Sticking to a plan is harder than it seems! I know I can’t be the only one who struggles to maintain the will power to stick with eating healthy, spending less, or a schedule, right?! I’ve been working on a loose schedule for the kiddos and me so we don’t end up wondering, “What did we do all day?” But it is tough! I feel like I’m always making something to eat for someone and it’s exhausting. I’m hoping we can get into a decent routine soon so the kids and I can have an idea of what’s next and I won’t be constantly battling the million questions and supplying the seemingly endless desire for snacks! So far our days look a little like this:
6:30 am – Mommy gets up to have quiet time reading the Bible and praying before the kiddos get up. Sometimes Punky gets up before I’m done, so she joins me in prayer time.
7:15 am – Punky is definitely up by now and watching an episode of The Magic School Bus (sneaking in that science lesson) while I get my coffee, sweet elixir of life that it is, and breakfast ready.
7:30 am – Wake up Bay and get everyone to the table to eat. I like to read a story from the children’s bible during breakfast since it takes the kids so much longer to eat than me. If it’s good for me to start my day in the word, then it’s good for the kids too, right? Brush teeth, wash face, etc.
8:00 am – Do a few chores while the kiddos play, usually tidying the kitchen or doing a load of laundry. I have started taking advantage of the long days of sunshine by hanging out the sheets, towels, and our cloth diapers on the clothes line so the kids get a little outside play while I do that.
9:00 am – Get everybody dressed for the day and head out the door. Usually just to the park or to Papa’s house to visit for a bit. This is the time we would go to the grocery store on shopping day, or run any other errands. The kids are pretty amicable this time of day and all the running around wears them out for nap time!
10:30 am – Snack time! These past few days both kiddos have been fighting off what we call the Summer Crud, so they have been tired earlier than I expected them to be. I was planning for nap time to be after lunch, but they’re both ready for a rest around this time it seems. I’m sure this will change as time goes on, but for now it seems this is a little down time for Mommy 🙂 Daddy usually gets home from work around this time as well so we usually get to have a quick lunch together. He naps for a couple hours as well since his work days starts at 2:30 in the morning and he’ll have to go back to work in the afternoon – it’s weird, but it’s better than his old schedule, so I’m not complaining! While everyone is napping, sometimes I get a little siesta in myself, but most of the time I fold clothes while watching my neglected binge-favorites.
12:30 pm – Wake up, play, eat. The kiddos like a little quiet play time to “wake up their whole bodies” right after nap, which affords me time to get lunch ready.
1:00 pm – Together time. By now the kiddos are good and awake and ready to be entertained, so I usually throw together a little something for us to do together. It might just be some pretend play or a game of hide and seek, or I might feel brave enough to do some free painting, a learning activity, or something involving….glue. Yikes!
2:00 pm – Independent play. At some point the kiddos start leaving me out of their play so I sneak off to let them do their thing without me. Bay is great at playing on his own – a second child thing I think – but Punky gets tired of playing independently pretty quickly. Often times this turns into some time for her to watch another episode of cartoons. I know, I know, “cartoons again!?” And the answer is YES! Cartoons again, because it keeps me from pulling my hair out!
3:00 pm – Let’s go outside. It’s about time for Daddy to wake up and head back to work. The kids are tired of being inside, and lucky for us the big trees in the front yard have the patio nicely shaded, so even in this southern summer heat it’s not too bad this time of day. The kiddos love it when I fill up the water table and hand them some spoons, bowls, buckets, etc. Now’s a good time for a little discovery lesson on what floats and what sinks, how many spoons of water it takes to fill up different bowls, or why the strainer won’t fill up with water like the buckets do.
4:30 pm – Dinner prep time. As much as possible, I love having the kiddos help me in the kitchen. I think it’s good for them to start learning about kitchen safety early on to hopefully prevent accidents later. Hopefully, they will also learn just how much work it is to put together that hot meal they get every night and even take a little ownership of it so they’re more likely to eat it. I’m also hopeful they’ll look back on their time spent with me in the kitchen with the same fondness I have of my time baking with and learning from my mom and grandma.
5:45 pm – Daddy gets back home and we sit down for dinner – I love this time of day! I love hearing my whole family pray together, how Punky describes her day to Daddy, and the quiet that comes when everyone is digging in to a meal they really enjoy.
6:30 pm – Daddy play time! While I clear the table and tidy the kitchen a little, Daddy takes the kiddos to one of their rooms and the giggles ensue! Sometimes I join in, other times I just stand back and watch how they interact. There isn’t much better in this world than seeing a man I love so dearly roll around on the floor or play dress up with our babies.
7:15 pm – Bedtime routine begins. It’s all downhill from here – pajamas, stories, snuggles, songs, water cups, hugs, kisses, more snuggles, one more story, blankies, …. y’all know how this goes too, right?! It’s why we start so early. It usually doesn’t end until after 8, which is when I finally get to sit down with a glass of wine and work on my blog, meal planning, couponing, family scheduling, etc.
Phew! I’m worn out just from writing about our days! But it’s really a whirlwind, and it goes by so quickly. I try to really engage with the kids as much as possible throughout the day because I know they will only be this size for so long. I fall short of the “perfect mom” standard every day, but it’s okay. I try my best and the kiddos are having fun, growing, and learning a little every day, so I guess I’m doing alright. And with God at my side, my “good enough” will be exactly enough with all my shortcomings and failures covered by His grace.
So, I’ll be sticking to the plan as long as it’s working, and we’ll adjust as our needs change and the kids grow. We’ll take it one day at a time, and pray daily for guidance on next steps. I’m sure there are plenty of other parents out there surviving on a little coffee and a whole lot of Jesus! What kind of schedule or routine do you have for your days that helps you maintain your sanity? Share with me in the comments – can’t wait to hear from you!