As you may know we had our 2nd child, Kyneton, on the Jan 3 2018 and he joins his older sister Emelina who recently turned 3!
Something my hubby Leki and I are both really into is designing our day so we can have TIME.
So what does that mean?
In one of my earliest posts I outlined what our usual routine looked like at that time.
In that context Leki works full time, I am at home full time and our 2yo daughter Emelina is at home full time with some activities throughout the week I outlined here.
So what’s changed?
Well… Leki has returned back to full time work after having 6 weeks of part time work to help at home with our newborn, I’m full time at home and we now have 2 little cherubs to manage at home.
So I thought I would share some of the things we find that are serving us really well and I would appreciate any feedback or observations that you’ve found helpful in your parenting journey too 🙂
Let’s start at the beginning.
I get up 7am and my mood is very dependent on how Ky and Eme sleep overnight (obviously?!).
To back track slightly we try and put the kids to bed at 8:30pm-9pm the night before and we had worked very hard to have Emelina sleeping in her own room and self soothe so we can give appropriate time and effort to Kyneton.
Fortunately, Emelina is now 80% toilet trained and sleeps throughout the whole night with the occasional ‘code yellow’ at night and sometimes struggles to settle into her sleep routine although we strongly believe in the ‘self soothe‘ strategy. (This might be a future blog post if you’re interested – let me know if you’d like to know more)
The reward for our early hard work is that 6 out of 7 nights Emelina sleeps in her own bed in her room, sleeps all the way through the night and without any accidents. We can almost see the finish line YAY! 🙂
So let’s assume I’ve had a standard night where Emelina is asleep solid throughout the night and Leki is out like log next to me.
Kyneton sleeps from 9pm to 3am then he stirs and requires a feed.
I usually have full engorged breasts ready for him to feed so I give him one breast to settle him and then I change him then feed him with the other breast. This whole process can take up to 60 mins.
I complete this process in bed sitting upright with my night light from my phone and I’m blessed because if Kyneton is crying and wailing (and boy does he have a set of lungs!?) both Leki and Emelina continue to sleep without any problems.
At 4am I put Kyneton down and then I return to sleep until I wake around 7am. Leki usually gets up early to make breakfast for us, help clean up/wash dishes and packs his food for the day at work (I’ve trained him well LOL).
We have automated our food habits which make it one less thing to worry about.
I previously wrote that we have the same 2-3 options at breakfast and the same 2-3 food options for lunch and dinner which are pre-prepared – read about it here.
We pre-cook our meals for that day around lunch time and to have enough left over for the next day’s lunch and dinner meals. We use pre-packed containers and all that Leki has to do is pick what he wants to eat at work for lunch and dinner when he’s sorting everything out in the morning for breakfast.
I firmly believe that structuring your day via routine allows you to make better decisions i.e. deciding to prepare nutritious food or allocate more time to important tasks.
By 8am Leki and I have weighed ourselves and updated out tracking sheet, Leki has prepared breakfast and has himself changed and cleaned up ready for work, Emelina is up after having about 8-10 hours of sleep (AWESOME?!) and Kyneton is ready for his morning feed. Ky sleeps very well averaging 6 hours (feed #1 at 3am) then 5 hours (feed #2 at 8am).
We sit together and hold hands and Emelina repeats her morning prayer to bless our food then we talk and enjoy each other’s company. We talk about our plans for the day and look ahead to the week, month and any events coming up over the next few months.
I really enjoy having this time together in the morning because Leki usually gets home 6pm-7pm and we don’t get a chance to sit and eat together at dinner so we put in a massive amount of effort to get at least one meal together.
And with that… the morning is done.
During breakfast we discuss what the plan for the day may be.
I have this system where I try and complete the ONE THING before lunchtime. Regardless of how the day goes as long as I complete that ONE THING then I’ll be satisfied with my day.
For example, if I want to clean the bathroom or commit to ‘Arts & Crafts’ time with Eme for 1 hour or call and follow up on an inquiry from the previous week – whatever it may be I always plan to have that completed before lunch time.
Something always comes up.
I may get distracted with something on my phone, get lazy and park in front of the TV, Ky might get too clingy and I can’t get around too easily.
I have found that if I commit to completing one thing I’ll feel happy.
So, after Leki leaves and I’m home alone with the kids (remember I’ve breastfed Ky while we all have breakfast) I’ll take Eme to wash up, brush her teeth and make sure she’s gone to the toilet to avoid any accidents. Kyneton is in a semi-conscious Zen like state 🙂 after his morning feed so he usually leaves me alone for 1-2 hours if I’m lucky.
It’s this 1-2 hour window that I get my MOST IMPORTANT WORK DONE.
So from 9am-11am the important work can be:
- Hanging out the washing (I tend to put the load on the night before then hang the next day)
- 1:1 time with Eme
- Cooking dinner and pre-packing for the following day
- Chasing up loose ends with family and friends over the phone
- Working on my diary/blog 🙂
For instance some days I take Eme to Montessori School (we call it her ‘big girl’ school – she loves it) or other days we need to go to the Doctor for Ky’s check up or maybe Ky had a poor night so it throws our morning out of whack. That aside, 80% of our mornings look like what I’ve described above.
The 11am-4pm time frame allows me time to get out for some grocery shopping or relax at home or most of the time I’m doing more the work outlined above.
The wind down for the day sometimes starts around 4pm.
I try and factor in my daily program that I watch at 6:30pm (I’m a massive Neighbours fan – wrote about organising my day earlier here so I can be ready to sit down and watch) so I have my usual end of day routine mapped out.
Between 4pm-6pm I’m either warming up dinner or taking Eme for a bath to wash. Once I’ve done then I finish off with the other. For example, I usually bath her first and then feed her dinner after and manage Ky around that. I may feed him first to settle him and when he’s content in the bouncer I’ll focus on Eme.
During the day I have Ky on the baby wrap or down in the bouncer as he tends to feed every 2 hours then he falls asleep.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE – You may notice that there are big chunks of time that are unaccounted for. E.g. If I’m at home from 9am-11am or 11am-4pm what does Eme do?
We have ABC Kids on the TV in the background but for 80% of the day she’s running around entertaining herself. WE DO NOT ENCOURAGE ANY SCREEN TIME UNTIL LEKI GETS HOME AND ONLY FOR 1 HR MAX!
I previously wrote about Curiosity Over Judgement in a previous post and it’s basically trying to avoid judging what our kids are doing and allowing them to be curious (unless it’s dangerous).
One example I can share is that when Eme was helping me do the dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher) and she picked up an empty glass jar to scoop up the dish water. Now I was very close to telling her off but I practised ‘curiosity over judgement’ and waited to see what she’d do. She then raced over to her toys and picked up a handful of tiny toy fish and placed carefully into the bottle with the dish water and sealed the glass jar with the lid. She then looked at me with a cheeky smile and with a sense of accomplishment and said “Look Mama – fishies!”.
You can imagine my shock and amazement with the imagination of this little girl. She had this spirit of joy that I would have stunted if I told her to ‘stop it’ or ‘don’t make mess’. That look she had I’ll keep with me forever 🙂
So to bring us back to the timeline – it’s usually 6:30pm and I’m parked on my favourite recliner rocking chair (picked it up off Gumtree for $60!) and Eme is clean and fed, Ky is usually latched on and feeding and I’m watching Neighbours. Organised crime really!
Leki arrives home from work at 7pm and he’s already had his pre-prepped dinner at work. He then has a quick wash then comes and keeps an eye on Eme while I have a shower and freshen up and then we start the “Wind Down Routine”.
“Wind Down” Routine
So at 7:30pm we have 2 x kids who are fed and washed (we bathe Ky every 4-5 days as instructed until we have a review with the local maternity nurse when he’s 3 months) and we start the relaxing part of the day.
We have our desserts together which is usually something naughty like chocolate almond ice cream or coco balls which we make at home (usually both LOL) and Leki and I watch our nightly ‘program’ which is The Blacklist at the moment. We are basically watching anything that takes our fancy until GoT returns in 2019 🙂
While Leki and I tune into our nightly program, Ky is being breastfed and cuddled and Eme is watching her program (Free ABC Kids iView app) on the family iPad. This is usually from 7:30pm-8:30pm.
After an hour and our program has finished I then lay Ky down in his bassinet next to our bed, Leki and Eme brush their teeth together and he takes her to the toilet and then he tucks her into her ‘big girl bed’ in her own room. (This may be another blog post in the future as we decided to have Eme in a bassinet for 3 months then moved her into her own room. We have the same game plan for Ky!)
Every night Emelina has her standard prayer for her family and asks for a good night sleep 🙂 We remind her that if she needs to go to the bathroom to get out of her bed and let us know – she responds with ‘no weewee undies, no weewee bed” – she’s such a cutie pie!
After we tuck her in and she’s snug we keep a small night light next to her and start the countdown timer to turn the light off… 3… 2… 1 and off the room light goes! We get the occasional grizzle for 5-10 mins but then she fades away and falls off to sleep really quickly.
OBSERVATION: There was a point when Eme was 1-2yo and having 1-2 mid day naps but as she got to >2.5yo we found that she could power through the day without the nap and sleep the whole way through the night.
Well, that’s our typical day and it does seem like a lot of work goes into it but it’s worth all the planning because I feel like I can enjoy each day without feeling too overrun.
There is no perfect day and sometimes I feel overwhelmed with my normal routine but I always try my best.
I’d love to hear how you plan your typical days – you know the one… the days where no one sees what you’re up to and you need to get shit done!
Hope you found today’s post valuable!