Our family routine is in contant flux. During the summer it’s less structured and slower. When school starts tasks become more time sensitive, and as different extracurriculars are added and subtracted things pick up and then slow down again. But right now, this is what our life looks like on a typical day.
Most days I’m up before the kids, an unapologetic morning person. I exercise (which has gotten harder as this babe has grown – what was easy last week leaves me wanting to cry the next), and if the kids aren’t up by the time I’m done I take the time to read my scriptures and pray – if I can relax enough. Mornings are my go time.
Typically we have a big breakfast, I’m always starving in the mornings. Max wanders down first and asks for cereal every day without fail, no matter what I’m making. If the other two aren’t up by eight, we go get them.
Anna has requested that I personally wake her up and not send Max, he’s apparently not as gentle as I am.Then this one works through her morning job list with a peculiar joy. Marking off each task and hiding from me so she can do her very own hair.These two usually end up doing something like this instead. Josh runs out the door without his backpack/lunch/other important thing at least 70% of the time, while Max tells me he “forgot” how to put his books away or his legs are “too tired”.Then it’s me and this guy. Some days we run errands, do projects, meet friends, or play. I try to give him attention in the mornings – afternoons get crazy.He’s very helpful when I need to get things done.After lunch we curl up for naps. This is how he usually sleeps – no light must get in. Max would always rather sleep with me than play by himself, which has worked out beautifully. I sleep for twenty minutes and then sneak out into a quiet house. This has become my time. I don’t clean, pay bills, etc. Instead, I read my scriptures and pray. Then I write. If Max wakes up before I’m done or doesn’t fall asleep I let him watch T.V.
The big kids wander in at 3:30, I try to have a snack ready so they’ll stick around and chat with me for a minute. If I can be mentally present this is usually the best time for me to catch it if something’s wrong or extremely right.
Anna comes home full of stories and usually with an agenda in her head of what she wants to do/ who she wants to play with.
Josh is usually right back out the door to find friends.
Max will latch on to one or the other of them, glad they are home. I can usually scrounge up someone to help me with dinner. They are usually more willing if I ask just them, no other siblings, just them and Mom.
Yesterday, I felt like I’d reached a new phase of motherhood. The three kids did dinner clean up while Justin fixed the trampoline and I finished a bookshelf for Anna. I’ve been waiting for my kids to be able to do dishes by themselves since I started doing them at eight years old.
After that, the evenings have been mostly our own.
Last night as I watched them play pickleball my heart caught a little bit as I thought about how it wouldn’t be long before they were scattered across town every night, and then across the country or the world.
Sometimes we branch out of the norm and knock down walls at Dad’s new office, but generally it’s good to be home.
Then it’s family scriptures and prayer. Max and Anna always fight about who gets to read first and neither of the boys can ever sit still. I always quiz them at the end to try and make sure they get something out of it. Max raises his hand first everytime, and rarely knows the answer. Anna likes the “what did you learn from this?” question, and Josh likes me to come up with the hardest most obscure question I can think of.
Afterwards, most nights, either Justin and I will go read to them. Lately we’ve been reading Harry Potter – Justin does all the voices, apparentely I’m not good enough and they beg me to just “read normal!” But I can usually get someone to brush my hair while I read – my absolute favorite.
They each beg to be cuddled individually. This is hard for me (morning – not a night person). But I try to do it and not let them feel my reluctance. This is the only time that Josh is still enough to really talk.
Tonight, flag football starts, followed shortly by preschool and soccer, so we will shift again.
I think that’s why I like being a Mom so much. Every day is different, every day makes me stretch. I have to develop new skills and constantly work to live aware of what’s going on around me so I can help these little people entrusted to me become who they were meant to be.