feelings that have been pushed aside and need expressing. My eldest child is eight so we only talk for a few minutes but I’ve been warned by mothers of teenagers that these nightly conversations may go until past midnight! I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Mum and son/daughter dates.

Over the years I made made a point of allowing one of the children to come with me on my big fortnightly grocery shopping trip. The special ‘star of the day’ got to help me choose lots of grocery items that they like the best and during our time away we would have a special lunch out together and I would spoil them with treats like a doughnut and juice maybe even a book or a small toy. Even a big Wendy’s ice cream all to themselves! I would treat them to all the things that I would usually say no to when we have all the children together because it’s just too expensive to buy five of everything all the time. I let them do the coin spinner and have a go on the ride outside the shop. We have a blast together!

In the last year or so I have been more intentional about these dates and they have become a tradition. Once a week, when Luke is home to care of the other children I take one of the children out at a time. Often instead of taking them grocery shopping we go out for about an hour to where ever they choose. My six year old son loves this one cafe we have in our town that has a little play area. I buy him anything off the menu he likes and he smiles from ear to ear eating his big ice cream and sitting just with mum. It makes me smile right now as I write this just thinking about the delight in his face!

I’m sure the ways I spend one on one time with my children will change and adapt over the years as my children grow older but these traditions are working well right now.

How do other parents spend one on one time with their children?

I’m open to more ideas!

Blessings, Peta 

Why I found having 2 kids harder than 5.

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It was a cold winter morning. Luke had been up early preparing for work in the crisp dawn air while I slept on, exhausted from yet another big night of feeding and changing my newborn. Luke was greeted by our smiley 19 month old son with his head full of bouncy blonde curls. He graciously let me sleep while he made our toddler some warm toast with my mum’s homemade jam, changed his nappy and wiped his face and fingers. I was awoken by my husband with a kiss good-bye and groggily focused on little sons sweet eyes sitting on the end of my bed.

Just like that my husband Luke was gone. And I was alone. Well technically I wasn’t alone, but it sure did feel very lonely. My eyes glanced from my curly haired toddler to the bassinet beside my bed with my precious little new born son. His head covered with think black hair that spiked up in a tuft. How on earth was I supposed to care for two babies? There was only one of me, I was outnumbered and they both wanted me. It was overwhelming and I worried a lot about whether I could meet the needs of both a baby and a toddler. With a squirm my 3 week old opened his lungs and gave a familiar shriek that meant he was hungry. Right now! While I sat up in bed and breast fed him my toddler was trying to get off the bed and was stuck half way. With my baby still well attached I shimmied around the bed and used one arm to hold him up and the other arm to help my toddler to the ground.

I was starving from all the night time feedings and decided to make myself porridge. I carefully put my little son in his bouncy chair on the kitchen floor. As soon as I started stirring the pot he began to cry. I began to cry also. I was tired, overwhelmed, lonely, probably hormonal and had no idea what it was going to take to care for two babies. I just wanted a bowl of porridge.

I remember it well. A little while later a midwife came to our door for my littlest sons check up. She opened the door and asked me if I was okay because it looked as though I’d been crying. I replied that I was fine, but then burst out crying on the midwifes shoulder (almost a complete stranger to me) (also not like me – I never let people see me cry and don’t cry a lot) and said..

“I didn’t know having two kids would be this hard.” 

Things did get a little better as my baby grew, though I did go through several months of postpartum depression after my second baby was born. I wasn’t on a ‘baby high’ like I was after my first baby. I unfortunately didn’t fully feel close to or really bond with him until he was six months old.

Looking back at this time brings back memories of how hard it was for me back then. Twenty two years old with two children under the age of two. Most of my friends didn’t have any children yet. I struggled with my self image, loneliness and I was stressed a lot from two little ones needing me constantly.

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So how are things ‘easier’ now I have five children? My little newborn second born son is now almost seven years old and is a real delight.

Firstly I would say that I’ve learned a lot about children since then. Each child’s personality and needs are different though, and present to me new sets of challenges. However, overall I don’t worry as much any more about many things because usually the problem is just a passing phase.

When you have all little children and no older ones it can be physically harder because of all the lifting and changing you need to do. I would say that life became smoother and less intense once our children could physically dress themselves and go to the toilet. Even get themselves some water and a snack. Little things really do make a difference to the flow of the household. Right now I have five children yet four of them can dress themselves and use the toilet on their own. I only have one still fully dependent on us for nappy changes and getting dressed.

By the time I had my fifth baby I was well and truly used to splitting my attention between lots of people who all need me at once. When I only had two children I was so worried about whether I could give two children the attention they need. But I’ve learned now that our older children adjust well to a new sibling  and over time their new sibling becomes a cherished play mate and companion. Giving multiple children the attention they require is still challenging but I have gotten used to it and learned some strategies along the way for making sure every individual’s needs are met. Getting ready for school this morning I had one child wanting me to tie their shoe and two wanting me to do their hair. Instead of freaking out I just said okay hop in the ‘need mummy line’ and they lined up waiting to get their turn with me. They learn about patience and that other people have needs as well as themselves.

Perhaps that would be a good topic for another post – how I spend individual time with all five of my children?

I pray more now, than I used to. I used to send up quick prayers for help. But in the last year or so I have been relying on the Lord more for his wisdom. My prayers have become more focused, intentional, detailed and consistent. If I don’t know how to deal with a particular parenting challenge I spend some time with the Lord and his Holy Spirit gives me an answer. The answer comes as a thought, through reading his word or at times through advise from others or reading a book or article.

Thank you for reading! Leave a comment if you have something to add to this from your own experience.

Please like my Facebook page on the top right corner of my blog if you would like to hear recent updates from myself and my family.

I also have an Instagram where I mostly post pictures of my healthy food creations.

I am new to Youtube and have a few vlogs up there for you to watch also. Find it here.

Blessings, Peta