Monday, March 6, 2017

Our {Current} Daily Schedule

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Being a stay-at-home mom to small children, all of your days can run together in a blur. It's sometimes hard to stay motivated, measure progress, and be productive.

Having a basic schedule or routine is a giant game changer!

Provided you know that shortly after you develop the perfect routine, something will change- a baby gives up a nap, kids start school, your children are suddenly starving an hour earlier than normal every day... something. And when that something changes, you're going to have to start over again on figuring out your best new routine.


Recently we've fallen into a good groove around our house. Important things that are supposed to happen every day have fallen into their ideal slot, and it's easier to follow through. We're accomplishing more and the house is staying slightly tidier.

I'm delighted with this... but also well aware that it took us a few months to get here, and is bound to change again soon.

That being said, here's what a typical day {Tuesday-Thursday, Monday is our co-op and errands day} looks like in the O'Neill house right now.

6:00 a.m. I slowly make my way out of bed- get dressed {on a good day!}, make the bed, head to the kitchen. Niall has been getting up at 5 to read his Bible and pray. I make his lunch and prep two bottles of lemon water for him to take to work. Kids start to file in as they wake up.

6:30 a.m. Niall is ready to go. We pray together, all the kids give elaborate goodbyes, and then watch him drive down the road. When they can't see the car any longer, they all come to the table. They might color or just play while I prep breakfast.


7:00 a.m. Breakfast and Bible. I read the Bible to the kids {using a plan from my ebook} while they eat their breakfast. We try to sing the hymn we are learning, work on their Sunday School memory verse, or go through a couple of catechism questions together. Somedays we just get the reading done, other days we do more.

7:30 a.m. In this current season I feel too wiped out to get out of bed and read my Bible before kids get up. My best bet right now is to read while I eat my breakfast, after the kids are done with theirs. They get down and go play, while I stay and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Of course this is often interrupted by a sibling squabble, a dirty diaper, or someone needing something. But I get back on track until I've finished the day's reading {I'm going through this read the Bible in a year plan right now}. I also try to read and pray through a couple of pages of this book.

8:00 a.m. Depending on how many interruptions I have, whenever I finish reading I'll move on to quick morning chores. I start a load of laundry, get the kids dressed, and clean the kitchen. The kids help me empty the dishwasher, put their plates away, and make their beds. I load up the breakfast dishes, hand wash any pots we used {oatmeal? eggs?} and the coffee press, then wipe down the table and counters.

9:00 a.m. School! Because S is only in kindergarten, this is pretty relaxed. I read aloud for a few minutes to get started {right now we're going through The Book of Virtues}. S practices tracing her numbers 1-10, then I do a couple of pages with her in her math workbook.


W is desperate to do school like his sister, so we've been working through a beginning phonics workbook. He really enjoys it, and if he isn't in the mood for it we just don't do it. That's a rare day though- he is strangely motivated! S and I practice some reading and writing. And that's about it.

E used to take a morning nap at this time, but recently she's starting to outgrow it. She plays in the same room as us. I'm very thankful and feel my good fortune- she's a pretty content kiddo, and just happy to be around people.

10:00 a.m. Home Love Hour <3. I try to spend this time finishing up the day's load of laundry, cleaning whatever area needs it most for 20 minutes, and organizing or decluttering something. This is my ideal, but I'll admit that housework is the first thing to get shoved aside if we're running late on school or the kids are needier than usual.

During this time I'll send the kids into the backyard if it's nice. Otherwise they just play inside. They're pretty good at playing well and keeping each other entertained. Lots of practice, lots of grace.


11:00 a.m. I keep this as a buffer. If anything took longer than it's supposed to {interruptions with small children are constant!}, this is my margin space. If we're totally on track {a rare occurrence}, then I prep dinner or tackle my day's To Do list.

12:00 p.m. Lunch! Lunch is usually leftovers, or a "snack" lunch {cheese, crackers, fruit, veggies... whatever is lying around}. After lunch we clean up the kitchen and I try to have the kids do a quick pick-up of the front area of the house.

Because Niall leaves early, he also gets home early. If I wait until after naps to pick up, it usually doesn't happen. It's taken me awhile to get used to this! In Pennsylvania Niall didn't get home until after 5, so I was accustomed to having a couple of hours after nap time to get more stuff done.

1:00- 3:00 p.m. Nap and Quiet Time. A favorite part of the day for this introvert :). E goes to sleep in her crib, W hangs out on the couch, and S spends it in my bed. W and S each listen to audiobooks, look at picture books, and play with something quiet {legos, magnet dolls, coloring books, etc.}.


This is the time I spend blogging. I draft posts, create graphics, clean out my inbox, and check in on social media. Of course I get frequent interruptions! But we are training the kids to enjoy their alone time. S at 5 is very used to this and hardly ever comes out. W at 3 only outgrew his nap recently, and it is a lot tougher for him right now. Gently and patiently {oh how I try to be those things!} I help him "reset" when he comes to me- maybe giving him something new to do, or different audiobooks, even a little treat sometimes.

3:00 p.m. Tea time. We read aloud together and have a snack. This doesn't happen every day {sometimes I'm finishing up computer stuff and they are just happy to be able to make noise and be together}. But I'm amazed at how they talk about tea time as if its a staple, even if we haven't done it consistently for weeks. They remember it and talk about it all the time. We haven't done it perfectly, but apparently we've done it enough!

Niall usually walks in around 3:30. After everyone greets him, we might read more, or they might transition to playing with Daddy.

4:00 p.m. Again, I like to send the kids outside if the weather is cooperative. I finish prepping dinner and work on To Do's. Niall will work on homework or go for a bike ride.


5:00 p.m. Somewhere in this hour we eat dinner.

6:00 p.m. Clean up the dinner dishes, tidy up the house. Get kids ready for bed.

7:00 p.m. Kids all tucked in. If he doesn't have class, Niall works on homework, and I finish any housework or To Do's I haven't gotten to. Niall has class two nights a week, we take turns going to our church's weekly prayer meeting {the other stays home with kids- their bedtime is the same time as the meeting}, and one night a week I'm out taking S to her dance class. So many nights we don't have this time. It feels like a treat when we do!

8:00 p.m. I might read, work some more on blog stuff, or another random project. Niall is still doing homework.

9:00 p.m. We try to wind things down and get ready for bed. Then we might talk in bed, or read some more or watch something.

10:00 p.m. Lights out. You know, when we are being good.

Things I'm not doing in this season? Getting up extra early. Showering in the morning- as much as I prefer that, a shower doesn't happen period unless I take one at night. Exercising regularly {ahem. probably need to remedy that!}. We don't watch much t.v. and blogging and reading are pretty much my only hobbies. It's a simple {sad?} life, but it's perfect for us, and I'm really enjoying this current rhythm.

That's pretty much a day in my life right now. At least until somebody gives up a nap or has a growth spurt.

How do you order your days? 

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