Hey y'all! Having a gently, structured, daily rhythm and routine with little ones makes life easier for everyone. "Scheduling" helps us create more time for fun and learning and keeps mom's sanity! :-)
When my son was 14 months old, I felt like I was always fixing messing, changing diapers, and half accomplishing things and was really struggling to get ahead on normal housework, let alone have time for fun crafts or playtime together. I felt like I had worked all day long, but at the end of the day couldn't figure out what I'd actually accomplished! It was very frustrating and exhausting. Can anyone else relate to this? I finally realized that my main problem was that I had no written plan for the day, therefore Gavin had no idea what to expect either. As my husband always says, "Failing to plan is planning to fail". That is so true!
Taking the time to make a daily plan for you and your toddler will save sooooooo much time and misery in the end. Children need to know what's next. It will let them know when it's time to work excitedly or when it's time to play quietly while mom does paperwork. Instead of being "clingy", Gavin has become helpful. Instead of whining for my attention, he knows what's happening next, pitches in, and knows and looks forward to when it's time for us to play and learn with my undivided attention. Sure, everyday is different and random things will come up in our lives unexpectedly, but having a basic, intentional, routine will help keep your sanity as a stay-at-home mom and you get normal stuff accomplished, plus have time for playing with and teaching your baby (and in my case also help my husband run our businesses). And toddlers LOVE mommy time! ;-)
This is our daily routine as of right now:
5:00 - Mom wakes up and has devotions (drinking a cup of coffee or tea and sitting out on the porch can make this a favorite time to look forward to). I am NOT an early bird by nature, but have come to LOVE this beautiful, quiet part of my day. I also do like 10 minutes of prenatal stretches which really helps my pregnant body to not ache and also gives me energy.
5:30 - Work on blog post, check business messages, research new ideas.
(Jesse wakes up)
6:00 - Start preparing breakfast
7:00 - Gavin wakes up, eat breakfast
(Jesse leaves to work)
8:00 - Clean up from breakfast, wash dishes, get dressed, brush teeth, make beds, start a load of laundry (continue throughout day and also hanging them up to dry and bringing the dry ones in), sweep, set out meat or start something in the crockpot for supper, quick declutter. Gavin "helps" with chores and plays.
9:00 - Lesson activity (such as learning colors, shapes, letters, numbers, etc.) (should be planned ahead of time)
9:30 - Constructive playtime such as playdough (click here for an awesome Homemade Playdough Recipe), building blocks, coloring, etc.
10:00 - Snacktime
10:15 - Reading
10:30 - Playtime
11:30 - Tidy up, prepare lunch
12:00 - Eat lunch
1:00 - Cleanup lunch, Gavin's nap-time. During nap-time mom folds clothes, finishes blog post, does any paperwork or computer work for personal or business. Or takes a nap too if needed (I did throughout the entire 1st trimester of this pregnancy)! Sometimes I read and study also during this special quiet time.
3:00 - Playtime/schooltime/craft with mommy! (Again, activities should be planned ahead of time)
3:45 - Outside playtime if weather allows and "help" mom with yard work, in garden, etc. (if weather is bad, indoor playtime) or mom works on sewing project for example and sets little one up making something too.
(If inside play due to weather, tidy up)
4:45 or 5:00 - (depending on the meal or when Jesse gets home) Prepare supper. If Jesse is home Gavin will usually go "help" him with whatever he's working on.
6:00 - Eat Supper
6:45 - Everyone helps clear table. Daddy playtime with Gavin while mom finishes cleaning up supper.
7:00 - Bathtime, storytime, bedtime for Gavin
7:45 - Mom and Dad time
9:00 - Write in journal, plan for tomorrow
9:15 - Bedtime
I also have some different schedules for certain days of the week and month, but this is our basic, daily routine.
None of our lives are the same, but this is what works for us. I would like to encourage you though to take the time and set up even the simplest of routines. It truly does help!