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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the first year I have 2 in school fulltime, ds 8 and dd 5. We start tomorrow and I am anxious about the rush rush of evenings. The kids get home around 3:30 and need to be in bed by 8 or before. Ds could maybe go to bed a little later and dd a little earlier.
Even last year it seemed like there just wasn't time for everything every night. We don't do baths everynight, usually every other or every 3rd. I try not to have both kids bathe the same night. We always have dinner together around 6 and I try to keep it simple so I'm not spending the whole night in the kitchen.
It just feels like it's snack, homework, supper, bath, books, bed. BAM BAM BAM. I don't feel like I have any one on one time for each kid ( I also have a 2 yr old). While helping ds with his homework the toddler is trying to get my attention or whining because she's hungry, dd wants me to play with her or some other distraction. Then at bedtime I feel like I'm rushing through trying to read to everybody at once and then shuffling them off to bed. DD2 is a night owl so I can't put her to bed before the others. DS and DD1 share a room and DD1 is used to going to bed at the same time as ds so it's difficult to put just one to bed as the other waits up or feels left out.
I;m just feeling tense thinking about it. Dh is able to help some but he prefers not to do the reading and dd2 sometimes only wants me.
I'm just wondering what everyone else's routine is like. I know it's busy for everyone in the evenings I'm just wondering what some of you do to make it easier on you and the kids. How do you get one on one time? How do you help them get enough sleep? What do you do to streamline your routine?

I am home all day so I could do some supper prep before they get home. ANything else that makes it easier for you family?
 

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We don't have homework yet (just in K) and only one kiddo so that's a bit easier!


Our schedule has been complicated recently b/e we are down to one car right now, so that means driving dh to work at 6:30am and picking him up whenever he is ready .. that could be 4pm or 7pm. Ugh, it totally messes with our routine!

But usually we come home and have a snack, take some down time (he'll watch tv or play in his room) and I will begin to cook dinner. He plays with a neighbor for about an hour, then bath, book and bed.

DS prefers me to read books, but dh and I switch off nights. I think it's important for BOTH of us to read to him, cuddle and spend that time. So one night I will read, the next night dh will read. If you started something similar, you might get a bit of a break.



I'd suggest supper prep earlier in the day, have your dh read to the kids as well and help you juggle bedtime.
 

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We have a definite routine which I will share. But the thing that make this work for the family is the fact that DH and I are absolutely equally involved. You comment about DH helping some and "preferring" not to read really sticks out at me as a major stumbling block. I think working with this might be the first step.

I have an 8 YO DS (soon 9), a 5 YO DD and both DH and I WOHM Ft. (Oh yuck, too many abbreviations!) The kids get out of school at 3:30 and close to home at approx. 4:00. Three days one or the other has sports/lessons, so then its about 5:45 when they get home. Our nanny tries to have each do a bit of homework during the other's sports, but that doesn't always work well. So homework starts about 5:45, which is also when DH and I get home. Nanny leaves at 6. Either DH or I start dinner (we alternate). Other sits with kids to encourage homework (mostly reads the paper). Dinner around 6:30. Kids play/ watch TV/ computer when they are done (or DS finishes homework if he's been slow so far) until about 7:15, then they have dessert with more play time. DH and I work to prep stuff for the next day and clean up post dinner. Baths/showers start around 8, targetting bedtime by 8:30. DH and I each take one kid for bedtime, alternating kids. Read, with lights out 8:45-9. With DD we are trying to target a slightly earlier bedtime because she clearly needs more sleep, but having trouble achieving that. Kids are usually asleep by 9.

This works best with DH and I work together, and when the adults don't get distracted into email, computer game, or a book. Which is hard because both DH and I would like more "post work decompression time", so that's a struggle for us. The other struggle is if the kids get to watching something on TV and don't want to move on to the next thing "on the schedule", so we are moving to limit TV after dinner, but that's meeting some resistance as well.
 

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We have project focus, an enrichment program at our school. I use it to help out with the overwhelm by swapping one on one days with my 2. I don't have an extra little one though. But anyway this is helpful b/c I can have one help with dinner if they like or whatever, they have more of me. This particular program includes snack, homework time, active time, and craft time, and they get home about 5:10 to 5:30 depending on how the bus route is done - it changes occasionally as kids drop out or new ones start. It's basically a 2 hour window to get the extra time with me, but it does make a difference! If for example one kid wants to make dinner with you, 2yo can have a big bowl with flour or oats or whatever and a big spoon to be 'helping' too! Or if you are doing homework help, give them some paper, stickers, crayons if they are past the yum delicious stage and maybe get some 'assignment' ideas together like can you make blue circles? how many can you make? or can you put all the bunny stickers on the page, or all the purple stars, simple stuff, but pre preschool learning that can still be fun.
Does that help at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your replies so far. Dh will help, probably more than I give him credit for. He will often fix dinner which helps, he'll take dd2 while I read to the older 2. He'll tuck them in and help to get them bathed.
We do no TV or video games after dinner. Once and a while I will let them but it reminds me why I don't. They are too hard to get settled and want just "a little longer" to play/watch.
I will definently be giving my toddler some "assignments", that is a great idea!

Having one sit quietly or do something with dh is a good idea too and dh and I had already talked about doing somthing like that. It's dd2 who throws a wrench in that system. She can't just let some one sit, she has to be climbing on them or wrestling with them. She's very distracting. I will be trying to do things seperatlely with them as much as I can though.

Keep the suggestions coming.
 

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I have 2, going into 3rd and the 2nd year of a 2-year K. Our schedule is changing a bit this year--school starts 15 min earlier with staggered start, gets out at 1:45/2:30 for them (ugh!), and ds8 will have 2 (!) soccer practices a week for ayso. I suspect this will be his last year doing soccer.

I am sahm, and spend the day doing any of the following: veggie gardening, crochet, gym, school volunteering (usually not at school), house cleaning, laundry, lawn mowing, shopping, dealing with random stuff.

They wake up on their own; if they sleep in I get them up 20 min before leaving, with clothes out and breakfast ready. I will toast bread or frozen homemade waffles, or they can have fruit, oatmeal, cereal, OJ, scrambled eggs if they are up early enough. I pack lunches, they get dressed and play, and we leave 25 min before school starts (so I can get a parking space and/or have a time cushion). DS5 must be signed in.

At pick up, I have to hang out at school for 45 min with DS5 waiting for DS8 (last year it was 40 min). We usually play and chat with other kids and moms. We get DS8 and head home. Talk about the day in the car, get home for snack, unpack lunch boxes. Either the crockpot is going, we're having leftovers, or I start dinner. 2x/week they have tae kwon do, 1x week DS8 has music (this year they both do at same time--I grocery shop at the store across the street). 2 weekdays/month ds8 has cub scouts (always after dinner).

We get home if they have had a class or if a playdate either other mom comes or I go. Then dinner-in-earnest begins. DS8 does homework (our school does very little), DS5 draws, or looks at books, or has the joy of playing without being bossed around. They get hungry and fight, I give them raw carrots or sliced apples.

We eat at 6 or 6:30, depending on activities. If dh is late, he is out of luck because he won't call and tell me he's running behind (can you tell this has been going on for 8 years?). DS8 practices music, dh might take them outside to play soccer or ride bikes or scooters, I clean up kitchen, maybe scouts, maybe play cards, every other night is bath/shower. Read stories. DS5 into bed at 8. DS8 into bed as close to 8 as possible, but he always reads til 8:30.

Works for us, and isn't that bad. The only thing dh does (and I often do need to beg) is take them outside to play in the evening. We'll see what happens at the soccer practice lottery (yeah, it's a lottery, next week, ugh).
 

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I have four dc 11,9,7,and 5. The best thing I have ever done for end of the day is seperate reading times. I will start with the youngest and then work my way up. My dh will sometimes read with the littlest one. The older kids read on their own while they are waiting for me. I have to start a bit earlier to get it all done but everyone is gaurenteed a set time of alone Mommy time. With my oldest, we sometimes use that time to talk more than read. It has turned one of the most hectic times of the day into a treasured time.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by j924 View Post
I have four dc 11,9,7,and 5. The best thing I have ever done for end of the day is seperate reading times. I will start with the youngest and then work my way up. My dh will sometimes read with the littlest one. The older kids read on their own while they are waiting for me. I have to start a bit earlier to get it all done but everyone is gaurenteed a set time of alone Mommy time. With my oldest, we sometimes use that time to talk more than read. It has turned one of the most hectic times of the day into a treasured time.
So how do you get dinner time in there and what is bed time(s)? Just curious, I only have 2 but I have a hard time, although in my previous post I outlined my new plan for success this year
 

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We're just figuring this out.

I have one son who's 6 and in first grade. I also have a 2 year old and dh and I work opposite shifts (me 7-3:30, him 3:30-2ish). We've always had the same bedtime/dinner routine so we'll stick with that but it will be less rushed now that I can start dinner a little earlier. All I can suggest is getting dinner out of the way as much as possible before they get home.
 

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The kids get home at 4 usually. They like to get homework done right away. So usually it is snack and homework then they are free to play/hang out until dinner. We are lucky that I have a in house daycare and my dh works from home a lot. During this time we are working but also available for support or some kind of play time. We usually have to be ready to eat at 5:30 on the nose which is when my last kid leaves for the day. We rely heavily on the crock pot and dh's great cooking skills to pull this last part off. We usually do a rotation of clean up/baths/lingering left over homework. There can never be any TV on school nights ever! We do a group prayer at about 7:00. After the prayer we hit differnt rooms for reading time. The waiting children have time for reading or other quiet actvities which helps them to feel like they have both freedom and responsibility. Usually everyone is sleeping by 8:15. We leave the house by 7 am so it is not a stretch to go to bed early. Every now and then we get a wrench in the system but I try to at least read one page of a chapter book or snugggle for a quick minute so that the routine can stay stable.
 

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I haven't read all the replies yet but I will soon as we'll be starting grade 1 this year with ds and he'll be in school everyday. He'll leave for the bus at 8am and get home at 4pm. Even when he went every other day last year for kindergarten it was very rushed. We tried to eat around 5pm, bath, jammies, read school books and bed. Ds goes to sleep around 7pm so it always seemed like we were pushing to get things done. This year we predict he will be even more tired during the first month or two so he might even be in bed earlier.

We are trying to come up with a schedule right now and what we are going to do is do more things in the morning before school. Ds gets up at 6am so we have 2 hours to get ready for the bus. I am a SAHM so I don't need to get ready to leave the house and dh can be pretty quick getting ready. I think we'll even put a morning shower a couple days/week too. In lieu of tv during the school months ds has requested individual time with dad and mom in the mornings. So, we're hoping to spend 15 minutes each with him. Might be tricky with the babies but they're much more content in the mornings than evenings.

Anyway, that's my long way of saying "Can you move anything to the morning hours?"
 

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Things are CRAZY here now too since school started! I actually just today cancelled swim lessons. There is just no way we can fit swim lessons two days a week in our schedule. I work until noon, then dh leaves and works until 9pm, so the afternoon/evening/bedtime is just me. My oldest is in first grade and there will be an assignment every night. Even if it takes only 10-15 minutes, that's huge for me because everything else is so tight. The twins are in pre-K Monday through Thursday. Here is what our schedule looks like.

12:10- I get home from work. I get out of the work vehicle and into the van, where the three younger boys are waiting. Dh leaves for work.

12:15-2:45- Twins are in preschool.

3:00- pick oldest up from school.

3:30- pick dh up for his 15 minute break so he has a chance to see the boys.

4:00- home and homework for oldest. I asked if he would prefer to do homework first or do something else for awhile and then homework. He said he prefers to get the "non-relaxing" stuff done first and then have time to relax.
I'll sit with him for this.

4:30- dinner prep/play

5:30- dinner

6:00- family clean up (we set a timer for 15 minutes and just do what we can, basically I'm just trying to instill some good habits)

6:15- bath/showers (not every night)

7:00- toddler bedtime (brush teeth, change diaper, read story, nurse, bed)

7:30- three big boys bedtime (brush teeth, pj's, choose clothes for tomorrow, read story, 10 minutes to talk, lights out). Ideally lights go out at 8:00, but it's more like 8:15.

After they're in bed, I clean up from dinner, pack as much lunch as I can for my oldest, pack my food for work.

It's hectic and you're exactly right, it's boom boom boom done!
 

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As a single mom who is also in school herself (I graduate this year... yeah!!!), I know the stress of the evenings. This is how our evenings look:

5:30- Pick up kids from afterschool program: They should have their homework DONE already. I tell the people working that the kids NEED to do their homework afterschool, where there are tons of people available to help the children.

6:00-7:00: Make dinner, eat dinner. I go through their backpacks while eating. I ask them to get all their stuff for the day and bring it to the dinner table. They race to see who gets their stuff to me first! I will also quiz spelling words while at the dinner table.

7:00-8:00: Free time. We'll just hang out or they will go outside and play with their friends. If they have any homework, they must do it now. I do not sit there while they are doing homework. I only help when they have a question. I do not recheck their homework. Part of homework is the feedback you get from teachers. They don't need me to hold their hand while they are doing their homework.

If showers are needed, they are done at 7:30.

8:00-8:30: Get ready for bed and read to yourself, in your room. I do not read to my kids, they know how to read. I will sometimes sit with my son if he has a more challenging book and help him with words, but I do not read to him. They are 7 and almost 9 BTW.

8:30- lights out.

I just try to combine activities, the best is looking through school stuff while at the dinner table. It helps with the conversation piece of dinner and gets a job done. I feel our routine works well, but I've been doing it for 3 years now.
 

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Great thread! I will have two in school this year and we seem to do alright in the afternoon and evening but it feels like a lot to fit in.

We have playtime afterschool usually outside until around 5 and then I start to cook. We walk the dog and then eat dinner. We tend to do homework afterdinner but we haven't had a lot so far. That may change over the next year. DH helps with homework or reads with ds while dd does her work. Then they play with DH while I work on the computer or take a break.

Showers or bath if needed around 7-7:30 and hopefully in bed and almost asleep by 8pm.

This changes a bit on the day that dd has dance or brownies or when ds has tball.
 
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