Have you ever met a mom that makes being a mother of three look like a total blast? Lucy is that friend for me. She and her husband Phil have three young girls ages 5, 3 and 1, and somehow manage to have an amazing social life, too. Lucy is always game for a new adventure, and her girls are just as fun to be around. Here is a glimpse into how Lucy gets it done.
1. Do you work inside or outside of the home? I work inside the home.
2. What is your childcare/schooling situation? My oldest daughter goes to preschool. She’s in an afternoon class from 11:45am-3pm. I know it seems pretty crazy but it actually works out really well for us. It gives me back a nap time break!
3. What is breakfast, lunch and dinner like in your family? I morph into a short order cook for breakfast. Everyone seems to eat something different. Oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, fruit, waffles and then Phil usually has coffee and a Cliff bar. On the weekends breakfast is like a social event. We do eggs, bacon, pancakes – someone plays DJ, there’s a dance party. It gets crazy!
I usually pack a lunch to eat in the car on the way to school – PB&J, turkey and cheese wraps, fruit, veggie chips. Phil goes out to lunch every day. He claims it’s a work thing. Dinner is at 6. Phil is usually walking in the door as we’re sitting down to eat. Some days he misses it. Other days, I wait and eat with him after the kids are in bed.
4. Do you meal plan or wing it? Do you like that? I mostly wing it. And yes, I like the flexibility. I like to eat hot meals on a cold/rainy day and cold meals on a warmer day. The weather changes all the time so it’s nice to whip up a crock pot meal when the day turns nasty. I also like holding off on the grocery store until I really need to go (you try shopping with 3 kids – they don’t even make a cart to hold them all! Also it saves money). This means I create meals out of what we already have. It can be awesome or terrible.
5. What is most challenging part of your day? It’s most challenging when 2 or more children are throwing a temper tantrum at the same time. This usually happens in the twilight zone (AKA 4pm-6pm).
6. What is the easiest part of your day? I don’t think any of it is easy. But, I am used to the pace, maybe? I love our daily adventures. We always have something fun planned: zoo, beach, story time, play dates, museums, parks, or even just playing around our house. It is awesome to do something fun every day. So, I guess it’s “easy” when we’re all having fun.
7. In terms of running a house with a family, what do you feel like you have figured out? This is a dangerous question…just when you think you have it figured out – BAM, another milestone or blow out (see #5). I think I’m fairly good at balancing. Phil and I are social and like to go out a lot (with each other on dates and with friends). We do things to keep our relationship first and fresh. I am blessed to stay home with the girls so I get to pour so much into them during the day. I have an awesome network of supportive mom pals. My family is close so we get to see them a lot. With Elizabeth in pre-school at our church’s school – we’re finally making church friends. I train to run 2 big races a year (half marathons this year) so I even find time to burn some calories. It’s a juggling act!
8. Does anything still stump you? How do you get a 2/3 year old to keep her seat belt on while you’re driving? Can someone please create a potty training boot camp, where I can send you a child and they come back potty trained? Why is there no restaurant in town that serves alcohol and has a kid play area?
9. How do you take care of yourself and recharge? My MOPS group has really been a saving grace. The kids go to a nursery while the moms have breakfast together and listen to a speaker. It’s wonderful to have a supportive group of mom friends and have someone tell you you’re doing a good job. We have play dates, girls nights and parties with husbands, too. I’m also in a book club and my husband and I are not afraid of hiring a babysitter.
10. If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend it? Would or should? I would probably be on Facebook or watching one of our junk TV shows. I should be doing one of the many projects laying on my dining room table.
11. Any other organizing tips you’d like to share? Pre-planning helps a lot. Our diaper backpack (I need 2 hands) could keep us alive for a while in a desperate situation. A box (or 3) of raisins can prevent/stop a meltdown. Also, Phil gets grouchy when I’m booking babysitters and sending him calendar invites (he’s thinking in $). But Saturdays are so much better when we know we have a fun night planned for us.
12. What does a usual 24 hours look like in your house? There is no start time – sometimes it just feels like a continuation of yesterday. But, breakfast happens. Phil flees to work. We pack a lunch and head out on our morning adventure. We get back in the car and have lunch and drop Elizabeth at school. The younger 2 take a nap. I eat girl scout cookies and watch Sex in the City reruns. We pick up Elizabeth from school and go to a park or a pm play date or host friends at our house. Dinner happens. Phil plays wrestle-mania with the kids, we go for a walk, boat ride or ride bikes. Bath, stories and bed for the kids. (Hopefully now it’s 7:30-8pm-ish) Phil and I watch our junk TV shows, eat dinner (if we didn’t with the kids). Maybe I go for a run, blog, monogram/sew, read, do a project on my dining room table, baby books, organize pictures & videos, work on MOPS stuff, etc. It could be 9pm or 2am and then I go to sleep.
Thank you so much, Lucy, for sharing your day. I love that you have an adventure planned every morning. What a great way to get everyone up and out of the house. And I totally agree that scheduling date nights in advance is the best way to make sure it actually happens. We send calendar appointments, too! Love your family life, Lucy!