Busy mum-of-five shares easy parenting hacks which work every time including a tech ban & a dance move you should know | #parenting


A BUSY mum has revealed her best tips and life-saving parenting hacks she has used to cope with having her five children at home during lockdown. 

Anastasia Cooper, 34, from Oxfordshire admitted routine and organisation are key to ensuring her household doesn’t ‘plunge into chaos’ but revealed it’s hard to juggle mum life. 

12

Mum-of-five Anastasia Cooper said organisation is key to avoiding her family plunging into ‘chaos’Credit: Anastasia Cooper

She thanked regular snacks, awful mum dances, fresh air and a sneaky supply of chocolate – for helping her keep on top of day-to-day life in lockdown. 

She even joked that family meal times can often feel like they’re at a birthday party as there’s so many of them always laughing and joking.

The full-time mum, who shares Lily, 11, Louie, nine, Poppy, seven, Teddie, three, and Dolly, one, with her partner Andy, admitted some days are hard but there’s a lot of perks to having a large family. 

She said her five children always have someone to play with and she encourages the five siblings to see themselves as lucky to have one another during this difficult time. 

She thanked regular snacks, awful mum dances, fresh air and a sneaky supply of chocolate for daily life in lockdown12

She thanked regular snacks, awful mum dances, fresh air and a sneaky supply of chocolate for daily life in lockdownCredit: Anastasia Cooper
Anastasia has Lily, 11, Louie, nine, Poppy, seven, Teddie, three, and Dolly, one, with her partner Andy

12

Anastasia has Lily, 11, Louie, nine, Poppy, seven, Teddie, three, and Dolly, one, with her partner AndyCredit: Anastasia Cooper

She said: “On the whole I would say we are coping well. But that’s not to say some days aren’t hard. 

“Juggling so many children at the best of times isn’t easy and being stuck in the house has taken some getting used to.

“But one of the great things about a larger family is that there is always someone to play with. 

“When you have so many children you have no choice but to plan ahead, prep things the night before and ultimately keeping calm is essential.

“Some days are perfect and I feel like I am completely smashing motherhood. But I’m always brought back down to earth with a bad day and I question where I’m going wrong. 

“But I think that’s normal no matter how many children you have. It’s really not as chaotic as people think having so many children.”

She even joked that family meal times can often feel like they’re at a birthday party12

She even joked that family meal times can often feel like they’re at a birthday partyCredit: Anastasia Cooper

Anastasia, who shares her honest approach to motherhood on her Instagram, said her children are loving and caring towards each other and have the ‘odd squabble’ as siblings do.

However the mum-of-five admitted people always stop and count all the children with shocked expressions on their faces when they all go out together. 

But she said she tries to be relaxed and fair with her five kids – letting them spend their days as they wish once their school work is finished.

She added: “Some go to their rooms to play games or watch TV but if I get out an activity for the youngest two, they all often like to join in. 

Anastasia admitted some days are hard but there’s a lot of perks to having a large family12

Anastasia admitted some days are hard but there’s a lot of perks to having a large familyCredit: Anastasia Cooper

“But I have never baked so many cakes and biscuits in all my life. But anything to keep them busy and it helps to have a constant supply of snacks with so many little mouths to feed.

“We go for walks most days, taking bikes or scooters. But if I’m honest it’s sometimes exhausting just getting them all ready to leave the house. 

“It was so much easier in the summer when I didn’t need to wrestle coats, hats and gloves on them all. But once we are out in the fresh air we always enjoy it. 

“We have done movie nights, pamper nights and games nights just so we have things to look forward to.

“And lockdown birthdays aren’t so bad when you have so many children as it feels like a party most meal times anyway.”

Anastasia said she tries to be relaxed and fair with her five kids - letting them spend their days as they wish once their school work is finished12

Anastasia said she tries to be relaxed and fair with her five kids – letting them spend their days as they wish once their school work is finishedCredit: Anastasia Cooper

The family-of-seven try to stick to a routine but admit it is hard when the two youngest children – three-year-old Teddie and one-year-old Dolly – wake up at 5am most days. 

The mum said she tries to have the five children up, fed and dressed by 8am so she can prepare them for the school day ahead.

She said lunchtime is at 12pm and they finish school work by 3pm before having dinner around 5pm and bathtime at 6pm. 

She said one thing that really helps her is to make the kids’ packed lunches as if they’re going to school - despite being in lockdown12

She said one thing that really helps her is to make the kids’ packed lunches as if they’re going to school – despite being in lockdownCredit: Anastasia Cooper

“At the weekends all our routine goes out the window,” said mum-of-five Anastasia.

“We always try to get out for a walk and do some activities as a family while Andy has the weekend off with us. I must admit we are fairly relaxed with a lot of things. 

“But I do like to keep the house tidy so at weekends there is no technology until the children’s bedrooms are clean and tidy. No TV or technology after 8pm. 

“And if no homeschooling has been done or not even been attempted by the children then there’ll be no technology for that day too.”

But mum Anastasia said she definitely relies on a few life-saving mum hacks to help make juggling motherhood a little bit easier. 

The mum said she tries to have the five children up, fed and dressed by 8am so she can prepare them for the school day ahead12

The mum said she tries to have the five children up, fed and dressed by 8am so she can prepare them for the school day aheadCredit: Anastasia Cooper

She said one thing that really helps her is to make the kids’ packed lunches as if they’re going to school – despite being in lockdown. 

And she also prepares the table for breakfast with cereal and bowls ready every morning too. 

She said: “Sometimes when I can tell I’m starting to lose control of a situation I pop on some music and do an awful mum dance which defuses any situation and ends in fits of laughter.

“I go through the school work the children have been set for the next day and make sure that I understand it before expecting the children to. 

“If I don’t understand it I Google it! Thank goodness for Google helping me. I also like to have the children’s clothes ready for the next morning so it’s easy for them to grab and the older ones can dress themselves. 

“Otherwise they empty half a wardrobe trying to find a particular thing they want to wear or they end up staying in their pyjamas all day.”

She said her best advice would be to do what is best for ‘you and your family’12

She said her best advice would be to do what is best for ‘you and your family’Credit: Anastasia Cooper

The mum-of-five said one of her big tips would also be to keep a stash of chocolate as it can be used for a multitude of situations. 

She believes it can help solve tantrums, bumped heads, grazed knees and is great for keeping the kids quiet when she’s on important phone calls. 

But despite trying to stay positive, Anastasia admitted that being ‘brutally’ honest – homeschooling has been hard. 

She said: “Trying to juggle three children who are trying to work on laptops and two toddlers causing mischief whilst trying to run a household isn’t easy. 

“Some days can run like clockwork and I feel like we have smashed it and other days can end in tears and tantrums and that’s not just from the children! 

“Trying to split myself in so many directions can get really stressful. But I do my best. I didn’t choose this situation nor did my children so we just have to make the best of it.”

The mum-of-five said one of her big tips would also be to keep a stash of chocolate as it can be used for a multitude of situations12

The mum-of-five said one of her big tips would also be to keep a stash of chocolate as it can be used for a multitude of situationsCredit: Anastasia Cooper

Earlier in the week, Anastasia said she noticed her children were ‘flagging’ so she set up an indoor picnic and a movie instead of school work that day to cheer them up. 

She believes having three children each with different homeschooling lessons that need support and remembering who has live lessons at what times can be particularly challenging. 

The mum admitted that keeping the house quiet for the three older children to do school work with two toddlers running around can be like ‘mission impossible.’

The busy mum often wonders how much easier it must be for smaller families12

The busy mum often wonders how much easier it must be for smaller familiesCredit: Anastasia Cooper

She commented: “Some days I feel like Mary Poppins and others more like Cruella DeVille. I feel like I’m trying to spin so many plates at the moment but I’m determined not to drop any. 

“Everyone thinks I’m super-mum, but I’m really not. I just try my best and don’t stress about the things I can’t control. 

“I do often wonder how much easier it must be for smaller families, but I couldn’t ever imagine life without my tribe.

“Luckily, the older three children are wonderful with the younger two. It’s such a beautiful thing to watch. 

“I love that they naturally want to help and I am so proud of how caring and nurturing they all are towards each other. 

“They keep asking if we can have another baby now that the youngest has just turned one!”

The mum pops on some music and does an awful mum dance which defuses any tense situation12

The mum pops on some music and does an awful mum dance which defuses any tense situationCredit: Anastasia Cooper

But mum Anastasia said despite their family-of-seven set up helping them get through lockdown, she said it’s important that other families do what is best for them.

She said her best advice would be to do what is best for ‘you and your family’ as everyone has different circumstances and should never compare.

She added: “Keep calm and take a deep breath when things get too much. A bad day doesn’t make you a bad mother. 

“Try and take some time for yourself in the evening to relax. Large families can be hard work, but the rewards outweigh it all. Large families are the best!”

Previously, a mum shared the ‘genius’ parenting hack that gives her a ‘peaceful child-free hour’ each week.

We also shared how a mum invented a brilliant tip to keep kids quiet by telling them they need to lie still to ‘charge’ their glow-in-the-dark pyjamas.

And an evil genius’ mum sends kids out to deliver pointless note just to get them out the house.

Amazing iPhone trick helps parents child-proof their gadgets by locking touchscreen without turning the display off





Source link