Wednesday, July 7, 2010


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

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Frances said...

How fun to read about your day! You and Shane sure don't need much sleep, do you? I cannot function without 8 hours a night. Well, I can function, but I am not happy about it.

I would post my days, but they are really boring. LOL! Get ready for work, go to work, come home, eat dinner and relax with Hubby. Hubby does most of the housekeeping, cooking, laundry. Yes, I am spoiled.

McVal said...

We always try to eat as a family too at dinner. The time might tend to change tho due to schedules, or a kid or two might be missing due to work or school responsibilities... But for the most part we're all there and TV is off during dinner.
For us, tv has to be off after 7am on school days or the kids turn into zombies and I can't get them out the door on time!

SonyaAnn said...

"I live by these lists."-I am proud to call you my sister. I love lists! I like to save some of my lists, like the trip list or the Thanksgiving list. That way I know exactly what I need since I have tweaked it over the years.
Our days are pretty much the same but I do manage to squeeze in about an hour of writing every morning when the kids are back in school. I get grouchy in the summers cuz I miss writing!

Shelli said...

I am nowhere near as disciplined as you. I'm lucky if my bathroom gets cleaned once a week. And don't hate me, but my beds almost are never made. That's an old habit left over from when my husband worked nights and I worked days and so someone was always IN the bed.

I usually try to do all my chores on my Fridays (I'm off on Friday) so that I can enjoy the weekend with my family. I will do laundry as much as I can all weekend.

Annie Jones said...

Frances: I can easily sleep later, and sometimes sleep an extra hour or so on the weekend, but it usually makes me feel sluggish. I feel better when I stick to my schedule. As for Shane, I don't know how he does such a physical job on so little sleep.

McVal: We don't have the TV on during supper, either, but I really like to have some light music in the cover up the smacking noises...LOL!

SonyaAnn: SIS!!! I just found my camping supply list from our campouts last year. I thought about pitching it, but decided I probably needed it. :)

Shelli: Well, my idea of making the bed isn't what most people think. I straighten our blankets and fold them back at least halfway so the bed airs out, and I toss the pillows into place. The picture of our bedroom re-do is probably the last time the bed was fully made. :) Kat has a loft bed that is really hard to make, so I just fold her blanket and comforter and put it at the foot of her bed.

In the bathroom, I just wipe the counters and the toilet and sweep the floor each morning. It's a habit I got into several years ago when we were selling our house.

Lisa said...

When I first quit my job 5 years ago, I had a weekly chore schedule posted on the fridge for myself. I kept that up for about 6 months, but eventually relaxed my standards quite a bit and started cleaning when I couldn't stand how a room looked anymore. As of today, I am now a full-time working mom again. We will be adjusting to a whole new routine and the kids will be pitching in with much more chores, like it or not!

Lisa B. said...

Uhmmmm, my sleep pattern is soooo messed up. I only sleep two or three hours at a time. Usually I'm up by 8 for the day and will take a nap around 2. But like last week I didn't take a nap but one day. This week? Uhmmmm, I didnt get up until 10 yesterday (after being up and down all night) and today I was wiped out and didnt get up until noon. Therefore yesterday and today the garden was tended to, all animals were tended to, and dinners were made. Nothing else has been done. Tomorrow will be catch up.

slugmama said...

I'm with Lisa sleep schedule is a nightmare!
I'm a night person(after all those years working in theatre)so I rise late morning or even at noon and hope to see the bed before the birds chirp around 4 And sometimes I get a nap worked in. I like my quiet time so being up late works well.
I do have lists however so there is some sort of organization around my wacky sleeping schedule.