I've mentioned before that I follow a blog called Down To Earth, written by Australian blogger Rhonda Hetzel. Yesterday she wrote about daily and weekly routines and asked readers to share their own routines. I had been considering a post like that anyway, so I decided to take her up on her invitation.
Shane gets up most mornings between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m., depending on where in the city he's working that day, and whether the crew can start work at 6:00, 6:30 or 7:00. He's always early to work (in the almost 11 years we've been together, I've known him to be late to work once). His routine is to get up, take a quick look at craigslist on the computer, get dressed, make his coffee and lunch and walk out the door, usually in less than an hour.
As a rule, I don't get up with Shane in the mornings. We decided early on that since he doesn't eat breakfast, there is no need for me to be up. He likes to make his own lunch because, he says, it's part of the routine that helps him wake up. So I stay in bed.
On a typical day, I get up at 6:00. That gives me about an hour and 15 minutes of quiet time before I get Kat up for school (or daycare two days a week in the summer). I let her sleep a little later on days we aren't going anywhere. I like to start my day with coffee and time on the computer, reading headlines and blogs, and maybe working on my own blog post.
Around 7:15 I get Kat up and help her pick out her clothes, then I get dressed myself. I fix breakfast for her and get her ready and out the door by 8:20. I admit I let her watch a little TV after she's dressed and has eaten.
I drop Kat at school or daycare by 8:30 and usually I come right back home. I'm not a breakfast eater, but I try to eat a little something when I get home. I might get back on the computer to finish a blog post or I might jump right in with my housework. At any given time, I have four lists on my refrigerator: daily chores, weekly chores, quarterly chores and my weekly menu. I live by these lists. That's not to say that I feel I must check off each and every item on them; the days I check every single chore off my list as done are very few. Sometimes a chore can wait or just doesn't need to be done. But the lists are there so that I at least consider them. Otherwise, a lot of chores would fall by the wayside...possibly forever. :) They keep me headed in the right direction, and Shane says he likes them because he can see what's going on around the house and whether or not he can do anything to help. (He keeps his own lists going elsewhere in the house.)
My daily morning routines consist of basic housework -- making beds, loading and/or unloading the dishwasher, starting laundry, tidying up rooms, and giving the bathroom a quick wipe-down. I like to start supper early in the morning by prepping anything that can be prepped. If I'm making a slow cooker meal or anything that will take a long time to cook, or that will hold and reheat well, I like to go ahead and make the entire meal early. That way it's done and I'm not scrambling later in the day.
Late in the morning, I take a break for checking email and blogs again. I might make myself a proper lunch, or might just graze on snacks. Then I begin my afternoon chores, which are more laundry if necessary and whatever chores I have designated specifically for that day. For example, on Mondays I balance the checkbook and pay bills, clean the room we use as an office and do any other "administrative" chores; Tuesdays is the day we put out the trash, so that's the day I change the cat litter and gather trash from all the small cans, clean out the fridge, and mop the kitchen floor. Each day has it's own list of chores, and I also try to do some of my quarterly chores in the afternoon. Quarterly chores might include cleaning out the microwave, organizing the coat closet, cleaning desk or kitchen drawers, washing blankets, cleaning windows, etc. By the time I'm finished with those things, it's usually time to go get Kat from school or daycare.
After school, I give Kat a snack. Sometimes I have a snack, too. Kat's school only assigns homework on Fridays, so most days I just look at any school papers she's brought home and have her put her backpack away for the night. I finish up any of my chores that are left undone, and anything that still needs to be done for supper, while Kat plays with toys or sometimes watches a video or TV show. If I'm lucky, I can talk Kat into taking her bath right after school, too.
Shane gets home between 3:00 and 5:00, again depending on where he's working and the day's start time. In the summer, he spends several hours outside in the garden or in the garage working on his own list of chores. In the winter, he's only busy for an hour or two after work.
We eat our supper together, which is one of the few really hard and fast rule in our house. It's a bone of contention sometimes, too, because Shane doesn't always want to stop his projects to eat and I'm pretty adamant that we eat about the same time each day. We feel better and are in better moods when we do, and Shane will be the first to admit it, although he's also the most likely to want to skip a meal because he's busy.
After supper, Shane helps me put food away and load the dishwasher. He goes off to take his shower while I finish up with any dishes that need to be washed by hand, and sweep the kitchen floor. Kat then takes her bath if she didn't take it earlier and gets ready for bed. We play games, read or watch family-friendly TV together for an hour or so. After she's in bed, I finally get my bath. I might have as much as an hour to watch a TV show with Shane before the day ends, but often there isn't even that much time left before he goes to bed, around 10:00 p.m. I end my day, usually with another quick look at the computer and always with a few pages of a book. I'm almost always asleep by 11:15 or 11:30.
Rhonda talks about how many women enjoy doing crafts, but won't prioritize them into their day because they feel guilty doing them instead of doing housework. Well, that would be me she's talking about. I just can't seem to work them into my schedule, and it's exactly because I feel I should be doing something "more important". Yet I spend too many little moments on the computer throughout the day. This is something I want to work on.
Rhonda also talks about working small breaks and rewards into her schedule. This I do manage to do, either by stopping for a quick snack, reading the paper or a few pages of a book, and reading blogs. This is probably something I could stand to do less of, actually.
On Thursdays I have a special routine, which I'll talk about tomorrow (I had already written that post before Rhonda's idea came about).
What about you? Do you live by a routine? How do you do it all if you also work outside the home? I was a single mom for 13 years, so I know I did it, but I can't remember how I did it. I suspect that maybe I didn't do all the things I'm doing now. But then again, I was doing things then that I don't do now, like mowing and making sure I got the car serviced on time I guess my priorities were a little different than they are now; but it makes me tired just thinking about it.
July Grocery/Pantry Challenge:
Items Purchased Today (store brand unless indicated): None
Amount Spent Today (including tax): $0.00
Amount Spent To Date in July (including tax): $34.74