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
I own my own retail business, my husband works long hours in a semi-management role and we have four children – 17yo boy, 14yo girl, 8yo boy and 9mo girl.
What do your mornings look like?
14yo girl makes lunches. Mum feeds and organises baby. 17yo boy makes sure everyone has something to wear and it is all ironed if necessary. 8yo boy looks after pets. Dad keeps everyone on task, makes sure everyone eats breakfast and does some lunch prep if needed. We all leave the house (depending on the day) between 7am and 8am
What does your after school time look like? (eg 3.30pm – 5.30pm)
Evening activities don’t start until 6pm (ie music or scouts), so the afternoon is spent at Mums store helping out and travelling home.
What does dinner time look like? (eg 5.30pm – 8.00pm)
Everyone pitches in for Dinner and who cooks the meal depends on who is home and who is out at Scouts or Music. The older children can cook and plan any meals on our menu.
What does the kids’ bedtime process look like?
8yo boy is responsible for his own bedtime routine (once reminded it is time to do son). 14yo and 17yo look after their own routine which involves making sure all school work is completed and dishes are done (and kitchen is clean).
What happens once the kids go to bed? (eg 8.00pm – 10.30pm)
We cook something for the next days lunches during the bedtime process. Baby has her final feed for the day and then we wind down by reading for a few minutes before lights out.
Do you do any preparation for the week on weekends and if so what?
Alternate Sundays I cook soups and meals for our lunches for the fortnight ahead. Prepping kids lunches ahead doesn’t work as the boys will just consume it all in an afternoon and then I have to start again.
Anything else you would like to share?
I find that keeping things (including my expectations) simple works best, along with making sure that my children are independent as far as cooking, cleaning and self-care go at least by the age of 11. My Thermomix has been the greatest help this year with a new baby and a child doing Year 12 – making food preparation quicker and easier.
Our 17 year old ran our household without us for a week last year (when he was only 16), whilst I was in hospital in another city with a sick baby. He cooked, cleaned, shopped, washed and organised all the things I do in a normal week – all whilst going to school. I attribute this to our efforts to help him build his independence and living a simple fulfilling life.
I adore the team work that Alicia has instilled in her family. This is something that I am also striving for. I also completely understood her comments about boys eating food prepared for the week ahead – I have resorted to hiding or camouflaging food in the fridge so this doesn’t happen!