One of the first things I wanted to talk about is something people ask us all of the time.
"How do you do it all? I can barely keep up with my (insert number) of children."
The first thing I would like to say is that my husband and I believe that children are a blessing. Psalm 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from him.
We love them dearly and feel like God has given us the grace to handle our 5 children. We seek him and trust him in all that we do. That isn't to say that we don't have tough moments, of course we do, but we always remember that we can get through whatever hardship comes our way.
Something that I have discovered is essential for me and my sanity is a schedule. I am not a huge stickler, laying out every 15 minutes of each day on a chart, but I try to get a general idea of the week ahead and stick with it. With 5 children and a very busy schedule, we have to sometimes go with the flow, but in general we stay pretty on track. When my first son was an infant, I read On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo. It was very helpful in getting all of my infants on a good schedule. They have all (so far) slept through the night at 8 weeks which has been a huge blessing. I have also enjoyed his recommendation of letting your infant eat, then play, then sleep. It worked really well with our family. It also helped me to know how to schedule my nursing schedule. I am currently reading Managers of Their Homes by Teri & Steve Maxwell. They are very big into schedules. I think it might be a little too micro managed for my liking, but I am getting some good tips for things to do with little ones while older ones homeschool. I am sure I will have more to say about this as I get farther into the book.
Another thing that I highly recommend is have a set naptime/quiet time for all children. Each day our younger children take a minimum of a 2 hour nap. The older children have to do something quiet like read books, color, watch a movie or play a video game. During this time, I am able to do lots of house hold chores, return emails, pay bills, make phone calls and occasionally take a nap myself. This proved very helpful especially when pregnant.
Something else we do is, all children go to bed at 8pm. The older children typically take books to their bed since they fall asleep a little later. My husband and I are able to have some alone time before it is too late which has been wonderful for our marriage. I tend to do the leftover chores, emails, and phone calls I didn't get to during the day at this time as well.
Overall, I would say I am far from perfect, but I think we do a pretty good job of managing everyone and our busy schedules. I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions that you might have and I will do my best to answer them.