Over at the Not Back to School Blog Hop, families are sharing their daily schedules and routines. I love schedules and routines. Nothing makes me happier than firing up a new Excel spreadsheet and filling in color coded blocks. On paper it all looks like paradise. Then a four month old tyrant and his 3 year old counterpart set out to destroy my utopia. So, here is a look at my routine and how life really goes.
6:00 AM – Wake up. Get dressed. Pray. Start chores and laundry.
Reality – Roll over and go back to sleep because I’m still exhausted from nursing the baby, fighting with at least one cat, elbowing hubby for snoring, adjusting the thermostat, putting a three year old back in bed, investigating a strange noise, and turning off some device that has a blinking light.
7:00 AM – Computer time and blogging. Start breakfast.
Reality – Plop the kids in front of the TV while I stumble to the bathroom to throw on some clothes and brush my teeth. Attempt to check my email amidst the requests for milk and food. Make coffee and drink at least two sips before it gets cold.
8:00 AM – Kiddos wake up. Eat breakfast and help the boys with their morning high five. Nurse Cooper.
Reality – Kids have already been up for an hour and are demanding food if I haven’t already scraped together some oatmeal. So I make breakfast and hope Ryan eats enough to not be a crabby pants for the rest of the morning. Cooper usually wakes up to nurse and then plays on the floor for half an hour before being all done with not being held.
9:00 AM – Start school.
Reality – It has now become imperative that I eat something if there is any hope for me to maintain my sunny disposition. One of two things occurs with the big boys. 1) They are best buds and play outside for an hour, getting absolutely covered in sand and ending up half naked or 2) they whine at each other, stay outside for 2.5 seconds and have to come inside because Alex saw a wasp which was really a leaf.
10:30 AM – Snack, then back to school
Reality – Feed Ryan before he ruins everyone’s day. Nurse Cooper again and lay him down for a short nap. Alex starts some schoolwork and Ryan and I do some activities after his snack. The day finally starts to shape up and we might just learn something after all.
Noon – Boys play while I make lunch. Eat. Start quiet time.
Reality – Deal with a fussy Cooper who took a way too short nap. Attempt to throw together some lunch. Nurse the baby. Feed the big boys and myself. Negotiate getting Ryan to stay in quiet time.
1:00 – Quiet time/nap time. Alex reads and plays and has 30 minutes of school time with Mom.
Reality – Juggle finishing up schoolwork with Alex, getting Cooper back to sleep, putting Ryan back in quiet time, and maybe sitting down for some computer time. On a really good day, I might even think about doing a chore. At this point I usually realize that I haven’t done anything about dinner. I don’t actually do anything about dinner, but I now feel guilty about that.
2:30 – Finish schoolwork.
Reality – Watch TV.
3:00 – Snack and playtime.
Reality – Snack and playtime!
In the afternoon, any number of things can happen. We might buckle down and do chores. We might have a playdate scheduled. We might run some errands. Eventually, I will have to face the kitchen that I haven’t cleaned all day and deal with dinner. If Cooper is having a great day, he will nap for three hours. If Cooper is having a bad day, he will nap for 45 minutes and then insist on being held for the next three hours.
By 6:00, hubby gets home and the evening shift has begun. It is wrought with its own challenges, but at least now I have another adult to help. We run the gauntlet that is bedtime, clean the kitchen, prep school, look at unfolded baskets of laundry, and finally collapse on the couch to veg out in front of the TV for an hour before going to bed.
The days are usually nothing short of exhausting, but I’ve started to accept that and not be so upset about it. Every day of this homeschooling thing, I start to shed a little bit of my unrealistic expectations and just go with the flow. Alex learns something every day because that is just who he is. Ryan gets read to every day and that is all he needs. The baby phase will end in the blink of an eye.
I wish I had words of wisdom on how to deal with little ones, but I don’t. On super bad days, I just try to do the next thing and not yell at anyone. I find it helpful to keep bellies full of food. We are prone to hunger rage around here with Ryan and I being the worst offenders. I also know that I could never, ever do this without the support of my hubby. He is my superhero and always swoops in to save the day.
That is life right now. It will change a dozen times over the next year. I’ve given up on spreadsheets and decided just to live life as it happens. We will survive.
This post is linked up at iHomeschool Network.