I had to laugh, because I most definitely do not fit everything into the day.
Many, many days I lay down at night wishing I had read to the kids more, spent more time outside, folded more laundry.
Just kidding, I never wish I'd folded more laundry. But the rest stands true. I think it's a gross fallacy that any of us can fit all the things into one 24 hour period. I do believe with my whole self that we make time for what we really want to do. Some days I just don't want to read to the kids. I can make a million excuses for why I wasn't able to fit it in, but the reality is if I wanted to, I would have.
A few months ago, after being particularly hard on myself for feeling like I hadn't accomplished all that needed to be done that day, I had a bit of an epiphany.
Not all the things need to get done every day.
It's ok to push items on today's to do list to tomorrow's.
The world won't end if I decide to forgo cleaning a surface or checking off every planned assignment for school and instead choose to swing with the kids. Or binge watch House of Cards instead of getting a good night's rest. I don't have nearly as much to do with the balance of the universe as I used to believe I do.
I ditched the strict schedule for our home and adapted more of a rhythm instead. I do weekly to do lists and not daily, knowing that a busy Monday Tuesday is usually followed by a calmer Wednesday Thursday. It works for us and a relaxed me is much easier to live with, which is good since three people have to live with me.
All that to put this little disclaimer on this post:
We have no normal days. I kept track of my never ending activity on a day that we were staying home all day since those are the least chaotic. This Day In The Life was on a Tuesday, but there's no way next Tuesday will look like this.
Here we go:
7:08 - YAWN. My alarm is set for 7:20, but I always wake up by 7:09. Weird. I scroll Facebook while I try to get my eyeballs to stay open and send up a silent prayer that the kids will stay asleep a bit longer.
7:15 - No such luck. Gabe's sitting at the top of the stairs. His first greeting to his precious Mother he hasn't seen in 11 hours: "I'm Hunnnngrrrryyy! What's for dinner?"
7:20 - Coffee. Nothing else can happen until there is coffee.
7:25 - Toss an orange at Gabe, put on Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, read my book (currently reading Orphan Train)
7:50 - Josie's up. She's a snuggler in the morning so I like to soak that up. Once she's sick of me smothering her, I toss her an orange and go back to reading.
8:15 - Emma's here (Emma's our one year old cousin that I babysit during the week). My day has now officially started.
8:30 - Breakfast time. I hate eating breakfast so this meal is always a challenge for me. Today it's frozen waffles and fruit. Kids eat at the table while I grab a quick shower.
9:00 - Can you hear that? It's the school bell. I go lay Emma down for a little nap and we get started. First thing we need to do is hang up our "I Spy" birdhouse. I'm a sucker for this kind of gimmick. Hope a little bird family moves in!
9:10 - Josie reads to me for 20 minutes. She's reading me Curious George this week.
9:30 - We all mosey up the stairs to the school room. The next couple hours are for school. Math, handwriting, spelling, english, and journaling today. Some days we do science or history or art. Most days she writes cards to imaginary friends. There are usually raised voices, sometimes there are tears. Emma joins us around 10.
* A lot of you have asked what Gabe does while we do school since I'm putting off formal school for him. I'd say about 3 days a week he wants to do "work" so he will trace letters, cut paper, or do a sensory tub. Today he wanted to play Legos and that's totally cool with me. He is allowed to play quietly, but if he gets loud he has to take the toys to his room and play. It took a good 6 months of training to get him to understand, but now he's excellent during school.
10:50 - I finally need nourishment and the kids need a break. We switch it up between smoothies and juicing. Today it's smoothies and pretzels and riding bikes outside.
11:15 - Kids ride bikes while I read a couple chapters from our read aloud. We just started The Magic Treehouse series and they are liking it. It used to drive me nuts if they didn't just sit still while I read. I've chilled out now and, as long as they aren't talking, I keep reading. I ask Josie questions every page or two to make sure she's listening.
11:45 - Alright. My voice hurts and they are done being confined. Go! Be free children! It's very Spring like here this week so they will play outside until lunch. Most days our neighbor comes down for a bit to play. I usually go clean something while they play. Today I'm sweeping and wiping down bathrooms. Emma is my sidekick.
12:45 - Lunch. 9 times out of 10 Josie wants a jelly sandwich and Gabe wants a cheese sandwich. Easy and Josie can make them both. Add some fruit to make me feel like that's well balanced.
1:15 - Everyday, around 1, I get hit with exhaustion. I need to be alone to rest if I'm going to survive. Time to ruin everyone's fun by enforcing Quiet Time.
1:25 - Emma goes to the school room for her nap, Gabe to his. They are both pretty reliable nappers lately. Josie doesn't nap, but she is very well trained that she has to stay in her room until the little ones get up. She didn't finish her handwriting so she gets to finish that before she plays. She is currently in love with Taylor Swift so she listens to music like a tiny teenager.
Three days a week, I have to work during nap time (I do admin work for a local non-profit). Today is not a work day though so I cozy up with an episode of Law and Order that I've seen 800 times and read blogs.
2:48 - My Minions are up. And hungry. Always hungry. We grab more oranges, cheese sticks, and cereal bars and head back outside. Livi comes down to play and I go in to fold laundry and straighten up from the day.
4:10 - Amber walks down and we hang out. "Hang out" usually entails sitting on the porch talking and passing babies back and forth.
4:45 - Andrew gets home. Earlier then usual, I'll take it. We all sit outside for a bit then head to our respective homes.
5:00 - Start dinner. Kids are antsy so I plop them in front of the TV.
5:20 - Emma's Mom picks her up.
5:30 - Dinner. Tonight it's gourmet spaghetti dinner. AKA: noodles and jarred sauce. I wish I was a creative cook. Or had a family that would eat a creative cook's food. But I'm not and I don't so we eat jarred sauce and noodles and broccoli and bread. We all sit at the table together for dinner. We have since we first got Josie and it's a tradition I love. Andrew catches me up on Waffle Happenings and reads us the News of the Weird. Kids finish before us and go play leaving us to sit in peace.
6:00 - We eat fast. Everyone is usually done eating within like 15 minutes. Is that strange? I get up and clean the kitchen while Andrew plays with the kids. Or sits in the room while they play. Whatever it is, I'm not in there so it's like a mini vacation for me.
6:20 - Some nights we have ballet or Girl Scouts or church, but tonight, nothing. So while a lot of people make fun of us for it, this feels like a perfectly acceptable time to put the kids to bed. Mind you, we have a ridiculously long bedtime routine so the whole "good night" part won't happen for quite a bit.
6:25 - Kids get on PJ's, go potty, and brush their teeth. There are dolls that need their PJs and toys that have to get put away and pretty much every night someone cries about something but by 6:40, Andrew is reading Gabe a bedtime story and I've corralled Josie in to her bed for her story.
7:00 - Gabe is alseep. Josie gets 30 minutes to read in bed before I make her shut her light off. 80% of the time I forget to go tell her for at least an hour. Andrew and I are engrossed in House of Cards right now so as soon as we get our snacks together we meet on the couch to watch a couple episodes.
8:20 - Remember to tell Josie to go to sleep. She has to show me allllll the books she marked with "cool stuff" that I just have to see. I try really, really hard, but this point of the night I almost always end up raising my voice at her. Girlfriend likes to push the limits to see how long I'll stand there while she shows me the same thing I've looked at the last 38 nights.
11:00 - What? How did that happen? The hours after bedtime are like the socks that disappear in the drier. Time for bed. Gotta get up and do it again tomorrow.