This is my first week linking up with Works for me Wednesday.
What works for me during the summer (or anytime of the year since up until this point my kids have been home with me all day long) is having some sort of schedule. It isn't a rigid schedule, things can change as needed. However, I find my day goes much more smoothly if I know what is going to happen next most of the time.
For instance although there is not rigid get out of bed time set, I do make sure Madeline and Owen are awake by 8 if for no other reason than to make sure they nap in the afternoon! I don't make them eat breakfast as soon as they are awake, but if they have been up for about 30 minutes and haven't asked I suggest eating. They sometimes wake up and the first words are "breakfast?" Other times they get caught up with stories (I love starting the day cuddling and reading stories) or playing. But I know the cranks will set in if they don't eat!
They usually don't get dressed until after breakfast and then I do preschool work with Madeline for about 45 minutes. Some days more, some days less. During this time I am working with her and keeping Owen occupied. Some days he plays by himself, some days he uses the activities she is done with (thank goodness for laminating paper) and other days I read stories to him or play with him while helping Madeline (those are the more interesting days)
After we are done with preschool work we have a tv break. Yes we watch tv every day. Every morning for 30 minutes. I do Madeline's hair while they watch and then usually pack our diaper bag and snacks for whatever we have planned that day as well as eat my own snack.
At least 3 days a week we head out of the house for playtime- libraries, zoos, parks, playgroups, friends' houses, museums, etc- or errands. The other days I either plan an art activity of some sort or we play in the backyard. When I am not this pregnant we often go on walks around the nieghborhood (lately pushing the double stroller causes contractions and lots of pain so we are avoiding it for the moment unless Jon is home to help).
We eat lunch between 11:30 and 12:30, then it is time for tv (yup, another 30 minutes again) and stories and then NAP! After the kids wake up we usually stay home since Jon gets home around 4. They wake up around 3:30 and they miss daddy so we try to be home when he gets home. We might read more books, play with toys, play in the backyard, color, whatever the kids are in the mood for and I am in the mood to pick up after!
Dinner is around 6. I like that Jon is usually home while I am cooking, it makes my life so much easier. If he isn't, I have found that playdough keeps my kids busy for about 30 minutes and they are in the kitchen with me so I can mediate fights if the need arises.
After dinner we have family time, then it is bath time, tv time, stories and songs and bedtime by 8:15.
Now this is my normal schedule. During the fall and winter college semester I work two evenings so whatever days I am working the schedule obviously changes accordingly. And if we have an early playgroup or errand or appointment we again change the schedule. But I have found that without even trying my life tends to fall into some sort of daily schedule. I didn't plan to be this way, but I am definalty happier since I found it! And my kids seem to like it as well.
Our schedule doesn't change with the seasons, but our activities do. However, after I have written all this down, with baby #3 on the way I KNOW things will be thrown into a tailspin this summer. I am hopeful that some type of new schedule will emerge from the chaos of having three kids 4 and under. But I am preparing myself for not knowing what will happen when, and also for allowing more time to get anything and everything done.
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