i was thinking as we were leaving the pool this Saturday that we've pretty much got 'how we do swimming' down to a science.
First off, the passes were a Christmas present from my parents - swim passes are an awesome, clutter free gift idea if grandparents are ever asking...
We make the kids change into their swimsuits at home & then we pack underwear for everyone. We pack 2 swim bags - one for the 3 big girls & one for Neil & i & the 3 littles. When we get to the pool, the 3 big girls can go to the ladies change room & we go to the family change room. (One thing we decided early on was that we'll only go for 'family' swim, not 'public' swim... It's much less crowded & there is a huge difference in atmosphere.)
i handle Gage & Neil helps Mollen into her 'floaty'. It's quick 'cause Charter & Molls already have their swimsuits on, so they just have to undress & they're ready. Charter is bouncing off the walls, but he's able to get himself changed & put his clothes in a locker. We bring our towels in & put them on the side of the pool. i usually take Gage - & because Mollen has a floaty & everyone else can swim well, Neil takes all 5 other kids to the diving board, or the slide... whatever. If he does laps with them, as they finish their laps, they'll come over to me & Gage in the kiddie pool. Sometimes we'll switch around a bit & Neil will take Gage - but Neil is so much more fun in the pool that the kids prefer swimming with him :) (Who could blame them? Their own personal Shamu...) & sometimes we'll all be swimming together - depending on how wiggly Gage is being & if he has a floaty on so he can be a little more independent.
Anyway, when we're just about done swimming, i run & get changed first while Neil holds Gage & all the littles get warmed up in the hot tub. Then i come back for Gagey & the 3 big girls go get ready themselves. Neil & i tag team the younger 3 - but it's a lot easier because i'm not trying to get changed at the same time.
We are seriously fast :) hehe.
When we get home - i have one of these (jabba from Ikea) hanging in my basement laundry room:
& the (big) kids hang up everyone's swimming suits & put all the towels through the laundry. i keep a laundry hamper in my laundry room that is just for 'swimming gear' - i keep all the swimsuits in it (so there is no searching for swimsuits in various drawers...) and all the goggles, floaties, snorkel gear, flippers etc... so it's quick to find & pack our swimming bags on swimming days.
So, that's 'how we do it' for swimming... Maybe there's an idea you can steal to make swimming easier for your family.