I love having a routine. I like knowing what to expect, and I think young children tend to do better when they are on a good schedule. So I'm happy that I can finally say we are following a good routine these days. Lucas is napping well, which is amazing, but it does mean we have to stick to a pretty strict schedule. I know it will likely change in the coming weeks and months, but here is what a typical day looks like for me, at home with a 9 month old and a 2 year 10 month old.
8-9am: I try to clean up from breakfast and do the dishes while the boys play nearby. This gets a little tricky since I am constantly stopping to play referee. Sometimes I get the dishes loaded and the dishwasher going and even have time to wipe down the counters and table. Other days I barely get anything done because Ryan is acting up with Lucas. I also change Ryan's diaper and get him dressed at this time.
9am: Lucas is usually ready for a nap within two hours of waking up. While Ryan watches TV, I put Lucas in his sleep sack and sing him a lullaby. I turn on his sound machine as loud as it will go and shut the door. He usually sleeps between 40 minutes and a little over an hour.
9-10:30am: I use this time to get myself dressed, do my makeup (sometimes!), finish the morning dishes, start a load of laundry, make the beds, and tidy up the house. I let Ryan watch a cartoon while I do this. If I have time I play cars with Ryan, give him a snack, or start getting ready for whatever we're going to do next.
10:30am: Lucas is awake and I nurse him. At this point we have a solid hour until I need to start thinking about lunch. We use this time to run errands, go for a walk, go to the grocery store, etc. It takes so much planning to get out of the house these days! Each boy needs a sippy cup, a snack, a clean diaper, socks and shoes, etc.
12:00pm: Lunchtime! Me and the boys sit together at the table and eat either leftovers or something simple I can fix while the boys play/fight. Yesterday I made Ryan a mini pizza on pita bread that I broiled in the oven, but most days it's something easier like a sandwich. After lunch we play a little bit before it's time for a nap.
1:00pm: Naptime. My favorite and most dreaded time of day. I put Lucas down for his nap first while Ryan watches TV in my room. (It's the only thing that will keep him safely distracted from trouble). Then I try to put Ryan down for a nap. Lately it's been great. It takes about 20 minutes for him to fall asleep with me next to him, and he's been sleeping between 1 and 2 hours every day. (Excuse me as I knock on wood with as much force as possible). Lucas naps for about 45 minutes, which means I have a solid 20 minutes to myself before he's awake. I spend the first ten minutes sitting down with my Bible. I try to ignore my To-Do list and just take a few minutes to relax and talk to God.
1:30pm: With my last 10 minutes of freedom I frantically clean up from lunch, put away laundry, and start prepping dinner. Lucas wakes up and I nurse him.
2:00pm: At this point Ryan is still asleep but Lucas is awake. And if you know Lucas, you know he's loud! So I try to keep him as far away from Ryan's room as possible. We play until Ryan is up.
3:00pm: Ryan is awake and I give him a snack. We now have an hour to get out of the house and go to the park or the store. Sometimes my Mom comes over at this time and helps me with the boys so I can clean or take a shower.
4:00pm: Lucas is usually ready for his final nap of the day. While he sleeps, Ryan and I play hide and go seek outside or find something quiet to do in the house.
4:45pm: This is a hard time of day for me. I need to start cooking dinner soon, but both boys are cranky and restless. I nurse Lucas and then try to occupy them while I cook, or sometimes I give them an early bath before I make dinner. They love bathtime together!
6:00pm: Dinnertime. By this point I'm pretty frazzled and the boys are usually yelling/screeching/crying/whining. It's a stressful time. If we're lucky, Adam is home to eat dinner with us. But that only happens about half of the time.
6:30-7:30pm: If Adam's home I let him play with the boys while I clean up from dinner. If not, we take baths and get PJ's on. Or run around the house screaming (Ryan).
7:30pm: I nurse Lucas and put him to bed. Adam and Ryan are usually watching TV while I do this.
8:00pm: We either lay down and put Ryan to bed at this point (which would take up to 2 hours) or wait until we go to bed later. If we wait, then I use this time to clean up from dinner, clean up toys around the house, sort mail and pay bills, put away laundry, or anything else that needs my immediate attention. If Ryan is still up he eats a bedtime snack of cereal.
9-10:00pm: We try to go to bed around this time because Ryan is really hyper and loud.
Lucas usually wakes up twice to nurse during the night, around midnight and 4am.
5:30am: Adam gets up for work and I'm usually awake to say goodbye.
And then we start it all over again! Probably sounds kind of boring, right? Each day is different, just a similar routine. If you have young children, are your days like mine?