As a naturally curious person, I thought it would be fun to document what “a day in the life” looks like for our family. This is definitely a busy season of life for me, having two little children to care for and a third on the way in April. If you are also naturally curious, this post should be perfect for you :)
6:20/40am: RISE & SHINE! Max crawls into Zack’s side of our bed and they snuggle for about 25 minutes before going out to the living room for cold milk & hot coffee
6:45am: Natalie is standing up in her crib, cheesy grin and all, with one elbow hanging over the top railing. She’s blabbering for me to come get her. I nurse her in our bed, and then we join the boys in the living room. I secretly wish she would snuggle longer, but such is parenthood ;)
7:10am: Bauer and I head out for our morning walk, just the two of us! The early morning sun is warm, the air is crisp, I feel verrry happy to be outside without any sidekicks
7:50am: breakfast time! The kids are at the table, ready to eat. Zack is amazing and usually cooks breakfast for the whole family. Bauer and I arrive home just in time for me to have a coffee refill, then we eat
8:30am: I hop in the shower. And let’s pause for a moment to discuss this: there’s something amazing about being dressed and ready to go, even if it’s just in leggings and a tee, before Zack leaves for work. I feel much more prepared for the day this way. Less chaos and more happiness!
9am: Natalie goes down for her 90-minute morning nap. And honestly, I’m so grateful that at 12 months old she is still napping 2x/day. Her first nap is when I spend 1-on-1 time with Max. It’s also when I’m able to focus on any detailed work or home tasks.
9:15am: Zack leaves for work. He has a steady 6 mile bicycle ride to work, and he rides West down Venice Boulevard. Once he’s at work he takes a quick shower, and I can only imagine he grabs a tall glass of water (and another cup of coffee) before he dives into his work day. Zack is a Producer at a creative studio in Venice that focuses on post-production visual affects. He produces a range of commercials, connects the client to the job’s progress, and manages the show’s budget. I love seeing each finished project!
10:45am: Natalie is up from her nap! I get the kids dressed for the day, pack up the diaper bag, and we either run a few errands or we take Bauer on a neighborhood adventure. Everyone loves walking to the park, so it’s common for us to end up there 3-4x/week.
12:30pm: lunchtime! We usually have a picnic-style feast: lunch meat, cheese, crackers, carrot sticks, fruit, and a granola bar. Leftovers are another good option (and so easy to warm up). I try my best to clean up lunch before they go down for their naps so I have a full 2 hours to do whatever I want. Before naptime starts, I spend a few minutes preparing dinner in the crock pot (or the fridge, if it’s going in the oven later).
1pm: both kids are down for their 2-hour afternoon nap. Diapers are changed, soft leggings are put on, and both babes are tucked into their beds with their favorite hospital blankets. While the kids are napping I’m for sure resting myself. I rarely do any chores during naptime. Instead, I focus on how I can rejuvenate myself as a mom/wife/creative entrepreneur. Every day throughout the week I spend some time doing things in each of those three categories. And most days I include a 30-minute nap!
On bit on naptime, since our kids share a bedroom: Max has been asking to read a book in bed, which I totally support. Natalie often stands up once I leave and blabbers to her brother, but he’s great at ignoring her. Within a few minutes she’s sound asleep. Usually ;) Because the kids have shared a room since Natalie was 4-months old, naptime is rarely chaotic. Of course this isn’t always the case, but 95% of the time they have no trouble staying quiet and in their own beds. I really can’t think of a time Max climbed into Natalie’s crib while she was in it. We have a video monitor mounted high on the wall so I can see both of their beds (snicker, snicker), and for a long time I kept a close watch on it to encourage good behavior from Max. There is a long, wall-to-wall curtain that separates our bed from the kid’s beds/nursery area, so I’m able to go in there and check on them without them seeing me. Also noted: a firm, get back in bed goes a long, long way with our eldest ;)
3:15/45pm: naptime is over! Both kids wake up so happy, and it’s one of my favorite times of day with them. Max usually gets out of bed first and comes into the living room, quietly shutting the bedroom door behind him. Natalie often sleeps up to 30 minutes longer. We read books, play with toys, work on a craft, and generally get ready for dinner/the evening. Living in Los Angeles makes it a little more difficult to run errands post-naps because traffic begins to back-up so quickly. If we do run an errand it’s within a few miles of our home, and definitely not near any freeway on-ramps.
4:30pm: if dinner requires any prep work, now is the time to start on that. Otherwise, more play, more giggles, more creativity, more time-outs ;)
5:30/6pm: both babes are at the table, ready to eat dinner, and I’m finishing up a few last minute things before sitting down with them. The three of us always eat together, and we always eat the same thing. The only exception is modifying a meal for Natalie (and occasionally Max). For example, if I make a pot of soup, I will feed Natalie the chunkier pieces and exclude most of the broth. I don’t make a separate meal for the kids, and with the affirmation I’ve received so far from not doing that, paired with encouraging them to try new foods, eat their dinners as best can be, and limiting snacking, it’s proven to be the right choice for our family
6:30pm: the kids have baths every other night, with the exception of extra fun, extra messy days. If it’s bath night, the bubbles are poured into the tub immediately following dinner. I love having the kids in their jammies early, it makes our evening play time and looking at books even more magical :)
7:15pm: on the dot, Natalie is ready for bed! She is super easy to get ready for bed: a single book, a couple of songs in the bedroom followed by a prayer, and then she’s leaning towards her crib. As she gets older (and less of a baby) I’m bummed she wants to cuddle less and less at bedtime, but that’s part of parenting, right? Letting, and watching, them grow up has just as many rewards as when they were tiny babies. I must remember this.
8pm: now it’s Maxwell’s turn! Teeth brushing, stories, songs and prayer. He always asks one of us to lay with him for a little bit. I rub his back, we talk about the day’s adventures, and then I remind him how awesome he is and how happy he makes me. These are sweet moments spent between just he and I, and I cherish them.
8:30pm: Zack is usually home from work by now, but sometimes it’s another 1-2 hours before he’s home. He takes a quick shower, I warm up his dinner, and then we catch up on the couch for a bit. We usually alternate spending our evening together or individually, based on the week’s schedule. But, doing something together usually takes the majority ;)
10:30/11pm: bedtime for Zack and I. We almost always go to bed at the same time every night, unless Zack isn’t home yet from work. I had a friend share with me years ago, specifically when I was working on my handmade business full-time, how important it is to go to bed with your spouse, and I immediately agreed with her. It makes total sense to me: when Zack and I get on different schedules it throws our entire family’s schedule off track. So, my PSA for you: go to bed with your spouse :)
So that sums up a typical day for our family! Each month and season things evolve. When a season feels particularly difficult I try my darnedest to remember it won’t be like this forever. And I remind myself this is God’s gift to us mamas: our babies start off so small and dependent for a reason, then as they grow and mature we are able to experience new, wonderful things with them. It’s been a beautiful transition. Very hard, for sure, but beautiful.
Thanks for joining me in “a day in the life”, friends! And of course, any questions can be left below or emailed!
DISCLOSURE: most of these photos were not taken yesterday. In all honesty, I’m unable to be the parent to my babies need to be, prepare meals, stay connected to family and friends, and put my feet up to rest while the kids are napping if I’m taking dozens of photos throughout the day. And I feel it’s important to share this, as I do not want you thinking my days are any different from yours. My kids have (important) needs. We need to fill our bellies with nutritious foods. We all need quiet time in the afternoon. So limiting what’s not important is a must! :) Secondly, all of the activities shown in this post aren’t activities we do every single day. They are a compilation of an entire week of activities, a round-up of a typical “day in the life”.
Love this post. Curious minds, unite! We’re in a time of transition where our routine is needing to change and it’s tough figuring out the new perfect lunchtime/naptime/playtime flow but we’ll get there, and I’ll enjoy the new normal again. My favorite part was going to bed with your spouse. My husband insisted on this from day 1 of our marriage. Even with me being a night owl, he’ll fall asleep on the couch while I’m still doing whatever, and I wake him up when I’m ready to go to bed. I enjoy the quiet, he loves his naps on the couch, and we always go to bed at the same time.
Would a process of elimination help solve the issues with your lunch/nap/play flow? xx
Yep! We’re working on it now! Last week we did delayed nap time, an hour later than usual but then that made lunch SUPER late and maybe the reason his naps shortened. So now we eat lunch a little earlier than usual and then go down for a nap. Day 2 of the latter and we seem to have *maybe* found the right combo. It’s tricky when they start dropping naps or needing them at a different time to figure out what the new normal is. but I’ll be happy to have it resolved before all the holiday celebrations and chaos and know what his needs are.
Thank you for sharing! You are such a light to all of us wives and mothers. So thankful for your blog and shops!
Love the disclosure comment! Honorable! Question – how do you cope with Zack’s long hours? Quality time is my love language and that has been a struggle for me. Is it worth it? I really long for a present husband and father.
Well, it IS hard, I’m not going to fluff over that. One perk of his schedule is the industry in general has a late start, so while living in Los Angeles Zack’s had a 10am start time. That means our mornings together (2-3 hours) is when we have our family time, instead of in the afternoon/early evening like most families. We are both accommodating to what is going on and what kind of love language needs we have. And then commenting on your last sentence about having a present husband and father, Zack IS present with our family when he is at home. It’s important to recognize our family time is in the morning hours. So while he may not be home for dinner/bath/bedtime, we gather together in other ways that are just as special and rewarding :) It’s important we’re able to think outside the box.
You are amazing!! I appreciate your honesty, heart and intention! And you totally make me want to turn the clock back (in a good way) to when my 2 were 2 and 1!!!!
Have a great weekend!
Maggie, could you share a little more about what you do for Max’s time-outs? My son turns two on Sunday and he is definitely getting into the tantrum stage. Just today I had to put him in his crib for a few minutes (screaming) because he was melting down and we needed a break from each other. Then I came back, snuggled him til he calmed down, told him I loved him and explained why he had to go in his crib. I found myself questioning if I was handling the situation the right way. Would love some perspective.
Hi Laura! I’ve heard before that an appropriate amount of “time out” time is the age of the child, transferred to minutes. So for a 2-year-old, a two minute time out is appropriate.
Here is my experience & opinion: immediately following the poor behavior remove the child from the situation and in a private, calm, quiet manner (get on your knees, down to their eye level) explain what the issue is and why that was is wrong. Then say “it’s time for a time out now. Then you place the child in time out. It will likely take repeated tries before the child understands what is going on AND you are going to enforce your punishment. It’s really hard when the kids are little and they don’t understand what’s going on. BUT, I will say that children are quick to learn and when we immediately remove them from the situation and tell them their behavior was poor, they will begin to understand, and quickly. The best thing you can do is have consistency with your parenting. For good behavior, and for poor behavior.
Keep an eye on your child’s screaming, if it sounds like they’re getting out of control and it’s going to affect their health, step in. But if it’s truly a tantrum and you feel they can “cry it out” for a couple of minutes, then that is OK, too ♥.
Thanks, Maggie! I will keep focusing on consistency. I appreciate you replying so quickly! <3
Thanks for this explanation, too. We’re just now introducing time outs as well, and I’d heard the same age rule. Except a few days ago I put him in his crib and set a timer for 2 minutes and he fell asleep. I’ll take the blame for that tantrum. Boy was TIRED!
You are amazing! Two kids and third on the way I have one toddler and I feel tired all the time
Thanks for sharing! I really need to read this again and again
Have a beautiful weekend!
Honestly, my secret trick is to rest myself every day (either putting my feet up or actually sleeping) and to spend a little time on creative projects WITHOUT making it a stressful process. xx
Thank you for replying. Have a nice weekend
I love this post – thanks for sharing it! As soon as I saw Bauer’s sweet brown eyes, I had to ask: what kind of dog is he? He’s such a cutie!
I have a Cairn Terrier called Cooper and, just like you & Bauer, we enjoy our morning hikes together…just the two of us.
Wishing you a happy weekend!
Hi Erika! Bauer’s an Australian Cattle Dog + Wheaten Terrier mix :)