this was originally posted on The Houtz House Party as part of Kelly’s “It’s A Typical Day” project series.
I’m so happy to share a little glimpse into what works and what doesn’t for our family’s daily schedule. I’m certainly not an expert, but I have learned some things to help make our lives run a little easier and with less fuss so that we can spend our precious time together doing things that will make lasting memories.
Here are a few things that work for our family and our daily schedules:
1. Meal-Planning: I plan our meals for the entire month using a regular calendar. I have some staple days like every Sunday night is just plain pasta with red sauce and Fridays are homemade pizza night. This helps us keep a budget and it also makes dinner time less stressful, because I don’t have to waste energy thinking about what we will be having.
2. One-Meat-A-Week: I recently just started this and it goes along with meal planning. Every Monday, I throw either a frozen chicken or beef/venison roast into the crockpot. I then use that in all my meals for the rest of the week (ie: pizza, soup, enchiladas, casseroles, etc). This one little thing has saved us SO much money and it also takes that “cook the meat” step out of my dinnertime routine.
3. Controlled rest time: Our kids have always had very scheduled nap times, but as they get older I have continued to enforce the “rest time” period for a couple of hours in the afternoon. My daughter (almost 4) spends time reading or playing quietly, but understands that rest time is a non-negotiable and most of the time, actually likes the time to play by herself. I also, think having a rest time helps the rest of our day go smoother (mom gets some things done and kids are rested–everyone is happy!).
4. Early Bedtimes: 7:00 is the kids’ bedtime and while they are loved on and enjoyed all day long, when it is time for bed, they go to bed and don’t wake up until the morning. I value sleep and think that it makes for much more pleasant children if they are fully rested each morning as well. Also, as weird as it sounds, I truly believe that sleep begets sleep. Have you ever put your kids to bed late and then had them wake up super early? That’s because, according to the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby” the more sleep they get, the more they will want to sleep. Sounds strange, but has worked with both of my kids since they were tiny babies. Early bedtimes, also give my husband and I ample time to spend together and unwind from our busy days.
Here are a few things we haven’t been able to implement successfully:
1. Early Wake-up: I know that getting up early and working out and doing my chores would make our days run smoother, but I’m just not a morning person and though I’ve tried to implement this, I can’t get it to work for us. Any suggestions from you early risers?
2. Daily Chore chart: I like my house to be clean all at the same time so a daily chore chart doesn’t work very well for me. I’ve tried it several times, but I always felt like yes, my bathrooms were clean, but what about the mess of a kitchen? Perhaps, I need to just keep trying and I will find something that can work for my personality. Again, suggestions welcome!
3. Strict Schedules: Though I am a self-diagnosed Type A personality on most things, I prefer to not have my days scheduled away down to the last second. I like our days balanced with times for play, times for learning, times for snuggles, and times for rest. We have a loose schedule on most days and you can see a typical day in our life HERE. I’m cherishing these days before my kids go off to school and we start the rat-race that is part of that phase of their life. For now, our flexible timelines and late wake-ups work for us and that’s what we’re going to continue.
I’m looking forward to your comments and suggestions about what works and doesn’t work for your family!