Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The daily grind
So you know about the bevy of kiddos that we have here. Ages young adult to 3 years old. Specifically that means
1 in college
2 in high school
1 in elementary school
2 in kindergarten
1 at home
And specifically, added all together, that has given me 67 years to practice parenting. Wow that made me sound old! And I am Amazed that it still totally feels like I'm STILL wingin' it! I am constantly awed by how much I don't know.
Anywho, I've gotten a question about our daily schedule. I'm a pretty linear gal. I like a schedule. I'm not afraid to be flexible and often we need to be cause stuff comes up. But the schedule and the predictability provide a safety net and structure to our home, which otherwise could just be 24/7 chaos run amuck. So here's a typical weekday schedule. It rarily goes like this.
6:00 we wake up. Papa makes breakfast. I pack lunches. The high schoolers are on their own to wake themselves up and have the natural consequences of their choices. The middle children (we have only one currently) we wake up. And the little ones are left to sleep, but usually wake up on their own as the house starts it's daily bustle. The big and middle shildren are expected to come to the table fully dressed and groomed with shoes on. (Which is a constant battle with some)
6:35 family breakfast, all together around the breakfast table. If any of the little ones aren't awake yet, this is when we wake them up.
7:00 breakfast is over and the last minute gathering of stuff to get out the door. Backpacks packed. Lunches handed out. Teeth brushed and sunblock applied.
7:15 Carpool service to schools and bus stops, and Papa goes off to work
7:15-8:00ish Tess and Jude read to me individually. The other 2 little do their communal chore, clearing the breakfast table, finish getting dressed and then play while I do this.
8:00 I put on my exercise clothes quickly and help little ones with teeth and hair brushing..., gathering lunch boxes and back packs and backpacks, putting jackets on...
8:25 Go outside to bus stop
8:30 School bus comes to pick up Tess and Jude. I start a preliminary kitchen clean up.
9:00 Exercise while Mimi watches Mickey Mouse Club House.
9:30-10-ish shower and get dress
10:00 ish clean kitchen from breakfast and run errands if needed. Grocery. Doctor appointments. Store... I try to only run errands 1-2 days per week and have a 2 errand per outing limit. I can get to the grocery store and home in less than 60 minutes. If it's a long errand I skip to lunch at 11:30. This is also book reading and play time with Mimi.
10:30-11:00ish Catch up on chores/phone calls and/or work on my photography class(es)
11:30 Lunch time for Mimi and me. Sometimes we go out and meet Papa or Granna or Livy for lunch. Mostly we just stay home.
12:00-12:30 ish Mimi nap time at which time I tidy the house any/or work on answering emails, start and complete most of dinner.
2:30 wake up Mimi from nap if she isn't wake already and pick up Boo from the bus stop. Talk about his day. He immediately does his chore when he comes home from school and then homework.
3:30 Meet the school bus for Tess and Jude. They have snack and do "home work" immediately after school followed by play time. Fridays is always movie day after school. I finish up dinner and do all that after school stuff that seems to escape me but is a HUGE time sucker!
4:45 Papa picks up Patch from high school. Patch stays late after school every day for athletics. They usually run 1-2 small errands everyday on the way home.
5:00-5:15 ish Papa and Patch get home. Liv works Monday-Friday and gets home sometime between 4-8p.
5:30 Family dinner around the dinner table every night. This is interrupted if there is an event- Wrestling match. Track meet. Choir performance. But extra-curricular activities are pretty limited in our home, and for the vast majority of nights, we eat dinner together.
6:00-6:30 baths for the little ones and kitchen clean up with everyone else. One person volunteers to help the littles in the bath and get their jammies on.
6:30-7:00 Bed time for the little ones. Papa usually reads to them and tucks the in since he hasn't seen the all day, and I usually finish up the kitchen (you know that stuff that only mama's see.)
8:00-ish I finish up on emails and photography class correspondences, usually in front of the tv with my laptop listening to some awful mind numbing reality television. About 1x per week, Papa and I go out for a weeknight date after the little ones are asleep while the bigs hold down the fort. Sometimes "date night" is a trip to Costso or just a fast dinner alone. It's time to talk uninterrupted and it's a priority for us.
9:00p Bed time for Patch and Boo. This is a strict bedtime for Boo, but not so much for Patch. Often we will ask him to retire to his room at this time although when he decides to actually turn the lights off and go to sleep is up to him. Papa usually falls asleep around this time on the couch or heads to bed. He's just not a night guy.
9:00pm - ? I'm a natural night owl. I try to be in bed by 10:30 but find it TOUGH to do. Night time is MY time and I love it.
Going back to wingin' it in the parenting department, I think that's one of the things that I've come away with after these 67 years of parenting, that winging it is okay. Parenting is in a constant journey of evolution. Children grow. Their needs change. We try out new strategies. I age and learn more along the way. And how I do things and consequentially our schedule changes. And it seems to me now that there is no right way to do things but the process of evolution and changing as a family and children grow is more of what is important.
Did I leave anything out?