My friend, Monica, left me a good tip:
establish a ‘get by’ routine for straightening/laundry/ and forget things like dusting, gourmet meals, mopping, etc.
Oh my. I can’t even remember the last time I dusted our house! I’m sure it was this year!!
For the interest of other bleary-eyed mamas (who are probably napping instead of reading this blog), here is our current “get by” routine:
anywhere from 5 am to 7 am: Baby is awake to nurse. Back to sleep in approximately half-an-hour (if I’m lucky!).
7 or 8 am: Mama up and at it… “it” being nursing Mr C again. 🙂
8:30 or 9 am: Breakfast time. My hubby has been getting the kids their breakfast in the morning to give me time to dress, make the bed, or nurse the baby. Most mornings, I am handed my breakfast (usually oatmeal or peanut butter toast, since I can’t have milk while I’m nursing) by either Miss A my my husband. Spoiled mama!
10 am to noon: Baby takes a few cat naps and nurses off and on. I try to start a load of laundry and tidy up the house a bit. Miss A and Miss E get dressed and make their bed after breakfast; Jeremy usually dresses Mr K. I start something simple for lunch.
Early afternoon: Kids play for about an hour after lunch. I put the kids down for a nap at 2 pm. Mr C usually takes a long nap around the same time, if he didn’t sleep a lot during the morning. If I happened to have gotten enough rest the night before, I tackle more housework, do a little baking, catch up on computer stuff, or work on a project while the kids sleep. Most days, I take a nap. 🙂
Late afternoon: “Big” kids are up from naps usually around 3 or 3:30. Miss A and Miss E help fold or put away load of laundry. Play time for the three “big kids”. Nurse time for Mr C, then time for Mama to get supper going. Usually a casserole or meal made from meat I thawed earlier in the day.
Supper time: Jeremy is usually home again by late afternoon. Since I rarely get supper completely finished before Mr C wants to eat, Jeremy takes over in the kitchen while I breastfeed. My girls generally help set the table or unload the dishwasher. After supper, my husband either helps with the baby or with kitchen clean up. The kids help clear the table before they run off to play.
Evening: Play time for a while, then bath time. Hubby helps bathe the kids while I sweep the kitchen floor, finish up the laundry, tidy the front room, or feed the baby. I bathe Mr C and dress him for bed. After baths, it’s family devotions then bed time for the kids around 9 o’clock.
Bedtime: Mr C generally likes to nurse to sleep around 9 or 10 o’clock. I’m asleep shortly thereafter! He wakes up to nurse anywhere from one to three times a night (usually no more than twice, unless he’s extra hungry). Then it’s time to start another day!
This “routine” is not something I sat down and really “scheduled”… it’s just sort of how our days have progressed these past few weeks. As my baby, Mr C, has grown out of the itsy-witsy newborn stage, I’ve noticed our days starting to take on a sort of predictability. One sleepless night, however, throws the whole thing off!
- prepare three healthy (and simple) meals for my husband and children
- wash, dry and put away at least one load of laundry (two, on a “good” day)
- keep kitchen tidy (we’re not talking perfection!)
- dress children and myself (yes, this is on my mental “to do” list, otherwise it wouldn’t get done!)
- normal household maintenance- take out trash, pick up toys- as needed
- extra nutrients for myself– if I don’t make time throughout the day to take vitamins, eat high-protein snacks, and drink lots of water, my milk supply and energy level goes way down
Having a newborn in the home isn’t the only time a “get by” routine is in order.
What do you do when life gets hectic? What priorities do you focus on, and which ones find a place on the back burner?
P.S. It will be interesting to see how our daily routine changes once we start up homeschooling in a few weeks!!!
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.