Not enough hours in the day.

28Jun2013

The CRUNCH:
Not enough hours in the day.

CRUNCH deets:
Long weekends used to mean catching up with friends. Now it’s more like catching up on sleep. Between the children and the chores, you definitely don’t get much time to chill. Summer’s just begun and all you can think about is longer days… longer to-do list.

The Fix:
Multi-task when it doesn’t matter.

Fix deets:
The question we’re most often asked is “How do you find the time?” Superman reversed the Earth’s rotation when he ran out of time. We find it easier to multi-task. Problem is, too much multi-tasking will drive you nutty and the results won’t be great either. Ever tried to complete a permit application while watching Arrested Development? Not exactly the most efficient thing we’ve ever done. But entertaining kids while doing groceries/laundry/birthday party prep… now those are winning combinations.

I figured filling you in on my daily routine is the easiest way to break down how I get ‘er done. Yup, it’s all about the ‘I’ and the ‘my’ today because, well, Ernie has no idea how I find the time either. Here’s the gist of what I do most weekdays:

Some time after 6:30am… fingers crossed.

  • Wake up to the baby crying/babbling/singing. Try to keep everyone calm and quiet enough to stay relatively asleep (for as long as they’ll let me).

7:30am

  • Open curtains, turn off noise machines, and let the fam know it’s officially morning. Get dressed and head downstairs to prep breakfast (after helping our four year-old with his socks and reminding him that he can’t wear pj’s to school).

8:00am

  • Breakfast. I’m simultaneously eating, getting the boys to hustle, and trying to put a stop to the baby’s gleeful-Cheerios-chucking escapades.

8:30am

  • We’re supposed to be out the door. I’d blame it on our seven year-old not packing his backpack the night before, but half the time their shoes are on before mine. Thanks a lot, baby.

8:50am

  • The bell just rang. A quick sprint followed by a quick Kissing Hand goodbye and our oldest is safely at school. Did you know exercise helps you concentrate better for up to two hours afterwards? He’s golden until lunch. Now for the walk to nursery school. Our four-year-old likes the scenic route, and by scenic we mean the detour that takes us past the local AT-AT walker.

9:30am

  • Back home for the baby’s morning nap. After she’s settled, I’ve got a date with my yoga mat.

10:30am

  • A superfast shower or a little bit of time to email/work/dishes/dinner prep. Always a tough call!

11:00am

  • Baby’s up and we have to do the nursery-school-run. Except she needs a quick snack and… what’s that smell?

11:30am

  • Made it just in time to fetch our four year-old. Depending on the day, we either hike it straight to the grocery store or stroll past the construction site on our way home.

12:30pm

  • Lunch. I prep the baby’s meal first so she can feed herself while I make our lunches, including the ones being sent to school (and sometimes work) the following day. It’s a lot faster to make everything together than it is to pack a brown bag from scratch after Goodnight Moon. And there’s just no way we could make lunches in the morning… our mornings are crazy! Our four year-old had a snack at nursery school so he’s in no hurry to eat and loves to “work” at the kitchen table (especially if he can use scissors or paint). I, on the other hand, am starving.

1:30pm

  • The baby and I finished eating a while ago, but her brother’s still dawdling. If she’ll stay in her high chair, she’s playing with measuring cups and if she’s in a clingy mood I’ll pop her in the sling. Either way I’m continuing to prep veggies/cheese/dinner to save some me-time for…

2:00pm

  • She just went down for her afternoon nap and he’s watching Backyardigans. Bliss.

2:30pm

  • His show’s over so he’s back to being my sidekick. We’ll read a story together or get busy with letters/numbers/puzzles.

3:00pm

  • Time to wake the baby and boot it for the school run. I always cut it close, so it is literally a run (with two kids in a non-jogging double stroller). But hey, who needs interval training?

3:30pm

  • Back at home. The oldest is famished, his brother’s likely asleep, and the baby needs a clean diaper. Par for the course. So it’s bathroom, food, homework, and play, in that order. And I do what I can to get dinner and dishes done while also feeding/waking/tutoring/engaging in the great Grievous vs. Zod debate… which General do YOU think is more powerful?

5:00pm

  • We almost always have to head out for somebody’s tae kwon do/baseball/piano/swimming lesson. But on the off chance we don’t, now’s the perfect time for a walk/park trip/bike ride/droid battle/Superhero showdown.

6:20pm

  • Dinner, dessert, piano practice, and more time to play for our oldest. Did we mention our four year-old’s a slow eater? And the baby likes to eat/smear/throw for a long time.

7:30pm

  • Upstairs. Showers for the boys and a bath for the baby. Followed by many, many requests to please put your pj’s on and brush your teeth, which eventually leads to story time (my favourite part of the day) and lights out.

8:30pm

  • The night’s now technically free. But there’s often still a kitchen explosion, laundry overflowing somewhere, a proper shower to be had, or something from our cleaning chart that needs attention. The best way for me to stay motivated is to set a deadline using a fave podcast as a timer. When it’s done, so am I.

11:00pm

  • This is the time I’m supposed to turn off my laptop/iPad/Don Draper and get to bed. It’s hard… the house is just oh so quiet.

Now that I’ve finessed our schedules to almost-perfection, we’re headed into summer vacay and it’s time to sleep-shift the baby down to one nap. I’ll work it out… just in time for back-to-school.

Remember this:
Dinner has to get done every day. Laundry… maybe not. Assessing what’s essential and what can be done avec bambinos goes a long way in finding the balance between productivity and sanity. If only I could find the balance on my Warrior Three pose that easily!

Email us if you want to know why we’re so patient with our bedtime procrastinators or how we’ll phase out that morning nap!

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