Establishing a routine for kids is so important for you and for them! As a teacher, I am used to keeping things structured, so it wasn’t so much of a stretch for me to adjust, but I know it isn’t always easy! Keep in mind that there are days where we veer off-schedule! Outings, parties, vacations, etc. all can throw a wrench into our times of lunch and naps, but for the most part, I am pretty obsessed with keeping my boys on a schedule. It isn’t for everybody, but I firmly believe it has helped in their nap/sleep quality, their ability to transition from one activity to the next, and just feeling comfortable about what to expect each day!
With a 2.5 year old and 15 month old, we keep pretty busy around here, so I decided to split this into two posts – morning until nap and then nap until nighttime! Here is what a typical day has looked like for us this summer!
5:45 – Mama’s alarm
Typically, I set an alarm on weekdays. This gives me the opportunity to shower (sometimes) and get myself ready for the day without my two sidekicks running around me as I attempt to brush my teeth! I also use this time to get breakfast going for the boys because they typically wake up by 6:30am and are super whiny if I don’t have food out quickly for them.
6:30-7:30am – Wake Up, Get Dressed & Breakfast
The boys typically wake up around 6:30am, but usually not at exactly the same time. I get whoever is up first, change them into their clothes for the day, and get them started on breakfast. Usually it is oatmeal with jelly swirled in, pancakes (we just tried out an awesome egg & banana pancake recipe to get some protein and without using any flour! Thanks, Auntie Angie!), French toast or sometimes, its cereal. Call me crazy, but sometimes mama is a little too tired to cook in the morning, and so cereal finds its way in here and there. They will also usually eat fruit (blueberries, strawberries or banana) or a yogurt.
7:30- 8:30ish – Free Play & Tidying Up
After breakfast, we brush teeth and then I give the boys some time to play with their toys in an unstructured way. Sometimes I will put an episode of Sesame Street on in the background if someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but typically I try to keep the TV off. (Trust me though, there are days where we need some Daniel Tiger on for an hour to calm down a tantrum or give Mama some sanity!) I use this time to try to get the dishwasher loaded, wipe down the counters and use my amazing new stick vacuum to just run through the kitchen. If you haven’t invested in one of these, I highly recommend it! It is so much easier than lugging around the real vacuum and worrying about the kids tripping over or playing with the cord.
If it is a nice day, I have tried to get outside early and go on a walk or go to the park to be outdoors before it reaches 100 degrees and 80% humidity! This summer has been a little rough on me since I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant, but we’ve done pretty well overall I think! If we have an outing planned, I usually try to get out the door by 9:00, depending on what the activity is. We’ve done playdates with friends, days at the zoo, parks, pools, beaches, etc. Really, anything to get us out of the house is usually what happens at this point during the day!
12:00 – Lunchtime
Whether we are at home by this time, or out, I try to keep lunchtime consistent. My boys are easy and will eat a PB&J everyday (which they mostly do) and some sort of fruit or veggie on the side. On occasion we will try other foods for lunch, but Leo has been a pretty “picky” eater lately, so out of convenience and request, PB&J is fine with me!
After Eating until 1:00 – Free Play
After they boys finish their lunch, I give them a little more time to play with whatever they want. Sometimes I will put the “Toddler Tunes” or “Get the Wiggles Out” playlist on our Amazon Echo (or as Leo calls her “Aleka!”) so that we get the last bit of energy out before it is time for naps. This would be our dance party time which I have grown quite fond of! I will also try to get in reading a book or two during this time if I didn’t get to one in the morning.
By this time, Xander is exhausted, so I put him down for a nap first. He practically jumps out of my arms to get in his crib, so bedtime for him is super quick! He will typically nap until 3:00 or 3:30. Leo is and always has been more of a process to get to sleep. He is usually still a bit wound up, so I give him a little more time to play while I get Xander down. Then, I bring Leo to his room, read a story and let him sit in bed until he falls asleep. We also have a monitor that lets us talk to the kids so if he is still sitting up 40 minutes later, I will tell him that it is time to lay down and he is usually down until 3 or sometimes 4:00!
While the kids sleep, I get some me-time. Some days this means laundry and cleaning up the toys, while other days it means sitting on the couch watching tv! And on days where I ignored my alarm, this is when I shower and get ready, especially if I have plans for the evening! It really depends on how I feel. I’ve learned since staying home that I can’t expect to do housework every single day without feeling a bit burnt out. I do the everyday tidying up for sure, but big projects like cleaning bathrooms or organizing tend to rotate days, as they should! (Unless you find joy in cleaning, which sometimes I actually do!) So like I said, its me-time, so whatever I need that day, this is the time for it!