I recently wrote about my transition from work to home, and the boys transition to homeschool/unschool/whatever it is we’re doing. I received a lot of great, supportive feedback on that post (thank you!), and also a lot of questions. The number one question has been:
What does a normal day look like for you?
It took us a couple of weeks to get in the groove and find our schedule, but we’ve finally found a routine that works for us. It allows me to have time with the boys and get some work done. Occasionally, I can even get housework done, too! Not nearly as much as my husband would like, but maybe some day…
Here’s what a normal “stay-at-home” day looks like for us. If we have an outing planned, it usually occurs mid-morning so we can get back in time for the all important NAP. God bless nap time.
8:00 a.m. – The youngest is usually awake by this time. We share some cuddle time in the recliner before the oldest emerges from his room.
8:30 a.m. – By now the oldest is up, we’re eating breakfast, and watching some PBS kids. While they are watching and eating, I’m drinking my coffee and sneaking some tweets in.
9:00 a.m. – Hubby has left for work and we get started on our day. We usually start with reading some books together, each boy gets to pick one. Some mornings we read for awhile, sometimes they are done after they’ve each picked a book.
9:30 a.m. – This is our very informal school work time. The oldest likes to work on one of his workbooks during this time. He gets a sticker for every page he completes. The youngest might do more books during this time, or we might do flash cards or scissor skills. More often than not, little brother wants to do what big brother is doing, so he will sit down at the table with a piece of paper and a pencil and “do work.”
10:00 a.m. – Around this time the kids are usually telling me that they want to do “something fun.” We might do an art craft around this time, or play outside with bubbles. We might get out puzzles, or I may just let them play with their toys for awhile. This week we are going to bake cookies.
11:00 a.m. – I let the boys watch a little television while I clean up the kitchen and get ready for lunch and dinner. I know, I’m rotting their brains.
12:00 p.m. – Lunch! Which is usually peanut butter sandwiches and apples. They don’t get a say in dinner, so I let them pick their lunch (within reason).
1:00 p.m. – Screens go off and lights go off. I put on some quiet music, and they will play or read books. I call this our “relaxy time.”
1:30 p.m. – NAP TIME! I make sure the youngest goes to sleep, and the oldest has to lie down but I am more flexible on the sleep issue. He’s at a weird spot where if he naps he stays awake until 11:00 p.m., but if he doesn’t nap he’s having meltdowns in the evening. I haven’t really found the answer to this issue yet.
During this golden, magical time I am either working, reading a book, or joining them in taking a nap. The oldest is pretty good about behaving himself even if I am asleep.
3:30 p.m. – My favorite time of day comes to an end. The boys are usually hungry, so I will let them pick a fruit or a vegetable to eat.
4:00 p.m. – Clean-up time. By this point in the day, the living room is a wreck, and Daddy does not like coming home to a messy house. If they complete this task, they get a fun activity like paints or water balloons. We are about 50/50 on whether or not they actually clean up.
4:30 p.m. – If clean-up has happened, they get to do whatever fun activity was promised. If there hasn’t been sufficient clean-up, I get a little more serious about it. When they see the trash bag, they know I mean business.
5:00 p.m. – Before I start making dinner, we take some time to work on our verses for AWANA. The oldest learns a new Bible verse every week, and the youngest learns a new Bible concept.
5:30 p.m. – Depending on what time Hubby is getting home, I may start cooking dinner. If he’s going to have a later night, I might just steal some computer time or read a few chapters of a book while the kids play.
6:00 or 6:30ish p.m. – Dinner time! I try to trick the kids into eating what I’ve cooked while Daddy gets home and gets settled.
7:30ish p.m. – It’s family time. Daddy and the boys will wrestle, we’ll watch a movie, we’ll read books – you know, whatever. Everything I’ve cleaned up will probably be drug back out during this time.
8:30 p.m. – Bath time! If it’s a bath night. And it’s not always a bath night. Just keeping it real.
9:00 p.m. – We start the bed time tango. There are many tears, many negotiations, and many moments where I am incredibly frustrated. Ugh.
10:00 p.m. – Let’s assume that all is right with the world and the kids are asleep. This is my time to get to work. I’m getting client work done, scheduling tweets and Facebook posts, and on occasion I even get to write for my own blog! Alternately, I might be catching up on dishes or trying to clear a path in the living room.
2:00 a.m. – If it’s been a long work night, I’ll be climbing into bed about this time.
That’s our day in a very neat and tidy nutshell. Keep in mind that this is all “best case scenario” – our actual days have a lot more ups and downs, and many more variations. No two days are ever the same, but they are always an adventure. I look forward to each and every day, and I can honestly say that even my worst days at home are still better than not having this time with my kids.
What does your day look like? I’d love to hear how you’re making it work!