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Our Change of Game Plan

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A Heart For Home: Our Change of Game Plan

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our Change of Game Plan

Leading up to the birth of our newest addition, Eliya, when people discovered that we would soon have three children under the age of three we were generally met with two responses ~ blank stares and the inevitable, "You'll have your hands full."

However, one person told Tim that when the baby was born we would have to change our defense strategy from man-to-man defense to zone defense.

Considering that all I know about these terms come from the two years I played JV basketball in high school, I decided a refresher was in order.
Man-to-Man Defense
–noun Sports.
a method of defense in team sports, esp. in basketball and football, in which each member of the defensive team is designatedto guard a particular member of the offensive team.

Zone Defense
–noun Sports.
a method of defense, esp. in basketball and football, in which each member of the defensive team guards a specified portion of the playing area.
(definitions from
This has actually been a great analogy to our new life as the parents of three children.

No longer can we simply "divide and conquer" by distributing responsibility for one child to each parent. Since we are now outnumbered by our children, our tactics must change.

However, I hate saying that we are on zone defense, since defense implies that we are only reacting to our children instead of actively leading them. So instead of zone defense I'm saying we are on zone offense. I know it doesn't match the sports analogy, but I'd like to think that for the most part Tim and I are in charge of the kids and not the other way around, although some days it sure does feel like it.

So, with our new zone defense offense we train and instruct the children based on relative location or specific guidelines. Thankfully, when Tim is home we are all together for the most part. However, when the children need different things from us instead of, "Can you please help Emahry clean up while I take Jonathan to the potty?" it's now "Can you watch the girls, while I brush Jonathan's teeth?" or "Would you mind taking the two oldest to the playground, so I can lay down with the baby?"

This new approach has been working well for us. Since Eliya was born, Tim has decided to fully take on the responsibility of getting up at night with the two older children. This allows me to worry only about the baby and to get a little more rest. Tim's initiative and strong desire to be involved with our children has been such a blessing to me and has helped to make the transition to a family of five much smoother for all of us.

Now if only I could grow an extra arm (or two) so that I could manage as well when he is not at home :)

What are some ways that your family helps distribute responsibility so that no one person is overwhelmed or gets burned out?



Blogger Jules said...

I have been following your blog for awhile and I really enjoy reading! I don't leave comments because for some reason, my computer takes forever to load the comment form on your blog. I have no idea why! Anyway, we have 3 children. Our oldest just turned 5 and our youngest is 18 months so, I know exactly where you are coming from! The only advice I have is just to live it a day at a time and keep your priorities in focus but I am sure you already knew that! Your husband sounds like a huge help to you and that's awesome..mine is also an amazing Dad and husband!

I will drop back by and read more and hopefully, I can start commenting more!


February 20, 2010 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Things change so quickly so remember that this is only a season. In a few months, things may be easier-- or at least different. Brian usually takes charge of putting the three oldest to bed since they share a room and I put Benjamin to bed since he shares our room. When he is home, he is also great about getting everyone settled at the table and pouring drinks, etc. while I finish dinner and get it on the table. It is all a matter of teamwork and what works at the time. When Brian is at work, I really miss his extra hands.

February 20, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

It's interesting how our game plan has to change with seasons, stages and of course family additions :)

My DH is awesome but the children are sort of my domain. We're working to try and get him more involved.

Not only is it nice for mommy but also for the littles to really bond wth daddy. It's so important even (and maybe especially?) from a young age.

February 20, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

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