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Category: Family

How To Get Your Kids Moving On School Mornings

Do you find it a struggle to get the kids up first thing in the morning? Millions of parents around the world do! Some days are easier than others, but most of the time it’s difficult to motivate the kids to get up, wash, get dressed, and then eat a hearty breakfast before heading out to school. And if you’re in need of a hand to get the kids moving during those early hours, here are some tips that could help. 

Let Them Regulate Their Own Wake Up Time

This might sound like a very bad idea, but if you want your kids to get better at being up for school, you have to let them get on with it! So give them an alarm clock, walk them through setting it for the right time, and then see what happens next. 

Most kids will get up when it goes off and will even enjoy feeling like a grown up in the scenario. However, if they’re late waking up it’s entirely on them, and that sense of responsibility will really bring the reality their way! 

Use Meditations to Help Them Face the Day

If your kids are cranky or hyper in the morning, it’s best to do something that’ll help center them. Include it as part of your morning routine to make sure your kids quickly get with the program; a meditation, or prayers to start the day, will both work here. 

Get the kids to stand up and shake off sleep, then close their eyes and breathe through a moment of mindfulness. It’ll help them focus on what they need to do today, and make it much easier to get the rest of their morning routine done! 

Keep Their School Equipment in the Same Place

The morning routine might be daunting for your kids simply because it’s so tricky. They have to go all over the house collecting their school uniform and to pack their bags – no one wants to have to do that much work first thing! 

To make this much easier on them, institute a rule: the bag gets packed the night before and is left in the same place to be picked up before going out the door. The dining table or at the bottom of the stairs are the two most popular areas for this. 

Give Them Something to Use Up Their Energy

Adults lose a lot of morning energy as we get older. However, kids have it in spades! So put on a song that they like, or give them an activity book to go through while they’re eating their breakfast; both are great things for keeping their mind on the task at hand without being too disruptive. And if you’ve got a hyperactive morning child on your hands, the TV can be the worst thing for motivating them to get moving before school. 

School mornings can be slow – we all know that! But they don’t have to stay that way!

10 Effective Tips for Feeding Multiple Kids at Dinner

Dinner is uniquely challenging when you have more than two children. That’s because food gets messy while supersized appetites and varied tastes require flexible meal strategies and dietary restrictions. This often means you need to be creative in your cooking, prep, and management of mealtimes. Fortunately, here are some practical tips for feeding multiple kids at dinner.

Have a Plan in Place

You can easily plan what you need to do with a weekly or monthly meal list when it comes to meals. Further to that, make sure the kids know when they are supposed to eat so they can prepare themselves. For example, if you consistently serve dinner at 17:00, the kids know they should leave what they are doing and get ready at 16:50. And you can save money on groceries when you shop for a specific meal plan. Of course, it’s a bit tricky with babies, but you can see this article: ‘Newborn Feeding Schedule: How Often To Feed Your Baby‘ for expert advice.

Pre-Prepare Meals

Most people aren’t aware, but almost everything to do with food can be done in advance, and most things can be frozen. So, if your kids love spaghetti and meatballs (and they probably do), you can cook the meat sauce well in advance if you have some time in the morning. Then, when it comes to dinner, you just need to reheat the sauce (even in the microwave) and pop the pasta in the water. This means you can get everyone ready and where they need to be while the dinner basically takes care of itself. Just don’t forget the parmesan.

Enlist Some Free Labor

Did you know you can get the kids to help with meal preparation? This keeps them under your control, so you don’t need eyes in the back of your head come dinner time. However, according to a recent survey, only 33% of adults cook with their children. What a shame this is. Cooking as a family is an amazing way to bond and develop social skills. In addition, children begin to learn and, more importantly, apply practical skills. They will use skills like measurement, portion control, and even knife skills (under supervision, of course) for the rest of their lives.

Include the Kids in Decisions

One of the best ways to make mealtimes a little easier is to let the children decide certain things. You can generally get the children to behave a little better when they know they are getting something they were involved in. So when your kids know it’s marinara Monday, and they choose the meal, you can almost guarantee they will be ready and waiting for their favorite meal. Alternatively, you can mix it up by having one child pick an item for the day’s meals. For instance, one can choose the meat, another the sides and another what you will drink.

Make Dinner a Fun Time

As a parent, you know how hard it can be to get the kids to sit still for any amount of time. All they want is to play, and every little thing is wondrous. So it’s not surprising that mealtimes can be trifling when you need them to be well-behaved. But you can make dinner fun with a large family. Some simple ways of making mealtimes engaging include using various containers the kids can grab things from, serving a variety of dips, and sneaking some fresh vegetables with a mystery box. And if you have stuff to use up, play at being a restaurant and give them a menu.

BONUS: Feeding Multiple Babies

One baby is a challenge, but you might have two, three, four, or more. So it goes without saying that you quite literally have your hands full. However, you needn’t worry because there are some tricks you can use to feed multiple babies, including:

  • You can use each breast simultaneously to feed two babies if you are able.
  • Keep a record of which baby has been fed and when.
  • Set individual times for each baby, and feed them close together.
  • Tandem breastfeed more than one baby and rotate who gets the expressed milk.
  • Make formula or expressed milk bottles in advance, so they’re ready when needed.
  • Track the progress of each feeding, so you know how much to give.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help if you cannot manage.

If you have twins, triplets, or more, you can certainly breastfeed them. Most twins are breastfed until they are ready to eat solid foods. Then, try a few different positions until you’re comfy to see what works best for you. Hospitals and midwives can provide lots of help with feeding.

Get the Children to Set the Table

Coming up with an activity that you can do with the kids can be challenging, and it may seem like you are struggling to manage some times. Everyone is tired, the house is a mess, and you need a break. So why not give your kids the opportunity to get involved in the boring parts of making dinner? Sometimes, decorating the table can seem like a chore, but kids love to do it. Rummaging around the drawers for cutlery, getting out placemats, and setting their favorite fizzy drinks and cups is what kids live for. And it will teach some responsibilities while they’re at it.

Use Time-Saving Devices

With multiple children to look after, you need your time to make sure they do what they’re supposed to. So it’s no surprise that making food can sometimes feel like a waste of precious time. But with gadgets like food processors, blenders, and even pressure cookers, you can take most of the effort out of your daily meal preparation. Of course, you can always use canned foods as a bit of a cheat. Is it really necessary to boil, dice, and peel tomatoes for a Monday night meat sauce when you can just use a can of chopped tomatoes from your store cupboard?

Engage with Each Child 

Watching your kids grow and develop makes being a parent massively rewarding. So, you can use the time at dinner to really get to know your children by engaging with them. This will also make them easier to manage since they will wait for their turn to speak and tell you all about their day. However, a survey found that 30% of parents don’t know what to talk about with their kids. Some popular questions include asking about the food, their homework, and how they get along with their friends. For the most part, they won’t be shy at all about these topics. 

Offer Rewards for Good Behavior

Offering Rewards for good behavior can be an effective strategy to manage your children. For example, rewarding your kids for being good at dinner is a great way to encourage them to sit still and enjoy their meals. However, it should be used sparingly. You want your kids to behave well because they know it’s the right thing to do, rather than using it as a way to get something they want. Because of this, it’s essential that any rewards revolve around practical things like screen time or seeing a friend rather than something bad such as a bag of candy or fizzy drinks.

Have a Day Off with a Takeaway Meal

Cooking all the time can feel like a massive chore, even if you’re single and childless. So with multiple kids, it can be a nightmare. But you deserve a day off now and then, and ordering your favorite takeaway is always a great option. With food apps like Uber Eats and Just Eat, you can effortlessly order delicious meals. And you don’t need to lug the kids into the car and into a busy restaurant, where you know they won’t behave. However, ordering food isn’t usually easy on the wallet or the waistline, so keep it to a monthly treat if you need to watch either of these. 


Managing kids at mealtimes is a skill in itself, but you can struggle. Fortunately, there are many small hacks you can try to get the kids to behave. Of course, planning ahead is always a great option, and preparing whatever you can saves tons of time. But you can also make dinner more than just a time to eat by engaging with the kids and including them in decision making.

Are You Struggling With Personal Finances Due To Family Size? Try These Things

Are you struggling with personal finances due to family size? There are so many different elements that come together to make up your personal finance situation. We know that there are some people who are better off than others, and we know that there are some people who are simply better at managing their money. But, if you have a big family then being able to work out money well is crucial to being able to afford everything. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the things that you can try to keep yourself on track, so keep reading if you would like to find out more.


The first thing that you are going to need to do is go over your budget with a fine tooth comb. If you don’t have a budget at the moment then you need to make one as soon as possible as this is what is going to keep you on track. It’s not the easiest thing to live on a budget as there are often unforeseen expenses that you have to pay which can put a huge dent in your finances. But, that doesn’t mean that you can slack on the budget.

Make sure that you go through every single outgoing expense and ensure that it is crucial. The bills, the money for groceries and all of this is essential. If you are trying to budget luxuries though, this has got to stop. These are something that come later, when everything else is paid.

Be Careful With Large Purchases

You also need to be careful with large purchases if you are going to keep your money in check. Sometimes these purchases are unavoidable, like if you need to buy a car or a house, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be super careful with it. For example, one thing you cannot afford is to purchase a new car only to have it fail on you in a week’s time. As such, you should make sure that you are doing your research into the best cars for a family of your size, and looking at things such as fuel consumption as well as general reviews. Edmunds is a great place to get all of this information, so you can take a look at their website to help you make this choice.

Learn To Say No

Unfortunately, while you might not want to, when you have such a large family and a tight budget, you have to be able to say no. You are not going to be able to please everyone no matter what you do, so you have to stop trying. Money will only go so far no matter how careful you are.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do in order to manage your personal finances. A lot of people struggle with this for a variety of reasons, but if your problem is family size then you just need to make a few adjustments. You’ve got this, you just need to work to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money.

Large Family? These Tips Will Help?

Keeping a large family happy and occupied can be tough. You’re a busy parent with a career and social life of your own, which makes it difficult to meet all of your kids’ requirements.

Every morning as your kids get ready for school, your house probably becomes a chaotic mess. Everyone is vying for the bathroom, and you have numerous hungry tummies to fill before leaving for the school run.

You are not alone in your struggles as a multi-child parent. It’s difficult to devote enough time and attention to each of your children. Sometimes you spread yourself too thin and find yourself depleted by the weekend.

So, how can you be a great parent and still have time for yourself? How then can you keep your kids entertained without being overwhelmed?

Here are some excellent tips for large family parents.

Large Family Cars

You presumably perform the daily school run and take your kids to their monthly dance or sports practices.

With a small automobile, it’s hard to keep up with your kids’ weekly interests. Plus, if you plan a long road trip with the complete family, some youngsters will be left behind if your car is too small. 

With only four seats, you can only take yourself and three kids. Getting a bigger car is the obvious solution.

Find a huge SUV or people carrier and you won’t ever again will you be concerned about having enough space in the car. 

Cooking For Many

Plan your meals when you have a large family. Streamlining the cooking process can help to save you time and energy while pleasing your children.

Many delicious meals may be cooked in bulk to feed the whole family. Every week, seek out some recipes online that you and your kids would appreciate.

Pasta bake, fried rice, soup, and stew are all crowd-pleasers. These foods are easy to make and cook in abundance for your kids.

A slow cooker is one of the best kitchen appliances to buy for a large family. Making multiple pieces takes little preparation or cooking time. Put the ingredients in the slow cooker and go about your day.

Always Have Healthy Snacks On Hand

As a busy parent, you don’t want your kids to be irritated and agitated. Stocking up on healthy and tasty snacks will keep your kids from going hungry between meals.

Sandwiches, fruit, crackers, yogurt, homemade granola bars, and homemade granola. Of course, a few treats are hidden in the cupboard aren’t going to hurt once in a while. 

Stop The Arguing Quickly  

Sibling rivalry is unavoidable. It’s difficult for them to all get along all the time.

However, there are steps you can take to reduce squabbles and keep everyone pleased. Keep your kids busy to stop them fighting.

Give them chores around the house like washing dishes or cleaning a room. They won’t care what their siblings are doing if they are busy doing their own thing. 

Another approach to reducing bickering is to provide interesting group activities. This will keep kids engaged and promote teamwork. Set up a multi-player arts and crafts table or get a new console game such as Madalin Stunt Cars 2

These tips should help you to keep an orderly house with a larger family. Do you have any other tips that could help? Please share a few of them in the comments below.

Will Chatham’s Musical Variety Show is out!

My new solo album is out (unofficially)! It has been “soft launched” at and you can stream the whole thing from there, or buy it to download and listen to as you wish.

The album features some musical mastery from friend and former bandmate Morgan Geer (bass on Donald Trump Eats Babies), as well as the vocal talents of current bandmate David Earl Tomlinson (vocals on Hello My Friend).

Additionally, my two teens, Gray Chatham and Dax Chatham, contributed trumpet and sax parts on several songs. Needless to say, I am stoked at how all this came together.

The CDs and officially release to all the usual streaming services will be happening soon, but for now, here is the album. I hope you find something on it you like – it is a, well, variety of genres!


declutter photoWith the start of a new year about to happen, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection on where I’ve been focusing my attention, and what I’ve been getting out of those things. My conclusions led me to discover that I have been putting a lot of time and energy into things that don’t necessarily help me, my family, and everything surrounding those primary things (career, creativity, cashflow, etc).

So, I have decided to give up the following:

  • Caring about sports. I may watch some bigger Louisville basketball games, but overall, this has become more of a chore than anything, and I spend way too much time wrapped up in the emotions surrounding games. This is particularly unproductive when they lose.
  • Facebook. I’ve given it up before, but it serves absolutely no purpose for me. If people want to keep in touch, they know how to find me.
  • Clash of Clans. I’ve led a very successful clan for almost 2 years, and been a part of the game for almost 3. I helped start the Reddit Alliance Clans system, and all of this has been a large time sink. I did have a lot of fun, and I met a lot of great people along the way, but ultimately, it’s been entirely unproductive towards helping any of the primary things in life I mentioned above.
  • Reddit. One thing I’ve noticed is that by deleting apps off my phone, I waste a lot less time. So I am removing the Reddit app that I use, and will instead only check in on occasion when at my computer, at home. I tend to get wrapped up in drawn-out conversations (or arguments) on Reddit far too often. While some of these interactions can have positive outcomes (discussing network security, for example), most of the time I am arguing with people who will never change their minds. Why? I have no idea.

I hope to start using all the freed up time and energy (in no particular order) towards continuing my newfound interest in working out, continuing to educate myself, investing more time and energy with my family, making more music, and focusing on the things that support all of the above — the primary things in life.

I will report back more in a few months to let you know how it all goes!

Photo by ollesvensson