Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maintaing Harmony In the Home

If you know anything about huskies as a breed, then you'll understand the craziness of this photo:

That's right!  Maverick and the chickens live in complete harmony.  They don't snuggle up or anything like the cute pictures you come across on Pinterest but Maverick doesn't want to eat them so that is a HUGE bonus considering the direction we are going with homesteading.  Actually, he pretty much ignores them altogether.  He'll be sprinting around the yard and they'll think he's after them which makes them squawk and run away and even that doesn't catch his predator eye.  He went after them at first but over the months he has become desensitized and realized that they are supposed to be around I suppose.  

Speaking of harmony, I've had a couple of folks ask me lately about my routines and how I manage my days as a stay at home mom.  A fellow mom at story time was telling me last week that she was considering becoming a stay at home mom and I've had one of you all message me about it as well.  First of all, I don't have it together everyday.  My efforts to focus on the positives of my days probably makes it appear that most days go well.  Today was actually a day where I put Ayden to bed early because I just didn't have it in me to be the mom I wanted to be for the rest of his usual awake time.  I also had a pretty huge organizational task that has been eating away at my nesting soul (our shed in the photo above, actually) that needed to be done.  I attempted to get it done this morning while Ayden was awake but between the chickens trying to get in (and probably poop on everything) and Ayden's inappropriate way of dealing with them (he tends to try to hit them with objects if he's not well supervised) I wanted to pull my hair out!  Needless to say, Ayden was asleep by 7:15 and I spent about an hour and a half crossing that beast off of my list.  I feel SOOO good now.  It was just what this mama needed.

Anyway, though I do have rough days or even rough patches during good days, overall things run pretty smoothly around here.  There are certain things that I make a point to accomplish everyday and because of that our household keeps swimming right along with us and anything extra that I cross off of the ever-growing to do list is just an added bonus.

First is my morning routine.  Before doing anything else for the day I like to make our beds, put in a load of laundry, put away all of the clean dishes/clean up from breakfast, get myself ready for the day, get Ayden ready for the day, take care of the pets (food, meds, walk, etc), switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer, taking meat out of the freezer for dinner and doing the chicken chores.  We wake up between 6:30 and 7 and I try to have all of this done before 10:00 am.  On a great day it's all done by 9 which makes a huge difference in the level of awesomeness for the day and allows for some extra playtime outside for Ayden which he loves.

Usually anything we have planned for the day starts around 10 so from 10-12 is typically when we do scheduled activities or appointments . Play group, story time, intentional educational activities, outdoor play, visits with my parents, chiropractor/doctor appointments, etc. usually take place during this time frame.  

The afternoons are pretty flexible but on average we try to be home for lunch around noon and then have a little bit of quiet playing (puzzles, audio books, etc.) or reading. Ayden is usually in the mood to do this independently these days which is really nice.  Nap follows and Ayden goes down around 1:00.  He usually sleeps for about an hour and I usually plan 2 or 3 household tasks during this time.  This can be anything from folding/hanging the laundry out of the dryer, kitchen cleanup, preparing snacks (baking muffins, putting stuff in the dehydrator, etc), a deep cleaning task, etc. I'll usually put on a Netflix show or watch something on YouTube while I work which makes it feel like me time even though I am staying productive. On a rough day this time is used for vegging out on Pinterest, Facebook, other mindless internet surfing or napping myself.  It's really about priorities here.  If I'm feeling good I keep swimming, if I'm tired or spread too thing I take a "lunch break" to rejuvenate.  No pressure.

Once Ayden wakes up, he has a snack while I put away the load of laundry I did that day and then we usually play outside (or in his playroom if weather is bad).  Occasionally we might run an errand during this time frame but mornings work MUCH better for this.  I start dinner at around 4:30 and we eat at 5:30 when David gets home.  If David is working on the house he leaves to do that at around 6 and is gone until dark (around 9 or so).  In between that time we either go visit my parents, go hang out at the building site while David and his dad work or we stay home and play outside, water flowers, etc. If he is not working on the house, they have some quality time after dinner while I take some time for me.  Sometimes we all play outside together, sometimes I get a head start on kitchen cleanup to allow more time for relaxing after Ayden is asleep. It all depends on how our day went, how much energy I have and what I'm in the mood for.  

We start bedtime routine around 7 or 7:30 and Ayden is usually asleep between 7:30 and 8.  Once he's down I clean up the rest of the kitchen, put up the chickens.  Sometimes David is home by now and does this and he always does it in the evenings if he's not away working on the house. Then I write my blog posts.  Depending on the time, David and I might watch something on Netflix and we usually are in bed ourselves between 10 and 11.  The last thing I do before getting ready for bed is to jot down a quick to do list/meal plan for the next day if I didn't already do it throughout the day.

Side note: I do teach dance from 3:30 - 6:00 every Wednesday so obviously things look different on those days.  I usually plan a crock pot meal or make extra earlier in the week so we can have a left over night (my favorite!).  We eat late and Ayden usually gets to bed late on these nights. Wednesdays are LONG days...

Things do not always run this smoothly but for the most part, this is what our days look like. It took a year and a half or so after Ayden was born for me to find such a comfy groove and I know that Logan is going to come and stir things up big time.  It will probably take me another year and a half to figure out our new groove and that is okay!  There is so much that goes on in the first year of a baby's life that I feel like it is really important not to try to force strict routines and cause unnecessary strain on the household. It's all about survival and enjoying your days as much as possible. The good thing is that the chaos is temporary and there will be a time when you find harmony in the household again! (At least that is what I am trying to convince myself.  Haha!)

Are you a stay at home mom?  What does a typical day look like for you? 


Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Summer Routines"
And two years ago today: "Reach!"

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing that. I am a stay at home mom too and I have used you as my role model for some time. I often feel inadequate next to you because I feel I cant be like you as much as I wish. I fail at Paleo diet, I never eat well or get enough veggies, I sometimes feel tired out, and I don't eat organic, due to high cost, unless on sale. The list goes on. I thank you again for sharing. :-)

  2. I'm late reading this, but wanted to say you're so right about not stressing over imposing a routine in the first year. Obviously we work toward finding that sort of rhythm, but babies go through so many changes through their first year that there's always a new adjustment. I am still going through an extended "first year" stage as baby number 3 came when baby number 2 was only 11 months old! It can be very exhausting, but I know that it gets easier so I'm just trying to enjoy these times.