Why didn’t I realise that having more than one child would mean a constant juggle to try and meet everyone’s needs?

Sometimes I feel like I am letting one of my kids down because I am busy meeting the needs of another.

Yesterday was one of those days.

With Izzy still in hospital after having her tonsils and adenoids out, it was Nanny Pickle, not me, who went to the Mother’s Lunch at kinder (preschool) with Morgan yesterday.

I am pretty sure Morgan didn’t mind at all having Nanny go with him, nor did Kinder mind (everyone loves my Mum). And even if they did mind, there was nothing I could do about it. Izzy needed me to be with her, the other kids needed Dad to get them where they needed to be, and it took some serious juggling (and a day off work for Dad) to make it all happen.

No one missed out all together yesterday, but sometimes they do. Or at least I feel like they do.

And lets not even talk about spending time with the kids individually… I keep reading that this is a ‘MUST DO’ but it happens very little around here.

So this week I am asking you how to be a better parent…

How do you juggle everything and everyone to make sure there is enough to go around?

How do you meet everyone’s needs without others missing out?

Do you think it is important for kids to spend individual time with their parents?
If so, how do you make it work for your family?

I’ve decided I need to spend a bit of time intentionally working on becoming a better parent right now… so you’ll see a few more of these types of posts pop up on Thursdays.

If there is any parenting things you are struggling with, or questions you would like to ask please email me. I also share lots of interesting parenting links, blogs and articles over on my facebook page so make sure you do the new facebook sign up for notifications thingy if you don’t want to miss them

{image by Helico via flickr}

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. says

    I don’t think that it is a bad thing that you can’t always meet all your kids needs at the exact moment they need it. Learning to wait, to be resourceful and meet some needs yourself, and understanding that Mum is still human are all important lessons for kids to learn if they are going to be resilient.

  2. jen says

    I agree with Jo – I’ve often been struck by how mature and resiliant kids from larger families seem and thought that maybe it has to do with the fact that they grow up knowing that sometimes they just can’t get all the attention they want. It’s so easy with just one or two kids to make their immediate needs the sole focus of the family and I don’t think it’s always in kids’ best interests. That said – I only have two kids myself partly because I don’t think I’m up for all that juggling and the stress that can come with never feeling as though you are giving your kids enough (even when in reality you are). So often with these issues I think the kids are fine – it’s just the parents (usually the mum) who stresses over it!

  3. says

    i to have struggled with the mothers guilt over wondering if i’m treating each child fairly and spending the same quality time with each of them..however recently i have let go of this worry and just embraced the whole being a family idea. We do have alone time occasionally..i might take a child with me to the shops and we might get a coffee together..they are just small things..not scheduled into the regular routine. I have spent the last week in India with 52 beautiful orphaned children who are cared for by one couple. There is no way this couple can cater for the individual needs of 52 children and while i dont think this is the most awesome way to be bought up, i did notice that these children are happy with what they get. They adore each other and care for each other. They love their ‘parents’ and just enjoy the fact that they can spend time with them, not individually but as a group. I have since decided that i’m going to stress less about these things with my own children..they are the lucky ones, they have two parents who adore them and love them to bits. From all I have read on your blog, you are a great Mum. We Mums stress a lot, but im sure the kids don’t actually care that much!

  4. says

    I struggle with guilt all the time. Miss Possum had a swimming start to life, the twins, although hey have each other, don’t nearly get as much attention.

    We give children their individual attention (sometimes their only individual attention) when we read books to them at night. They all get to choose their own book and we read it to them. I know a couple of yours are probably beyond that phase in life. I’m not sure what I’ll do then…. :(

  5. says

    I try to spend a bit of time with my girls individually. I take them to a cafe for a cuppa and a chat. We talk about lots of stuff,sometimes things they wouldnt want to talk about with the rest of the family around. I try to do this each week.

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