The short version:
What's your day involve? What's your schedule? When do you fit in chores/cooking/other stuff?
The long version:
I'm going back to school for the first time in five years this fall. I did one year of university, but then had an oops pregnancy and had to stop. And then I had two more oopses! Anyway, so now I have three kids who will be aged 5 years, 3 years, and 18 months when I start school.
I'm trying to mentally prepare and plan for what life will be like. Last time I was in school, I didn't have kids. I also didn't used to have very good organizational and time management skills. My house was always messy, I never knew where my clothes were, I was late for things a lot. But, I've gotten really good at that over the last few years. I'm nervous because I know I can do the mom thing and I know I can do the school thing, but now I'm going to be doing both at the same time. I'm scared and excited. Help me!
Well, I haven't been back at work yet since having my 3rd, but some things that used to work for us:
-5-8pm is family-time. no one on a computer or watching tv. 5-8pm is time to be together, preparing and eating dinner, or doing chores, and then doing bedtime routine. this helps a lot. i used to get really mad at dh for being on his computer working at like 7 at night when i felt stressed to get the kids in bed. after we talked and agreed on the 5-8 no-screen time rule, it has been way better. for us and the kids. while one of us is getting the kids in bed, the other is cleaning up in the kitchen or tidying other areas of the house. we tend to leave the kitchen pretty clean at night before we go to bed...but that is just our thing.
-having a routine for dinners. (we do: mexican monday, italian tuesday, casserole/quiche wednesday, leftover thursday, and soup friday...meat or more involved dishes on the weekends IF i feel like it) I got this idea from the book Simplicity Parenting and I like it a lot. The kids have started to get really into it too...they like menu planning this way.
-planning meals also cuts down on the extra trips to the grocery store that tend to rack up the grocery bill with impulse buys
Our daily schedule WAS:
up at 7am, breakfast and kids to school by 8:10, off to work at 8:30-3 or so, pick up kids from school, get them a snack, try to work for 2 more hours from home with the kids playing in the back yard or doing homework or just playing around the house (no TV on school days, so no screen time), prep dinner around 5, eat around 5:30/6, clean up dinner by 7, more homework if they aren't done, read from 7:30-8, kids in bed at 8. I would grocery shop or run errands occasionally at night after the kids were in bed, simply b/c that was the easiest time for me and it was relaxing to be alone to do it. I also was frequently playing catch up during the 8-10pm time with work stuff b/c I flex my work day to pick the kids up at school at 2:30 or 3 and often don't get everything done in the day.
When I am back at work in a few months I anticipate the daily schedule will be very different (more hectic) and need to flex a lot since we have a baby to cater to now. :)
I'm not sure if you're just looking for student moms schedules, but here's mine...
I work from 7-3:30 so I'm up and gone usually before anyone else is up. Mornings, I do the bare minimum, get myself ready, get breakfast (for me) and lunches (me and ds1) ready. I live really close to work so I go home on my lunch break and do a little picking up, running the dishwasher, stuff like that.
As soon as I get off work, I go pick up ds1 from the bus stop, he's goes to a different school district so he has to ride the bus after school. We pick up ds2 at daycare and are usually home by 4. I do a quick pick up if it's needed, clean out bags and start getting them ready for the next day. The kids usually do some sort of homework or just play after their snack.
I start dinner around 5 or 5:30 so we typically eat around 6. After dinner is baths (I clean up the kitchen at this point), playtime and then get ready for bed by 8. After the kids are in bed I usually read or dh and I will watch something for awhile, then I try to be in bed by 10.
Most chores get done on the weekends. We do pick up every day and I sweep the floor and wipe down the bathrooms as needed, usually while the kids are bathing. Laundry almost all gets done on the weekends. I meal plan so that takes alot of stress off me for what to cook and weeknights are really easy, quick meals. I also try to cook something every weekend in addition to a more involved dinner. Waffles/pancakes so I can freeze the extras, soup for dh and I to have for lunch, that kind of thing.
I've been continuing school since my daughter was 2 months with only breaks in the summer and between semesters. I would definitely suggest trying to take some online classes, especially in the beginning, if you can. Beyond that, it's really just about setting priorities. I tried to go back to school full-time last semester and failed miserably, but I'm doing part-time again this semester and things are working out okay. The house isn't ever 100% clean, but I keep it functional so I'm not pulling my hair out trying to find things. I make sure to still take my daughter to the museum, our music class, and stuff like that, but I also let her play by herself or have some TV time when I need to get an assignment done. I'm trying to focus on eating healthy because last semester that went out the window and I ended up getting sick multiple times and missing class. Just remember that you don't need to be perfect everywhere. Define some minimums for yourself and just try to keep on top of the most important task at that second. Also try not to think of it all at once and overwhelm yourself. I try to keep a list going in my head of what I need to do, but I never look further than a week ahead in my planner because if I start seeing all the tests and stuff coming up it freaks me out. Also make sure to work in some you time. I've been trying to go to the gym because if I work out I feel better and eat better. I also listen to audio books while I'm driving to class.
Superhero and mother to Peanut (03/20/09) and Twig (01/20/2012). Fighting for the rights of mothers out there who and much more!
I also didn't used to have very good organizational and time management skills. My house was always messy, I never knew where my clothes were, I was late for things a lot. But, I've gotten really good at that over the last few years.
This is the part I am curious about--how did you change yourself? Your "before" sounds like me.
I'm not in school either but here's what my day typically looks like.
6:30-7:30 AM Wake up, dress myself and DS, pack our lunches, make my breakfast
7:30-8:30 commute to work, drop off DS at dcp
6:30-7:30 pick up DS, drive home
DH usually has dinner ready so we'll eat dinner as soon as I get home. We're usually done dinner by 8 and DS's bedtime is 9:30. I will load the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen but besides that this is our down time. DH and I go to bed about ten.
DH does the laundry during the week and we both pick up the house each day. Fridays are my days off so I try to keep them laid back. I do one activity for DS, fold/put away the mountains of laundry from the week, and go to the store. DH and I have one "project" each on Saturdays and we do the heavy cleaning then too. Our projects usually consist of unusual chores that are like spring cleaning type things. Sundays we go to church and just leave that day open for relaxing or fun.
I started back to school FT this semester, so I'm only a few weeks in. I also work FT. We have 2 kids - 4 and 6.
I get up at 5 and shower. Then I study for an hour before I get everyone else up & ready. We leave between 7:15 and 7:35 (ideally closer to 7:15 but we're getting there). I drop off DS, DH, DD, and then go to work - get there by 8:15. I work until 2:45. If I'm done early (I'm a copywriter and work by the article, so this is possible if I hit my day's goals), then I can study. At 2:45, I leave to get DS from school, then we get DD, hang out for 1/2 hour or so (honestly the roughest part of my day - not enough time to do anything, too much to just hang out for a minute in the cold), and get DH.
We come home & DH & I work on laundry & cooking. After dinner, we all clean up together, get things ready for the next day, bedtime routine. We're trying out DH doing bedtime M/T/WTh and me doing it F/Sa/Su so that I can study until 10 PM and then go to bed.
I've been working on the weekends the past 3 weeks. I don't like it, but it's what we'll do for the foreseeable future - working or studying on the weekends while DH is with the kids and works on cleaning and/or laundry. The kids are getting antsy, though, and they're *really* wanting to go do something active this weekend.
I work and go to school.
6:30-7:30 - Wake up, dress myself and DS, make/eat breakfast
7:30-8:30 - Commute to work, drop off DS at school
M, W & F
M & W
5:00-5:30 Commute to college
M - 5:30-6:45 Class
W - 5:30-9:30 Classes
T & Th
2:00-2:30 Commute to college
4:00-4:30 Return to work
I get home between 6:30 & 7:00 most night (except for Wednesday) Although I do go to a knitting group on Tuesday nights straight from work - time and weather permitting, for therapeutic reasons.
DP grabs DS from grandparents' house, then cooks and we usually eat together. We check homework & discuss stuff then.
DS goes down at 8-8:30 and DP & I go down at 10:00 (except for Wednesday)
We do laundry and deep clean kitchen & bathroom on Sunday. Saturday is absolutely family time. And Friday is game night (sometimes just family, sometimes with friends over).
I've gotten really good at making lists. Getting things organized for the next day. And frankly letting what needs to go, slide. But the house is generally fine, unless sickness throws everything out of whack I have no issue letting friends come over. (My mess barometer )
Do I get to see everyone as much as I want to? No, but it's temporary. I have the summer off from school and we go all out with family. Is my house photo spread perfect? Never. I can survive this for a couple more years until I am done with school.
And DP and I are finally using more of our cell phone minutes.
My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay