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Motherhood

Day 10 :: A Predictable Routine

Today and tomorrow I’m going to share some practical things that I’ve done to try and help with the thriving in our home.  These things have helped me to function better as a wife and mom.

Most of us have some sort of rhythm to our days:  we wake up, eat, do stuff, eat again, do more stuff, eat again, start on more stuff, go to bed.  It’s pretty simple when you put it that way.  And yet it gets complicated when you’re waking little people up, feeding those little people, entertaining the little people, and getting the little people into bed.  

Some days I just want to pull out  my hair by the first eat.  Like this past Tuesday when I went upstairs and my girls had somehow decided that it was a good idea to rub shampoo all over the furniture in their room.  Apparently, they were cleaning.  
In order to help with the complication of our days, we have a routine.  Nothing super strict with every minute of the day planned out, but it works for us and the structure has helped me to stay on top of things {for the most part}, thriving in my household duties, if you will. 🙂
My kids all wake up at different times in the morning, but breakfast is always around 8AM.  It’s been that way since they were newborns {I’ll touch on that tomorrow}.  We eat at the table together.  My husband is usually already at work, so it’s just me and the kids.  It’s been a bit tricky with nursing a newborn and having to feed my 18 month old at the same time, so some of it is staggered, but it’s always at the same time. 
Our mornings are either spent running errands or just playing around the house and doing housework.  My youngest {3 months old tomorrow!} takes a morning nap, and on the days that Mason has physical therapy in the afternoons, he also takes a short nap.  During that time, the older girls and I work on writing letters, coloring, or just playing together.  
Lunch is at noon, again, all together at the table.  
By the time lunch is over and I’ve finished nursing Jennavieve, it’s about 1:00.  We have some more time to play, and I try to clean up the kitchen a bit.  Mason and Jennavieve take an afternoon nap, and are down by 1:30 or 2 for that nap.  The older girls don’t nap every day anymore {giving these up was difficult for me}, so they have a ‘quiet’ time for about an hour.  This is spent in their rooms, either playing with a specific toy or looking at books.  
If all goes as planned, this guarantees that I have about an hour each day with all children quiet.  My hour is spent in different ways.  I sew, blog, work on a project, fold laundry, cook, clean–basically whatever needs to be done that didn’t get done, or I just do something fun.  I need this time and helps to re-charge me for the remainder of the day. 
Nap time is always over at 4:00, and from this time on, the kids are usually entertaining themselves while I cook dinner and intervene here and there to play or settle disagreements.

We don’t eat dinner at the same time every night, but it’s always around 5:30 or 6, and we sit at the table together to eat.  We’re blessed in that my husband is usually home for dinner so we’re able to do this as an entire family.  

After dinner is spent as a family, either outside in the yard, taking a walk, playing a game, occasionally watching a movie, or sometimes going to Lowe’s.  {We like to do home projects together so sometimes a Lowe’s trip as a family is a necessity}.
The kids are all in bed by 8PM, with the exception of Jennavieve who is usually still eating at that time.  She’s down for the count around 8:30, though, and then Bradley and I have a bit of time together in the evenings.  
People have asked me how I get anything done with four little children, so now you have a glimpse of how it works for us.  I realize that structure is not for everyone, but if you feel like your system isn’t working, I challenge you to try establishing a routine for about two weeks and see how it goes.  You might be pleasantly surprised!  Or you might hate it and go back to what you were doing.  We have to find what works for each of us.  
My children know what to expect each day and I really believe this provides a sense of security for them. 
A routine functions as a guide and keeps me on track with the needs of my husband, children, and home. 
For tomorrow’s post, I’ll be answering a question about babies and routines.  It is possible to thrive in the area of sleep with a newborn.  Come back tomorrow and I’ll share the ins and outs that have helped my babies sleep during the day and the night!
For a list of all posts in this series go here 
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1 Comment

  • Reply Kristin

    I’m forever thankful to the Lord and to you for setting such a great example of daily schedule with your children! God knew I needed your example before having our own kids. After observing you successfully attack days with a newborn, infant, etc. by having a good routine, I have been able to follow in your footsteps. I agree; it is a key to thriving with small children!

    November 9, 2013 at 3:47 am
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