In the mornings, we do breakfast, books, they play, I do few minutes of "preschool" stuff with them. Then we go outside to play for about an hour. Then lunch. I put on a video for them so I can get some stuff done. Then it's time to go pick up the bigger kids from school. After that they play with their siblings and maybe watch another video or we go outside again. Eat dinner then dad plays with them while I go exercise. THen it's bath, snack, books, bed.
They probably watch too much video/TV. I have a new maid that I'm going to start having watch them for a couple hours a day either playing or outside so I can get some work done.
Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to DD (9yr), DS (3yr), & UC twin DDs (5yr)
Umm we get up, they play in their (seperate) rooms until it's time for breakfast. Then we have breakfast and they go play until I finish chores. Then we do something together like play board games or read books, then we prepare lunch together and eat. Then they get kicked out to play in the yard (sometimes I will join them but mostly not) or if it's rainy we can do some arts and crafts together inside or play-doh but generally I just send them to play while I do my own thing. There's less squabbling and more cooperation if I'm not there for them to compete for my attention, and their pretend play is even better when there's no adult ruining it for them. Then we get together for dinner again (smaller snack type meal, or leftovers) and then do bath (together) and jammies and private play in their rooms / cleanup. I spend some time with each of them alone (about 15-20 mins) for bedtime. We talk about the day and sing songs and read stories and they get focused attention. Then it's lights out and goodnight. That's a typical day. They only get screen times on sick days, which don't happen very often. Then it's just snuggle time.
We *don't* do playdates, or run errands often. Maybe once every couple of weeks we'll leave the house. If I need to I would rather wait till they're asleep and hire a neighbor's kid to sit in the house for an hour while I run to the store or whatever. Leaving the house really disrupts their rhythm. BUT we will do a "field trip day" once a month where we will eat out at a kid-friendly place (Mexican restaurant w/ outdoor seating, for example, not Chuckee Cheese!) and go thrifting and maybe go to somewhere like the botanical garden or zoo. And usually on Sunday mornings we will have a picnic breakfast at the park downtown where they can play for a few hours afterwards. But other than those times, we stay home.
: wife to James, MoM to R and D (Aug 2007) and E (Nov 2009) and Y (April 2012)
They sleep in their own beds until 3ish and then nurse off and on in my bed until about 6. (I hope to change this soon!) Then we are up and putz around until about 7. Nurse a little, play a little, some times watch some tv.
Then it is time to get ready for the day. They go to school 3X week and we leave the house about 8:15. They've only gone once so far. So 3X/wk we leave (on bikes with the older kids) for school. The other mornings we leave via car for gymnastics and a library program, then errands. So basically, the mornings are full.
Lunch and Nap (in any order) between about 12/1-2/3.
Then snack, lots of nursing, and "ignored" time while I make sure we are all set for the chaos that begins at 3:30/4. They usually play in an older sib's room or entertain themselves with toys, markers, playdo, etc. Sometimes they need more and we read, do puzzles. They go in and out of the house on their own. (I leave a door propped open.)
Then they are dragged around to the older kids practices. They play or hang on me or look for dogs or water fountains, etc. It isn't all terrible for them. Then dinner and they play on their own again. They usually play quite well together at this time, since I'd like to be getting them to bed. If no afternoon practices then they do tend to watch some tv while I help with the harder homework. They are just starting to play in our yard with the other neighborhood kids without me needing to be there- space trolley, croquet, basketball, trampoline, etc.
In bed by 8:30ish, asleep by 9ish. We do not nurse before bed!
I think the key to playing together well is keeping them busy and getting out of the house. A lot. Just a slow, leisurely trip to the grocery store for a few item to break up the day, kwim? With my first child I remember being desperate for something to do, anything to do, just to get out of the house. It is work to get out, but then everyone is in better spirits, imo.
Me. With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.