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My younger kids are going to bed way too late



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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 9:47 am
Help me break this cycle. I have several kids ranging from toddlers to teens (the teens are boys who get home around 10). By the time I finish work, relax a bit because I'm exhausted, feed myself and everyone else an afternoon snack, change diapers and take kids to the bathroom, straighten up the kitchen from breakfast, get supper on the table while the baby tugs at my skirt, feed everyone, take the kids out to play, come in, bathroom again, feed everyone again, do homework, baths 2x week and sink "bath" other days, nurse and put in the baby, pajamas, stories and good nights for the preschooler shift and the school ager shift - it's 9:30 on a good day, 10 or later on a bad day. If I had a hard night with my toddlers or a sick kid, then I absolutely cannot move and either need to add time for a nap, or everything just goes slowly because I can't function.
How do we break this cycle? It isn't working - my second grader can't get up in the morning, I don't have time to keep up with the house, my teens aren't getting any attention from me...
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mummiedearest




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 9:59 am
Yikes. Can you deal with supper differently? Meal prep entire meals in large batches. You can freeze them in 9x13 pans for oven heating or ziploc bags for crockpot cooking. Set up crock pot meals morning of, or defrost pans and stick them in the oven when you get home. Your small children do not need snacks after school, they just need supper. Can your oldest kids watch the middle set play outside while you put the youngest to bed?
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amother
OP


 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 10:05 am
Ok. I would love to meal prep, but haven't actually made it happen. Can you help me schedule it into my week - first, planning and making sure we have the proper ingredients, and then the actual prep?
My kids do need a snack, they get home around 3, and a shift at 4, and supper is around 5 when the 3rd shift comes home. Then everyone is STARVING again around 7. They really don't eat much at school.
My oldest ones are busy with maariv and learning. I can ask the 10 year old to take kids outside but I need to be semi-supervising through the window. I also don't want to place this on him as a daily responsibility.
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amother
Bottlebrush


 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 10:09 am
amother OP wrote:
Ok. I would love to meal prep, but haven't actually made it happen. Can you help me schedule it into my week - first, planning and making sure we have the proper ingredients, and then the actual prep?
My kids do need a snack, they get home around 3, and a shift at 4, and supper is around 5 when the 3rd shift comes home. Then everyone is STARVING again around 7. They really don't eat much at school.
My oldest ones are busy with maariv and learning. I can ask the 10 year old to take kids outside but I need to be semi-supervising through the window. I also don't want to place this on him as a daily responsibility.

Why do you have to be there to feed the older kids. Bathe/ bedtime routine for younger kids while older kids get themselves dinner. Maybe I misunderstood.
Our routine is:
Come home at 4, snack for littles, I make dinner
Dinner at 5/5:30
Baths/ bedtime routine from 6-7
Little kids bed by 7/7:30
Then I have time for the older kids.
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mummiedearest




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, Jun 10 2024, 10:25 am
Ok. Meal prep begins with menu planning. How often can you fit in prep? Some will do weekly, some will do monthly…

Pick a Sunday to work on this. Plan simple meals and see how many you can make. Aim to make three recipes, but multiples of each. If you can make five of each, that’s a nice freezer stash. Plan the menu the week before and make sure to have groceries by Friday. Have the other supplies (bags or pans) stocked in advance. Once you see how many meals you can make in a day, choose how often to do it.

Snack- limit those to things that are healthy but easy. Hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks, easy fruit (grapes, blueberries, whole apples/pears/oranges), baby carrots/snap peas/small cucumbers/celery sticks with chummus, cottage cheese, yogurt. Nothing that requires chopping anything up. Most of your kids should be able to serve themselves.

Playtime outside- little kids get limited outdoor play. You need to figure out when a healthy bedtime is. Preschoolers can often go to bed at 6:30, in which case they don’t get to play outside after supper. Outdoor time needs to be at snack time. Do you have a comfy outdoor chair? Can you rest and snack while watching the kids outside? Do you feel comfortable allowing kids from ages 7 and up play outside unsupervised while you do bedtime with the littles?
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amother
Raspberry


 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 10:05 pm
Now with summer coming my house is running later too but it think it's the outdoor play that needs to cut back. How many kids do u need to physically bathe? I have 4 between 2 and 10 kah but only the 2 youngest needs physical help.
I get home at 3.20 with the 2 little ones. They eat cookies and milk or rice cakes and cheese while I prep easy suppers. Then by 4.15 we go out to play and wait for the big ones to get home. They get home about 5, we go in for supper, homework immediately after supper and then back out. On good days I bring the 2 little one back in by 6.30 and they're in bed by 7.15 but if I have ladies for company it can easily be 7 before I even come inside. 2 big ones come in at 8 regardless and bedtime is at 9. But they don't need my help at all. Just a listening ear and a little coaching to keep on track for bedtime
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emee2




 
 
    
 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 10:17 pm
Hère is my schedule:
I get home at 4:15 with 3 kids ages 5-8
We do bathroom, unpack bags and free play. If they need a snack before dinner I try to give them part of dinner but if I can’t then they get some type of packaged snack yogurt, granola bar, cheese string etc
5:00 Dinner
5:30 Baths/ PJs (teenagers come home)
Brush teeth
Read a story
6:30 Tucked in bed (preschoolers)
6:30-7:30 cleanup spend time talking to older kids
7:30 bedtime routine with my 8 year old
8:00 pm he is in bed
8:00-10:00 is personal time and time for teens
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emee2




 
 
    
 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 10:26 pm
For menu planning I do that motsei Shabbos I plan a menu for the week for every meal and snacks plus the following Shabbos. I shop on Sunday and then another small shop on Thursday. Every night before bed I take out stuff from the freezer for the next nights supper. I cook supper in the afternoon when I’m done work but before my kids come home.

I also try and batch cook and freeze stuff I also stick to pretty simple meals. When I chop vegetables for dinner I chop the whole container and put in the fridge so there are chopped veggies available and I’m not stuck chopping for snacks

I limit outdoor play to kids who can be out by themselves or when I have older kids that can watch the younger kids.

We do baths mon wed fri. And I use that time to get stuff done. Like I put my preschoolers in the bath and leave them while I do some other stuff.
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camp123




 
 
    
 

Post Sat, Jun 15 2024, 11:52 pm
amother OP wrote:
Ok. I would love to meal prep, but haven't actually made it happen. Can you help me schedule it into my week - first, planning and making sure we have the proper ingredients, and then the actual prep?
My kids do need a snack, they get home around 3, and a shift at 4, and supper is around 5 when the 3rd shift comes home. Then everyone is STARVING again around 7. They really don't eat much at school.
My oldest ones are busy with maariv and learning. I can ask the 10 year old to take kids outside but I need to be semi-supervising through the window. I also don't want to place this on him as a daily responsibility.


If they eat supper at five they should not be starving at seven seven if they didn't eat at school. Maybe your snack is to big and then they don't eat enough at five and they are hungry at seven and that is messing things up.

Give a small snack at 3.30, enough supper at five and get them used to not eating after, earlier need time, but my guess is at the moment they are not eating breakfast. If they eat their last meal at five they'll need breakfast. Basically to change the sleeping schedule you need to change their eating schedule
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Jun 16 2024, 7:43 am
They most definitely do eat breakfast.
They don't eat great at supper - possibly having too much snack.
Also, playing outside works up an appetite, but I believe playing outside is important for their health and I don't want to give up on it.
Another issue is that when the first shift comes home at 3, I usually have around an hour of work left. I work remotely and don't usually manage to finish while they're out due to appointments, phone calls, etc. So I don't give them much attention until 4. I have tried working at night but it isn't for me - I don't concentrate well enough at that point.
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amother
Daylily


 

Post Sun, Jun 16 2024, 7:54 am
amother OP wrote:
Help me break this cycle. I have several kids ranging from toddlers to teens (the teens are boys who get home around 10). By the time I finish work, relax a bit because I'm exhausted, feed myself and everyone else an afternoon snack, change diapers and take kids to the bathroom, straighten up the kitchen from breakfast, get supper on the table while the baby tugs at my skirt, feed everyone, take the kids out to play, come in, bathroom again, feed everyone again, do homework, baths 2x week and sink "bath" other days, nurse and put in the baby, pajamas, stories and good nights for the preschooler shift and the school ager shift - it's 9:30 on a good day, 10 or later on a bad day. If I had a hard night with my toddlers or a sick kid, then I absolutely cannot move and either need to add time for a nap, or everything just goes slowly because I can't function.
How do we break this cycle? It isn't working - my second grader can't get up in the morning, I don't have time to keep up with the house, my teens aren't getting any attention from me...

I know it's very hard but you need to make dinner on Sundays for the week. Dinner needs to be already cooked beforehand so you only need to heat it up each day.
I won't suggest menu ideas because I have to cater to a list of allergies but basically I defrost packages of ground beef, chicken, chicken breast, etc in time for Sunday morning and cook each thing in 9x13s in the oven. Along with trays of rice, couscous, potatoes, and a pot of plain noodles. One pan dinners are great too.
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emee2




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Jun 16 2024, 8:39 am
amother OP wrote:
They most definitely do eat breakfast.
They don't eat great at supper - possibly having too much snack.
Also, playing outside works up an appetite, but I believe playing outside is important for their health and I don't want to give up on it.
Another issue is that when the first shift comes home at 3, I usually have around an hour of work left. I work remotely and don't usually manage to finish while they're out due to appointments, phone calls, etc. So I don't give them much attention until 4. I have tried working at night but it isn't for me - I don't concentrate well enough at that point.

I understand not wanting to give up the outside time. What about feeding dinner outside? Would that help? Or getting a mother’s helper to play with them outside so you can finish work and prep dinner?
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Jun 16 2024, 10:14 am
Thanks, those are both great suggestions
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