Total Cost is $3.50
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Instead of just giving you a timeframe of our routine, I also wanted to show you what is involved. This is how we live OUR life. This is about ME and MY family This is what we are. I'm only stressing this because everyone's situation is unique and different. You may be a two income family, or a single mom. You may have 1 child, or you may have 10 children. There is no such thing as a perfect family. We all just try to do our best with what we have. Here is an inside view of my family doing exactly that. Some days are great, some days just plain suck, and some days go by without any ups or downs.
Let me give you a little background first. I'm doing this because I think it plays a huge role in our "routine" and how we live.
I am a stay at home mom who does not "work". My job is mommy. I have 3 children ages 3, 22 months, and 7 weeks. My husband works 4 days a week, 10 hour days. All of our children have their own bedroom and we have a designated playroom. We chose to have each child at the time that we had them. We have three healthy children. I have a great relationship with my husband. He helps a TON with the cooking/cleaning. I personally do not need a lot of me time. I don't get manicures, pedicures, massages, etc. I don't need time to do my make up because I don't wear any. My hair is often pulled back in a pony tail, and my attire consists of sweatpants and a t-shirt. AK can attest to that. LOL That's not to say I don't get dressed up to go on a date with my husband... but I'm not going to play in the dirt and roll around on the floor with my kids wearing a sun dress. We are a limited TV household. My husband didn't even own a TV when I first met him! We adults NEVER watch TV during the waking hours of our children. My oldest may watch 1-2 shows a day or she sometimes watches none at all. My 22 month old sometimes catches glimpses when my 3 year old is watching.... there is no way around it, but she can care less about it. They have never watched a movie in it's full length and they have no clue who Nemo, Ariel, or Simba are. I actually tried to sit down with them over Christmas to watch Happy Feet and they lasted maybe 10 minutes. It's just not them. They were given the gift of other ways to play and they prefer that over the screen. Oh.... we also have a cleaning service that deep cleans once a month... floors, rugs, etc. Another important thing... sorry just throwing these in as I remember... my 7 week old is bottle fed.
Again, I am only saying all this because I feel this has an impact in how our days go by. It wouldn't be fair for me to give you a routine, have you look at it, and think I don't have help or amazing resources.
My day usually starts at 5am when my husbands alarm clock goes off. That thing can wake the dead.... and he still sleeps through it! I use that morning time to pay bills, check email, and prepare for anything that I didn't get to the night before. If I'm really tired I can fall back asleep until my middle child wakes up. She's the first to get up around 6:30. Aside from the night time diaper, my middle and oldest do the same thing every morning...take off night time diaper, go pee, grab juice, a plate, morning snack, and head up to the playroom. Morning snack always consists of fruit and either a bowl of yogurt or yogurt drink. They are not limited to that but that's what they usually chose.
Let your children help you and themselves. My 22M old in "her bathroom" as she calls it.. AKA laundry room. If you added up every time my daughter had to pee it would probably take up an hour of our day. Giving her the tools to "I do it by myself", it frees my time up and gives her a tremendous amount of confidence.
Most parents put locks on their cupboards. Not us PAHM's! By putting this rope around the cupboard door my children are able to get their own snacks, plates, cups, etc. Not only does this instill capability, but it makes it easy for me when feeding my infant and my older two want a snack.
Make transitions easier by preparing ahead of time....
My oldest and youngest typically both get up at 7. My oldest sometimes requests a show during this time. She is slow to wake up and she sometimes needs that "zone out" time. If she chooses to watch a show she watches it downstairs by herself while I am up in the playroom with the younger two. While I am feeding my youngest my older two always play independently. We usually are all in the same room and I am present to them as well. My youngest is not in a routine during the day yet.... I feed her when she's hungry, we play when she's awake. As for my older two we have child-led play indoors from waking time until nap/rest time. Around 11 we head downstairs for brunch. I say brunch because this is usually when my children want to eat breakfast. This is their best and favorite meal. They either help me make breakfast, play independently, or do kitchen "chores". They love making coffee, putting away the dishes, or doing laundry during this time.
You would be surprised at how much you can get done with the 5 minutes it takes her to fill this!
Laundry baskets that are kept out when doing laundry. Each of my girls have their own unique basket. I always do their clothes separate. They love when they have a full dryer of clothes to sort into baskets!
After the sorting is done we take the clothes up to their bedrooms. My 3 year old can and loves putting her clothes away by herself. For my 22M old we have these baskets at the bottom of her closet. She sorts her socks and underwear, and grabs me hangers as I need them.
After nap.. around 1 or 1:30 they usually go for another snack and we do something outside. I like to try to get out at the very least once a day. This could consist of just playing in the backyard or going to the playground, museum, etc. I feel this is the best time to get out for us because everyone is well rested. I would never take my kids out just for the sake of getting out, or go grocery shopping for instance right before nap time. We always chose wise times to leave the house. I also make sure that I am aware when we do go out. I know that if we happen to get out in the morning that I better be ready to be home by 11 or we will have meltdowns!!!
Around 4 or 4:30 is when we head back home. Around 4:30 I start dinner. Again, my older two either play upstairs with each other independently or help me in the kitchen. They often go for their busy box during this time as well.
5:00 we eat dinner.
5:30 we head upstairs and play for 30 min before starting our bed time routine.
6:00 my husband usually walks in the door. Together as a family we clean anything that is left out in the playroom. My husband and I then give baths. We try and get as much one on one time as possible during that hour. The girls take baths separately... My husband will give our 22M old a bath while I am with my oldest and vice versa. After baths we read 4 stories together as a family and then they get 1 story to read with us by themselves before bed. If my husband gave our oldest a bath then he reads to our 22M old before bed. By 7:00... 7:30 at the latest, my older two are asleep.
If my husband doesn't make it home in time for baths, I often set this INVITATION up for them.
We are up with my youngest until 9ish. She usually sleeps 8 hours takes a bottle and sleeps until 7. After all the girls are settled we try and prepare the best we can for the next day. We also try during this time to prep as many meals as we can. Some days we do enough for a week... some days we don't do any. My husband bought me a kitchenAid stand, an extra freezer, and half a cow for Christmas. LOL I'm hoping that helps! Ohhhh how the times have changed!!
Some extra "tips" that work great for us.....
Make it easy for your children to clean up their space by giving everything a home. If you don't know where it goes... how are they supposed to know?
A word doc I made with a custom grocery list. We print one out each week and check off what we need.
After so many requests for our food magnets and grocery lists we decided to make them accessible to you. We created a document (13 pages) that includes:
Benefits to your child (infant, toddler, beyond toddler)
Directions for both magnets and velcro (for those of you without magnetic refrigerator)
2 pages of fruit
1 1/2 pages of veggies
1 page of common foods
2 types of grocery lists
Click on button below for an instant download
Total Cost is $3.50
Total Cost is $3.50
I have pictures of all our snacks. I have a copy laminated and a copy printed out on magnet sheets. We use the laminated copy for the girls to circle their selections for the week. Also, when you go grocery shopping, this is a great tool for your children to bring to the grocery store and find the picture! For the magnets I keep a picture of what snacks are available on the outside of the refrigerator. This not only helps my children to see what we have, but when we are out of something the magnet comes down. When we only have a few magnets up, it's time to go shopping!
Take advantage of your resources!
Our front door looks like this often. I LOVE Amazon. How can you not take advantage of diapers, wipes, toiletries, snacks, etc. all at your doorstep with the click of a button. If you haven't joined Amazon Mom yet, you need to right now! Everything ships free to your doorstep in two days. Also, check your local grocery stores. Our Sam's club has free order ahead pick up. You can select your items online and within 24 hours they will have it all ready for you to pick up. Many of our grocery stores do this for a minimal fee and they always have free trials. 95% of our grocery shopping is done with me not actually having to go to the store and shop.
I hope this helps give you an inside view of our day. Some of these things you may already do yourselves, but hopefully you picked up something new!
I also want to add that this changes often. Our summer routine is much different than our winter routine. We also don't get out as nearly as much as we used to now that we have our youngest. I am sure that will change once again when she's more mobile.