I asked on our facebook what you’d like me to post about, and one of our readers left the following comment:
I need to hear from other moms of 3 or more children – on how they maintain/keep up with house and balance time for themselves and their family. I am drowning these days and it doesn’t help that I have an infant waking up a lot through the night!!! Yawn!!!!!!
I love this idea and also love hearing how other moms manage things and get through their day. I thought I’d start by sharing our daily schedule.
Doug wakes up around 6:30, Adam and I wake up around 7-7:30 and he eats. Sometimes I get a shower in, sometimes this has to wait.
The kids get up around 7:30, we say goodbye to dad, I put Adam down on his play mat, and start making breakfast. This is what our kitchen usually looks like in the morning.
I have my breakfast in here, with my laptop or phone to catch up on everything, check mail, enjoy my coffee.
While they’re eating, I’ll empty the dishwasher from the night before, and do any dishes leftover. Usually we do them after dinner, but some nights we leave them for the morning.
The kids play and I’ll throw in a load of laundry. I
do try to do one load a day, and have figured out a laundry system that works for me. Sometimes I sneak down, but if I have laundry to fold, I’ll bring them down with me and they play in their playroom in the basement.
Adam (3 months) starts crying around 9:00-9:30, I feed him, he passes out, and I put him in our room where he’ll sleep for about three hours.
If Ben (almost 2) is cranky, he takes two naps. I put him down after Adam, around 9-10. He’ll sleep for an hour to hour and a half, wake up, play, eat lunch, then go down again.
After lunch, any where from 12:30-2, I put both Lily (three) and Ben down for a nap. Most days she takes one, some days she doesn’t, and those days she’s usually over tired.
I’ve been asked how I get two toddlers to nap in a room together. Here’s how:
1. Invest in blackout curtains. If you only listen to one thing I say, listen to this one.
2. Put one kid down 15-30 minutes earlier. If I put them both in there at the same time, they get silly and want to play. Nothing wrong with that, but I don’t want them to get cranky later on. I put the younger kid down first, he falls asleep, the room gets boring, then I put the older one down.
3. Don’t let them get over tired. Seriously. It’s a bad idea…
Don’t ask me how to get three in a room for naps. I’m thinking pack n play in my room for Adam? I’m not ready to tackle that territory…
I highly recommend the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. While I didn’t do CIO (cry it out) like they do, I agree with their views on sleep and naps and used them as a guideline.
Let’s be honest here. I’m not as productive as I’d like every day. Some days I need Ann Marie time. Some days I’m a cleaning machine. Some days I need a nap. BAD. So this one is pretty variable.
But I’m actually quite predictable. It’s usually a handful of these things:
– on Mondays I try to log in for the Crafterminds twitter chat at 3pm Central.
– cleaning, decluttering, getting my bag for the day
– working on or starting a project, spray painting
– write blog posts (guess what I’m doing now?)
– “networking” on Facebook or Pinterest
– reading. Right now I’m reading The Maker’s Diet and Patient, Heal Thyself.
–getting an idea for dinner, preparing that.
– taking a shower.
Once the kids wake up, I feed Adam, we get a snack and I either take them to the park or outside, play with them, or turn on Netflix instant and keep working. *gasp!*
Yes, I know. You think TV is bad. I think moderation is a healthy thing and as long as they don’t overload I’m not going to beat myself up as a parent. And neither should you. I grew up on PBS and turned out awesome. At least that’s what I tell myself. ;)
Overall, I try and play with my kids as much as I can for that day and still be productive. Some days it’s not much, some days it’s most of the day. I would have a messy-ish house and play with my kids than be Ms. Neat Freak. That’s just me. They don’t go to school yet, they play, and that’s important. I think independent play is important too, so I don’t know what I’m trying to say.
These are the hours when you’re trying to get the house clean, make dinner, and keep the kids from killing each other while they all scream and want your attention and all decide they want to be fed and cry, “I’m hungry. I’m hungry. I’m hungry.” Even Adam. *shakes fist*
I just try and survive. Sometimes my good pals Thomas and Bob (he’s a builder) are involved.
I try to let them help me in the kitchen as much as I can. You’d be surprised at how much toddlers can do!
I also try to get myself together and not look like a complete sloppy mess.
Again, this one is variable. We’ll talk about our day, play with the kids, maybe go to the park, if it’s 6:30 we’ll watch Wheel of Fortune (Lily and Ben LOVE it.), we eat. Just spend time together .
Adam nurses while I eat, and I put him down for the night. We play a bit more, read books, and Ben goes down first. Lily goes down fifteen minutes to a half hour later. I try to have them both down before 8:00 pm.
I try to spend as much time OFF the computer while Doug’s home, which is sometimes hard, but it’s my goal. If he has to get on and work on his work laptop, I’ll hop on too, but otherwise no. I feel like if one of us is on and the other isn’t, we get sucked in and tend to ignore the other person. I feel like we need that time together, to connect and share.
We’ll watch TV, play a board game, pray, or talk. We either both fall asleep on the couch watching Seinfeld (9 pm – we’re lame), or go to bed around 10-11.
What about you?
Are there some things you have to do every day? Do you specific goals? What works for you?
If you have a post on your schedule or anything similar, please leave a link in the comments, I’d love to learn from you!