A Daily Schedule for the SAHM with 2 Under 2

sahm2u2My babies are 10.5 months apart. I’ll be honest: for the first several months, we had no regular routine. It was all about survival and making sure everyone had slept, was fed and had clean clothes & diapers. I did try to get us out for a walk every day, so I guess you could say that was somewhat routine.

Fast-forward 8 months: we now thrive on schedules in this house (see my morning and evening routines here). My kiddos love knowing what to expect (and so do I), and regular meal and nap times help keep baby batteries charged. Here’s what a typical day in our life looks like:

5a-7:30a: Wake up and prepare for the day. (You can read about my morning routine here.)

7:30a/8am: DS wakes up and nurses. He is easily distracted when feeding, so I always try to get a good nursing session in before DD wakes up.

8a/8:30am: DD wakes up. Put on music (yey for the Toddler Dance station on Pandora) & have kiddos play independently while I make breakfast for DD. DD and I sit together at the table while she eats breakfast, and then it’s time for more independent play.

8:45a: Empty the dishwasher and put laundry on to wash. Pick up the house and do some light cleaning, such as vacuuming (Note: heavy cleaning, i.e. the bathrooms, has to wait until there is someone else around to monitor the kids).

9:30: Feed DS and put him down for a short morning nap.

10a/10:30a: In home educational activity for DD, and then once DS wakes up we head out to story time or go to a mommy & me play group. I’ll also use this time to go grocery shopping or run other errands on occasion (today we got our flu shots, yuck!).

12:00p: Lunch for DD & DS; DS nurses.

12:30p: DD & DS down for afternoon nap.

2:30p: DS & DD wake up from nap. We play for a bit and then I feed DS while DD gets 30 minutes of screen time (We stick to PBS shows right now—Daniel Tiger & Thomas and Friends are the current favs).

3:30p: Walk, park &/or errands.

5p: DD & DS eat dinner.

5:30p: Baths for both kids.

6p: Clean up toys and read together.

6:30p: Bedtime.

6:30-8:15p: See my evening routine here.

8:15p: Dream feed DS.

8:30p: Bedtime for me!

I also do dinner prep throughout the day. I use the crock pot a lot, try to have enough for leftovers, and make a fair number of simple meals (i.e. spaghetti). I love cooking, but this is sadly not the season for many exciting meals.

peace-be-with-youlove

Finding Hope in the Midst of Postpartum Depression

ppd_hopeFor the past few days I’ve felt like I have been slipping back down into the deep, black pit of postpartum depression.  That’s how it always goes for me: I slowly start loosing more and more of my joy, of my hope.  In the place of joy and hope, my heart begins to fill with pain (literally, I can press a hand on my chest and ease the ache).  Next comes the feeling of being weighted down, as if my blood has been replaced by lead.  My thoughts get lost in mental fog, and every task—down to changing the last dirty diaper—becomes so. incredibly. difficult. to. accomplish.

Yesterday morning I began my prayer time by writing a note in my prayer journal begging Jesus to “remove this cup [of depression] from Me; yet not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42).

Jesus responded to me right away in my readings, first in my daily devotional: “If you have hope, this will make you cheerful.” (J. Escriva, Friends of God, 76).

Yes, I thought to myself, this is true: I have experienced this for myself recently.  We are moving back to my hometown next year and will live near family again (currently we live on the other side of the country from family).  I have been so excited about this move, about buying a house and about settling down.  I have had so much HOPE lately for the future, but yesterday morning that hope was not enough to make my soul cheerful.

That is when Jesus gently directed my thoughts to this verse: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.” (Heb 6:19).

I struggled to find the meaning of what the Lord was telling me.  The hope in our new home that had buoyed me just days before had faded and my soul did not feel anchored.

Finally, the Lord gently reprimanded me, saying “set your HOPE on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col 3:2).

A light turned on for me: I realized that the excitement—the hope—I had been feeling about our future house was good, but that it had blinded me. If I was so hopeful for my future earth house, how much more hope I should have for an eternal home with God in Heaven!  How much more glorious will my Heavenly home be than any home I could ever find on Earth!

I realized I have been placing my hope in earthly things; I have idolized these things and that is why hope has not been a sturdy anchor for me.  I do believe that my depression is a mental illness that needs to be medicated; however, I also believe that focusing my hope on things above—God & Heaven—will provide me with that steadfast anchor.

peace-be-with-youlove

My Evening Routine As A Mama of 2 Under 2

my-evening-%e2%80%a8routineI have found that in order to keep my sanity as a SAHM of two under two, I need routines (see my morning routine).  Routines help me to ensure that I’m getting enough sleep, that I’m taking care of myself mentally and physically, that I’m being present with my husband and loving him well, and that I am devoting time to building my relationship with Jesus.

I wasn’t always like this!!! Before kids I was pretty disorganized and had poor time management skills.  But, as they say, a baby (or two) changes everything.  Now I find comfort in routine and structure, and honestly, having a daily plan is refreshing to me.

Here is my evening routine as a SAHM of two under two:

6:30-7pm: Kids in bed.  They are ALWAYS in bed by 7pm (I can only think of one time in the memorable past that DD wasn’t in bed by 7pm; she was sick and it took until 7:15 to calm her down).

10 minutes post kids in bed: Sit on the couch, catch up on emails & social media and drink a tall glass of water.  The pre-bed evenings with two under two are pretty hectic (especially since my husband is still at work most nights).  A glass of water is very refreshing, and as a breastfeeding mom it’s important to stay well hydrated.

Post-water break: Finish picking up the house; wash up any dirty dishes and run the dishwasher; and get organized for the next day (restock the diaper bag, lay out tomorrow’s clothes, etc.).  I find it’s really important to my mental well-being and outlook to have an organized house.  Clutter causes me stress, and waking up to a messy house in the morning does not make for a good start to the day.  I also do what I can to eliminate frantic running around in the morning.

7:30-8pm:  Dinner & date time with my husband (if he’s home from work).  If he’s not home from work I’ll use this time to take an extra long shower and then read.

8pm: Quick shower and get ready for bed.  Once I’m all ready for bed, I usually sit on the couch for five minutes with my husband and sip on a mug of Sleepytime Tea.  This really helps me calm down and relax.  I have also been taking Melatonin lately to help me get back into a regular sleep cycle after 7+ months of night waking’s and weird bedtimes (Note: Consult your doctor before adding any dietary suppliants.  I am not a doctor and am only sharing what has been helpful to me).

8:15-8:30pm: Dream feed for DS.

8:30-9pm: Lights out.

What does your evening routine look like? Is there anything special you do to wind down?

peace-be-with-youlove