As a mom I thrive on structure and routine. Luckily for me, babies also love daily routines and structures. Routines help Littles know what is going on and what is coming next. I find that having a daily schedule also helps me make time for creativity.
Now this doesn’t mean that I’m not flexible, and I’ll admit that I sometimes watch Netflix for a couple hours in the mornings….(oops). If you’re at a place where your only priority is to keep everyone alive and there is no schedule, don’t worry. I’ve been there. It took me almost a year after Littles was born to arrive at a consistent schedule, but I believe that as a mother it would have been helpful for me to have structure early on…with one caveat. Flexibility is key and stressing over a schedule, or beating yourself because you can’t follow it all the time is not allowed. I’ve definitely been there, but it’s more hurtful than anything. If a schedule is not for you, that’s fine!
Sharing my schedule may be helpful for you… or just crazy, type A structure-aholics like me.
I want to share my schedule with you as a sample, but first, two tips that make it all possible.
Add elements into your schedule gradually. If you can’t even find time to shower, start with that. Don’t expect yourself to go from accomplishing nothing to accomplishing everything. It will be hard on you and your baby. Everything on my list came a little at a time.
Get up early! It is so difficult, and if you aren’t sleeping at night because of baby waking give yourself a little break. BUT I feel like dragging myself up before Little is making me so much of a better mother. I used Abundant Mama’s 10-day Rise and Shine challenge (link) to get me started, which made the process a lot easier. Some days my son wakes up right after me, and that’s tough, but I can still greet him with a smile instead of rolling over and grunting at him from my bed. This one may not be for you, but it sure helps me!
Here are the highlights of our routine! In between the major bullet points, I try to play with Little and focus on him, but I will also do things such as tidy up, fold laundry, or take Little for a walk.
Usually, Littles wakes between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning to nurse and come snuggle in Mom and Dad’s bed (if we have resisted putting him in our bed during the night, that is). If it’s after 6:00 when he’s finished, I leave him there and have some quiet time. I study my scriptures or other religious texts and write blog posts. The amount of time I have before Littles wakes up always varies, but I’ll take what I can get.
When the baby wakes, we make and eat breakfast together while I also try to help Levi with packing his lunch and get him off to work. After breakfast Littles and I play for a few minutes. Then I do yoga and he plays or crawls all over me. At some point after this I shower. If someone is home, they usually play with Littles. If not, I leave him in our baby-safe bedroom to play. But usually he cries. I hope some day he’ll play independently while I shower!
Littles’ nap has been varying quite a bit lately, but he always takes at least one nap that lasts between one and two hours. As soon as he goes down I eagerly set up my mother-in-law’s sewing machine and get to work. Other days I work on making wall art, taking blog photos, or cutting out future sewing projects. I try to spend the whole nap doing something creative or spending down time if that’s what I need.
When Littles wakes up we make and eat lunch. I try to take some time after his nap and before dinner to make sure I play and focus just on him. This is when we go outside if it’s nice. If I’m feeling on top of my game I’ll put out some sensory play such as flour or painting. Around 3:30 I try to remember to give Littles a snack so he’s not yowling at me while I cook dinner.
Between 4:00 and 5:00 I start making dinner. Sometimes Littles is really cranky at this time but I try to get him to play on the floor. Now that he’s big enough he likes to stand on a chair and “help” me make dinner. If we finish dinner with lots of time before bed I sometimes clean up the kitchen while Littles plays with his dad.
Levi (who is the most amazing daddy and husband ever) gives Littles a bath while I tidy up the bedroom or fold laundry. We read scriptures and pray with Littles and then I read him a story, nurse him and sit with him till he falls asleep (we’re working on it…). After bedtime Levi and I are home free and usually relax together. If Levi is studying for entrance exams I work on my blog in the evening too.
There you have it! All the major points of my mama routine in detail. Now you know what works for us and I hope it helps you! Only you and your family can figure out what will work best for you and your little one. What are major parts of your routine that make your day go smoothly?