Monday, January 07, 2008

An Unofficial Poll, for all you stay-at-home-moms

Being that I'm not a morning person (ahem...can we say understatement?), I'm curious to see how those of you who stay home with children greet your day.

Do you use your kids as an alarm, or try to get up before them? Do you eat with your family, or by yourself before everyone wakes, or not at all? Do you do your chores right away? Do your kids do theirs? If you homeschool, do you jump right into that? Do you begin the day with reading, alone and/or with your children? What times are all these things happening?

We're about to enter a new era around here, and I think one of the big things that needs to be adjusted is how I run the first part of our day. I'm so used to using a baby for an alarm, that I almost don't remember how to set mine! But that's probably something that needs to change now that I have a late-sleeping baby.

I'd appreciate hearing from you in the comments, especially if you have a morning routine that you love, or have some suggestions for what NOT to do.


Rachel Anne said...

I crave sleep, I love sleep. I've always found it hard to rise at the crack o'dawn to greet the day. I've usually gotten up just a little before the kids and play catch up all day. Not the best, but especially when I had babies around, I needed every single moment. and I napped. (I still miss my naps)

Guess what? My kids have turned out great in spite of the fact that I am not much of a morning person. I've learned a few tricks along the way and I'm still learning! I'm glad you're joining in the Company Girls fun, because it's the kind of stuff that helps us all make it!

That, and coffee. ;)

Lora said...

I am SO not a morning person, unless I have to go somewhere. I used to work and loved working early in the morning so that I could be home early in the afternoon, but now that I stay at home all the time that has changed. I am now officially a night owl.

Morning routine:

7 AM-rise for me and hubby. Hubby leaves at 7:30 and I get the baby out of the bed. Also, at 7:30 the boys alarm goes off but they don't come out of their room until 8. Instead they spend the time doing morning devotions, getting dressed, making bed and any chores they forgot the night before as in cleaning their room.

So, I spend 30 min. nursing little girl and cuddling. This helps me wake up and it is still quite. I need the quite for an hour each day.
Once the boys come out to eat breakfast at 8, I usually start my chores(laundry, kitchen whatever) and after the boys eat they start chores at 8:30 and little girl and I go out to feed the horse and dogs and anything else that needs done outside quickly. This gives me the sense that I am out and about and the fresh air usually helps to keep me awake. Sometimes we walk if the weather is nice.

At 9AM school starts with lesson 1 which lasts until 11:30-12 depending on the day. This is the real challenge for me keeping little girl happy while working with the boys. Now most of the boys work can be done independently but I have to stay in the room with them to answer quick questions here and there.

With the ages of your kiddos, this would get you through your school day so I will stop there. I have a printed time schedule for the kids to follow that I can email you if you want. This is a lot of info and I am sure what we like to do is very different, so take what you like and disregard the rest.

Tami said...

I am definitely not a natural morning person - I was one of those teenagers who slept until noon. But as I had children, I learned the value of getting up before them. Now when I have a new baby, all that goes out the window, and I sleep until she wakes me up. Once she starts sleeping through the night though I get back into an early wake up routine.

That said, my normal routine (sans new baby) is:
I get up really early - like 5 or 5:30. I get up, work out with hubby, make us breakfast (actually I get breakfast started and we eat ours, so the girls' breakfast is ready to go now as well), and get in my shower. The girls' alarms go off about 7. Yes, my 11 and 9 yo have an alarm as does my 5 & 6 yo. When the alarm goes off they are to get up, get dressed, make beds, brush hair, read Bible, and gather the day's laundry. (I have a laundry schedule, so that I do 2-3 loads a day. Mondays are upstairs bathroom towels, etc.) They come out at 7:30. I have to go get the 3 yo and get her dressed.

Since I've already got breakfast started, it is simple to pour more pancakes or whatever. After breakfast we have a short morning chore time. We clean up the kitchen, get the first load of laundry started, clean the downstairs bathroom counter, do some dusting. Then we are ready to start school about 8:45.

When my oldest was in Kinder and 1st, we started school about 9 and it only took an hour or two. My present K and 1st only take that long as well, but I have olders now who take longer. We also have a set of afternoon chores (this is mainly folding and putting away the laundry that was done in the morning and helping with supper) and Saturday morning chores.

Each family is different, and each mother is different. It is hard to go against your natural inclinations, but we ask this of our children all the time - no you have to do math when you would rather be playing. So I really encourage moms to at least get up and get their shower in before the kids get up. That only 30 minutes early. Then start breakfast and you'll be amazed at how you don't feel like you are playing catch up all day. If you get used to this schedule and want to get up even earlier, maybe to workout, fine, but gradually work into it.

I don't do any chores myself before the girls get up, because I dedicate that time to my workout. If I don't do it in the morning, I have to do it during naptime, and I'd rather have naptime to do other things. What I do do is to prepare as much as possible the night before. I'll mix up breakfast juice and make as much of breakfast as I can (I'll mix up at least the dry ingredients of the waffles or whatever). Help kids pick out clothes, gather the next day's laundry, that kind of thing. Give yourself a headstart on the morrow's work while you brain is in gear the night before. That way when you are still bleary-eyed the next morning you don't have to think so much (believe me I need this help as well).

HTH! Tami

Stephanie said...

Thanks for all the ideas, guys...keep 'em coming!

Krista said...

I know, I know- I'm a horrible friend!! I'm sorry :( Can we have a phone call time soon?? :) I'd love to talk!! Love you!

Kristen & Dave said...

I'm sure I've told you some of this before...I'm not a morning person, but I had whip my 2nd born nature into submission once I started collecting children so quickly. My morning routine is a "loose schedule" since I am not a rigid person and generally detest schedules of any kind. But to survive most days w/ any sort of success to show, I get up at 5:30 (5 on Mondays since I make our bread for the week). I drink lots and lots of coffee (usually a whole 10-cup pot -- I'm an addict) over the next 3 hours, while I do my devotions, check email, watch news (ok, mostly ESPN and NFL news) and prep breakfast (always oatmeal on school days). I do not let my kids set an alarm, mostly b/c since my schedule is a bit "loose", if I'm 15 min behind, I want them just as far behind me, and not in my way. So, I go in and wake/get them up around 7:45-8 for breakfast. Right after, they get dressed, brush teeth, sometimes make beds(I hate it, so rarely enforce it). We try to start school between 9-9:30, just depends on how the youngest ones are managing to start their day. All that said, you just have to find what works for you. But once you start homeschooling, if its really working, its probably gonna hurt, too. Like my Dad always says, "Life's tough. And then you die." Was that encouraging? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I guess I am the only morning person. I get all my "me stuff" done before B wakes up (around 8). Our days are pretty loose, but we read and play throughout the day, and ALWAYS read before naps and bed time. I try our pre-writing stuff after a meal (breakfast, after nap snack, or dinner - depending on her mood and willingness). I still think that learning should be integrated into the whole day, so I have my "lesson plan" and fit in the 4 lessons whenever I see the opportunity. On a lucky day, we have it all done before breakfast!


Adrienne said...

My babies are real small 2 and 1. So when they wake up that is when I wake up. I have learned to become a morning person, first with the Navy and now with having babies. Here is my routine, it just kind of fell like this, it was not planned.

Around 8 or 8:30 the babies wake me up. I change the necessary diapers and then put on praise music while I make breakfast. I always make something real simple for breakfast, bisquits, cinnamon toast, eggs. While they are eating I make my morning shake and clean the kitchen. After the kitchen is cleaned I put a bible movie on for the babies while I start or continue the laundry and get ready for the rest of the day. After their 1 hour bible movie is over I take them outside to go play or we go for a walk. When we get inside from that I start making lunch while they play with blocks and stuff. After lunch they take their naps, while I do my quiet time and finish with my chores. After their nap I feed them a snack and read to them or we do a fun project. After that we either go and play outside again or go for another walk. By this time it's time to make dinner, I let them watch another bible movie while I make dinner. After dinner I give them a bath and their bedtime is 8/8:30. After they go to sleep I chill or continue with the things that I need to get done, mostly I workout or spend time with Charles. After being in the military I am a big person about making your routine fun and flexible, that is why I LOVE being a stay at home mom. As soon as it starts to get boring, mundane, or stressful I make sure that I change it so that I still enjoy being at home. That is why being a SAHM is such a lunxury, right? :)

Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years said...

How I have beat myself up for not measuring up to another's standards in this regard!

I am a night owl. Mornings are very hard for me. Anytime I've tried to change that it's been for the purpose of getting a few steps ahead of them, but it has never worked! Within 5 minutes of my awakening, one or more of them is up asking me questions or telling me stories already.

So, we work with the rhythm God has given me. I wake later than them, but still manage to be ready (room tidy, fed and groomed) for Bible time first, so just this week, we've moved their chores to after dinner instead of before breakfast.

This is starting to feel like a post, so rather than hijack your comments, maybe I'll do that...

Chef Mama said...

What is this "morning" of which you speak? Is there a part of the day I'm missing? Oh, maybe THAT'S why my kids say, "We love homeschool because we don't have to do our work until after lunch!" Hmmmm, maybe I should be taking notes here.