Mother of seven children under 9 goes viral for sharing her morning routine weeks after giving birth to her twins (exclusive)

The family of nine has a system that works so well for them that the mother can still spend a day alone, even weeks after the birth of her twin boys

<p><a href="">@alexamsmith7/TikTok</a></p>
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<p><a href="">@alexamsmith7/TikTok</a></p>
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  • Alexa Smith is the mother of seven children under the age of nine, including newborn twins

  • The mother of seven children told what her solo morning looks like after her husband, a police officer, was called to work

  • Alexa tells PEOPLE what the support has meant to her for her large family and their lives

A mother has to do what a mother has to do.

This is the opinion of Alexa Smith, @alexamsmith7 on TikTok, who went viral for sharing scenes from her life as a mother of seven little ones under the age of nine.

Alexa tells PEOPLE that she first began sharing her life as a mother on social media last year when the family of seven learned she was having twins.

“We had four daughters and a son and thought, 'Oh, this is going to be great. Maybe our son will have a brother and if not, we love having little girls.' For us, it was a win-win. Then I had the ultrasound and found out it was going to be twins,” Alexa tells PEOPLE.

“It messed everything up for us because we went from five to seven. Even six kids is a lot, but it was just hard to comprehend that we have two newborns instead of one. I noticed that there just wasn't a big presence of parents with seven kids on social media,” she continues.

“I thought maybe I could be that person for someone else. This is a whole new experience for me. I'm trying to figure it out as I go along and show other people, it's daunting, but it's not as daunting as it might seem. It's actually a lot of fun.”

Alexa and her husband, a police officer, are parents of four girls, two of whom will be 3 and 5 years old, as well as a 6½-year-old and an 8-year-old. They have three sons: a nearly 2-year-old and 8-week-old twins.

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In her now-viral video, Alexa is seen starting her day early to be out of the house for soccer practice by 8:40 a.m. Starting at 6:40 a.m., she gets up and gets herself and her twins ready before waking up the older kids. The mom notes that cleaning up while she works “really helps keep my mental health in check.”

Next, the video shows Alexa putting together snacks for the trip. She feeds the twins one more time before loading everyone into her 15-passenger van.

“We're still trying to figure out what car seat configuration is best, which is challenging with so many children in different types of car seats, but we'll figure it out eventually,” she says.

“Throughout all of this, I really missed my husband because I realized what a great help he is when we do things like this together.”

Fortunately, everything went smoothly and the family arrived at the football field on time.

Alexa tells PEOPLE that she needs a lot of planning to make sure her morning goes smoothly.

“If I know my husband has to work – he comes in at 6:00 a.m., so he would have to get up super early to help me in the morning – then I know we'll prepare as much as we can the night before. Whether that's school lunches and water bottles, signing papers that need to be signed, anything that can be done in advance,” she explains.

“We've done our best to teach our daughters, at least our three oldest, to develop their own routines so they know what to do in the evening to get ready for the morning. They've learned that on the days when we don't prepare, everything is just chaos,” the mother continues.

“If I tell myself, 'I'll just get up early and do it in the morning,' I never manage it. I always hit the snooze button on the alarm clock,” she admits with a laugh.

“Planning is the most important part and then I plan to plan. It's a constant cycle of writing things down or figuring out where I need to be. We have a Google calendar and we use every single color in the Google calendar – every kid has a color, we have a color, everything has a color. It's a lot of planning, which sounds very tedious and it kind of can be.”

Alexa knows that this isn't easy, especially now that all her children are still so young.

“The biggest challenge is definitely her age. Even my 8-year-old daughter still has a lot to learn about the world. People don't understand that I will always be a first-time mother to her, even though I have seven children,” she says.

“Trying to deal with all of their emotions, which can be all over the place because they are so young, and trying to incorporate that into our daily lives can be challenging,” Alexa continues.

“We just do our best to go with the flow. The best thing about it is definitely that all of my children are honestly best friends,” says the proud mother. “They love playing together. They don't know anything different. My oldest has just gotten a new best friend every few years, and that extends to the younger ones.”

She also notes, “It's not just about my number one and my number two or my number two and my number three. It's about how number one loves number five or how number two loves number six. There's so much love. It's just an excess of love, if there is such a thing.”

As the family has grown, especially with the addition of the twins, Alexa is proud that her older children have “taken it all in stride.” She is also proud that she and her husband have found a way to juggle everything during this busy time in their lives.

“We have a strict bedtime schedule. Number five is in bed at 7:30 p.m., then the two little girls are in bed at 8, and then the big girls are in bed at 8:30. We space out the bedtimes so that everyone gets to spend some time with us. They go to bed early enough so that we have time to feed the babies and put them to bed,” she says.

“Then we have a few hours to watch a TV show or chat. That's something we've both been able to make a high priority.”

The mother of seven children admits that she finds it difficult to find “time” for herself, but she keeps perspective on her current life.

“It looks different for everyone and people tell me what to do or how to do it. I just remind myself that it's not going to be like this forever. One day it will be my turn to do something. But right now I'm busy keeping my seven children alive, fed and happy. And that's OK with me.”

Alexa was relieved to see the support of her TikTok community, but acknowledged that this is not everyone's experience.

“Most people are just amazed that I can do what I do with seven children. Everyone has been really supportive and told me to keep going and keep sharing. It's been a welcome change because motherhood can be so lonely,” says Alexa.

“Finding other women who are going through some of the same things I am, or at least finding other women who are actually rooting for me and other moms on TikTok. That's just not something you find every day in the real world.”

She continues candidly: “I hope that people who see other moms on TikTok trying to show themselves, be vulnerable, and share their lives – whether it's to make money or to be relatable – just give them a chance. It doesn't take anything to throw a mom a 'well done!' or tell her you're cheering her on.”

“I don't think people realise how much it means to us when we get recognition for what we do. Sometimes you question everything – we all have those intrusive mother thoughts. Whenever I feel some kind of support, those doubts gradually disappear.”

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