The number one question I get from people is: “How do you do it all?”.
I never really know how to answer this. I am just a working Mom, trying to balance family, being a wife, working, hobbies, friends, house stuff, taking care of myself… etc. My goal is to find balance. In reality, things get off balance. And if I am over focused on one area of my life, another area is suffering. I don’t do it all. I can’t do it all. I have a lot of people who are helping and supporting me all the time. I know lots of women who are doing the same thing as me – even more.
So, how do I do it all? Not sure if this answers the question, but perhaps will give you some insight on my daily schedule. I did a similar post back in 2011 and it is interesting to see what has changed and what has stayed the same since then.
- I get up at 5 am. This is the time I working on my blog and surfing on the internet (blogs, facebook, pinterest). This is why you see a blog post from me by 6 am. I enjoy the quiet peace of the house and to have a few cups of coffee in me before I jump into my day.
- I head for the shower between 6 and 6:30 am. It’s better if I get going earlier – but often times it is closer to 6:30.
- After my shower I wake Dimitri and the kids. I then make my way in to find breakfast for the kids. Nothing fancy. The kids veg out for awhile watching cartoons and eating breakfast.
- Sometimes I get all the kid’s backpacks ready to go the night before – but lately it seems I am racing around the house to pack their bags in the morning.
- I fix Zooey’s hair – which is getting long! And then head to the bathroom to finish getting ready.
- Dimitri is up and moving at this time, helping with the kids, packing their lunchboxes and then he gets in the shower.
- By 7:30 the kid’s are all in their rooms getting dressed and to the bathroom to brush teeth, wash face, comb hair.
- And we are out the door between 7:45 and 8 am.
- Dimitri takes the boys to my parent’s house. They spend some time there before my Mom takes them to school.
- I take Zooey to daycare.
- Dimitri and I go to our jobs. We both work in offices. 8 – 5 type jobs.
- The boys are not easy to get motivated to move in the morning. We have to keep telling them to hurry up, to get going, to stop playing whatever, to stop goofing around, to get out of each other’s room. They usually start out as nice reminders and motivation and then turn into Dimitri or I getting upset. Sometimes they lose things like their Nintendo DS for not moving or listening
- The boys get dressed on their own – I might have to help get a shirt down or locate a shoe. We are working on getting them to brush their teeth on their own (and do a good job).
- Zooey is two – and well, you just never know what a 2 year old is going to do. Some mornings she thinks it is fun to make us catch her to get her dressed.
- Any little bit of drama causes us to run late. And drama often happens with three kids.
- We are lucky to live in a small city where going home for lunch is an option. It takes maybe 10 – 15 minutes for Dimitri and I to go from our offices (downtown) to our home. So we go home for lunch. Or we will go to the gym over lunch to get a workout in. The gym is also close to downtown and our home. Sometimes I run errands during this time. It really just depends on the day and what is going on.
- The boys go to an after school program.
- I sometimes try to squeeze too much into 1 hour. It is a good time to get things done without kids around.
- Sometimes I don’t get a lunch, because I have work meetings over lunch. I am ok if this happens sometimes, but if it starts happening frequently I get grumpy. I need the hour to myself.
Late Afternoon/Into Evening
- Dimitri and I pick up kids. Usually splitting into he gets one and I get the others type of deal. We are normally home by 5 pm.
- Dimitri cooks dinner (I am so lucky!) while I am throwing in a load of laundry, going through backpacks to see what homework we need to do that night, picking-up the house or doing things for the kids.
- The kids are usually playing together or watching a little TV before dinner.
- We eat together – and early. A lot of times we are done eating by 6 pm.
- I spend time with each of the boys individually to get their homework done right after dinner.
- Dimitri cleans up the kitchen and does dishes while we are working on homework.
- In the warmer months we like to get outside after dinner for a bit. We play out in the driveway, go on a bike ride or walk, go to the park and in the summer, we might drive to the pool to take a quick dip.
- The kids take a bath at night. Right now they like to take one big bath. I know my days are limited with this. The boys are getting so big – they fill-up the whole tub!
- We let them watch a movie or something on Netflix for awhile before bed.
- I usually do some laundry and picking up the house during this time or sometime in the evening.
- Then it is getting ready for bed (around 8 pm), we read them a few stories and tuck them in.
- Dimitri and I watch TV. I also spend this time editing pictures for my photo biz or my blog during this time.
- We turn in about 10 pm and we wake up and do it all again.
- Evening activities: Sometimes I have a meeting/travel for work, or have a Junior League meeting, or book club in the evening. Ethan is doing Scouts now, which meets in the evening. Owen plays sports in the fall/spring with games or practice in the evening. Dimitri is going to be on the church board soon here. If there is something going on in the evening, one of us is a home holding down the fort. That person keeps the general routine going. If both Dimitri and I have something going on in the evening, we call in the grandparents to help.
- Again – keeping the kids (mostly the boys) on track to get their homework done, get in the bath, get ready for bed. They need lots of reminders and encouragement. Zooey went through this thing last week that she didn’t want to stay in her bed, and that was not easy or fun. So things with kids come up. Our kids don’t act perfectly (and we don’t expect them to). They bicker with each other. They don’t listen. They like to get wild right before bedtime. They find reasons to keep getting out of bed. Some days are just easier than other days. They act like kids – that’s all.
- Weekends vary. I do my photo shoots on weekend. This fall I was doing up to three sessions in one weekend. That got very busy! We often times take the weekend to spend with family and friends. There is usually a birthday party to go to, or an event going on. I don’t like every bit of the weekend scheduled. I like to give the kids free time to play and relax. I work on my Project Life layouts on the weekend, with the goal to have a weekly layout ready to post on my blog by Tuesday. Usually one of us makes a trip to the grocery store over the weekend too. We like to get the kids out when we can to play outside or to go some place (locally).
- I was struggling keeping up with housework, especially last fall when my photography business was super busy. So we enlisted some help to come in and do cleaning twice a month during the day while we are at work. This has been a life saver for me! Now I only worry about picking-up the house and laundry. Which takes plenty of time on it’s own.
- I don’t have any plans to quit my day job to do photography full time. I would have to either charge my clients a lot more or spend my entire weekends taking photos to equal my day job salary. I am not willing to do either. It’s more of a hobby turned side biz.
- My parents and Dimitri’s parents live very close to us (less than 2 miles). They help with the kids a lot. Babysitting and driving them around when we need them to. They also will pick things up when they are out and about for us. Sometimes I come home from work to find things the kids need or even groceries, on the kitchen table from one of the parents who was kind enough to think of us.
- When I am too busy I start getting grumpy. I need downtime. I need time at home. I am not a fan of running from one activity to the next. I have started to learn to say no more often and that has helped a ton.
- I am normally doing something all the time. It’s not very often that you will find me sitting down vegging out watching TV and doing nothing else. I am normally working on something if I am watching TV either for my photo biz, my blog, or working on Project Life. I do have my fair share of mindless internet surfing – and I am trying not to do that, I want my computer time to be productive.
- Our house is never perfect. There is usually a pile of laundry or a mess of toys going on.
- I am very lucky to have a husband that cooks and cleans! He is always engaged with the kids. We are partners in this thing! Not that we don’t ever fight or drive each other crazy some days. But we know we are a team and it helps keep it all together.
So that is is that is how are days are structured around here. Any comments or questions? I would love to hear from you.
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