Raising Sextuplets: Life with the Masche Family

Staying Organized

mother playing with kids

Getting anywhere on time is a huge battle for Jenny. "With sextuplets, it's easy to forget something or for one of the kids to need a last-minute diaper change," she says. "The unexpected always seems to happen."

Bryan and Jenny each use a daily planner, but the arrangement is far from foolproof. "I'm not perfect about entering appointments, and things sometimes slip through the cracks," Jenny admits. Recently, she forgot to record a time change for a pediatrician visit. "The office called, saying, 'You're 15 minutes late. Are you coming?'"

Jenny can't afford a slipup on the nights when she works: There's a three-hour gap between when she leaves and Bryan gets home. His aunt Barbara watches the kids during that time. Jenny calls Barbara every Saturday to review her childcare needs for the week. "It's a huge blessing that we have a lot of family nearby and that they enjoy helping out," she says.

How to do it better: With a work shift like Jenny's that varies from week to week, a shared online calendar (such as Google Calendar, a free application) is a better option. "That way, Jenny, Bryan, and other caregivers can add and view appointments simultaneously," says Tonia Tomlin, author of Chaos 2 Calm: The Moms-of-Multiples' Guide to an Organized Family. To get out the door faster, Jenny can lay out the kids' clothing the night before and keep a diaper bag packed and ready to go. It's also a good idea to aim to leave 15 minutes early; this builds in extra time for the inevitable departure delays.

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