my life on one particularly rainy thursday

I've received a few emails from women considering babysitting/being a nanny so I thought would create a post out of pictures to just illustrate my day. I took 169 pictures over the course of eight hours. Most of those were duplicates or multiple attempts to capture one don't fret...I didn't totally neglect the kids ;).

not pictured: Our morning before babysitting which included but is not limited to a very quick hot shower, mickey mouse clubhouse, two chocolate milk sippy cups, one nursing session, cocoa krispies for breakfast, a small dancing moment in the kitchen, one timeout and a quick brushing of my hair

not pictured: The girls arrive to v's squeals of delight. "Temley moooommmy, Temley here!!"


Start dinner after putting Elle down for a nap and entertaining Tenley with a few air puffs. The girls are on Mya's top bunk reading books to each other.  The key to babysitting so many kids is being willing to give up all free time. Any moment all the girls are occupied goes to making dinner, picking up messes, starting and/or folding laundry, preparing a daily activity, pulling the car out of the garage and rearranging carseats, etc. I am always busy. No exaggeration. It takes strategic planning.

I wash dinner dishes, sweep the floor and play "brooming" with V. Tenley enjoys a moment alone since V is not attacking her and is busy distracted elsewhere. Another important thing I have learned over these past few months is that it is IMPERATIVE to clean as you go. I once left messes all over the house with the idea of cleaning them later, and well later happened several days later. Not good for my health or sanity. I now wash dishes and sweep at 9:00, 1:00 and 4:00.


 After a diaper change, one baby goes down as the other one wakes up. I strap Elle into the Baby Bjorn and prepare lunches for the day. Thursday is playgroup day so I made the lunches to go...even though we ended up just coming home to eat them anyway. You have to be flexible in life, right? I also always turn on music (which changes depending on my mood). I was feeling rather anxious yesterday with all that I had to do before 11 so I opted for Enya.

Snack time


I teach the girls a letter everyday, if time permits. I taught them the letter X yesterday and made fake x-rays of people for them to color. I entertain Elle with my slipper and a wire whisk. She obviously loves it.

I get changed from my pajamas in a flash and change all my girls one by one. 

Not pictured: Diaper changes for the three younger girls. I pack all the kids in the car. I should seriously be considered for a commercial for the Honda Pilot. The fact that I fit all five kids (six on Mondays) and a stroller in my car is pretty dang amazing. We look like a circus, but works.


Playgroup this week was at the local fire station. The older girls were given strict instructions to be good listeners and stay near me. They forgot those rules the moment we entered the building and got lost somewhere between the entrance and the first hallway. Needless to say...I told them I'd sell them to the police if they did it again and they weren't happy with me so it took them a little while to come around for the tour. Mya kept whining, "This is so booooorrrring." She didn't think it was so boring when she got to play in the big trucks. The kids weren't 100% cooperative so I scrapped lunch at a friend's house and went home immediately after the tour. They both cried about that for most of lunch. Tough girls. Tough. 

Not pictured: I was frazzled after getting home and getting all the kids in the door that I didn't take pictures of lunch. Plus all you would've seen were rather grumpy faces and large bird lips. 


Naptime/quiet time...finally! Elle goes down first. Mya and Lexie go downstairs to pick one book each. I read one book to V, sing her favorite two songs, stroke her forehead and kiss her cheek before issuing her daily warning "to stay in bed and go to sleep." I lock the door on my way out for good measure (The previous tenants changed the lock on the door to face out so it is perfect for little bodies who like to sneak out of naptime.) I race downstairs to read to the older girls after giving Tenley a bottle. After books, I walk Mya upstairs and give her 11 minutes (because eleven is soooo much more than ten) on the iPad. I then run back downstairs to change Tenley's diaper and wrap and put her to sleep before starting a movie for Lexie. That usually takes just about the right amount of time for Mya's quiet time so I head back to my bedroom (where she naps) and cuddle with her for two minutes. Two minutes turns into ten minutes and well, they are my most cherished ten minutes of everyday. I sneak out of the room, wash all the lunch dishes, start dinner, head to the living room and sit down for the first time all day. I read my scriptures (and a chapter from another book if I'm lucky) and say a really loong prayer that the afternoon will go quicker than the morning. 

This girl comes clunking down the hallway with a scowl fit for a Harley biker with an overgrown mustache. It takes several minutes to coax her out of her groggy bad mood before she finally is lured by a lollipop in the kitchen. That's all because of the lollipop. 

V and I feed and entertain Elle while we wait for Lexie to finish her movie and Mya to wake up from her nap. 

We have another snack time. Lexie and V run around the living room playing Ring Around the Rosies and jumping on the couch. Lexie is really good to V. It makes a world of difference. They get increasingly louder even though I am constantly reminding them to be quiet because babies and/or Mya are still sleeping, but I secretly think they do it because they want Mya to wake up and join the fun. 

All the kids have been awake for a little while, all diapers have been changed and all bottles have been given. Krachel comes to pick up her girls and of course my girls have to go outside to see them off, which in reality buys them a few extra minutes of play time.

--the who needs a nap?--

If you are seriously considering babysitting as a way to bring in extra money, you better learn to be flexible. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned, but as long as I do have a rough outline, I can usually get things done as time permits. I honestly will never do it again. It's not my thing. I have learned a lot about myself...mostly that I am stronger than I usually think I am...but I don't like being so restricted to my house. I know it will take some adjustment to go back to just the three of us, but I am ready for it.


  1. Oh my goodness! This last photo is SO precious!

  2. You amaze me. That is one darling picture of Elle on the kitchen floor.

  3. wow. i thought it was a stretch for me to have one extra baby. let alone your 3 (which are closer in age than mine), plus another baby & preschooler. I am impressed you lasted that long. I don't think I would have. thanks for sharing a glimpse of your craziness (i'm glad for you its almost over)


"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley