Four kids, three businesses, two careers, one family, featuring the Sauder girls
Tiffany: I'm your host, Tiffany Souder. And this is scared, confident.
In this episode, I'm giving you a glimpse into the Sauder home because I get lots of questions about how do you do it? How what's it like to have four kids and a two career home? And so I figured why don't you guys just hear from them? So as you listen, you're going to hear from my oldest Opry, who's 12.
Um, Ainslee who's. Hy-Vee is six she's in kindergarten. And then Quincy, you won't hear from her directly because she's the only one, but you'll certainly get the big girls take on the role. Quincy plays in her house.
Ainsley: I'm the oldest,
Aubrey: the second one, the second oldest. And I'm the third owner
Ainsley: in Quincy's the baby.
Tiffany: now that you've heard. Too. I'll let them share what they think about their lives while sharing some practical tips, insights into how we run our day to day and get it all done.
Ainsley: I feel like things are always moving. Like after this, I have swim practice and then after swim practice, I dinner late. And then tomorrow Ainsley's student council in the morning I've choir in the morning. And then. Swim practice again after school,
Aubrey: I guess I have volleyball practice. It's just like every we're always busy.
It just seems like it's always bare consistent, but it also feels like that. Usually we have a schedule and we have a plan. I'm not saying our mom is the most organized person in the world, but usually she has things under control. I
Ainsley: feel like my mom remembers the important thing.
Aubrey: I second, that opinion how she loves us and how much she cares.
Ainsley: Like she normally has everyone's schedules down. We have like 17 calendars. It feels like where everything
Aubrey: is. our mom like does a podcast and she owns her business and she just bought a new one.
It just seems like. I mean, there's always like new news. Like it's just like, it keeps going. And then our dad
Ainsley: travels a lot too, so that makes it hard sometimes to get to all the things. And also
Aubrey: like we have girls nights when daddy, God, that's also
Tiffany: So as a recap for what's going on, on the regular, in our house, So I work full-time I go to the office really, I would say four or five days a week.
So while there's a lot of flexibility that stuck in our home as a result of COVID, um, I work better when I have separation. And so I do go into the office most of the time. And my husband Jr. Has a big job. And right now he travels, I would say, 30 to 50% of the time on any given month. And so the like exit and re-entry of dad is certainly something that is a constant part of our home right now.
And as it relates to like the girls, as extracurricular activities, the older two are in like one sport each and then they're also involved in usually like some type of musical thing to like show choir or something like that at school. So they're in stuff, but they are not like scheduled to the max. In part because of my husband and I schedules, we have really cool things that they get to do as a result of the things that we've gotten to do.
And some of that is outside of the confines of like school extracurricular activities. And we do extracurriculars like as a family,
Aubrey: honestly, we definitely don't have it hard, like compared to other kids' lives. We definitely have the easy way. And I feel like we take that for granted a lot. And I feel like, how will it impact my future is.
It'll just like, remind me how important spending time with your kids is. And just like how our parents role model that like how they love us and like, how will we know that they will never abandoned us and like how they just care?
Ainsley: I think that it's kind of just like, we'll get through it. Cause like when my dad travels for a long time, like he comes back.
So it's just kinda like step-by-step.
Aubrey: When my dad goes, I a chapel for a long time, I miss him very much. I feel like even they just like respect our ideas, which, I mean, it's just feels good as a kid. Cause you know that you don't have as much power as they do. And I mean, even when they just like put us to bed at night, like just.
Spending like that, like five minutes with us just makes us know, like if our parents weren't that loving, then, like they wouldn't do that. And we wouldn't be able to like, hold onto those memories, like hold on to all the quality times. And even though our like dad travels and sometimes they're super busy because they have to go out for a night.
Like we manage.
Ainsley: Our dad also tries to make time for us once a month. He tries to take us out to breakfast like individually, Ainsley and I, so that's fun. And when my dad is traveling, sometimes we get to spend one-on-one time with my mom too. So.
Aubrey: They also like our parents come to our sporting events. So like my volleyball tournaments, Opry, swimming, swim meets, and I view whatever sports she's doing at the time.
So they just like, they care about our activities and they don't think of. While we're just paying for this and our kids aren't learning anything. Like I know that my dad he'll go with me and he'll practice. Like we will hit against the garage store pro volleyball. And whenever we like go to a pool, then he'll work with Aubrey to like beat her time for swimming laps.
And our dad's like. Is it an athlete for sure. But it just like helps us. Cause I know that again, if they didn't care that much, then like they wouldn't spend that quality time with us.
Tiffany: It's not every weekend, but Friday nights are pretty sacred family time. Jr. And I are both usually pretty spent from getting through the week and the girls.
Ready for our undivided attention. So Friday night is usually dinner as a family out somewhere. We like to take them places that are nice. It like expands their like palette and gives them fun experiences. Um, and also I think it's just good for kids to like, need to behave and like go to nice restaurants and learn the like decorum.
That is that. And so that's definitely part of our family culture. I also love to cook, especially when Jr is home. We really sit as a. Like with dinner, like plates on the table that girls set the table and like, we eat like Pumas. Um, and so when he's gone, sometimes it can be more of a standup short order cook.
Like I'm just slinging food across the island. But when he's here, we really do sit as a family. It's a great time for us to connect, just like with eyeballs, like actually set in luck and put the devices away and spend time together. And then I also bedtime. I'm real intentional about. That is a time when I connect with each of the girls individually and I like put them to bed and reverse birth order.
And. Usually with each of them three to 10 minutes and it gives them individually a chance to like, I can kind of check their hearts and their attitudes. We make sure that everybody's clear on what's going on the next day. If there's any changes to regular, I have found they do much better when they have a sense of like expectation and anticipation that that's going to happen.
And so they're not as caught off guard. And so then everybody wakes up the next morning and we're all on the same page. So. Those are ways that we are intentionally together as a family.
Aubrey: we are so lucky to have her as our mom. And we, I know that I feel very fortunate when I'm not taking this for granted. If I'm being completely honest and. I would just want her to look back and know that she was a great mom or his great mom. And she CA you can tell that she cares and she loves us, and let's be a great, she'll always be there for us.
And I just want her to remember that she just did like a really good job raising us. I mean, who, who knows how Quincy is going to turn out, but so far, so far, she's done pretty good.
Ainsley: I think that our mom is really hardworking and all she. I don't know how to describe it. She's just always like there, but she's also always like she's, she's a good multi-tasker he's she's working and making time for us at the same
Yeah. she's definitely preparing us for all of that and all the things that are going to be in our future and are going to come ahead and just, um, all the challenges that we might face and just.
Like going out into the real world once we get order, like on our own, just preparing us for that. My
Ainsley: mom is also really supportive of everything that we want to do. Like Ainsley's changed sports 7,000 times. It feels like, yep. So lots of things. And my mom was always very supportive of whatever she wants to do and of my swimming.
She's always proud of me when I get like a goal. With school. She always tries to help with homework when she can, if we're stuck and, um, little things she has
Aubrey: with this is probably the cheesiest thing that we're going to say on this podcast episode, or maybe that has ever been said in a podcast, but she helps us chase our dreams.
Like she's, like opera said, she's supportive of everything that we do. She's definitely going to help us get after whatever we decide to do. Like even in college, in high school, like what we're going to be when we grow up. I'm hoping that I will take after my mom and like she's working and I will be a hardworking girl, just like she is.
And no, I feel like she's told us stories of how difficult it was to start her business. And I feel like when we get older, we're definitely going to have to face some challenges if we would decide to become entrepreneurs, because she was just telling us like all the difficulties, but now here she is.
And she's like being very successful.
Ainsley: Yeah. I just think it's cool to think that, um, like my mom can achieve so many things and it definitely makes me want to go achieve things to,
Tiffany: as a working mom. I've always wondered what my kids will say about that experience. And I think because I was raised by a stay-at-home mom, I have just a particular interest in. Is that going to change for them because it's going to be different from my own. And so to hear that the girls, um, feel our intentionality, I think is really, it's just really rewarding.
I think I also know that, you know, the work is so not done with them. And I mean that in like the best way, but to F to hear the security that they feel in their voice. I think just, it just, it makes me feel really warm. It makes me feel like the days where you don't want to, where you just want to be dismissive of those small moments with them, that it's really worth fighting for the energy to do that.
And, um, you know, I think Jarrod and I work, we have a huge life and we work to involve the girls in our lives so that it's not like we go do. Adult things. And they do kid things that we want to enjoy their kid things with them, and we want them to enjoy our adult things with us. And I think we, we both just have expanded experiences because of that.
And I think I also hear that just like integration and their words of they, you know, they hear and feel Jr playing with them and helping them get better. And yet we also, you know, bring them into our stuff that we're doing. And, and so it just. It makes me feel really good. And it just makes me feel really grateful for these kids.
Ainsley: So sometimes with our mom and dad in Quincy, Quincy, he loves to be outside. We'll go on walks. We have just like a really long driveway. Um, and we have like a gate into our neighborhoods, so we will just take walks from, to like the gate and back.
And that's like almost half a mile. So we'll just walk there and back not super long. And then our parents will ask like, um, scale of one to 10, how has your day been? How's the week going? And normally when we are like scale of one to 10, and then let's say, we said six and they'll be like, why wasn't it.
And then we'll kind of talk about
Aubrey: it. And then if they've had a similar experience to that, then they'll give us advice and, um, really to help us, like, if we're having ongoing problems, like I've had friends and like kind of friend drama, like friend, group drama. And my mom was just like giving me like constant bias, which you think would be annoying, but it was like the best thing that she could.
I feel like I'm saying this so much, but it just lets us know that they care. taking time out of their day for us means
Aubrey: lot. Yeah. It just taking time off for their phone
Ainsley: is like just the little
Tiffany: things matter a lot.
You know, I think when Darren, I think about parents. It's like, I really want them to enjoy being kids, but I don't want them to miss that they are practicing who are, they are becoming as adults. And so it's important. I think as parents, we not lose sight of the fact that we are preparing them for life because we're going to be grown ups like 80 years and we're kids.
15, you know, and so I want them to be kids. I want them to experience a lot. I want them to have fun. I want them to laugh. I want them, but I also want all those things for them as adults too, that they don't leave those things as children. I love that the girls are proud of me. I love that. They, it expands their own understanding of what's possible for them individually.
But I also want them to know that if this is not what they're called to do, that I'm equally as proud of them. You know, it doesn't have to look like achievement and the way that, you know, in the path that I have taken. And so I never want that to be an inferred implication of what it means to have me as a.
That if they choose something really different, that that also can be wildly successful. So I think I'm just thoughtful about that. I don't know that I put that pressure on them, but I think it could somehow be something that becomes inferred. That they chase a similar path that I have
Ainsley: every now and then when it's been like a busy week, we'll play a game at dinner called we call it high, low.
So we say the best part of our day and the worst part of our day, just to kind of get a feel for how
Aubrey: everything's going. Give us advice or give us input on like our lowest part or like congratulate us if, um, our highest point was like, Hey, I got an a on my math test and then they'll definitely like, yeah, they'll congratulate us.
And they're like, you can tell that they care because they care about grades. Like they care, but they're not helicopter parents and they care and they care about if I feel that like, Julie. At kindergarten. I just feel like in general, they are very supportive parents. Like they're always looking out for us and helping us and, um, I know, I feel like my dad is like my best coach and my mom is just like the best advice.
She's also really good cook. So mama's cheerleader at not like back flip to your later, but like clapping, cheer
Tiffany: things. Definitely don't always stay on track. The girls are painting a bit of a rosy picture for you all, but I've learned that when they go off track to not. Exclude them from that part of the process too, because they all can have a hand in helping us get things back together as a family. We normally are able to kind of get the train back on the rails. Um,
Aubrey: Yeah, it just feels really disorganized. It feels like there's, it feels like really overwhelming. And I get anxious cause I'm like, what are we doing? Like what are we doing right now?
Um, usually honestly I hate to blame it on her, but usually it's Quincy if, because like, We haven't really put her on a schedule even though she's one. Yeah, there's one now. It's um, she's just not very, like, you're not able to guess what she's going to do the next day. She's one. And she only knows how much
Ainsley: we kind of try not to, to make sure everything happens is my mom will put everything on like the family calendar and then also.
Night on like Sundays, my mom will go over the week with us. So my dad's trips, we kind of know about. So we aren't just like surprised when we wake up and he's gone. And then we know like if swim practice got canceled, Or if we have like a volleyball tournament on Saturday, things
Aubrey: like that, I feel like just genuinely we've been really busy on the weekends and our parents have done a really good job, like telling us what's coming up.
Tiffany: I mean, when we're way off track. I usually will just call like a family timeout. The other thing is I often will look at what in the next 48 hours do I want to do, but don't have to, and I'm going to cancel something so that I get some margin back because I probably am kind of like rolling down the hill too fast and I need some margin and I didn't leave any.
So that's another thing I'll do is look at what can I cancel or postpone so that I can get myself back together. Or now that. 12 and ten-year-old, they're super capable. I'll just like call a timeout and be like, guys, we're off. I get it. Here's a list. If all of us do 20 minutes of work, that's an hour of progress.
We're going to do that two times. Here's your list. Here's your list. And here's my list because we are. A wreck right now. I know what you feel. It let's get back together. If we can get this stuff done, then we'll be back. That is also a thing that I'll do is just bring them into it and say like, I just need your help right now.
And so that's just the reality of it and that's fine. And then I honestly like Samantha who, Sam, who you'll hear on the podcast sometimes, like she is a totally flywheel for me too, when I'm just like stuck or there's like a piece of poster board I need to go get from. You know, God knows where the, her stupid school project or like six muffins.
Like those are the things that just are like printed family picture. Those are the things that just send me straight over the edge. And so having somebody. We'll just help me out of those jams. They're like so meaningful for the kids and I just couldn't care less about it. So that is like definitely a hack that helps me get unstuck in like the stuff that just like is out of the ordinary.
That becomes really difficult. I think for working moms to get it done. I remember I had this epiphany that it can be easy as an adult to look at kids as just. And not to like, recognize that they need to understand what's happening next. And so when I got that, that they aren't just like kids to be shuttled around, but.
I needed to communicate to them kind of, so they could help me to know what was happening because with I'm running around like a maniac and they're moving slow. It's easy as a parent to be like, what, like, just like, like boss them through the house and Boston's emotions. But when they don't understand that, like, Hey, we need to be in like in the car, backing out at 10, 10.
That's like the game plan we're working towards, then they can like pick their own motor speed and you're not pushing them, like prodding them around the house. So that was like a huge aha for me that the kids were not just. These people I was trying to push around, but when I brought them into an understanding of like what the week was going to look like, what the evenings were going to feel like, um, if we were going to eat dinner as a family, if we were going to get takeout, how the girls can help me prep, vegetables, you know, on the weekends so that we can have healthy dinners, faster, those types of things, it started to include everybody in the plan.
And it felt like there was so much less pressure on me to. Not only manage my own energy and focus, but I didn't have to do that for everybody else in the moment. So I kind of look at the day in three parts. The morning is like everybody gets up. I kind of recap for them. Like here's, what's happening. It is important to me that the kids, as much as we can leave.
Feeling like a smile, because it might be the less, the last great part of the day. I don't have control over what's happening at school. And so I try to remove stress from the morning so that they feel like I got a hug from mom, like high five guys, go crush it. Like my mom used to always say, you know, do something nice for somebody who needs it today.
So it's like, I want that to be a positive energy moment in our household. Then we go our separate ways. They're at school, I'm at work, Jared's doing his thing, the babies with the nanny. And I don't really, outside of they have appointments or something. I don't like interact with them. I'm expecting that they're doing their thing.
And then segment three is the evening. And when we come back together, everybody kind of has their. Individual on-ramp back into the home. If you have kids who go to school, you know, this Ivy needs to just decompress her six-year-old self as exhausted from instructional day. And so she needs like half hour to just like, watch some pop patrol and eat some salty snacks.
Omri. She needs to do her homework right away, or she can't relax. And so she goes right to her room and starts pounding out like the hardest math problems in the world. She does not need to decompress. And then Ainslie has got a thousand words. She needs to say she's social. And she just has a blah, blah, blah.
They just need to all come out somebody. And so I've learned everybody's got a different. And I'm not always home for that part of the day, but whoever's here kind of knows what needs to happen so that the girls can get kind of reacclimated to home. And then I get home usually around five and that is when the dinner practice kind of shuttling starts.
And again, I will have recapped with them the night before so that they kind of have some expectation about how much time do I have to get my homework done is really the question that they're all asking. And then we get home. And, um, they might watch a little bit of TV. I'm not a big fan of weeknight television.
Usually the schedule just gets kind of pregnant when that's the case. So we try not to do a lot of that. Um, we pack lunches for the next day, wind down. They usually read in bed for a while. I do my reverse birth order, um, putting them to bed, um, and again, like kind of want to end the day, the way that we started it, which is a touch in from my parents, a chance to be able to reflect or talk about what happened or is coming the next day and, a hug and hopefully they feel really safe in this season of life.
I I'm just a lot more intentional about making sure that I'm here at bedtime now that they're getting older than I was actually, when they were younger.
Well, the stick together.
Tiffany: I want people to know listening. It's like, there's still a lot of variability, but we do work to be intentional. Let's say of a CR a set of six things we're intentional about. We may be hit on three to five of those a week. You know what I mean? But we don't ever get all of them.
Um, and so that would be one. The other thing is like, we're also really. Vocal to our kids about the things that exist in our lives. As a result of the choice Jarren I have made for both of us to work. So we won't like say here's how much it costs us to take you to Europe, but we'll let them know. These are things that exist in your life because we all work together.
As a like team so that mom and dad can both have time to explore these really cool opportunities, because I want them to know that there are some things that are harder for sure, of being a kid with a two career parent and a two-car household, but there's also some really cool things that we get to do for them as a result of us being a team and doing that.
And so I want them to understand the correlation. And that's why I think it is important that when Jr is traveling, that the girls have to step up and they do have to help me food prep, and they do have to pack their own lunches that week. And they do like, they just have to help me. And that's because we want to do these really cool things together.
And we want to be able to make sure that their college is paid for, and we want to make sure that, you know, they have. Even bigger opportunities to impact the world than what Jr. And I have. And so we're intentional about talking to them about that. We do believe a lot in financial literacy. And so we talked to them a lot about money and I want them to understand.
That it isn't all effort that there is reward. And as a family, we put towards effort and as a family, there's times we experienced reward.
I think my encouragement to moms and dads listening is like just, you know, there's a lot of scheduling and a lot of tools and all this kind of business, but at the end of the day, I think our kids just want us to experience them. And so if you're taking time, No matter how small it is to just experience them, to get on their level, to lay on the floor, to be silly, to play a game, to do something that's really what they want is they want our time and engagement.
Give yourself a break and make it fun and be fun. And I think that's all I kids really want from us.
If you want to use our little family's recipe for our dinnertime, check-in text me at 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2 1 3 1 7 3 5 0 8 9 2 1. Just text me the word family and I'll send you our little check-in just to document and hopefully it can help your family. Deeper conversations about what's going on in one individual lives. .