There are things to keep in mind when maximizing your time. You have to consider when you are most efficient and determine your priorities. For example, I am a morning person. Always have been, always will be. I was the very uncool girl at slumber parties who fell asleep first (deadly mistake) and the annoying sorority member who woke up before 7am no matter what time we got in (my apologies to my college roommate DTW). But now, as a mom, this natural tendency has benefited me! My point however is that if you aren't one to naturally bound out of bed at 6am but rather stay up until midnight working on things, figure it out for you. We have to be comfortable, happy, and motivated in what we are doing or we won't do it. Side note: I do believe that even if you are not a morning person, dragging yourself out of bed just 30 minutes before the troops awake will pay you dividends for the rest of the day. Being one step ahead of them!
Now here is a sample day (leaving MUCH room for error and honesty):
5:30-6:30am- Wake Up! My hubby is usually up first recently since my insomnia has been winning the sleep battle from 12-3. Before the boys get up(usually just my older son since nobody can guess when the almost two year old will or will not be up), I try to:
- Start a load of laundry
- Unload the dishwasher
- Make our bed
- Get breakfast started
- Make D's lunch for school
6:30am - Mr D the Champion 1st Grader arises! Lucky for him, he is a morning person like his father and I! While he eats breakfast (possibly joined by Mr. M the precocious younger brother):
- Go over spelling words (LOVE that we have spelling words now, I am so excited!!!)
- Clean up breakfast
- Change over laundry, start next load if needed
- Balance checkbook
- Review calendar for the day
7am- Move boys to bathroom for teeth brushing, clothes changing, hair fixing, etc.
- Help D make his bed and straighten Mr. M's crib from the plethora of "friends" he chose to sleep with the night before.
- Brush my teeth
- Any last minute pre-school time items
7:30am- Walk all the way (across the street) to school. Back in five! Usually my husband walks D over and M goes with them. He had to carry his own lunch box over today even though he is not yet two. During these minutes, I shower. Blissful, hot, alone (because I have all boys), shower time!
7:30-11:30am - This is a very fluid part of my day consisting of but not limited to:
- Finish, fold, put away laundry
- Confirm dinner recipe/ingredients/prep/plans
- Some days we have play dates or play group
- Errands, Target (to give them the $100 they require me to give every time I go), bank, etc. I'm not a big errands with little one person. I try to keep it to a minimum. Although, Target is a great, free (kind of), air conditioned outing to look at toys and burn energy.
- Home or out for lunch depending on the day.
- Some days we are home all morning, playing, coloring, organizing, etc.
Noon-Noon:thirty-ISH- If you know my younger son, you know that saying everyday at this time he goes down for a nap would be ridiculous. It's getting better and we do try.
- Normal nap time routine, milk, book, pick the eight friends you want to sleep with you. You understand.
- Pray for a two hour nap.
Beginning of Nap until.... This is where I try to pack in as much as I can that still needs to be done before school gets out. Sometimes it's a long list but usually its very do-able and I like tackling it while the house is quiet.
- Clean. Whether it's the bathrooms, the bedrooms, what have you. Seriously, its so fantastic to clean the bathrooms and have them sparkle in 20 minutes. Love it!
- Blog, write to you, or maybe to myself, I never know!
- Do any dinner prep I can. So much easier than when I am playing referee later.
- Emails, PTA stuff, phone calls.
- Workout **Important item: I was working out in the morning at a gym until I re injured my knees. I am in the midst of getting back after it and figuring out what I can and can't do. This element of my schedule may in fact change if I go back to the gym rather than working out here at home. Then gym time would be in the morning and showering would happen during nap.
2:45pm - School is out and then it's any body's game! Sometimes friends are coming, sometimes we have sports, sometimes we are swimming because it's so dang hot, you get the idea.
After School - Dinner- This time of my day is very hard to predict and usually depends on Mr 1st Grade. Whether its homework or study time, play time, or snack time, I try to keep things low key if possible when we are in fact home during this time. One thing that always happens though is toy clean up. If it hasn't already. Heading into dinner the toys are put away and we have little to fuss over besides each other.
Dinner- The key to our family meals is everyone around the table. Sure I love to cook, and to watch my boys eat, but even if it's a PB&J night, I like everyone around the table. Ten minutes or thirty, we will take what we can get. To make this the focus and not the kitchen mess or clean up, I try really hard to clean as I cook which makes dishes after a snap. I also have an amazing husband who helps/does dishes and also cooks periodically. The team approach makes us all the more successful. Thanks Honey!!
Post-Dinner-Bedtime - Everyone has a job here!
- Kids clear their own places and push in chairs.
- One parent cleans up kitchen while the other gets shower time ready.
- Boys get pajamas, etc.
- Dad & boys shower, I turn down beds.
- Clean boys out of the shower, lotion, PJs, teeth, etc
- Out to the family room to read.
- Bed for the boys!
Mama & Dad Pre-Bed - This is my lazy time of day friends. I am worth nothing at this point. Whether we visit, watch SportsCenter, read, or drag our tired butts to bed, I am not a productive night/evening worker bee.
So friends, that is some kind of crazy outline to a day. My secret is I work. I work like I am working outside of the home still. I don't nap, I try to "Make Every Minute Count". But don't be hard on yourself if your priorities are different than mine. Every housewife makes her own magic. I take pride in a clean house, home cooked meals, and time with my family. Maximize your time and schedule to the best of your ability. I relish in the opportunity that I can always do better at something or work harder. Make it your own, you can do it!