Both mornings and bedtimes were pain points.
Both are now somewhat better! (Not perfect. But better!)
A brief dive into current routines:
We get the kids up between 6:45 – 6:50, with Josh often starting the process as I am showering post-run/workout. They are often grumpy initially — unfortunately this has not been entirely ‘fixable’. However, it’s been marginally better. They used to frequently fight over the use of the downstairs couch, and this has not been as frequent.
I usually make all 3 kids breakfast, though on occasion Josh will jump in. Breakfast is either oatmeal (mostly only Annabel picks this option!), cereal, yogurt parfait, waffle, or bagel. Nothing fancier than those options. I will ‘default’ to cereal if no one answers what they want. Sometimes there is whining.
At 7:20 I cut off breakfast time, no matter how much has been ingested (G is the slowest here) and get her dressed and teeth brushed. The other two get ready themselves. We have songs that play on our SONOS speaker at 7:25 to start warning of impending exit time. By 7:35 I am usually pulling G out of the house and expecting the others to come too. Sometimes the big kids are slow with shoes/socks but for the most part it’s not terrible.
If someone is lagging I will threaten that the other kids get to pick the car music. This usually works.
Thankfully, the drop-off time works perfectly so that if I’m driving and we leave on time, I can get to work on time. I drive 2-3x/week and our nanny + Josh split the rest.
This was also a pain point for a long time, and I’m not sure why it’s better but I’m sure the seasonal darkness helps! ALSO, this process always goes more smoothly when solo parenting. I am still trying to make it a largely divide + conquer event when Josh is home, but that is still a work in progress. At 7:30 (sometimes 7:45 if I just can’t bring myself to start), I get the kids off of any screen and to go upstairs for bed. The big kids brush teeth + I brush G’s teeth + enforce bathroom usage.
Then books (2-3) and bed. I will offer to lie on the floor of G/C’s room for 5 minutes and lately have been reading on my Kindle during that time as I finally discovered the Libby app (I know, late to that party). Then sometimes I will lie on A’s floor. The process is usually done by 8:20 – 8:30. Sometimes A stays up a bit later reading. The other two are usually very tired.
So . . .the next routine to conquer? A few in mind: getting out of the house for weekend activities, the immediate getting-home-from-work period when everyone goes crazy, dinner. I still don’t usually eat with the kids because they are usually hungry at like 5 pm, but this is something I’d like to move towards in the future. (I usually eat standing up in about 3 minutes at 6:15 or so. It’s kind of lame!).
I can’t tell if I’m starting to make headway on these routines simply because the kids are getting older OR whether various strategies and intention have helped.
What routines are your pain points? Was this a year of more progress? What is up next?