For some of us, the daily routine of school is back in session. For those that aren’t quite there yet, it is about to be that time. I’m really, really excited that the seasons are about to change. If you’ve been around here, for any length of time, you know that I am greatly impacted by the shifting of seasons in the best way. I love to change, I love to grow, I love to shift.
When the seasons change, it always has an impact on us as moms, as keepers of the house. There are so many beautiful things and ways in which we can truly incorporate what’s happening in our actual environment – the world, the Earth, the seasons. This is how we can integrate it into our daily schedules and manage our time.
Our hope is that with today’s post, you’ll start thinking about how you can get ahead and reflect on how you want to shift and change as we go into a new season this fall. We’re about to dive into what a daily routine is like as a work-from-home mom that’s trying to get in work blocks, focus on family and home, business, marriage, and all the things.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Navigating Change and Avoiding Curveballs in Daily Life
If you’re not on the front end of that, it’s going to end up being a curveball in your daily routine that hits you hard, like a big, heavy bowling ball. You’ll feel behind and overwhelmed, because things are always evolving and changing.
We are no longer in our summer schedule. Kids are officially back to school. I am not homeschooling them. I have done that in the past and am considering doing it in the future but right now the kiddos are in school full time. Thankfully they are both on the same bell schedule.
Smooth Transitions: Navigating Seasonal Changes with Ease
So a big disclaimer here is I’ve been doing this for a really long time. As a result my transitions between seasons is relatively simple for me at this point. It doesn’t mean that it’s not hard. But it’s really simple. I think the change is hard for everybody. However, this year, it was way easier. Every year, there are hard things about it. New things come our way like extracurriculars that we’ve never had before. There are a lot of different things that have come into the mix that I’ve never dealt with before. But it still is super simple.
Because of my method of putting everything together, the way that I’m able to create all these puzzle pieces and just move them around as needed, still allows me to complete the picture. With all the same puzzle pieces, it’s just a matter of turning them in a certain way to complete my entire puzzle, right to make my picture. And that picture looks different every single time a season changes.
“With my method of shifting puzzle pieces, I can complete the picture of my daily routine in different ways as each season changes”
Embracing the Seasons: Adapting to Change and Maintaining Balance
That season could refer to actual seasons like summer, spring, winter, and fall. Alternatively, it could signify transitions such as moving from co-sleeping to independent sleeping, shifting from breastfeeding to weaning and baby-led weaning, or progressing from elementary to junior high. We have different seasons that come and go. I have undergone different seasons, including a period when I worked in corporate and held a position outside the home. Now, I’m working full-time from home. Our husbands also experience job changes. So, there are diverse seasons. Each season in our lives requires us to complete a different picture.
But we still need all the same puzzle pieces most of the time, right? We still have to show up as a wife and a mom. Someone has to manage the schedule, take care of the food, tend to the house, look after the pets – it’s what I like to call being the keeper of the house. Most of us still need to work, homeschool the kids, or dedicate our time to being fully engaged with our kids’ lives as we want to be. So, all of those pieces still need to be in place. This is how it looks for me, and this season plays out in five daily routine blocks, as it always does.
Block #1 – My Morning Daily Routine Block
Right now, my morning daily routine block runs from 6:00am to 6:45am, and this time is exclusively for me before the kids wake up. I used to stop it at seven, but now we live a bit farther from school. As a result, I need to leave the house earlier, which requires adjusting the time I spend in the kitchen during my AM block. So, we’ve slightly shifted the block. It’s about 45 minutes in total. For a while, I was dedicating a power hour to this time, then I stopped, and then I resumed it.
A Phone-Free Start
My phone is out of the bedroom, not even to be found anywhere. I’m done with it, tired of it. It can’t find me, and it won’t find me. I’m alone. Truly alone. And that’s a great way for me to begin my day. A whole different series of things can happen while getting ready in the mornings. Most of the time, I’m in athletic clothes, which you’ll find out why shortly.
Preparation and Focus: Starting the Day Right
During this time, I get ready, do my hair, prepare for the gym, and take a moment to sit down. I like to start my morning by having my music on. I also like to have time for me to study and pray which allow me to start my morning in a calm way. Additionally, I also try to connect with my husband a little bit. I also take a look over the calendar and schedule to determine my intentions for the day. And that’s pretty much it.
That’s pretty much all the time I have to tidy up. I ensure that I return every space to its initial state – my bed, my makeup, my hair, my clothes. I put all those items back the way they were so that I don’t return home to a mess later on.
Block #2 – My AM Daily Routine Block
This block is all hands on deck. We go straight into breakfast, where I try to get myself fed as quickly as possible. I set up breakfast on the countertop for the kiddos and for Blaine if he’s home. While everyone’s eating, chatting, or talking, I’m simultaneously preparing lunches.
The kids usually sit down to eat around 7:15am, so I’ve got about 30 minutes to pump out a really great breakfast. During this time, I guide them through their morning routine as they come down between seven and 7:15am. I help them with their before-school tasks and morning routines.
Empowering Independence: Guiding Their Growth
I am not the one making sure their backpacks are packed. I’m not the one ensuring they have the ice blocks either. I have to remind them or teach them, constantly guiding them in what needs to be done. I’m always thinking ahead, considering what the next step towards their independence should be.
I constantly find myself needing to remind my kids as I guide them in this process. ‘Will you feel disappointed if you’re in the car without a water bottle?’, ‘Will you be unhappy if you arrive at school without your lunch bag?’, ‘What do you need to ensure a great day at school?’ We discuss these topics daily, focusing on one-step directions, then progressing to two-step directions, and finally, practicing three-step directions with consistent follow-through.
Over time, they will gain the ability to manage things independently. I prepare lunches, and then we head to the car for school drop-off. After that, I head to the gym; all of this takes place during my morning block. These various activities are ongoing. Before leaving the house, I ensure the kitchen is returned to its original state.
After the gym, I return home, grab a snack and my breakfast, give myself a quick rinse, freshen up quickly, and then I dive into my work block.
Embracing Repetition: The Key to Consistency
While my morning routine is not exhausting, it’s undeniably repetitive. The repetition is quite evident – you find yourself needing to repeat the same actions over and over again. This repetition is an essential aspect of the process.
Block #3 – My Daily Routine Work Block
I have an AB schedule. My A days work block runs from 11am till 2pm and my B days work from runs from 11am till 4:30pm. These days aren’t set in stone with a tidy ‘Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Tuesday, Thursday’ schedule. The days when I work until 4:30pm need to align with when Blaine is home, as he can pick up the kids. I deliberately sit down at the start of each week to plan out which days I can remain at home and have him pick up the kids, to allow me to have that extended time.
I used to stop working before two o’clock so that I could always go and be there for the kids. However, that meant that in order to get in my 20 hours per week of work, I had to miss the gym a couple of days a week. This is a huge goal of mine right now. After conversations and talking about my goals on our marriage retreat there was full support and understanding from both spouses. Blaine is able to support me in that because I’ve communicated the need for that. The trade off is something that he feels is of benefit.
Block #4 – My PM Daily Routine Block
After 4:30pm on the B days, I pop in and go straight to cooking dinner. On my A days, when I finish at 2pm, it’s time for the after-school routine. We go to pick up the kids, and sometimes I handle this alone while other times Blaine joins me. However, as soon as the kids arrive home, the exact same routine unfolds each day.
After-School Routine and Household Organization
We are working really hard on instilling discipline in everyone, myself included. The moment we enter the house, everything comes out of the car and backpacks. Lunchboxes get washed and dried immediately. Everything gets put away. Nothing gets left on the counter, even though we’ll need to use them again tomorrow – that doesn’t matter.
The lunch boxes, ice blocks, and homework folders are taken out; everything that’s time-sensitive is added to the calendar. The kids head straight to the table for homework, and I provide them with a snack. Once that’s done, usually within about 30 – 40 minutes at most, the kids either engage in free play or we head to extracurricular activities. Sometimes we have extracurriculars right after school. Upon returning home, the same after-school routine follows – it’s a seamless sequence. The kids have free play until dinnertime.
During the time when my kids are off doing free play, there are moments when we have family fun, although we primarily set aside those activities for the weekends. Often, this is the time when I address household tasks that require attention. It’s when I tackle anything that needs to be done around the house.
Balancing Work and Household Responsibilities
On the days I work until 4:30pm, my focus is on my work and not on these tasks. However, on the other days, whenever I’m there, I’m really trying to make sure that I meet that fundamental need of pouring into my house. Whether it’s a to do list item, deep cleaning, rotation, whatever that looks like. That’s where it goes.
I find it to be incredibly helpful and valuable to start preparing dinner at 4:30pm. By 4:30pm I make sure to head downstairs, in order to start dinner. Our dinnertime routine commences from that point, and it’s a routine that has proven effective and reliable over time.
After-Dinner Daily Routine
Following dinner, we transition into the after-dinner routine. Everyone pitches in to clean up, and the kids head upstairs to begin their bedtime routine—taking showers, brushing teeth, and completing their other tasks. Sometimes, the kids prefer to have their showers earlier, which allows us to spend quality time together as a family after dinner.
They do that during their free time block, and it’s been a lot of fun to experiment with. They seem to enjoy the feeling of getting that done earlier in the day, which gives them the sense of staying up late and getting to do something after dinner.
Sometimes that backfires, where that doesn’t work so well because we all get caught up and then everybody gets to bed late. However, it’s fun to play with every now and then and switch that up from time to time.
Then it’s bedtime for the kids. We read books and go through the whole routine. The kids go to bed, and it’s the exact same thing—literally the same routine every single night. Lights are all out by eight o’clock for the oldest one, while the youngest one goes to bed at seven. We have an hour alone with the oldest one, allowing for some quality one-on-one time.
Structuring our evenings like this is a wonderful thing when possible, although it doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes the little one stays up late because we’ve all been doing something together. However, we really try hard to make sure that the youngest one is in bed at seven and our oldest one’s lights are out by eight o’clock. For reference, their ages are six and 11, and their bedtime is respectively set at 7pm and 8pm.
If we’ve done swimming or anything really physical, we can bump that back by 30 minutes and they’re totally knocked out the second their head hits the pillow.
Block #5 – My Night-time Daily Routine Block
My nighttime routine block is from 8pm to 10pm and I really love those two hours. Every once in a while, if I haven’t completed my work, I might work during those two hours, but I try really hard not to. Instead, Blaine and I spend time together doing various activities. It could be watching CrossFit videos on YouTube—since the CrossFit Games are currently wrapping up—or delving into a documentary.
We do all different kinds of things like playing games, reading, having conversations and sometimes we even work on our goals. This is just a time for us to hang out. There are so many different things that you can do from eight to 10pm and it feels like such a gift. As parents, having this time alone is a beautiful thing, especially when the house has been kept clean throughout the day.
Every once in a while I’ll use my Tineco iFLOOR 3 Wet vac to clean my floors during this time because I love it and it like lights me up. This amazing device not only vacuums and mops the floor but also cleans itself. It’s truly remarkable and cordless, making it one of the best purchases I’ve ever made for maintaining my home. It’s like a dream come true for moms. That’s essentially what my nighttime routine block entails.
We try really hard to get to bed by 10 o’clock so that we can get a full eight hours of sleep. That is my day in a nutshell.
Adapting Across Seasons and Looking Forward
We’ll continue this routine until the dead of winter, and we go on winter break, and then we’ll have some fun. We’ll pick this exact same routine back up in the spring and as we go into next summer.
So that’s what this is looking like for now. I’ve definitely switched it up, tried lots of different things. I hope I’ve been able to provide you with some insights into what those possibilities might look like.
Building a Solid Foundation: Time Blocking and Fundamental Needs
Obviously, the foundation of everything that I do is my time blocking and my fundamental needs which we have talked about here a lot on the show. You also get full complete access to these when you become a student in Systemize your Life. That is where you get to learn all about how I create my daily routines. I’m able to focus on family and home and a business using that method.
This becomes yours when you become a student. So make sure you go over and read about that. It is unbelievably helpful when you get a little sneak peek into what someone, or the person that’s creating this mother that you’re trying to learn from is actually doing in their real life.
If you’ve got any questions for me, come over into the DMS on Instagram or pop a question into our FREE Facebook group. Other women can talk about what their schedules are, what’s working for them. And we can definitely support you and how to build out your own custom schedule as you shift from summer break back into the back to school shenanigans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a resource I can access to help me with my time blocking?
I sure do! Grab my free Time Blocking Workbook which is a time blocking roadmap for work-from-home moms.