How do you split your time so that all your children get enough attention?

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25  Answers

0 0

We like to make sure we have monthly little dates with each one solo so my husband and I each get some one on one time with them. We also jump at the chance to take just one to the store, or out for lunch with friends. As much as we love family time we cherish that one on one time too!

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1 3

I'm not going to lie. It's hard. So much about having multiples includes "lumping" them together as one. Others are guilty of it- referring to them as 'The triplets', etc. but I am also guilty of it, preparing 3 exact meals even though I their tastes are very different.

So the only thing I can do, is be intentional about it. Seek opportunities to spend alone time with each one. It doesn't even have to be grand....doing my daughter's ponytail upstairs, away from the boys, or searching for toys under one of the boys' beds and turning it into a game, or taking one grocery shopping with me.

Something I try and remember is that 'What's fair is not always what's equal.' There are days or weeks when one or more of the kids craves more attention and in those instances, they might get it.

There is no perfect formula so we just do our best. :)

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2 0

I like that, "What's fair is not always what's equal" - thank you. I find it so hard to give my boys (ages 5, 4 and 4) individual attention, the kind that gives me pleasure as well as they (quality eye contact, sharing a story or joke, really listening and responding, or even an uninterrupted cuddle). The twins especially are competitive, and there are daily battles over my body that make me feel like a lump of meat! It's their age, their gender, and their never satisfied craving for Mummy that drives them. Meanwhile their older brother (usurped from babydom aged 17 months by not just one but two new babies) has his own attention-seeking ways, quite aggressive often, and of course I feel so guilty and try to respond with love and more love. I am quite drained, overloaded and under-supported, craving my boys and smothered by them, needing time out and proper "time in". It was best being an older sister and an auntie, then I got to play and be playful and not even notice that fourth, raging child, the housework.... Ah, thank you for sharing, Mums, we keep each other sane because we know we are heard and not alone!

5 0

I don't really split my time. I stay home with our boys so I'm am with all of them most of the time. I do however pay lose attention to their specific needs based on their personalities & what stage or phase they are going through. We have one who is physically sensitive ( stubbing a toe or tripping & falling,) but he's also very laid back & easy going. One is very active & likes a lot of physical contact & the third one is happy with just verbal recognition. To get in one on one time with each of them I alternate taking each of them out with me when I have to run an errand or sometimes my partner & I will take turns just taking one for a walk around the block while the other one of us stays behind & plays with the others. The boys are very close so usually if one is doing something the other 2 join in & we all do most things as a group together.

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2 0

That's interesting - but how do you factor in time alone? For me, when my partner is around, usually I have to say "And now I need a dark, quiet room and a lie down" or, more rarely now, "I have the energy to go into town/to do some gardening ALONE". Perhaps the reason we're able to give one-to-one is because we've had a bit of space for ourselves (enough space) and aren't on the verge of collapse. So some support is presupposed. What do others have to say about how to give to each when you don't have much support from other adults?

14 0

I try to always give my twins what we lovingly call Special Time With Mommy (we also have Special Time with Dad). We've always done this and it's one of the foundations of our family.

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0 0

I try to take one child at a time to the grocery store, or to run errands with me, but it's hard. They don't want to be separated very much! They spend their schooldays in separate classrooms, so I can be assured that they are at least getting time to themselves at that time.

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3 8

I spent one on one time with my 7 year old after the 4's and 2 year old are in bed. I also take one child at a time to run errands and leave the rest with dad. He does the same. It isn't much, but its something they look forward to and it gives them the one on one time they need.

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2 0

Yes, I can see that we (Daddy and I) use the errand-running as time to escape alone - when we could perhaps try to put some of that time into the boys. They are still young, but all emerging now (all at once, given they are 5, 4 and 4) into young minds and strong characters with voices of their own, so perhaps we need to consider what they would appreciate now.

1 0

We do one on one time each week with each child. This can be taking them somewhere or just reading together or playing together.

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0 0

My twins have learned early on that we all need patience and we all take turns. It can be very rough learning these lessons at such a young age but they have done very well. I make sure to take time to ask both of them for their input throughout the day and have always asked both of them the same questions individually. It can be difficult because my daughter was 6 months ahead of my son at nearly everything developmentally, so when she learned to talk first, I had to remind myself to make sure to ask my son if he could say the words my daughter was saying. I didn't want to focus on her because I was so excited that I was finally getting a verbal response!
I also like to take moments here and there to talk to them individually. I tell them how proud I am of their individual accomplishments and give them their own snuggles and goodnight talks before bedtime. Once in a while my husband or I will take only one of the twins to the store and will leave the other at home with the other parent. It's nice to have one on one time. (You can get SO much more done with only one kid in tote!)

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2 0

Ah, to have just twins to manage.... You've done well, well done.

3 0

This is always one of the main concerns when parents find out they're expecting multiples. First I'll say that quality attention doesn't always have to be one on one time, in my opinion. Some of the best times we have are sitting down and all reading a book, playing a game or singing songs - together as a family. Being a stay at home mom to quadruplets (with one on the way!) and having a husband who isn't home a lot due to work, I'll admit, they do not get a whole lot of one on one time. That being said I strive make the little things count. I'm sure throughout my day to pull one aside, hug them, tell them what they mean to me. I tell them how important they are and point out unique traits, features and talents that only they have. It's very easy for multiple siblings to be put into a group or unit, which is understandable and easier in many ways, but I try to break it up as much as possible. I'd say some of their favorite "attention" time is when they get to go on an errand by themselves with my husband or myself. Not only do they enjoy the obvious, being alone with their parent(s) but having the freedom to walk and not be in a stroller, to talk and no be overheard or interrupted is also a big deal to them. A trip to target to pick up diapers and getting to walk through the aisles absolutely makes their day. Not only is it important to them but I find it just as fun!

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2 0

Yes, I totally get all of that, thank you for sharing. I was one of eight children, all close in age, and I remember only once having both of my parents to myself (when I was 16, as a birthday treat, we had a meal) - but I never felt deprived, am fiercely proud of having a sibling upbringing (we sort of raised one another amongst our parents), and don't believe in trying to split a family into a set of individuals. It's the relationships that count.

0 0

realize that each child has his/her distinct interests and abilities. divide and conquer, when you can. take one to the store while the dropping the other off with grandparents. enjoy a ball game with one while another little one helps mommy with dinner at home. treat them as individuals...again, when YOU can. if you can't divvy up the kiddos, just sit in the floor and enjoy playing with your little ones by reading, playing, etc.

if you keep up with how much attention each child is getting and trying to be "fair", you will only get lost in the shuffle and feel helpless. focus on what you can do and not what you can't. god didn't place you in the position of being a mommy of multiples if you couldn't handle it.

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0 0

This is no easy task with five feisty tykes who are now seven and under but our key to success is recognizing that even small moments matter -- taking one kid along to walk the dog, go to the grocery store or pick up a pizza counts! When times get tough, even a trip to the doctor is an opportunity for some quality one to one time. For us, the key is to create and celebrate small moments. I actually wrote a blog post about this very topic: Lyons Den Mom: Finding Time for 1:1 when juggling 2 or more
http://lyonsdentriplets.blogspot.com/2011/05/finding-time-for-11-when-youre-juggling.html

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5 0

I like to take advantage of when one of the girls are sleeping. I might read, snuggle, watch TV or just talk to them. Steve and I will also split them up to run errands. L likes to help me in the garden while H likes to help me with laundry so they each feel special when we do those things. It's tough but as long as they get a few moments alone they feel that certain special love and attention.

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0 0

The sad truth with twins is that they never get enough attention. There simply is always someone else to mind and care for too! To balance this reality, it can be a great treat to occasionally split the twins up so that Daddy has time with one and Mommy has time with the other. There are many other opportunities to nurture both children and make them feel special—for example, read two books to them, allowing each to pick one out. Be sure to create deep, strong discussions with both even at a very early age, being mindful to include them and pull them back into conversations to continually engage them.

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0 0

I'm so grateful to be mostly breastfeeding the babies so I am super intentional about touching and snuggling them during those times. I also try to snuggle each one before bedtime and play with them throughout the day. It is often difficult and at times I feel VERY guilty but I see how they are thriving and how their faces completely light up whenever they see me...and I know they are happy, healthy, and thriving babies. Their daddy also is very intentional about playing with them and is very involved with their care - something I think most dads of multiples must be! Between the two of us (and family and friends), these babies get plenty of attention.

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0 0

My husband and I started "Tucker Days" with our oldest son after our girls were born. On these days, we'd take him out to eat, to a movie, or just peruse the local Target together. It was a time for us to spend with him in order to make sure he remembered we still loved him after all the craziness our life at turned into with a toddler and twin newborns. We've tried to continue the tradition with our girls as well. From time to time, my husband or myself will take one or two of the kids with us when running errands or for a special dinner or frozen yogurt treat. We also have worked it out with my parents where one kid (usually Tucker because at this age he's easiest) will stay the night with them from time to time, giving us more one on one time with the other two that are home with us. I saw somewhere (probably on Pinterest) where you make a jar with pre-planned "dates" written on slips of paper, then each kid can take a turn on his/her "mommy or daddy datea night" and have something fun to do. I think that is something I might try to start this summer with the kids because they really do enjoy the extra time alone.

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0 45

Enough attention? To be honest, I don't! How can one working mother split her time between 7 children, her husband and her home; making each feel special and that they get 'enough' time? But I do try. In fact, I give it my all. It is very difficult, and exhausting, and leaves no 'me' time. However, instead of trying to split my time equally, I strive to give attention where attention is needed. I have some children that simply require more attention; they seem to be more comforted by me being there. So I spend more time with them. Then I have some children that are just content without me. But you can bet that when one of my not-so-needy children ask, I drop whatever I am doing and give them my undivided attention. I like to refer to this as 'individualized mothering.' lol Another thing that I do is that anytime I do get to spend time with one child they get 100% of my attention. Even if it is just for one minute during a diaper change, I make full eye contact and make sure they feel loved. An important point to remember is that our children do not have our preconceived expectations of the amount of attention they should get. The attention that they get is their 'norm,' it is all they know.

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0 0

This is actually something that my husband and I talked about the other night.

Our daughter, Makayla, is very demanding of attention. Also, because of her trouble with seeing (she has ocular albinism with nystagmus), she sometimes needs more attention and help from us. Our son, Austin, is very independent. We realize that we have to make a focused effort to take the time with Austin, and make sure he's getting all the snuggles, kisses, play and reading time he needs and wants.

One thing I learned in our twin playgroup, from the moms who had single children before having twins, is how important alone one on one time is with each child. We have decided to make sure that they each get that time with both of us, even if it's just a trip to the store! I've found that they actually behave very differently when they are alone with one of us and have our complete and undivided attention.

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6 0

Quite often my husband and I must divide and conquer to give everyone some attention. The triplets are still home with me during the day so they get their time. My twin boys are in 4th grade so our time is driving to and from hockey and baseball. My only girl, Mairin often gets to go with me on shopping trips or out to lunch. She is the only single so her sporting events are just one on one. We also make sure that later in the evenings their dad will hang in the dining room and answer questions, homework etc..It seems to work well for us.

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0 0

One of our daughters, Ellie, has sensory issues and needs a lot of attention and touch to reassure and calm her. If she reaches a point before we can calm her down, there is no recovering, and she is a mess the rest of the day.

Balancing her needs with the other three has always been a source of frustration.

I remember one day sitting on the couch crying my eyes out because Caleb always seemed to end up observing the chaos from the corner of the room. He seemed reserved, almost sad. But Ellie was sucking up so much attention, and the other two kids were more outgoing, that I had a hard time giving him what I considered, enough attention. I thought surely I wasn’t meeting his needs and he would suffer long-term effects of not being held an equal amount as the other kids.

A good friend was over at my house helping me that day and listened to all of my worries…at least, what she could gather through my sobbing. She gave me a very freeing piece of advice.

Every child is different. Even in a set of multiples, the only thing they have in common is their birthday and blood type. They have different personalities, different styles, different preferences, and different needs for attention.

Let the child decide what they need instead of putting your expectations on them!

With that in mind, Ellie gets held the most because that’s what she needs. We dance with Abby the most because that’s what she needs to feel loved. We tickle and giggle with Elijah the most because that’s how he feels affirmed. And we let Caleb tell us when he needs cuddles and kisses, or someone to “joke” around with. Sure enough, each of them let us know what they need and when they need it even though they can’t talk yet.

Instead of getting caught up in keeping it fair on our end, we try to meet their needs for attention as they let us know their little love tanks need to be filled.

And when more than one baby needs attention at the same time, we are helping them learn that taking turns is part of growing up.

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0 72

Making sure each of our children gets their own time is very important to us. We try to steal those little moments during the day. This usually is reading a book together, coloring a picture together, working on a puzzle, and their own favorite activities. The more independent they become the individual time for each of them seems to come easier! I can sit and read a story with one while the others are doing their own thing. Now that they are older we plan on having a special day for each of them starting this summer. We plan on having them each spend a day with a different family member and then the next time it will rotate. So they will all spend time with each of the grandparents and mommy and daddy as well. They also each get to run errands with one of us on a rotation. When they were younger the main thing for them was cuddling. They each had and sometimes still do have a specific time of day they just want to cuddle.

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0 0

Splitting time and emotional energy is harder than any of the physical labor spent on caring for the needs and demands of three babies, now toddlers. I try really hard to get one on one time, away from the house and other two kids, whenever I can. This was a Mother's Day request of mine - to have a different activity for one-two hours with each individual child. I try to plan things that suit their personality since most of their time spent out of the house for activities is shared and sometimes not their favorite thing to do. I split time that weekend by taking Gracie to a farmer's market to look at dogs and hear music, took Harper to a park to run and jump and climb and took Quinn to a Gymboree class so he could sing and dance and run around with me by his side. This fit all of their personalities and filled their cups, as well as mine. I think the best thing you can do is remove them from the normal flow of their chaotic days and get them out and alone with you, to have you all to themselves and vice versa. This allows them to LEAD the way and just be themselves. It's a gift not only to them, but to me as a mother, to see them shine and interact with the world around them, as well as with me, free of competing for time. Of course there are days where you feel like a juggling act and you jump from one runny nose or hurt knee or sad face to another... and on those days... you do best to cuddle on down that assembly line while saying, "just a minute baby...mommy loves you too..." and hope it's enough.

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0 0

I don't know exactly how I split all my time. I just do it. I'm fortunate enough that my twins are my only children so I don't have to worry about the juggling act of taking care of an infant and an older child. I make sure to play with each of my girls independently while the other one is nearby and try to switch off throughout the day. It's fun that as my daughters get older they have more interest in each other. There are times when they would rather smile at their sister than play with momma!

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0 0

I'm pretty lucky in the fact that my daughter wakes up earlier than my son, so we have at least 30 minutes to ourselves. Usually later in the day my daughter plays on her own for a little bit, so I have time alone with my son. Plus, my husband and I try and take each of them out individually, even if it's just something simple like going to the store.

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157 7

To be honest the loudest gets my attention first, but the quietest gets the best quality. We have four kids. In the summer we let each child pick a parent and an activity and they get one on one time, something that is sadly lacking in our daily lives.

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0 0

Our twins are our only children, so it is usually easy to give equal attention to both of them. As of right now, our boys are still interested in the same things and love to play together, so most of our time is spent with all of us together. It's wonderful!

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