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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have experience with both DH and yourself working FT while parenting a large family? We have just been adoptive matched with a sib group of 4, and unfortunately, while we have flexible working hours, it is not possible for either of us to stay home full time. Only one of the children is in school, and right now it's looking as if they'd be in 1/2 day kindergarten.<br><br>
We're looking for any and all advice on daycare issues, forming attachments, and general large family parenting advice. It's overwhelming that we're going to be parents, and then of 4 at that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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I can't give advice on the large family aspect, as I've only got one. But I do think the responsibilities/struggles are the same.<br><br>
I stayed home until my dd was 2.5 and then my hubby sustained a career ending injury that forced me back into the work force.<br><br>
It was a very hard adjustment for me, because I was so attached in my parenting, but you just get through it.<br><br>
I found that schedules and consistency are the key. Find time cutting techniques for evening. I became the queen of crock pot cooking, that way when I got home I didn't have to spend all my time in the kitchen... all I'd have to do is throw some rice in the rice cooker and spoon the crockpot dejour of the night over it and we were all fed and happy and had all that time I would have spent cooking, together... catching up for the day.<br><br>
I also do laundry during the week after dd goes to bed. I'll start it when I get home, toss it in the dryer usually right before we eat and then fold after she goes to bed.<br><br>
I do everything that is required after she goes to bed. So I can spend as much time as possible with her.<br><br>
I got very lucky a year ago and my job became 100% telecommuter, so I never have to leave my house. BUT.. that being said, I work full time as an engineer, I work 3/4 time with my husband running our company and I'm getting ready to launch another company (in my spare time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">) so I think all my jobs makes up the difference for only having one child to deal with. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
It sounds like your kiddos are going to have a large adjustment in every aspect. Which could be a good thing.. if they start their life with you with your schedule (daycare, etc.) it will be all they know and really consistency is what they need most.<br><br>
Congratulations on your family addition <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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With that many little kids I would look towards a private babysitter rather than daycare. Daycare for more than 2 kids is usually more expensive than a nanny or a part-time babysitter, and then you wouldn't have to worry about how to pick up the oldest child from 1/2 day Kindergarten. Also it would give your children a chance to bond with you, your husband, and one caregiver, which might be better for their attachment (I'm no expert on adoption and attachment - it's just my opinion).<br><br>
It's going to be expensive for a few years, but I believe it will be worth it in the long run.<br><br>
Best of luck to you and check out our Adoption board here at MDC. There are many mamas who will be able to help you with forming attachments with your kids.
 

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I am only part time with 3 little ones, but my good friend is due with her fourth babe in a couple of weeks and owns her own practice while her husband works full time as well! They are the model of efficiency - she bags their snacks and sides for their lunches all on Sunday night, he washes the kitchen floor *without he asking him too!* while she does the laundry. The kids are pleasant and well mannered and they are already thinking of a fifth child!<br><br>
My lessons from her are ORGANIZE, plan ahead and then when all else fails, just roll with the punches. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed I look at her and she is always doing so much more than I am!<br><br>
I think that you sound like a gift and a dream to these children. They would be lucky to have you and it is always amazing what you can do when you have to - I am sure you can make it work with 4 little ones!
 

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The hardest thing I've found with more kids is that when one gets sick, and it gets passed around, and everyone gets sick...instead of being out maybe a couple of days, it can last for weeks. I WAHM and am self-employed...and that doesn't make it any easier...my clients don't care that my kids and I were down with the flu for weeks, YK? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Also, it is just harder to make sure you are getting that one-on-one time with the kids. You have to make it a priority to really know your kids and meet them where they are. Congrats on your new family - talk about baptism by fire! I'm sure you guys will do great!!
 

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I have 4 under 5 and both my DH and I work (DH full time and I part-time). The only way we can make it work is my DH works days and I work nights so we can avoid daycare.<br><br>
You and DH both have to be on-board parenting "full-time" when you are hom. We split night-duty, DH gets up on the rare occassion on of the older ones gets up and I get up with the baby. DH is also responsible for getting up early birds and taking care of them until he leaves for work at 6:30am.<br><br>
Attachments, we do a lot of, "I'm going to the store and can take one kid with me deals". The three year old gets quality in the afternoon when the older two are in preschool and the baby naps...
 

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I would second in-home childcare. Getting FOUR kids ready and out the door with you in the morning sounds like a big job. It would be a lot easier if you could avoid that. Would an au pair be an option? Where we live, if you have an extra bedroom, it's a good bit cheaper than the going rate for nannies or daycare for more than one.<br><br>
BTW, I know a man who was ONE OF TWELVE CHILDREN to two f/t WOH parents. Dad was (I believe) a lawyer, and mom was THE town OB/GYN in a rural town, which meant she was always on-call, as she was the only show in town. He said his mother just "loved babies." They bought an old motel to have as their house.
 

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I would agree with more then two kids in daycare a nanny would be cheaper and it would mean less time off when the kids each individually get sick.<br><br>
Organization is the key to keeping things running smoothly.<br><br>
One of the things we use to do when was having individual bonding days with the kids. How it worked for our schedule is once a week I would take 1 child out to breakfast and once a week dh would take one child out for lunch. We would alternate through the kids. They loved it. It was nice for us also. you can really make this work anyway whether its every other week or once a month instead of lunch out for ice cream or what ever. I know some families do the 1 hour per child once a week the child chooses what they want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the helpful responses <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I really do not think we can do an au pair, due to licensing requirements for foster care. However, I think we would be able to consider a nanny. However, I do have concerns with finding a nanny to deal with 4 kids going through grief issues due to being placed in a new home. It would be nice to not need to worry about sick care though.<br><br>
I've found another potential situation with an in-home daycare with multiple providers - their claim is to work with special needs kids. I'm going to be interviewing them later this week to find out more about their philosopies.<br><br>
We've also found a daycare center in the same facility that my husband works at that is relatively inexpensive (considering others where we live) and they have philosophies that mesh with our parenting style. They are just fine with cloth diapers a<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> and have a good combination of play and learning time (for older kids).<br><br>
I think it's a great idea to have an individual bonding day with each kid - is that typically mom takes one kid out while dad keeps the others? I suppose for the ones in daycare, he could take them out for lunch since they would be so close.. and then I could do an evening out - shopping, ice cream, or something like that.<br><br>
My DH is definitely on board with splitting parenting duties, right now the housework is split about 50/50 (or even 70/30 in his favor some weeks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ) We are also big organizers, and have tried to get together meal plans, "house rules", schedules, etc. Of course a lot of this depends on the feedback we get from their current FP.<br><br>
I'm trying to find some good crockpot recipes - I think that will be the biggest adjustment. Right now we spend a few hours cooking 1-2 nights per week and eat leftovers the rest of the week. We've tried some crockpot meals but lately haven't had much success (even though we cook well and a lot using the stove/oven). I've started meal planning, but I need to find out what kinds of foods the kids like/dislike to incorporate into the plan.<br><br>
I'm also a coupon shopper, which I think will have to change one we have the kids. So I'm thinking about a Costco membership.
 
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