This post is part of a series called “How do you do it?” I asked readers to share how they manage a typical day in their family life. Of course we all know there is really no such thing as a typical day in family life, but this gives us a sneak peak into how others are doing it and hopefully you will find some tips that can help you in your day. You can read other posts in the series by clicking here. Thank you so much to the women who generously shared their stories!
What is your name?
Where do you live?
Tell me a little bit about your family.
Me, husband, daughter (6 at school), son (2 at childcare or in-laws). We both work full time – I’m at 4 days per week (1 from home) but gradually moving towards a 5 day week. Husband starts work too early to do drop offs but does do pick ups from childcare/after school care. Blessed with help from my in-laws who assist with school drop offs as well as childcare. Have coordinated drop offs and pick ups for 1 day a week with a fellow school mum.
What do your mornings look like?
6am alarm. Kids usually stir soon after and they then have breakfast… yes – we use the TV to entertain Mr 2 on some mornings but this does prove a distraction for Miss 6 who has a “routine” to follow. Shower for me and get ready for work. Lunches for Miss 6 and I. Husband usually prepares his the night before. On days where I’m in the city I need to be out the door by 7.45am. On the days I’m home I try to get out for a half hour run (twice a week).
What does your after school time look like? (eg 3.30pm – 5.30pm)
I’m only home for 1 day a week at this time. we were previously heading off to swimming lessons for Miss 6 on a Fri afternoon but about to switch this to a Weds, when I work from home… in an effort to free up some time on Friday nights and in preparation for my increased work load in 2016.
What does dinner time look like? (eg 5.30pm – 8.00pm)
I try to meal plan each week but have the fussiest of children. This means there is a lot of repetition! I’m home later on a couple of nights, so food prep is my husband’s domain on these nights – something he doesn’t really enjoy. On those nights, pasta, pasta, pasta is on the menu. Miss 6 needs to do her reader each night and we try to do this before dinner. Somewhere between dinner and bedtime (7.30 – 8pm) comes showers and we’ve taken to throwing both kids in at the same time.
What does the kids’ bedtime process look like?
Brushing teeth is our signal that it’s almost time to go to bed. We’ve been pretty slack with bedtime stories for Mr 2 but find we’re all quite frazzled by the end of the day. The kids share a room which can prove entertaining on some nights and Mr 2 has recently taken to not willingly falling asleep… fun!
What happens once the kids go to bed? (eg 8.00pm – 10.30pm)
Clean up of the kitchen. Bit more work. TV watching. Internet surfing.
Do you do any preparation for the week on weekends and if so what?
I try to meal plan on a Weds/Thurs for the week ahead (from Mon – Sun) – which is before I do my weekly shop. Definitely ensure all the shopping is done to at least make the week’s meals – I really dislike having to head out to the shops mid week. If time permits I might make a batch of pasta sauce and freeze in ice cube trays for easy defrosting. Have occasionally made up a pie or lasagne on a Sunday night for Monday’s dinner… not often enough.
Anything else you would like to share?
Depending on other people to help with drop offs and pick ups means we’ve had to say no to many after school activities. I’ve come to terms with the fact Saturday mornings will remain busy with these activities given we can’t do them mid week.
My work-from-home-day can be my least productive if I’m not organised. Putting on a load of washing every 2nd day helps but in winter that’s a bit tricky… we don’t have a dryer.
I’m in the ironing camp and tend to do this in front of the TV on a Sunday night so all work clothes/uniforms are ready to roll. Rightly or wrongly, some jobs are mine and some are my husbands – as long as we communicate, we’re fine!! Mother guilt is BIG. I try to make it to the classroom to help out so Miss 6 doesn’t feel like she’s missing out on having my around.
My husband and I have our jobs we do too. While we are both capable of doing each other’s and will at times do them, knowing who does what on a regular basis helps us keep things ticking along.