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Old 03-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #11
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

I have a 3yo and a 5yo. I get stressed easily. When DS1 is at PS for 3 hours, there is one weekday that DH is home and I can leave DS2 with him. I do an amazing amount of errands in that 3 hours! This last time I dropped off a donation, went to the bank, dropped off a payment, took something to my dad at his office, went to the gym to cancel my membership, and went to the grocery store. I take advantage of every moment that I am alone. It is so hard to be getting them in and out of the car and herding them through the parking lot, and they always want candy or a toy so we have an arguement. Then we drive by an ice cream shop and have another arguement. Then someome has to pee. Then they're booooooard. Then they start fighting and screaming. My oldest does this annoying thing where he asks me every minute, how many minutes till we get there. I have to make up a number and it better be decending. He won't except any other answer.
Don't get me wrong, we do get out and about regularly, but the number of times I have to get them in and out of the car is key. I love drive up ATMs. I have wished so many times that there were drive-up grocery store, just for milk, etc. I have even started pulling over on the side of the road and letting them pee in a bottle. Don't judge me!

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Old 03-01-2013, 04:32 PM   #12
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I so glad you started this thread, OP! I thought I was the only one who got stressed about the small trips!

Like another PP described, I keep running lists and only go to the store once I'm out of multiple items. I'll often have DH stop on his way home from work for little things. Or we all go on his day off. Or I make him a list and he runs around for me. I have two kids, an 11 mo old and a 4 y old and its just annoying doing the carseats over and over. It wears me out. Plus we share a car, so I usually have to plan my day/errands out with DH the night before.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:38 PM   #13
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

I do simplify trips and consolidate errands whenever possible, for the gas savings as well as time savings (and also because I get a high from crossing off as many things from my list in one shot as possible ), but I actually look for ways to get us out of the house everyday. We live in the country, so seeing anyone other than each other means a car trip. Maybe that's part of it.

What I learned is that the more my kids experience something, the better/easier they get about it. I grocery shop with 4 kids under age 7, without DH, every week, and have since my oldest was born. They are so good at the store. Of course I am continually reminding them to be polite, keep one hand on the cart, asking for their help when I don't really need it, etc. And whoever happens to be in the terrible twos at the time will probably get a timeout in the corner of walmart for tantruming, but that only happens 3 or 4 times before they get it that I AM serious, they can NOT behave that way. They stopped whining for candy ages ago--I never cave, so they don't bother anymore.

Another example--we went to a fancy shmancy clothing store for the first time ever today (I normally buy all their clothes from garage sales or online). They had NO prior experience in department stores, and I didn't even think to prep them on it. They didn't know this was different than the childrens museum, that it was a "look, no touch, talk quietly" place. They went nuts, it was so embarrassing. But they had no experience, no frame of reference for how to behave. I think they honestly thought it was like a kids fun house place, with little tables to climb on and life-sized toy people (mannequins) to play with!

My point of this rambling is, they will learn how to behave "right" in whatever situation you expose them to frequently, after the terrible twos anyway! My kids are great in church, but wild animals when we first get to a restaurant--because we just never go. As long as you gently correct them, stand firm on your expectations, tell them in advance what to expect ("you can help mommy load the vegetables or sit right next to me and watch, but we can't run around) and provide transitions ("we are doing ___ in five minutes"), they will learn and it will make errands much smoother.

Also make them hold your hand, or have the older ones hold onto the stroller at ALL times (I love the stroller for that reason alone) and stop dead in your tracks if they disobey. Deal with it instantly. Be polite but dead serious. Do a timeout by the side of the road if there is tantruming in the car.

Plan for a trip to the post office to take 15 minutes minimum. It's no big deal--your schedule is pretty open anyway. This kills time .

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Old 03-02-2013, 12:39 AM   #14
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

So helpful, thank you! I think I'm just getting the jitters from the bulging belly and realizing that I'm only a couple of months away from double the kids. The more I think about the logistics the more freaked out I get. But I guess you just take it one day at a time.

DH has a 9-5 type job, so he is available evenings and weekends. I just feel a lot of guilt about leaving the 1 year old home so much. I try to take her out and run errands I can manage and go to the story time at the library and parks etc... but it feels like she's cooped up at home and in the yard so much. I guess it's mom guilt that I want her to be out and experiencing things (and wife guilt as I want DH to get some down time too).

I should probably re-think my quick errands. Usually the pet food is running low so that sneaks up on us and there's pressure to get it done before it's gone. 3 different stores for dog food cat food and bird food. Maybe I should time it better so they run out around the same time. I am really good about being efficient with my drive so I'm hitting up certain areas and getting those things done all at once (versus DH who will drive all the way downtown 2 days in a row because he didn't think of consolidating his trips!).

I like the idea of lists. I already do this, but I could definitely consolidate it better and wait for the list to be longer before I take care of things. I was alternating each weekend as the grocery or costco day, but lately I've just been going whenever. I'm not sure if that freedom is a good thing since I'm usually a planner.

Melinda - I'm freaking out with the thought of 2 kids. My head is spinning at the thought of 4! I must ask though... what does a time out look like in the grocery store? We're nearly past the running away phase (she responds to the verbal "stop" command most of the time now), but I think the misbehaving in stores phase is right around the corner. I'd love to hear from someone that has BTDT.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:04 AM   #15
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

going isnt the issue... we go out fine...we go out to eat then used to grocery shop... well lunch then naps for 2 kids now so its a list for hubby & my oldest... daddy doesnt have baqby milk supply....longer but fine. i have an 8 yr, 2 yr almost & almost 1 mo. i try to bulk up on errands when i can alone. i try to allow ample time with more. 2 yr doesnt like coats but i. & out of car ok as long as no poo & not too tired. like when i do get a chance....bank & consign store, target and g few others... i'm loading upon errands so all done at once....


usually had and food and groceries.......if I had kids that slept in cart it woulda be different.sometimes it's if someone can run i'm to store and one stay with the handle of kids for few...hoping ask is in good mood. 2 wasn't the thing. it was adding 3rd one......
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:46 AM   #16
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Have you considered online shopping and/or grocery delivery? I know that shopping online can sometimes be more expensive, but often you can find coupon codes online to help. Besides, if you factor in the cost of gas to get from store to store, it would balance out with the extra expense of online shopping.
You can certainly spend as much time shopping online as you do in stores, so just limit your online time! My favorite online stores are Amazon (because I received a deal to get Amazon Prime with free shipping) along with Diapers.com and Soap.com.
Diapers.com has other sister sites, including a pet supply store, to make one stop online shopping easier.
I have also taken advantage of Peapod grocery delivery. Yes, that did end up being more expensive than going to the store, however, the luxury of someone bringing all the grocery bags into my kitchen was so worth it! There are times when you will be exhausted with two little ones, and it's ok to take advantage of these technological advances Remember, someday you will feel up to going out with two little ones, and you will do just fine!
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:52 AM   #17
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

Ah. Peapod. How I have missed thee. I don't have grocery delivery here, but when I lived in areas that had it in the past, I totally used them. Primarily for the heavy stuff like beverages, cat litter, pantry items, etc and I would supplement the fresh items on my trips elsewhere. Although quite honestly I was never displeased with any produce or meat Peapod chose for me, just when they would be out of something and I wouldn't find out until the groceries arrived. When we lived in California years ago, there was a similar, more scaled down business called Pink Dot that would deliver basic groceries, diapers/baby food/formula, and takeout that we used a few times.

I am seriously considering starting a business when all three are in school next year just doing grocery errands for people since there is nothing like that here. I would just have my clients buy gift cards at the grocer they like, and just pay me for my gas/time.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:19 AM   #18
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

Honestly, my schedule/errand running hadn't changed until the past 2-3 months (since DS2 hit mobile and not wanted to be carried constantly). I have been doing a monthly meal plan for the past 2 months and going at the beginning of the month and getting everything. I get all the meats to freeze, all the staples and non-perishables, and the milk/produce for the first half of the month. The day I do this I only take DS2 (who still nurses on demand and doesn't have a set schedule) and have 3 stores I visit - Sam's Club, Save-a-lot, and Kroger. The shopping trip takes 3-4 hours (due to a break or 2 with DS to nurse). Then, mid-month, I make a small grocery trip alone to get the second half or milk/produce we need.

The past 2 months I have cut our grocery bill drastically by only shopping twice, and by only hitting the stores 2 times, saved gas and energy.

Other errands, DH usually runs. I do the kids' check ups and medical stuff, but he does everything else.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:29 AM   #19
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

we have 4 and YES. i avoid doing anything i can i get dh to stop a lot on his way home from work and only go to the PO once a week. sometimes they are all angels but you never can tell when one will have a meltdown:/ if i have to go somewhere i usually put 2 in the double stroller and wear one. the 6 year old is good and will mind. the 2 middle ones just have no impulse control...
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:35 PM   #20
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Re: Do you simplify your schedule and errands when you have more kids?

I have 3 (7, 4 and 2) and watch my 4 month old nephew M-F 8:30-6, so, for errands, I have 4 (we homeschool, so the eldest is always with us). I typically don't do a lot of errands in general -- we usually only go grocery shopping, which entails 1-3 stores, and we do them all back to back one weekday morning a week, though I'm always willing to consolidate it into one store if the energy is grouchy/too much for good behavior at the store. The 7 year old carries the list on a clipboard and crosses things off as we find them; the four year old helps choose the actual products and puts them in the cart; the 2 year old has only just graduated from being worn to riding in the cart, so he's still excited about that; and the 4 month old is worn in a front carry. I build buying a store bought treat (a muffin each, a box of cereal or granola bars to share as a family) into our weekly grocery budget, because it makes it smoother. I say, "when we're all done, we'll go choose our muffin/cereal/etc.," and it's not at all linked to behavior. It's not a reward to be earned; it's just a fact that when we go to the grocery store, we'll pick up something small, most times, but not all, that they enjoy, which makes the trip somewhat more enticing to them. I also encourage them to choose new types of produce; pretty much whenever they ask to try an exotic fruit/vegetable, we do. We also eat the same menu every week that rotates seasonally (my kids do best when they know that Tuesday is Taco Night), so I often buy enough supplies for two weeks' worth of meals, except for fresh produce. So often, we're just picking up milk, produce, and cheese at the store.

We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen, and i keep a running list of everything the household needs there, and between that and menu planning, piddly errand-running is kept largely at bay. When we do have errands at multiple stores/locations, we do them all at once, in the morning when the kids are at their best. I bring a snack, and we stop at a playground at some point during the morning when the weather is good.

For me, it's not a big deal to take them shopping since this is how i've done things since my eldest was born. For me, part of me being home during the days is to get this sort of stuff accomplished, so that when my wife is home in the evenings and weekends, we don't have to spend our precious family time shopping or running errands.

Everything takes longer the more carseats there are to unbuckle; if you can somehow make it even the least bit fun, it makes it easier on everyone, and the more you do it, the more they become familiar with it, and again, the easier it becomes.
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