I put up the post the other day about getting housework done with little one’s. I failed to mention one of the biggest helps for me to get my housework done is to have a loose daily and weekly schedule that I follow. I was hesitant to write this because I don’t want it to sound like life always go smooth around here and my house is always perfect. People who know me know that’s far from true! I do have a relaxed schedule that I follow that really helps me to stay focused through out the day and keeps the house picked up and sanitary enough to be comfortable and not too chaotic. 🙂
We also have kind of an odd schedule where every week my husband switches between day shift and night shift. It can make things feel a little topsy turvy but having a schedule makes me feel anchored and stay on top of stuff that would just fall through the cracks if I didn’t have routines built into my day for getting things done.
Also, my husband’s day’s off are family time days. I will usually follow my morning and evening routines and ignore my weekly routine on those days. That’s what great about having the routines in the first place. If I got the floors done last Monday and this Monday he’s off, no big deal if I skip a week. Also, people and health come before routines. If I’m up through out the night with a teether, I sleep in if I need it. If my husband is off, I may sleep in until the kids wake up and relax with him.
So, here’s kind of a sample of what my routines look like these days. Remember, this is what is working for the moment but this is different than my routines when I had one child and as life changes the routines will change as well. This is what’s working for my family in the stage that we are in.
Nurse the baby, and hopefully get him back to sleep between 5 and 6. If we are on a day shift schedule, say goodbye to hubby or if we are on a night shift schedule, shower and get what ever I’ll need for the day out of our bedroom and bathroom and say “good night” before he goes to bed for the day.
My goals for before the children wake up around 7 is to have had my quiet time with the Lord, down some caffeine, be dressed and have my bed made and the master bathroom tidied up.
If the children sleep in later than usual it’s really nice if I can eat my breakfast, take care of my blood sugar and take my vitamins before they get up. This doesn’t happen very often but it’s nice to have all my needs met before they get up so I can focus on taking care of their needs when they get up. Another thing I like to do in the morning is measure out my water for the day. With breastfeeding and the heat and getting busy and forgetting to drink, I get dehydrated easily so it’s really helpful to me to measure out my water for the day and have it conveniently on the counter as a reminder.
When the children get up it’s snuggles and changing diapers and potty time. We eat breakfast and I unload the dishwasher and load the breakfast dishes. Depending on how late he slept in I may need to nurse the baby again.
After dressing the children, I pick up the other bathroom, start a load of clothes and put away the load that’s in the dryer. For a family of 4 I usually do a load a day. (I know some mom’s reading this with big families are dreaming about only doing 1 load a day!)
I’m working on trying to repair my diastase’s and trying to relieve some back pain. If I set the timer for 15 minutes it helps me to remember to do the stretches and exercises I want to do. My kids will roll around on the floor and my 3 year old makes fun of me during this time. 🙂
Around 9:30 baby is ready for a nap and I either bottle or breast feed him and he goes down for his longest nap of the day. Usually around an hour. I put on a 20-30 minute kid show for E and use this time to rest. I lay on the couch or blog or Facebook or whatever.
Before lunch it’s outside time where I do my best to wear them out so they’ll take an afternoon nap! I take them to the park a lot especially in the summer when it’s too hot to go in the afternoon. On Wednesday we go to story time at the library. Soon E starts swimming lessons so I’ll be bringing her to that in the morning’s.
My goal each day is to know what we’ll be having for dinner before lunch so I can thaw out meat or pick up any grocery item’s we’ll need.
For lunch we eat up any leftovers or do something easy to prepare and easy to clean up. I set the timer for 10 minutes (yes I use the timer a lot) and do a fast post lunch pickup and turn the laundry over.
I like to spend time reading with E every day so a part of our routine is for me to read to her for around 20 minutes before her nap. The squirmy 8 month old will usually play on the floor while I sit on E’s bed and read to her.
After E is tucked in I try to get baby down but coordinated naps don’t always happen especially if we’ve gone somewhere and he slept in the car. If I get them down at the same time I rest while they do, if not I play with the baby and try and help him crawl or sit or do whatever milestone he is at.
Afternoons the kids entertain themselves while I try and get my chore for the day done.
Mondays: floors. I don’t spend all afternoon scrubbing floors, it’s ore of a run the vacuum over the floor as fast as I can, mop the kitchen floor, sometimes with just the spray mop and try and get to the bathroom floors. I never spend more than an hour on this.
Tuesday: I plan meals for the week, coupon and begin a grocery list. It’s also “paper work day.” I take care of whatever bills need sent out etc.
Wednesday: I quickly clean out the refrigerator and the pantry. Not a deep clean, just get out any old food and clean up any spills. I add to my grocery list what ever I notice we need more of.
Thursday: Grocery shopping
Friday: clean out car and diaper bag/ purse. (it’s nice to have this done for the weekend)
Saturday: do whatever preparations that will make Sunday more relaxing. Prepare food, lay out clothes etc.
If we are on night shift the afternoons are when my husband wakes up and we spend time with him so I have to find another time of day to do these things and that’s just up in the air when or if I’ll get them done.
I like to have 1 activity planned for E in the afternoon that’s educational. Depending on the day and my energy levels, it may be something as simple as coloring or something like painting or baking banana bread or something.
After the kids afternoon naps I make them snacks.
If my husband gets off at 6 we eat as a family. If he gets off at 7 the children and I eat around 5:30 and my husband eats when he gets home and we’ll usually snack while he eats. If we are on night shift my husband leave around 4:30-5:00. Either he won’t eat at home and me the kids have dinner later or when he gets up I’ll prepare kind of a dinner meal/late lunch and we eat at some random time in the middle of the afternoon. It just depends on how everyones feeling and how the day is going.
In the evenings my energy is the lowest so I try to keep things as simple as I can.
If the kids need it, they get a bath. (I used to be an every night bather but I’ve learn that some things are okay to let go of..)
I load the dishwasher and help E brush her teeth. If my husband is on day shift he reads to E and puts her down while I nurse the baby and put him to bed. If my husband is on night shift I either put the t.v on for E or have her play in her room while I put her brother to bed. Like most 3 year olds E makes her good night routine last as long as possible put she’s usually asleep by 8:30 or 9:00.
After the kids go to bed I never do any kind of work. I clock out. I shower and get my pi’s on. If it’s a day shift day it’s mommy and daddy time, if it’s a night shift day I spend time reading or looking at my phone before going to bed.
One thing I do every single night is make a list of what I need to do the next day. It’s not so much a productivity thing it’s more of a mind dump that helps me stop thinking so I can go to sleep.
So there it is, not overly complicated and definitely a routine not a schedule. I don’t have any set times to get things done I just go into each day with an idea of what I want to get done but also knowing some days a baby will cluster nurse or one of them will get sick or maybe I’m the one who needs rest. For me though, having routines gives me something to fall back on that keeps our days productive.
As for my cleaning schedule, it’s not sufficient enough for a deep clean but keeps things decent enough day to day. The deep cleaning waits for a day that my husband can watch the kids while I work or the other way around.
It would be great to hear what your kids schedules look like at different ages and how you juggle your responsibilities as a mom, wife and homemaker.