Are you one of those people who love routine? Or, are you one of those people who like to fly from the seat of your pants? Or, are you a unique and ultra-complicated person (like myself) who is literally half of each? Cool, me too.
I really feel like that desire for routine, or freedom varies with each new day for me. One thing that I do know is that the comfort of routine has taken on a whole new meaning and form since becoming a full time stay at home mom. There is such a stigma that comes along with being a stay at home mom, and I can’t lie, until I was a SAHM myself, I believed it. You know the stigma– “it can’t be THAT hard to stay home with your kids all day. You pretty much get to do whatever you want, wear whatever you want, you don’t have to answer to a boss, can stay in your pajamas all day”… yeah, that stigma. Well, then reality strikes and all the sudden I am a stay at home Mom myself. I will be the first to admit that some days are easy– my children are angels, they nap when they need rest, they play together, they allow me a few uninterrupted moments to get things done and they make me feel like I am 100000% right where I am meant to be. Other days, it’s not even 830am and I feel like I have lived an entire day already and I start to daydream about what using my degrees in the work setting would be like. Before you judge me for my honesty and vulnerability I want to reaffirm how much I know deep in my soul that being home with Luca and Lennon is exactly where I am meant to be in this season of life. I also want to reaffirm how thankful I am that my husband has worked his ass off to provide a life for us that I am able to stay home with my children. I also want to reaffirm that I am human, I am not a supermom and that I don’t know anything more about anything than you. Everything that I write about and share is strictly my opinion and my experience and it is more than okay if you can’t relate or don’t agree 🙂
Now that all of that is out of the way, I want to talk about why having a routine as a SAHM is so important for me and my family and what that routine typically looks like.
I recently started waking up before my children a few days a week. Honestly, the first few times that I did it I truly didn’t think that it was going to become something as routine as it has, but it has changed the motherhood game for me. I set my alarm for 6 am three mornings out of the week. Sometimes I workout, other times I drink my coffee hot and in silence. Sometimes I catch up on the laundry. Sometimes I write a blog post or work on a project– it really just depends on the morning and on what I feel that I need most that day. It has really made a difference for me and after just two weeks my body has completely adjusted to this. Keep in mind, I am usually in bed by 9:30 pm and asleep by 10 pm. I am not a night owl, at all. By the times my kids are in bed at 730 I am winding down for the night… and that is a solid 13 hours of being “on.”
6-6:15am: wake up and do whatever I choose to do for the time before the kids wake.
7-730am: the kids usually wake up
730-930am: make breakfast, play with the babies, household chores– feed dogs, laundry, pay bills, etc. During this time I do my best to not have technology out for the kids. I try to just keep music on and allow them to get creative with their toys and with each other. I can’t lie, some days this doesn’t happen and I will be honest, I used to beat myself up about it but I don’t anymore because I have realized that going along with the natural ebb and flow is what makes our home run the smoothest.
945-11am: Leni takes her morning nap. During this time I will either workout or write. I let Luca have his iPad or the TV on so that I can get done what I need to get done. I have found that if I don’t use this time to work out that it 99% of the time won’t happen… so, that is usually what happens. In a perfect world both of my kids will nap together during the afternoon and I would have the time to work out and shower, but I can literally count the number of times that has happened, so I try to troubleshoot that by getting my workout done during this time and my shower done during their afternoon nap (if it happens).
11-1pm: I make lunch for the kids, sometimes I’ll prep dinner if it’s a recipe that requires prep work– marinating fish, etc. If the weather is nice we go to the park or play outside. Sometimes we run errands during this chunk of time. Really it just depends on the day.
1-230pm: I put the kids down for their afternoon nap. If I have already worked out then I use this time to write, work on my blog, respond to DM’s, communicate with companies, listen to a podcast, read a book, catch up with a friend, etc. More days than not this is the chunk of time that I typically dedicate to my blog. In a perfect world I would get more than an hour and a half… but, this is just the reality of where I am at in this season of motherhood and life and I really appreciate you guys sticking with me through it. I am really excited for the day that I will have more consistent content pumping through Grace-Allen.com and maybe even a news letter 🙂
230-5pm: This is the most unstructured portion of our day. Usually, by 230 pm everything that needs to be done for the day is done. Sometimes we leave the house, most of the time we don’t. When the weather is nice we typically have the kids swim or go for a walk, but the wet weather in GA has kind of kept us inside more than normal. If you are a mother to small children you know how challenging multiple days spent inside can be. Need. Spring. Now.
530-7pm: I start cooking dinner. Sometimes I make a meal for all of us at the same time. Other nights I cook for the kids only and then once they go down I will make dinner for Rico and I. I have found that this is a good way for us to connect and spend time together instead of tending to and feeding the babes. Once dinner is finished we clean up and then take the kids in for a bath. I will say this: a major game changer for me was when the kids could bathe together. All of a sudden two baths became one. Two meals became one. It just makes life a whole lot easier and makes things run smoother when you can kill two birds with one stone, for lack of better words. So, if you are a mama with babies in different stages and you feel like your entire day is dedicated to doing the same thing in different ways (feeding, bathing, etc) for each of your kids– I see you, I know what you are going through and I just want to say that this too shall pass! After bath time, I take the kids up to bed. When it is off season and Rico is able to be home and help it is truly such a gift because we divide and conquer. When it’s football season and he is gone 13-14 hours a day, things look a bit different. I typically take both kids (and the dogs lol) into Lennon’s room where we read a story together, say our prayers and then put her down. Then we go into Luca’s room, we brush our teeth, use the potty and he goes to sleep.
730-930pm: Typically bedtime is done by 730 and once that happens there isn’t really a structure for the rest of the night. Sometimes as I mentioned above I will make dinner for Rico and I and we will eat and hang out until bed. Other nights Rico will play video games and I will take a bath. Some nights I write, meditate, get in the sauna, etc. Once the kids are down I am mentally checked out– which is why I try to accomplish everything that has to be done in the early part of the day. I wish that I was the kind of person that can work out at night, but I am not. Working out gives me more energy and I find that if I work out once the kids go down that I have a harder time falling asleep…which really doesn’t work well with my rising early method.
930pm: I do my nightly skincare routine, put my phone away, pick up a book, listen to a guided meditation and go to bed.
That is truly a rough draft of a typical day that we spend at home. As with anything, that can be shifted by a doctor’s appointment, an errand, a sick baby, whether or not it’s football season, the weather, ANYTHING. But, what I do know is this: having a routine helps me feel like I am productive and that I use my time wisely (even if nobody is directing me on what to do and where to be). Having a routine also helps me to feel like I am needed in more ways than changing diapers and teaching ABC’s (and I mean this in the kindest way possible). Having a routine helps me be a better wife and mother because in having a routine I have time built in for me. Obviously, most days my workouts involve my kids being around– honestly, every workout except for Wednesday’s when I leave for Pilates and errands. But, even with Luca under my nose, a workout is still a workout and when I finish I feel even more accomplished because I didn’t let an excuse keep me from making that time for myself and for my body. When both of the kid’s nap together and I get a full podcast and sauna session in I feel refreshed and ready to take on the second (and hardest) part of the day. Regardless of what it looks like, scheduling time for myself has made all the difference and I notice a shift in my mood and a lack in my patience when I don’t. So, find what works for you. Find what fills you up. Pay attention to your emotions, pay attention to what makes you happy and make it a point to incorporate more of that– even if it means waking early to make it happen.
No matter what your current season of life looks like, I think that we can all agree that we are better people when we look out for ourselves. Coffee isn’t a meal– eating well and nourishing our bodies is important, make time for this. ABC’s and goo -goo -ga -ga is precious, but we are women with brains and intelligence and being sure that we don’t stop learning and feeding our knowledge just because we are out of school, or in the workplace, or home with our babies is crucial. We can only give to others what we give to ourselves. Taking time and making time for us isn’t selfish, it’s imperative. I want my children to look back on their childhoods and remember a present, intentional, happy and healthy mom. I want my husband to remember the early years of our marriage and young family in a positive light. And, let’s be honest, I don’t remember the last time I even got to pee without an audience of two children and two dogs, so if that means waking up early and scheduling time for me, you best believe I am going to do just that.
oh, for we will miss these days when they are gone. xo, G