Having more than one kid is never easy. You will inevitably be dealing with different age groups until they even out later on. Every child is different, and every age group has different needs, interests, and requirements. It can be so tricky keeping up with raising different age groups, and you kind of feel like you are losing your mind at times.
Not only is it tough finding the time to juggle all your responsibilities with children, but when you have kids in different age groups you can’t really lump together activities or even cook them the same meals sometimes. The little ones usually need more attention than their older siblings, and this can sometimes bring about that ever-famous mom guilt that you are neglecting the older child. Figuring it all outcomes with time, but there will be new challenges every day as they grow.
You will never know exactly what to do, but trying your best is all your kids need. You need to just understand your children and what they need, and try spread yourself out a bit. It will never be easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind to help you along the way.
Always have one-on-one time – You might be always rushing around or fighting to find some free time, but it is vital to make one-on-one time with each child. As important as family time is, spending time bonding with each kid on their own will keep building your relationship and help you both feel included (and hopefully your child will not feel left out). Try and base your one-on-one time around what your child enjoys doing. This might mean taking the little explorer on a hike, or going to watch a movie with your teen.
Be flexible – there is no need for perfection – You need to remember that nothing is ever perfect. You won’t always get it right, and that is okay. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Sometimes the younger kids need more attention, and other times you might find yourself studying till late with your older kid. Take each day at a time; you will know where your attention is most needed. A mom’s best strategy is to be flexible – go with the flow.
Know your age groups and their requirements – Each age group has different needs and offer up new challenges. Even if you have older kids, the younger ones will probably be very different to their siblings. You have to get to know what each age group needs in order to fulfill their requirements. It all sounds so formal, but getting the right things done helps keep everyone happy. You will just have to find a good routine to fit everyone into, as best as you can. Make sure you can rock your baby to sleep, while still being able to read to your teenager.
Have family values set – It really helps if everyone is on the same page. Have regular family dinners together, or little meetings if you must. Make sure everyone understands the family values, and that everyone knows that they are just as important as the next person. This really unifies the family and helps them understand that sometimes your attention needs to be diverted to the child that needs it the most.
Help the older siblings be understanding – Sometimes a little bit of responsibility goes a long way. Giving the older sibling some jobs to do around their baby sister or brother can help them feel included and needed. Get them to fetch nappies if they are still young, or have them read to the baby if they are a little bit older. This really helps everyone feel like a family unit, it helps you with both the younger kids and the older ones, and it also gives you a bit of a break!
There is no clear-cut way of raising kids in different age groups. This is because no child is the same, and also life isn’t easy. You as the mom know you kids best and you will know what each child needs through every stage of growing up. Just trust that you are doing your best, and hopefully, everyone else will know that too.