I am trying to find balance between face time with the kids, quality time with Smug-Baby, time for Little-Smug to be out of the carrier and having his own quality time, and still keep the house from falling down around my ears.
I set it up so that I have one or two housework things to do each day. I make sure that when the older kids are napping, I have Little-Smug out of the carrier and he has some naked butt time and some coo and talk with mama time. He also gets this when Smug-Baby has her nightly bath too. My neighbor's son naps between 10 and 10:30 and sleeps a really long time, like until 1!! I get the girls down around 11:30-12:00 and they sleep until about 1. After everyone is up, we all have lunch and play inside or out. The little man is picked up about 2 and Smug-Niece isn't picked up until much later, so I try to use the time with just the two of them to play and tickle and chase them around the house or take them outside to the swing set. Then, I get started on dinner. I try to get Smug-Baby's dinner finished and her into the bath by about 6:45 and then we settle down in her room and read books until Smug-Hub gets home. He takes over with Little-Smug and I turn off the lights and lay with Smug-Baby until she is asleep. The goal is to have her asleep by 8. This gives Smug-Hub and I a few hours to be together and hang out with Little-Smug and I try to get into bed by about 10, provided Little-Smug is sleeping by then :)
I was talking with several other moms and reading about what works and doesn't work for others so I thought that I would post my weekly schedule in the hopes that some of what I have found to work will work for others.
I try to start the day with a walk on the treadmill for about 30 minutes, I generally only do 2-3 times a week because depending on the way the night went, if I need the extra sleep I want to be allowed to take it. After my walk, I shower and get myself dressed. Then I work on getting the kids up and dressed for the day and start on breakfast. My sister is generally here before I have breakfast on the table and we chat for a bit before she heads out and my neighbor's son arrives. I try to front load the mornings and get my daily "chores" out of the way early. This way, if things kind of fall apart, I have the whole day to play catch up.
Monday - this is laundry day, I wash all the sheets and towels weekly and the rugs monthly. I also wash the kitchen washcloths and towels and drying pads. As a side note, I also run a load during the week whenever a basket gets full to help keep from spending the day doing 8-10 loads!! Monday is also the day I work on putting up the food from the CSA we got over the weekend. I cut and steam and otherwise prep the veggies and put them in freezer bags. I also spend some time working with the menus for the week, getting the veggies we are eating that week ready. Like chopping carrots and measuring out what I need for a recipe and so on. Monday is my biggest day of the week.
Tuesday - This is trash day (well, its Wednesday, but has to be taken down Tuesday evening). I collect all the cans from all over the house and I take out the weekly recycling. This is also the day I clean out anything spoiled from the fridge and go through paperwork and mail that I may not have gotten to so I have as much of the clutter and trash picked up and taken out.
Wednesday - I wash diapers and make up wipes on Wednesday. I use cloth diapers and wipes and the wipes live in a nice wipe warmer. I make up a solution of olive oil, baby wash and hot water. Then I soak the wipes in the solution and fill the warmer. I wash the cloth diapers, by running them through a cold rinse, than a hot wash and lastly a hot rinse before drying and then putting all the inserts into the pockets and putting everything away.
Thursday - I clean the bathrooms on Thursday. We have two, but the guest bath I only really clean monthly because it isn't used much at all. This involves, the toilet, the tub, sink and mirror. I don't clean the floor because I do all the floors on Friday. This is a hard day, because I don't want the kids part of cleaning since there are chemicals, but I don't want to do it during the naps because 1) this is my only time each day for fun play time with my son and to eat my own lunch and 2) the bathroom is right between the bedrooms where everyone is sleeping and I worry that it would wake them.
Friday - I clean the floors which involves vacuuming the carpets and sweeping and mopping the kitchen and bathroom floors. I also dust everything. This is kind of the big house cleaning day, even though it doesn't take long. I do try to run the sweeper in the kitchen every evening and will vacuum if something is really looking bad and I know that I should be vacuuming more often with all the kids, but time is valuable and some days it just doesn't happen, but Friday is the day and everything gets cleaned. This is also my frustrating day, because within about 9 seconds of mopping the kitchen, someone has gotten crumbs all over the place and within about 2.3 seconds of vacuuming the dining room (BTW - who's messed up idea was it to put carpet in the dining room of this house?!?!?!?) someone has dropped potato salad!
This allows to to spend most of the weekend having quality time with my family and not doing house work. I still grocery shop on the weekends and do another load of diapers and wipes, but my biggest goal for the weekend if fun family time all together. We can get together with the grandparents or go on a day trip or just sit around and watch cartoons!
I'm tired just reading through all that! I have a lot of frustration with this stuff sometimes and I have a breakdown and do some crying just about every week, but I try to remember that the trying times will pass and I am able to be home with my children and raise them just how I want to and with that comes challenges. I don't always keep my cool with my daughter as she seems to know just what to do to send me into orbit, but I always try. I'm not perfect and I know I do some stuff totally wrong. I can only try and remember that this hard moment will pass and I will make it though.