I know that many of The Frugal Baby’s readers are stay-at-home moms so I thought I would talk about something that is a struggle for many of us–time management. When you have a baby, your schedule is largely dictated by his schedule. It is hard to fit in the time to do everything that needs to be done–and sometimes, you just have to let some things go. That being said, I have found that I have to use a schedule to maintain any semblence of organization. I want to share my own schedule with you but before I do, let me mention a couple of things:
- First, it is vital to the well-being of your entire family that you get enough rest. Particularly if your baby is not yet sleeping through the night, you may need to take a nap when she does. Please, do not feel guilty about this! A well-rested mom is more efficient, more patient, and better able to deal with daily challenges as they arise.
- Keep in my that a schedule is a guide, it is not written in stone. Use the schedule when you can but be flexible when you can’t.
- Finally, I need to mention that I use the FlyLady’s system of house-cleaning routines. If you are not familiar with FlyLady, you can read all about her and her system at her website. I have adapted the system to work for me and my family but the basic principles are hers.
Okay, onto my schedule.
- 6:30 a.m. — Get up, complete FlyLady’s morning routine, shower, and get dressed.
- 7:00 a.m. — Begin breakfast preparation and pack lunches if it is a preschool day.
- 7:30 a.m. — Maya usually wakes up around this time. I get her up, changed, and begin feeding her breakfast.
- 8:00 a.m. — James usually wakes up around this time. I give him his breakfast and begin cleaning up Maya and her breakfast mess.
- 8:30 a.m. — Clean up kitchen and get James and Maya dressed. Take James to preschool if it’s a school day.
- 9:00 a.m. — Play time. If the weather is nice we’ll go outside. Otherwise we play indoors.
- 10:00 a.m. — Structured activity. I get the kids involved with something like coloring or puzzles while I do some household chores. Typically, I run a load of laundry and tackle the day’s cleaning zone (FlyLady).
- 11:00 a.m. — Free play for the kids. This can vary wildly depending upon the age and number of your children. It is during this time that I take a quick break and check my email or read for a few minutes or just sit and watch the kids play.
- 12:00 noon — Lunch
- 13:30 p.m. — Clean up from lunch and naptime! During naptime, I work on my blog or my other writing projects.
- 2:30 p.m. — Snack time and pick up James from preschool if it’s a school day.
- 3:00 p.m. — Play with the kids or go outside.
- 4:00 p.m. — Catch up on any chores I may have missed throughout the day.
- 5:00 p.m. — Begin dinner preparations.
- 6:00 p.m. — Dinner
- 7:00 p.m. — Clean up after dinner while Michael gives the kids a bath.
- 8:00 p.m. — Stories, snuggles, and bedtime.
- 8:30 p.m. — Bible reading with Michael.
- 9:00 p.m. –Downtime with Michael (watch t.v., read, or whatever).
- 10:30 p.m. — Lights out
Again, this is just a guide. It can vary from day to day or week to week. But with this schedule, I at least know what my goals are for the day. Since using this schedule, I have become more organized and efficient. Of course, there are still plenty of days when the house is a wreck and nothing has been accomplished. When that happens, I just get right back on my schedule the next day. I hope this helps. And if anyone has additional tips for scheduling your day, I’d love to hear them!