My Real-Life, Practical Daily Routine

Paper popup dollhouse
(Photo of my popup paper dollhouse)

Recently I received an email from a reader with a question:

“I was wondering what your daily routine looks like?”




When I read that, my first thought was, “Yes, I wish I knew that too.” My routine changes; I have to stay flexible.

Small children can divert and change the best-laid plans. If I were to write my routine on poster board with a permanent marker, I’d have to tear it up as soon as I finished, because it would need to be different.

Instead of having a schedule that would be ignored day after day in real life, I follow a daily routine of touchstones — key elements to mark a successful day.

* Wake up early. It’s essential. I wake up so much earlier now than I did before, but it’s still not early enough to beat the kids. It seems like they hear me and wake up too. I downloaded a free eBook called Maximize Your Mornings. This book shows you how to get up early, read your Bible and exercise before the day begins. Its practical tips are incredibly motivating.

Start the laundry first thing in the morning. The sooner I get it started, the sooner I can put it away so it’s not a pile of clean laundry waiting to be jumped in and poured out on the floor.

Make the bed. An unmade bed is like wearing sweatpants, but a made bed makes me feel ready for the day.

bed-unmade bed-made

* Play outside. If it’s warm enough, kids can run off excess energy in the morning.

* Eat lunch. This one is hard for me while I’m trying to take care of the baby, but I want to be refueled by nourishing foods.

* Afternoon rest time. Lane stays in her room and hopefully takes a nap. I still can’t convince both kids to go to sleep at the same time.

* Early dinner. If dinner is postponed, it throws off the evening routine, makes everything feel rushed, and results in late bedtimes.

* Pick up and wash dishes. I try to do this every night before I collapse into bed.

Everything else settles in between these daily markers. I might have planned to work on something, but then the baby needs extra care, and before I know it an hour has passed by. I keep a list of weekly tasks and another of unique to-do’s, and I try to do some of both each day so I feel like the basics are taken care of, but I also make progress on special projects. We are at home most days, and I run errands or do grocery shopping one afternoon a week.

What are the kids doing?

20090812-lane-bakingLane doesn’t like to play by herself very much, so I try to involve her in what I’m doing.

If I’m cleaning, then she walks around with a spray bottle full of water and a dish towel. If I’m baking, then she either helps me or I pour some salt into a bowl and let her play with the measuring spoons.

Sometimes she watches a movie. Sometimes she’s in my closet trying on my clothes.

The baby is always close by, watching me, or I’m carrying him in a sling.

One of my favorite parts of living in an apartment is that both kids are always within earshot, and I don’t have to wonder what they are doing.

What about a cleaning routine?

I think a cleaning routine needs to be changed regularly to keep it fresh and appropriate. I always do the same daily basics such as dishes and laundry, but my cleaning routine varies according to our family’s current needs.

At times I do all of the house cleaning in a few hours during one afternoon, but these days that is exhausting and impractical. I’ve also divided up the tasks between days of the week and that works well too. These days I know what needs to be done, and if I have a good moment I just look around and see what looks the worst, and then I do that.

Overcoming Challenges

A couple of years ago, I knew my daily barriers were:

1. Feeling tired and grumpy.
2. Being over-ambitious in planning.
3. Procrastinating and not taking advantage of short time increments.

Now I feel I’ve succeeded in overcoming those. I get enough rest by going to bed early. I stopped drinking sodas so I have more consistent energy during the day. I don’t try to plan too much, even though I do have days when my to do list doesn’t get done, and I have to move things to the next day. I’ve learned to stay busy and do things when I have the chance, because I know that getting a solid block of two hours to concentrate just isn’t going to happen.

Now one of my challenges is to be able to shift gears once things are quiet, because I am so used to having my attentions divided and staying up and busy.

What advice do you have? What are the key elements to your having a successful day?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I do not feel awake and ready for the day until after my shower. I was putting off taking my shower until later in the morning, but have realized that is not working for us. Instead, I set my alarm to get up before my kids (at least an hour) and get my shower, dry my hair, and get a cup of tea before they come downstairs.

    One thing we did to make sure I was up and ready for the kids–when they were very little, they were not allowed to come out of their bedrooms until their door was opened (by Mom or Dad). It sounds mean, but this way they knew it was morning and time to get up. Especially in the wintertime, when it’s too dark to know if the sun is up yet!

    Once the oldest could tell time, we gave him a clock and told him what an acceptable “getting up” time was. He was getting up at 6 am (mainly to try to play video games), but now he gets up at a reasonable 7:30. He shares a bedroom with his little brothers, and they all know that unless he’s up, it’s not time to get out of bed.

    The exception, of course, is bathroom use. They can get up to use the bathroom and then must get back into bed. I know it seems kind of regimented, but we’ve found that once the kids get used to the idea that X time is time to get up, they actually sleep till that time and end up getting more sleep overall.

  2. My routine is also loosely based on a few things similar to yours, like the laundry, lunch, and for me the time the boys each get the bus or come home. Then I fill in the gaps with cleaning, work, shopping and (not often enough) exercise.
    My obstacle is similar to yours in the Procrastination & not taking advantage of short periods of free time. I tend to use those to read blogs or mail and should try to squeeze in short tasks, like maybe empty the trash or 5-10 minutes to declutter.

    I am trying to formulate how to get all my To-dos prioritized & into a schedule.

    mary b´s last post…Wrap up 2009 with A Year in Review

  3. I had to click through today to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. I love the idea of “touchstones” and I find it so realistic to think of things this way when you have young children. Thank you!

  4. I try to keep an ongoing, relatively short list of things to tackle when time allows. Each day can have it’s own twists and turns and drop-in demands, so it’s not a Must-do-it-now list, it’s a Fit-it-in this-week-sometime list. It feels less demanding to me, but helps to keep me focused when I get an unexpected 10 minutes or half hour. I get more done if I have things written down, as I usually find it too easy to fritter time on the computer! Okay, now gotta run!

  5. I work full time so my weekdays are pretty defined by the job. One tip that has helped me is to plan the weekend. I sit down Thursday or Friday night and create an agenda for Saturday and Sunday. It’s not set down to the minute, but if I know I’m meeting a friend across town to exercise, I’ll add a note to take my alterations to the talented dry cleaner near her. Keeping that list visible helps me accomplish the errands that so often get forgotten (goodwill drop offs / drycleaning / library book returns, etc).

    Juice´s last post…Reunited And It Feels So Good

  6. I like your markers! Mine are quite a bit different now, but I have them, too. The one thing I like that makes me feel somewhat ready for anything is the BBD’s: Bed (made), Bathrooms (clean), and Dishes (done and put away). If I can get the BBD’s done every day– I’m good to go. An unmade bed and dirty dishes in the sink weigh on me. A dirty bathroom discourages me from wanting to have company. A little dust–no problem. A dirty bathroom–ugh!

    mrs.e´s last post…4 Day Weekend

    • i loved your idea of bbd.its really helpful and one feel like accomplishing something in the day atleast.

  7. Wow! I’m completely honored you liked the ebook and would even find it useful enough to share with your readers! I’m a longtime reader of your blog so it’s quite fun to be mentioned here.

    Thanks again, Rachel!
    -From your fellow freezing Texan, Kat

    Kat´s last post…If you register your site for free at

  8. I have a very busy 3.5 yr old & an even busier 8-mth old. I’ve learned over the years that in order for me to feel like a day was “successful” that I needed to be able to let go of my former “life” & realize that I can’t do things the way I want to / used to anymore. There will always need cleaning to be done, something to organize, activities or people that need me, etc.

    I try my best to make a simple schedule for us each week. This helps keep us on our nap / downtime schedule so much easier as well as gives us a predictable evening as much as possible.

    I’m involved with a mom’s group in town (which I highly recommend for anyone with littles in the home). Usually there’s at least one activity for us to attend & sometimes I have 2 or 3 to choose from. I love that I can decide in the morning that yes, things are going well, everyone’s feeling alright – we can do “X” in the afternoon. Or, it was a rough night, DS is having a tough day – we’ll skip that & stay home & read books or something. Such a different life than working out of the home!!

    I do feel better if the bathrooms are clean, the kitchen floor is swept & the house is picked up at the end of the day. But I’m hoping that these early years with my boys can be remembered as fun & lots of laughter mixed with it’s typical challenges rather than I broke my back trying to keep up with my former routine in life, before kids.

    Great post! Thx for the suggestions of how you keep Lane busy while cleaning & cooking need to be done!

    Vicki´s last post…Contentment

    • Vicki, I appreciated reading this. I have busy 3 & 2 year old boys (and another on the way)!! I chose to stay home with them and I’ve noticed one of my struggles has been letting go of the way things use to be. My house will never be as clean and tidy as it once was. The flip side to that coin is my boys laughter in the air, their arms around my neck, and all the other joys they bring. When I let go of my old ways and relax about my to-do list, I realize LIFE IS GOOD! My routine has relaxed lately and I’ve noticed how much better I feel. Reading your post reminded me I’m not alone! Other mothers have the same struggles.

  9. I was just sitting here writing out an action plan for how to make my days more effective, and then came to check your blog. I was so glad to see this post! I’m struggling too with two little ones, ages 2 and 4 mos. and am ready to get back on some sort of routine. So far, I’ve struggled with the getting up early part, because newborns have a way of making you want to sleep in as much as you can before the day gets going. But I find that mornings are the most stressful part because I’m in more of a reactive mode than a proactive mode. I realize that I stay up later than I should because both boys are asleep, but really, I should go to bed earlier so that getting up earlier won’t be such a hard thing.

    The days can feel crazy, but I remind myself that if I’m getting the basics done, like meals, keeping the kitchen clean and the living room picked up by the end of the day, and playing with my boys, then it can be considered a good day. Thanks for the suggestions on what to do with the older sibling, by the way. I will try some of them with my son the next time, although I’m afraid he might think it’s more interesting to dump the salt all over the floor instead of stirring it. :)

    BTW, your bedroom is so pretty! It looks like a bed from a magazine!

    Jenni @ Life from the Roof´s last post…Surfacing for air

    • Yep, I sighed when I saw the lovely things Lane gets up to. My sons would also throw the salt on the floor or insist on eating it even after they had established that it tasted vile…
      My daughter would simply empty my wardrobe (closet) on to the bedroom floor and be content with a job well done…
      The joys, eh?
      ;-)
      Karen (Scotland)

  10. Your bedroom is gorgeous, though I know that isn’t the point of the post at all :)

    Thanks for sharing, and giving me a kick in the pants I need today to get my act together.

    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…Kitchen Cabinet Turned Book Nook

  11. Mommy Bee says:

    I love this post! Thank you!!

  12. Thanks for sharing your day and how you overcome challenges. I think it’s great how you identified what your challenges are. I need to sit down and work on that as well. Great post!

    Michelle Traudt´s last post…Keeping New Habits

  13. Getting up early definitely helps! If I can get up and have my devotional time before our son wakes it really helps me feel better about my day. Just having that alone time does wonders.

    I also concur with what you say about doing little things like making your bed. I find if I make the bed, put away the dishes from the dishwasher and get myself dressed and ready for the day before lunch, I feel so much more successful and that keeps me going and I get more done.

    Lydia´s last post…Free Sample: Emergen-C

  14. With a 4 m and 2 1/2 y, my days are now defined by things other than household chores. Instead of using tasks to organize my day, I am trying to think of it in terms of my most important priorities and responsibilities. I am now getting up at 5:00 (after already being up around 3:30 to nurse) to exercise with my husband before he goes to work. Next, waking the children around 7:30, sitting at the table to eat with my son, doing a “big boy” activity during baby’s morning nap, rocking and singing to baby girl during big boy’s nap, and sitting down to dinner with my husband. Whatever laundry, cooking, or cleaning was accomplished around these things will happen, but these are the parts of our day that are most vital to those I have been entrusting with nurturing.

  15. Karen Sunstein says:

    Thank you sooo much for answering my question.I am really enjoying your blog. I struggle with getting up before my 18mth old does. I really have no excuse since she is very predictable right now, except I want to sleep! I always unload the dishwasher first thing in the morning and start the laundry. Nap is from 12:30-2:30 and thats when I do computer time, read, or try to exercise. If the basics are done, I’m happy.

  16. This is another lovely post. My day is very similar and I have never once in my life had to waken any of my children. Not once. I have now accepted that a day that starts after 6am is a long lie. Once you aceept that and realise how much you can get done before 8am, life as a mother becoems so much easier.

    At the moment, my husband is home from sea and I’m almost seven months pregnant so I am lying in bed until 8am-ish but I don’t actually feel better for it. My husband is a sweetie for letting me sleep but he never sees the clothes sitting in the washing machine, or thinks to start the bread machine, or peel potatoes for the evening etc. As a result, I spend the day chasing my tail trying to catch up on all the things I usually do pre-8am.

    I think acceptance that life has changed is the key to enjoying motherhood. Accepting that the day runs 6am to 9pm, rather than 8am to 11pm is the first step!
    Karen (Scotland)

    • Wow…that is a really amazing statement.

      “Accepting that the day runs from 6am to 9pm, rather than from 8am to 11pm…”

      Gotta think on that one.
      Thanks Karen!
      dawn

  17. Great post! Since having a baby, I’ve really struggled to get the main things done (dishes and laundry). Especially now, my daughter at 10 months is into everything and always on the go! By her naptime, I’m so exhausted I don’t feel like doing the housework I should!

    Tammy´s last post…~Traveling with a little one~

  18. Denise C. says:

    First, I love the photo of Lane wearing her bike helmet while in the kitchen!
    Also love your bedding, I need to get some pretty sheets/bedskirt soon!

    I try to have a routine with my 2 kids. I get most errands ran with my daughter when my son is in preschool on Tues/Thurs (grocery shopping is early Saturday morning).

    I have been doing my laundry in the evening (my washer/dryer are upstairs), it’s much easier to get it done if the kids are bathing (that way they are within ear/eye shot).

    I’ve been getting into the habit again of getting the dishes done at night. I used to be meticulous about it before I had kids. I despise waking up in the morning to a sink full of dirty dishes.

    I really try and stay home the rest of the week with my kids. I find that they are not as stressed, and are more laid back.

  19. Oh my, I am such a natural night owl, but I KNOW there is value in rising early to prepare my hearts and mind for the day ahead. I have goals of rising early, for sure, but it’s still something I’m working toward. Just curious…How early do you rise (how much time before your kiddos are up too)? How early a bedtime does that mean for you??

    heidi @ wonder woman wannabe´s last post…Can I Have My Sweets & Lose Weight Too?

  20. Thanks so much for sharing your routine! I literally just sat down on the computer to look up advice on routines, and your post came up in my RSS feed reader. What perfect timing! Right now, I’m struggling to find ways to keep my 8-month-old (who just started crawling) entertained. I don’t want to play with him all the time because I want him to be independent, but at the same time, I can’t just ignore him. I’m still trying to figure out the right balance.

    • It makes me feel better to be doing something productive nearby while my kids play independently for a little while. Like, if they are playing in the living room, I might read a book or clean something or fix something in the living room. Think of it as parallel play. He’ll let you know when he’s not happy playing by himself anymore, and if he doesn’t, then pick a time limit, like 15 or 20 minutes.

      Nancy´s last post…A Fantastic Mess.

  21. I second so may replies of a beautiful bedroom! I love the headboard and trays. What a creative idea. I too love the landmarks in the day. Life is insane with a 4 year old, 2 1/2 year old, and going on 9 month old. Mornings are the kids best time to play on their own. They are refreshed from sleeping all night and I can get some cleaning done. Also, if the dishes aren’t done before bed EVERYTHING is thrown off the next day.

    I’d like to get a better routine down, but right now we’re just trying to get rid of stuff so we don’t have to keep cleaning and moving clutter around. After this Christmas I’ve realized how much I don’t like stuff (even though there’s more I want…hmmm how does that work?).

    Balance will always come. Nothing will ever be perfect and I’m so ok with that. I’ve always wondered what schedules were like in Little House of the Prarie days. The thinks kids have now didn’t exist. How did moms manage with toddlers? Sorry to ramble so on a comment.

    Tara´s last post…Changes

  22. oh, I enjoyed reading this. I am a big believers in mornings. I get up, pour my coffee and read my Bible first. Just yesterday, I pushed back taking a shower until the afternoon and the whole day was “off” just for that reason. thanks for sharing!

  23. I wish I could say I had the zip to get up before the kids, but I don’t– not yet (and the baby of the family is already 8 months!). But I have found that a good clean-down of the house/shower before bedtime does wonders for setting the whole family on the right foot in the morning. And then touchstones is a wonderful way of describing that internal rhythm that seems to drive a good day.

    I must ask– are those pots and pans over your bed? It looks lovely, and I have learned from following your blog for a few months that your home is full of surprises. ;-)

    Adele´s last post…Mama’s Hat

  24. I am a morning person for sure! I need a little quite alone time to write, think, drink my coffee and read online. If I don’t get this bit of relax time before the rest of the world wakes up, I feel a bit harried and tense the rest of the day. My other thing is trying to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I stop drinking and eating caffeine (including chocolate) early afternoon so I don’t have that awake-but physically exhausted thing. I have a hard time parting from work in the evening, so I have been telling myself that it will be there in the morning…so let it rest as I need to rest. Thank you for sharing your tid bits. I do many of the same. :) Happy New Year.

  25. What wonderfully wise counsel – to have touchstones or markers for your day with simple routines. I realized when you listed your main goals for the day that mine were very similar. After years of hit and misses, it has worked out to be much the same as yours. And it is very freeing. I find that it doesn’t upset me nearly as much if the unexpected arises. There is built in leeway.

    One thing that is a help for me is to have a few built in pick up times – after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner. This helps keep the house looking tidy throughout the day. Yes, we make a mess. But if I can get everyone to regroup and do a quick run through three times a day, it makes a HUGE difference.

    Amy blogs @ River Rock Cottage´s last post…Update: Rebecca’s Wild Farm Documentary

  26. I have realized over the years with having a husband, 3 kids, and homeschooling that you really can accomplish much in small 15 minute increments of time, if you use them. Many people feel 15 minutes isn’t enough time to do anything well, so they don’t use the time. I can start laundry, wipe down a bathroom, load the dishwasher, vacuum the main floor areas, sort mail and etc… in just 15 minutes. There are several 15 minute time slots throughout the day that I can tackle small things. I accomplish a lot more than I realize in those time frames. I usually don’t have many large chunks of time to work with!

  27. Dear Rachel,

    I’m a big fan of your writing and beautiful ideas. This post inspired me to ask if you wouldn’t mind sharing thoughts about your evening routine. To me getting up early sounds nice and I always like to plan morning routines with a bit of silent time, yoga etc.. Then it rarely happens because every night after my kids are asleep I just love staying up reading blogs, dreaming and planning – I guess I should have a solid early evening routine first!

  28. Thanks for the wonderful post! I am in the process of re-evaluating my daily routine, so this is very timely.

    Country Living Mom´s last post…Snow Day

  29. I have three children and it seems after skimming through most of the comments and your post that I am alone in being forced into a schedule by the ever present SCHOOL. First grade to be exact.
    I have set the boundry for myself that I do not get rewarded with breakfast or morning tea until I do all the dishes and put the baby down for a nap. I take my shower while she is sleeping. I do my house cleaning on Wednesday, and laundry Wednesday night before the kids go to bed. My big kids help me sort. Then as a reward for my clean house, I have a “craft and coffee” at my house on Thursday AM. My house stays relatively clean through the weekend with this in mind. Oh, I also never let the baby’s highchair go without cleaning. including the floor underneath. I hate stepping on cheerios. But I still have yet to resolve how to balance my night owl, art-making tendancies, with my desire to get up before everyone and excersize. It’s not really a resolution, but it’s getting closer to being a responsible homemaker.

    katiek´s last post…In Perspective

  30. Your last statement is currently SO true of me. I got so into my working routine (photographer from home) that when it slowed down right before Christmas I had to sit and make a list of things that I used to like to do when I had free time! Now with Baby #2 imminent, I doubt that I’ll have much free time for awhile, but it’s sure been nice!

    Minnesotamom´s last post…Christmas-y Craft #1

  31. Looking forward to going over everyone’s comments. I’m looking forward (and dreading at the same time) getting back into our routines. I like how you mentioned the “basics” of the routine, and then everything just flows around it.

    Meeks´s last post…Holidays = Eating??

  32. I laughed out loud about your comment that an unmade bed is like wearing sweatpants all day! I completely agree. It makes my whole day go wrong if my bed is not made. I just wish my kids felt the same way…

    Thank you!

    Ashley, with CWDkids
    http://www.kidbits.cwdkids.com

  33. Thanks so much for the recommendation for the ebook, Maximize Your Mornings! I’m reading through it this morning and so far, I really like it. Lots of great advice and wisdom in Kat’s words. I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thanks. I hope you have a lovely day : )

    Julie

  34. I think you’re right, having some touchstone habits makes all the difference.

    I have adopted a new habit of getting up early and it’s added a lot of productivity to my day.

    Meredith from Penelope Loves Lists´s last post…A “Wicked” Confession, or: a reminder that I’m far from perfect

  35. That is such a great post idea – A day in the life… Love it!!!

    se7en´s last post…Fabulous Friday Fun – The First!!!

  36. robbiekay says:

    Interesting. I’ve been off caffeine since December 12th. Though I’ve stopped before, this time I’m noticing just what you said–more sustained energy. While I still don’t have the energy to do all the things I need to when I get home from work, at least I have enough to get dinner on the table and the bulk of, if not all of, cleaning up the kitchen afterwards.

  37. I was torn about whether to paint the rooms of the apartment we’re moving into, and those photos of your room convinced me to do it! Off to find low- or no-VOC paint tomorrow.

    Sally Parrott Ashbrook´s last post…Life, Evolving

  38. This is great advice. I don’t have kids yet but I also try to continue the momentum by doing tasks in unexpected downtime during the day, knowing that in the evening I’m most likely just going to want to sit around! :) That rest time is important and I don’t want to feel guilty about relaxing because I didn’t maximize my time during the day.

    Lisa´s last post…“It’s Complicated”

  39. Reachel,
    you’re so right about what you wrote of your daily routine! I tried working with a schedule fixed by half-hour “sections”, but I just kept running behind my schedule feeling stressed all day. Your touchstones are really good, perhaps I’ll take one or two to try if they improve my routine.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Deia´s last post…Twilight – Eclipse

  40. While I am past this time in my life (though do have short trips back when my nieces children stay for the holidays, 3 x wks and a 6 week) I do remember the hetic time. We had 3 children in 3yrs and 4mths, and I worked nights from when the youngest was 7mths old. If I was able to have my shower, I was able to tackle most things. If the beds were made, the dishes done and the laundry going, and boy there was some laundry, I had two babies in cloth nappies and it was all line dried, the drier was only used in times of wet weather. You do have to make the most of the little moments that you get to catch up on things, but it is really important to get some rest yourself during a busy day, even if it is only 10mins to sit and have a coffee in peace. I was fortunate that my children were in a routine and that is the most important word, I don’t mean that you have to stick to it to the letter every day but if children know what is happening they deal with things a lot better. Most days they all had an afternoon sleep at the same time, luckily for me my eldest still loved her naps, she was an early riser so I was able to get a little time to myself. I can remember my mother saying that I should use this time to do the ironing etc, and some days I did, but most often it was used to get a few moments of breathing space and put my feet up. If you are tired and cranky the children pick up on this and they are cranky too. At the end of the day it was time for me to get dinner ready, get ready for work as a waitress, and as my husband walked in the door, to find the kids feed or at least dinner ready for him to serve when he wanted to, bathed and ready for bed I walked out for another 5 hours on my feet lol. There was a lovely moment when I got home to a quite house, I would tidy the kitchen, pick up the toys left behind and just sit for a moment to unwind before going to bed.
    The best advice I could give a young parent is too enjoy the time you have with them now, they are not going to remember if the house was spotless, they want the memories of happy times of reading stories, doing things together. Get the basics done of beds, dishes, laundry and bathroom and the rest is a luxury, if you get them done that day, that is great but getting stressed over some dust and a few scattered toys is just not worth it. Go for clean, the essentials and if it is tidy on top of that well that is a bonus.

  41. Do you have a certain “format” you keep you to-do list going on? Or certain chores you do each day? I struggle with staying organized and managing time.

    Mary´s last post…Reduce Me To Love

  42. Thanks for posting this! I would love a firm routine, but the kids throw daily monkey wrenches at me! I got the ebook and am looking forward to structuring my mornings better.

    Rachel´s last post…Just a general update

  43. this is great! i’ve been blogging about my recent revelations on my home routine (mostly flylady inspired, but some personal things, too). one thing that has made all the difference to me is getting up before my family: read Bible/pray, run, start breakfast, etc. i’m just SO much more ready for my family when i’ve had time with the Lord & by myself first! not to mention that i’m less likely to snack on sugary junk later when i’ve exercised first… : )
    thanks for sharing your routines- i grabbed that e-book right up!!
    have a great weekend,
    rachel

  44. YaY! I’m so glad to how found a kindred spirit:) All of what you wrote here about managing your day will work for you even when you have more children. This is what I still do and I have nine:)
    momto9´s last post…Cooking and tales

  45. My grandparents raised 9 kids in a house that eventually expanded to less than 1000 square feet (and one bathroom!). Grandma was a very good home manager and after I became a new mother I would reflect in detail on the things she did. She managed her mornings in shifts. She would get my grandfather out the door first (this would give then an opportunity to discuss the day, etc.), then she’d let the older school age kids get up so they could breakfast and get out the door. We who were younger were not allowed to get up until she said. As we got older and came up in the summers the schedule relaxed a bit but we still were not allowed to get up until she was ready for us to get out of bed–aside for perhaps a trip to the restroom. Those were the times I read my uncle’s comic books!

    There have been times over the years where I have limited some of my most demanding little ones in the morning so I could get some time to get it together for the day (like how about finishing preparing a hot cereal!). Because it wouldn’t matter how early I got up they would also be up, grumpy, and wanting something to eat right away. It was definitely a helpful and even character building tactic for everyone’s sanity!

  46. My 18 mon old co-sleeps with me. I would like to wake up before her and get my cup of coffee and a shower and a lot of times am awake before her, but cannot get out of bed since she’s holding me tight and I’d wake her up by getting out of bed.
    I guess there really are 2 issues here, co-sleeping and waking up early, but any advice on this situation?

    • I don’t know how to get out of bed without waking a co-sleeping baby, but what could help is taking your shower at night just until this season is over.