3 things I’m doing with the boys right now

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31

The more kids I have the more I realize that this season of 0-5 years flies. The days are long, trust a sister, but the years are short. I thought I’d share 3 things I’m doing with the boys right now that are positive and rewarding for all of us!

  1. Meet them on their level for teaching them how to do chores or help out around the house. Luke is my jumper, climber, thrower. If he had to get from point A to point B, he’ll take the most difficult path and make it a parkour adventure. So one way that I get Luke involved with helping is by giving him the task of throwing all the balls of socks downstairs after I sort them. Sometimes he helps me match the socks, but mostly he shows up when the mound of socks is organized, places them all in the shopping cart, races down the hall, and then throws them from the top of the stairs to the bottom. We keep the kids’ socks downstairs by the shoes, so this gives him a task to help out with and is also fun for him to do. I will admit that oftentimes I gather up the socks at the bottom of the stairs and put the in the basket, but sometimes he helps with that as well! David, on the other hand, loves helping out by vacuuming or swiping the swiffer all around to pick up cat hair. He will also help bring in packages or get the mail (I’m always watching when they do that task).
  2. Don’t underestimate the value of one on one time. David and Luke are 14 months apart in age and often get grouped in together with each other. 99% of the time it’s wonderful, but the downfall is that Justin and I can sometimes forget that Luke is still only 3, and there is a BIG change that happens between a 3 and 4 year old, so our expectations of him may be a little higher than usual at times. Spending time individually with each of them not only gives us a chance to focus on only one child at a time, but it also allows THEM to blossom as individuals as well! I am so grateful that they are best buddies (they both call each other their “best guy”) but I’ve enjoyed alone time with Luke on the days that David is at school. It’s not been as easy to get alone time with David, so I’m more likely to let him stay up a bit later for a story or to help me put Emily to bed to get some quality alone time with him.
  3. Saying “no” to other commitments that involve them. Perhaps I’m projecting my feeling of weariness onto them but this summer and even the fall has been slammed. I knew it would be with the addition of Emily to our family (HOW DOES IT ALREADY FEEL LIKE A LONG TIME AGO THAT SHE ARRIVED?!), but it has persisted with little signs of slowing down. I can admit that a lot of the busyness is my willingness to say “yes” to a lot, but I didn’t want my kids to get bogged down with too many things. We declined an extra curricular at our church, skipped a soccer program through preschool, and basically decided to have swim school be the only weekly commitment for the boys beyond school. And it has been great. They have fun, they are learning how to stay safe in the water which is very important to me as a pool owner, and it’s brief 30 minute lesson. I know our future will hold lots of extra circulars, so for now it’s nice to keep it simple.

David will be 5 next month, and Luke will turn 4 in February. We are in the thick of kindergarten decisions and the realization that this is the last academic year that David will be coming home before 2:00p during the day. I cannot IMAGINE how long a kindergarten day will feel, and how empty the house will seem when Luke is attending preschool for 5 days and David is in kindergarten.

Are there things that you are focusing on with your kids, if you have them, right now? I’d love to hear!

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Comments (20)

  1. Posted October 31, 2018

    Seems like you have a great plan for the boys ahead! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Sherry says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    It is hard to believe they are growing up so fast…….but they are so precious. Love seeing them on the Insta stories, saying and doing cute things.
    Happy Halloween !!!

  3. cassie says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    I am actually waiting to hear from my son later today who is in his senior year of college and has 2 job offers!! I can honestly remember the kindergarten days like they were yesterday : ) That first long day will be odd but quickly you will be starting a new relationship with your son where he has his own part of the world and will come home and tell you all about it! You will meet other moms and dads that you will be crying with at high school graduation. You will see your son as person…it’s a great adventure!

    • A. C. says
      Posted October 31, 2018

      Cassie, well said and so true!

  4. Amy says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    Such a beautiful reminder to enjoy every day I get to spend at home with my 1.5 year old, no matter how LONG those days may seem. You’re a great mom!

  5. ashlye says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    I have kindergarten advice for you… Start a boy at age 6. My little guy has a late August birthday and just barely made the cut to start K at age 5. I held him back a year and started at 6. Best decision ever. He’s more mature, READY, and has done well in school. He is the guy in his class who sets the example. Looking back, starting at 5 would have spelled disaster. This is FYI only. Go with your instincts, but like you said, it will be a LOOONNNNGGGG day without Mommy and Daddy, brother, sister, and kitties! Best of luck😊💙

    • Karen Freeman says
      Posted October 31, 2018

      Depends on your kid! My July b-day boy started kindergarten on time, at 5. He’s a 20-yr-old college junior now, at his dream school, doing incredibly well. He’s mature and always ready for his next adventure. He spent the summer he turned 19 on his own doing volunteer work in a tiny town in Africa (yes, he got there and back all by himself) and is going to study abroad in Europe next semester. In his case, holding him back would have been a disservice. That’s why it’s so important to look at the child, not just the calendar!

      Kate, enjoy those precious kiddos, it’s such a trope but it’s true – it does go way, way too fast!!!

  6. Abby says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    It doesn’t feel like I’ve been reading your blog for that long, but I started when you were praying fervently that God would give you a child. Time really is flying!! These are neat ways to involve them. 😀

  7. Heather says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    It’s so refreshing to hear your are declining extra-curriculars! My daughter is 2.5 and the only one in our neighborhood not currently in an activity. We are also planning swim lessons soon, but that is IT for now!!

  8. Marty says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    My 4 year old is also in swimming lessons – they are in the evening once a week and for now we feel it’s the most we can manage as far as extra curriculars’s. She and her brother go to daycare full time and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to put her in soccer through daycare – so she has soccer once a week during the day. That’s such a blessing because it’s a bonus activity we don’t have to fit into our schedule. Spring may change things since we are looking to put her in a soccer league AND get her little brother (20 mths) in swimming as well.

    She’ll start kindergarten next year too – and we’re excited but anxious to see what that’s like because she’ll be home earlier than she is now, being in daycare until 5.

  9. Posted October 31, 2018

    I just want to SO applaud your decision to keep your boys’ schedules simple. Too many push too hard and our children are stressed without time to bond at home. Good job!

  10. Meredith C says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    my oldest started kindergarten in september, he is off the bus and home by 2:15!!! it’s crazy, but will be awesome when the time changes this weekend and will still be home before it’s dark, unlike the other elementary school across town!

  11. Abby says
    Posted October 31, 2018

    We do chores with my two boys as well. My 4 year old does a ton to help around the house from unloading the silverware to putting away folded clothes and emptying the little trash cans around the house. We do a fun day on my day off during the week that involes a trip to a park or zoo or a baking or craft project. I try to keep my phone out of reach on these days to focus on them. I do school work with my oldest while my toddler naps and puzzles with the toddler while the older brother is at school. It takes a ton of balance to do it all plus work. Moms are superheroes fo sho. 😀❤️️

  12. Ashley says
    Posted November 1, 2018

    It’s so refreshing to read #3, I often feel guilty that my 2 girls don’t do more extra things. My 4 year old does PreK every morning and is in one dance class, my 2 year old is not enrolled in anything else extra – both go to church and Sunday School most weeks. I work full time outside of the home and am selfish when it comes to our free time on the evenings and weekends.

    My 4 year old loves to help me cook- I love having her add ingredients, stir, get things from around the kitchen, and really involve her in the process. Even if it’s just helping me pack lunches.

    My 2 year old is much more physical and playing any sort of ball game with her is what she loves most.

    Thanks for the reminder to enjoy each one for who they are and where they are. These days do go too fast. Your family is precious, thank you for sharing them with us!

  13. sara says
    Posted November 1, 2018

    I also am juggling multiple kids (I have four) and I think these ideas are WONDERFUL. I also try to give each of my kids extra snuggles one night a week at bedtime. It’s so hard to get that sweet bedtime reading and snuggles when you have multiples, not to mention you’re dying for some quiet time yourself, but I try to give each one some one on one talk time or reading time or something at night once a week. 🙂

    • Cynthia says
      Posted November 2, 2018

      That’s a great goal. I have three and I find that bedtime is so hard to balance. I love that you give each kid one night a week, it takes the pressure off of doing something special with each child every single night.

  14. Alli says
    Posted November 3, 2018

    We’re focusing on being together from after school until bedtime without technology as a distraction from actual living. Our kids love to watch pbs and would sit for far too long if we let them. In previous years I used technology as a reward, for quiet time, or just to survive. But now that my kids are bigger, I get so little time with them I want to set up as much togetherness as I can until they’re off living their own big kid lives.
    Sometimes we play board games (might I suggest Richard Scarry’s Busytown) or do puzzles, create art while we listen to Adventures in Odyssey, there are days we lay around and say how bored we are, other nights everyone is engaged in their own thing- or they’re helping me pull together tacos and guac. We’re making a conscious effort to choose our family in this season so that we can each be our best selves. With 3 kids, aged (just about) 4, 6, and 8 life can be chaotic if we fit in too much. We do our 4 year olds activities while everyone else is at school, and our 6 and 8 year old have back to back activities on the same night, one activity per child has been the best for us in this season. I can feel like I’m not ‘letting’ them do enough based on societal standards but goodness gracious are we feeling like this is the sweet spot!

  15. Lauren says
    Posted November 5, 2018

    Thanks for the tips/reminders! Really enjoyed this.

  16. Mimi says
    Posted November 5, 2018

    Kate, I LOVE that you made the decision to skip soccer and everything but swimming class. I only had one child to keep up with, but I always say if I had it to do all over again I would skip most of the activities. I think that it’s great that you have three kids, they will be each other’s everything in the years to come, and develop socially right at home, to a large extent. Happy for y’all!

  17. Amy says
    Posted November 5, 2018

    I have 2 boys. One 5 and one is about to be 8. I tried flag football with them- it fell on the same day, same uniforms, back to back games. It really helped minimize travel, kept me organized and busy for one chunk of time on Sunday. I also have chosen to limit what they do and when for their own levels of down time and mine. I recently enrolled my 9yr old in a ‘helping hands’ group after school. It keeps him at school a little longer for my work day and is teaching him the beauty of “helping the community”