I have a 6-week-old, a 23-month-old and a 2.5-year-old. I’ll be honest: I’m exhausted, so much so that I had a hard time recalling what my day yesterday even looked like (I’ve been trying to reflect back on my days in order to write this post). Every day DEFINITELY has new challenges, but what I’ve found to be nice about three under three is that life is more orderly than it was with my first two. We have our routines in place, and the new baby is fitting in to what we already do rather than dictating a new way of life. So here’s a loose schedule for our days:
12:30am: Nurse baby
4am: Nurse baby
7am: 3 kids get up (I wake the baby up if she’s still sleeping so she’ll move towards being on the same schedule as her siblings); milk for toddlers and nursing for baby. 1 hour of TV (during which time I have my daily prayer time).
8/8:30a: Breakfast—when I do daily prayer time with the kids—followed by cleaning up the kitchen. Big kids play independently during this time, and the baby either sits in her bouncy chair or I carry her in my Tula.
9a-12p: “Big” kids have preschool 2 days a week.
> On preschool days I used this time to snuggle with the baby, to rest, to read and to write.
> On non-preschool days the cleaning of the kitchen extends to other rooms of the house. Laundry is put on to wash and clutter is organized. Then the big kids and I have our “special time” together, when I paint, draw, read, play, etc with them. If it weren’t so stinkin’ cold where we live, this is the time we’d play outside.
10a: Nurse baby.
12/12:30p: Lunch time followed by another kitchen clean up.
1p-3:30p: Naptime/rest time. The kids nap anywhere from one hour to two and a half hours (unless they’re sick I don’t let them sleep beyond 3:30p as it messes up bedtime). When they wake up we either play quietly together or they get another 30min-1 hour of TV (honestly, it’s mainly TV right now since I’m pretty tired).
1p: (As soon as older kids are asleep) Nurse baby. After nursing I either sleep, read or write. I also have a special “afternoon pick-me-up”: a decaf Starbucks k-cup and a piece or two of chocolate. Even Mama needs a treat now and then 😉
3:30p: Teatime. This is when the kids and I sit down together at the table for an afternoon snack—it’s usually a treat like chocolate milk, a cookie or fruit, etc. I try to read a special book to them—more literary or “grown up” than the board books we usually read—or we do our prayer time and read from our Bible if we didn’t get to it in the morning (school days are rushed and it can be hard to fit in morning prayers).
4p: Nurse baby. The big kids play independently and I do chores and prepare dinner.
5:30p: Gather around the table for a sit-down dinner.
6p: Bath time, PJs and cuddle/read.
6:45p/7p: Brush teeth, read nightly prayer book, and go to bed.
7p: Nurse baby. Husband and I have our quality time, usually reading together.
8p: Shower and get ready for bed.
8:30p: Wake baby for “dream feed”.
9p: Aim to be in bed with the lights out at this time.
Like I said, this is a very loose schedule. The baby often likes to cluster feed in the evenings, so the times I listed often change. My big kids were sick last week so have been waking up extra early in the morning. But this does represent the general flow to our days—what we aim for—as well as how we prioritize our activities.
What do your days at home with little ones look like?