1. Start with yourself.
One of the best advice that I have heard is "Take care of yourself first, before you can take care of anyone else." Oh how true that is, and how easily forgotten. Make sure you can get as much rest as you need, eat well (with good nutrition) and be active. Take care of your mind and spirit too. Start the day with some prayers or meditation, and find things to laugh about. Pray for strength to go through each day, and pat yourself on the back for doing a great job. Be thankful and count your blessings that you and your family are well.
2. Create an easy routine for your children, and spot the "quiet" times.
You will know what your kids routines are - from the time they usually wake up until the time they go to sleep. You need to work around this time. Figure out when are the quiet hours to do your own thing. Some of our friends wake up really early, or some work late into the night - some will work during the one hour when their kids are taking their afternoon nap. Figure out what works best for you and utilize the quiet time.
3. Make sure they are "prepped" before you start any tasks.
Make sure they are bathed, fed and have everything they need. A good idea is to prepare some healthy snacks and drinks somewhere they can reach, so that they do not keep asking you for food.
4. Delegate (if you have people around you).
Ask for help when needed - we can't survive alone. Ask your husband, grandparents or older children (you can pay them to babysit) to take one session a day to entertain the kids. And then keep yourself out of sight for those hours.
5. Have an emergency plan.
Sometimes when you are overwhelmed, you just need to take a time out before you explode. Give them something engaging, but just for a limited time so that you can take a breather. You may use this as a reward and punishment system to promote good behavior.
6. Cut yourself some slack.
You have done your best, and we know it's not easy. Nothing has to be perfect, the house can be messy and you might have lost your temper. Know that you did your best and be proud of yourself. Be happy with your family in all your imperfections.