So it’s just you and the kids – Are you the type of person that thrives off routine? Or are you happy to go with the flow?
I’m a little bit of both. I like having flexibility in the day and not having a rigid structure to follow but I also like having a plan so that I’m less stressed and can get more enjoyment out of the day. I also find a routine stops me questioning whether I have done “enough”. Have the kids watched “too much TV” or have I created enough “structured activity” for them. We can sometimes be our own worst critics.
Routines stop me questioning myself and allow me to create a day for both myself and children that is productive but allows for rest and recovery. Everyone’s day will look different and that is very much okay.
This is what our day looks like during these times where we are solely at home.
6:30am – Wake up, hobble downstairs
This is our time. No rush, nowhere to be. We are able take the time to talk about what we dreamt about, talk about what we feel like for breakfast, listen to the birds and talk about the day ahead.
7:00am – Breakfast/clean up the kitchen – TV time
I love sitting back on the lounge with a cup of coffee while the kids eat and watch some morning TV. Maybe it’s because it’s exactly what I did as a child. It gives me a chance to check my emails, connect with social media, think about the day’s agenda and just be “me” while I wake up. I then clean up the kitchen while they relax. I’ve noted “TV time” as it gives me awareness of how much screen time the kids actually have versus what I think they have. If I can pop a load of washing on during this time, I do.
8:00am – Get ready
After breakfast we head upstairs. We get dressed, open up windows, make our beds and brush our teeth. I ensure I also get ready during this time. I aim to have ourselves ready for the day by 9am.
9am – Planned activity
I use this time to introduce a planned activity. It might be soccer in the backyard, a “concert” using instruments, dress ups, a dance party, building a fort, a puppet show, a sticker book or an activity book.
9:45am – Morning tea
We have a quick break for some fruit or vegetable sticks – I keep morning tea light to ensure they eat a full lunch.
10am – Outdoor play
I might pull out chalk for the chalkboard, they might play restaurants/shops in their cubby house, jump on the trampoline, play tag, play in the garage with their bikes etc. During this time I will play alongside them but I also use it as an opportunity to hang or fold washing, water the plants, tidy outside etc.
11am – Lunchtime
We keep lunchtime light. Wraps, sandwiches or leftovers with fruit and/or vegetable sticks.
11:30am – Craft
With full tummies and an active morning we are usually ready at this point for something quiet. This is the perfect time for some colouring or craft. I try and put thought into an activity before we begin.
12:00pm – Kids Yoga
This is the newest addition to our routine, kids yoga! We do Cosmic Kids Yoga which is accessible free on Youtube. I join in with the kids and we laugh the entire time, they love it and it sets the tone for what we will be doing next… having a rest!
12:30pm – Rest/nap time
My little ones are aged 5 and 3. Would you believe my 5 year old still sometimes naps if he has had a big morning. I pop both the kids in bed and they either sleep or rest with a book or quiet toy during this time. More often than not, they both sleep. This time allows me to catch up on tasks around the house, exercise or simply recharge myself.
2pm – Afternoon tea – TV Time
Once the kids wake up I allow them to watch some TV and have afternoon tea which is usually fruit with a chocolate milk or rice crackers/cheese and tomatoes. I generally enjoy a coffee at this time too!
2:45pm – Free play/outdoor play
At this point the kids are energised and ready to play again. It’s a great time for a planned activity like baking/making jelly or we head outside in the warm sun to play with a water table or play a ball game. I also allow the kids time to play freely – The most fun is had when they are using their imaginations. It also gives me a bit of a break. If the kids are getting frustrated with each other, I encourage them to play in their own spaces and give each other free time.
4:15pm – Pack up time
If they want to eat dinner, they have to help me pack up!
4:30pm – Cook dinner – TV Time
While I’m cooking dinner the kids have the choice of playing independently or watching TV. It’s usually a bit of both.
5:00pm – Dinner
The TV goes off and we sit at the dining table for dinner. Some of the time I eat with the kids but I also have some evenings where I eat later with my husband or even by myself if he’s working late. I find having one meal alone or with hubby therapeutic. It’s my moment of “me time” where I can eat in the quiet of my own company.
6pm – Bathtime
Once dinner is done, I tidy the kids’ plates and we head upstairs to fill the bath. The kids are responsible for getting their pyjamas which are under their pillows.
6:30pm – Books
Every night each of the kids picks a book from their rooms and we read each book together on my bed.
7:00pm – Bedtime
I take each of the kids to bed independently and I talk to each of them about the wonderful things we did that day. I sing them a bedtime song. For the most part they will fall asleep quite quickly after I leave, but there are of course some nights they need to wee 5 times before bed, or suddenly have the desire for a specific toy or book… I gently encourage them to handle these situations by either going to the bathroom on their own or getting what they need independently.
7:20pm – Mum eats dinner/tidy kitchen
If I haven’t eaten with the kids I’ll eat dinner and tidy the kitchen. I’ll also finish any tasks like folding the washing to help me feel prepared for the following day.
8:30pm – Shower and chill
I normally have a nice warm shower, put on my comfy pyjamas and relax on the lounge with my favourite television programs during this time.
10pm – Meditation and bedtime
I will meditate every night for 20 minutes before going to sleep. I use the Calm app. It helps me stay grounded, focus, relax and have a restful nights sleep.
I hope this has been a beneficial read. I always find it interesting hearing about how others organise and manage their homes and routines. I hope my routine is able to give you some ideas of what you could implement in your own home.