A MUM-OF-FOUR has revealed the hacks she's come up with to manage day-to-day life with her little ones.
Liz, 33, from Solihull in Birmingham, said she came up with several ‘mum hacks’ to make parenting a bit easier due to the fast paced, full on nature of their lives.
The mum, who works as a customer service assistant, has come up with some clever tricks to make sure she always leaves the house on time, even on busy school mornings.
She swears by using a family calendar to keep on track of everything – but admits ‘mum guilt’ is still a thing as a mum-of-four.
Liz, who is mum to Jack, 10, Harry, nine, Sophie, four, and one-year-old George, said life is ‘fast paced’ due to her sons being in school full time and her younger two going to nursery part-time while she works.
The family-of-six, who also have a dog named Ollie, said the week flies by with a mixture of days out at playgroups as well as playdates or spending time at home and in the garden.
She said: “Being at home is great so I can keep on top of some cleaning and washing as my basket is never empty! Weekends are our family time when everyone is generally at home.
“We always try to make sure we do something together whether that’s a dog walk, a family day out or simply a roast dinner at the table.
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“After having four children, you definitely learn to trust your instincts and to be confident in your parenting choices.
“You realise that every child is an individual and being less worried about milestones and just enjoying the short time they are little for has made parenting that bit easier.”
Liz, who shares her life as a mum-of-four with her nearly 16,000 Instagram followers, said she uses a number of hacks to make sure she always leaves the house on time.
First of all, she makes sure everything is ready the night before school.
She gets the uniforms out into piles and makes sure her kids’ bags are ready by the door and packed lunches are ready to go.
Another tip is having a solid bedtime routine.
Liz revealed: “In our house, everyone has showers or baths in the evening and then we do stories and milk before bed at 6.30pm with the little two.
“The older boys play their games and go to bed around 8pm.
“I always try to get up before the youngest two in the morning so I can have the chance to get myself showered and ready and grab a cuppa before we start the day.
“However you can tell the mornings that this doesn’t happen as I’ll be on the school run in my gym leggings with no time or intention of actually going to the gym!”
Liz, who is known online as mumof4_lifewithliz, said she always makes sure she’s ahead of schedule and on time by using a family calendar app with her husband.
She said it’s a super easy mum-hack which means busy schedules run smoothly.
The family-of-six put everything that's happening, from swimming lessons to work meetings, in the calendar which then syncs to their phones.
She said: “I check the calendar daily to make sure I know in advance where everyone needs to be and when.
“My husband and I always joke that if it’s not on the calendar it’s not happening!
“The hardest part of being a mum is mum guilt – this is definitely a tough emotion as a mum-of-four children.
“Questioning whether you have given enough individual attention to everyone and managed to get everything done they all need from you that day is tough.”
LIZ’S TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS WITH FOUR KIDS OR MORE
A family calendar or app – this helps keep track of who needs to be where and when.
Tidy the playroom at the end of each day – Liz takes 15 minutes at the end of each day to tidy up all the toys and clean the playroom ready for the next day.
Online shopping – This is available nearly everywhere now and Liz says it makes life so much easier as she said it’s impossible to pop anywhere quickly with four children.
Meal planning – Liz decides her family’s meals in advance and tries to make extra of the dishes she knows everyone enjoys so she has enough for dinner and an extra portion for the freezer too.
Colour coding – Another of the mum-of-four’s top tips is to give each child a colour. Her four children have a colour they know belongs to them so their water bottles, lunch boxes and toothbrushes are all in their colour. She said it’s a great way to try and keep arguing over things to a minimum.
Liz added another thing she is sure other mums can relate to, is being asked 100 times a day for a snack. She has the perfect hack for this.
The mum-of-four said: “For the older three, as George doesn’t quite understand yet, we have individual snack boxes where I put a selection of snacks for the day.
“The kids can choose as and when they want to eat them but what’s in their box is all they can have during that day plus their meals.
“This was definitely a game changing mum hack in our household.”
Liz also explained that being a working mum-of-four can bring a range of emotions.
She admitted there’s days where she feels like she has it all figured out but also days where she leaves her phone in the fridge!
While she said it can be stressful, she also insisted that she wouldn’t change it for the world.
She shared: “Our house is always loud and a little bit crazy but the times of stress are outweighed by the times of fun and smiles.
“The more children you have, the more kisses and cuddles you get which make it all worthwhile!
“I try and encourage everyone to do their little bit to help – the older boys have jobs like making their beds or loading the dishwasher and I’ll ask the little ones to follow basic instructions like putting on their shoes or getting something from a cupboard or drawer.
“I also have a tidy up song I play for the smaller ones to try and encourage them to tidy their toys away – however this works better some days than others!”
Liz also shared one of her top tips to fellow mums – pick your battles.
She admitted there are arguments and tantrums daily which can make things stressful at times, but sometimes you have to pick which battles you choose to fight.
She said: “This is mostly with our strong minded toddlers so if you see us out with Sophie wearing her Elsa dress up and wellies, you know why!”
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