Monday, April 2, 2012

A Day in the Life...of Me

Allyson mentioned that she'd like to hear about my typical day. I wrote about my schedule in 2010 when we had four kids.  I again shared my schedule in 2011 after the fifth child joined our family.  We had to establish a new routine last summer after we moved, and now this year, we find ourselves with yet another.  Our kids are spaced about two years apart, but this is the first time we've had a toddler without being pregnant or having a new baby.  Still a few things have not changed.  There are still steps I take every day to make my day run more smoothly.  (Click here to read those steps.)

With my kids a little older now (ages 9, 7, 5, 3, and 19 months), our day is slightly less structured, but we still follow a basic flow.  Brian's alarm rings at 6:30 every morning. It is still dark, but I don't let myself go back to sleep.  Alaine's bed is in our room so she usually wakes to the alarm and asks to nurse.  (That is the only time each day that she nurses and I think I'm ready to give that one up, too, but since she asks every day, I don't insist.)  By 6:45, the two little boys are awake and join me in my room.  After a few snuggles and tickles, I make sure both of them are dressed and I change Alaine's diaper.

straightening the boys' closet
Brian leaves for work at 7:15 and I try to jump in the bathroom as soon as he leaves.  (I've found that if breakfast is first on the agenda, one things leads to another and it's hard to find another opportunity to get ready for the day.  It will be 11:00 and I'm still in my jammies with yucky teeth!)  We eat an easy breakfast and then the older two kids go outside to feed the puppy and give him a hardy run.  I often take this opportunity to do a few house chores-- unload the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, and either clean a bathroom or vacuum.  Depending on who is inside with me, I usually have help if I need it.  Gavin (9), Maddie (7), and Owen (5) can unload the dishwasher, wipe the table, dust, and vacuum.  Benjamin (3) can sort laundry and straighten the living room with direction.  Alaine (19 months) carries her laundry to her dresser (but often drops it all on the floor when she gets there). 

I call the kids together for school around 9:00.  We begin with our together subjects-- Bible, Bible memory, history reading, and "extra subject" (either art, music, poetry, or nature study, depending on the day of the week).  Then they do their independent work-- math, handwriting, phonics, or spelling.  Some days I'm able to do a little more housework while they work.  Some days the two youngest need some direction so we read a story or do an activity.  Some days I'm needed at the table to answer questions.  Some days I try to do it all and go totally ~crazy~!

school time

Our lunchtime routine is a little unconventional.  Often our schoolwork is complete by 12:00 and without fail, the kids turn on The Wild Kratts.  I fix an easy lunch of sandwiches or leftovers and serve them at the coffee table.  I've struggled with whether I want a television program to be part of our daily routine, but I've reasoned that it is a time for all of us to decompress...and it doesn't hurt that they are learning countless animal facts!

sorting the laundry
After lunch, I get the two youngest ready for their naps.  Ideally, it is a quiet time for all of us, but it doesn't always happen.  We take the first moments of nap time to clear the house of the morning's clutter-- sippy cups and math papers and toys-- and then settle down to read a chapter of our for-fun read aloud.  Then the older two go outside with the puppy again.  I usually start dinner preparations early in the afternoon.  It saves me from the stress of chopping vegetables or mixing a casserole with a hungry, grumpy toddler hanging onto my knees, clingy after her nap.  Most afternoons, I also fold laundry.  I average about 2-3 loads of laundry daily so I dump it all on the living room floor, fold it, and have the kids put it away. 

We eat dinner between 5:00-5:30.  Ideally, Brian is home and we eat together as a family, but in the spring growing season, that doesn't always happen.  Last year, we only ate together about 2-3 nights a week.  After dinner, I divide up the table chores.  Someone always gets the job of wiping Alaine's hands and face and playing with her while the rest of us clean the kitchen.  Then it is puppy duty again.  Brian and I like to take this shift together because it gives us a few minutes to talk and see what projects need to be done outside.

The hours between dinner and bedtime can be a little wild and crazy.  Somehow the more tired the kids get, the more energy they have.  If anyone needs a bath, this is the time to do it.  (Of course, if someone gets filthy-dirty in the middle of the morning, they are certainly welcome to hop in the tub then, too!)  Evenings are also the time when we pack Brian's lunch for the next day, have family devotions, have family discussions, and do the bills. (Not everything occurs every night.)  The three youngest go to bed as close to 8:00 as possible before they turn into pumpkins.  The two oldest are allowed to hang out in Maddie's room a little longer.  They read first and then they use the remaining time to listen to an audio book, color, or play quietly.  Lights out for them is between 9:00 and 10:00.

Once the kids are in their bedrooms and the chores are done for the day, Brian and I usually relax with a movie or the computer until we turn in between 11:00 and 12:00.   Right before we go to bed, I start the dishwasher and sometimes start a load of laundry.   My goal is to leave the house in a condition that is pleasant to wake up to in the morning. 

A tidy house starts a new day fresh. 


  1. Thank you for sharing. We have a very similar flow to our day too. I normally start school around 10:00. With Ada leaving for preschool 2 mornings a week we just wait for the school van to pick her and then we hit the books! Do you "school" 5 days a week?

  2. Our day is very similar in structure, and I so agree, I always 'do my face' ie get dressed before beginning the day or it never gets done, lol. And our laundry is forever rotating on atleast 4 loads a day. It's just a way of life, eh? Have a beautiful week!

  3. Our day is very simular to yours. I also agree with tidying the house before bed, so when you wake in the morning your home feels nice and fresh.

  4. When you say you jump in the bathroom as soon as your husband leaves in the morning, do you mean you shower then? What do your litlest ones do during that time? My kids are 5,3, and 14 months. The 5 and 3 year olds can be trusted alone while I shower, but not the 14 month old. So I've been struggling with when to shower (since he gets up before the crack of dawn and my hubby leaves for work at 6) or how to keep him safely entertained in my bathroom for a few minutes.

  5. Actually, I usually wait to shower or bathe at night when my husband is home. In the mornings, I brush my teeth, wash my face, wash my hair, and put on fresh deodorant. :-) I can do all of those things and still keep an eye and ear on the kids. I, too, could never shower before my little ones are up. I had somewhere to go early this morning and I tried to sneak into the bathroom. When I came out, there were little eyes looking at me!


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