An Easy Daily Routine with Toddlers

I am sharing an easy daily routine with toddlers today.

 

A quick note here before we begin: this is the daily routine that works for our family. I know this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup-of-tea and that’s totally okay. It works for the four of us and it has been working well for some time now so I thought I would share.

 

Second, this schedule is targeted to my stay-at-home mamas. The ones grinding it out day-in and day-out with their tribe of little people. Two facts about little people: they have A LOT of needs & they can be highly unpredictable. If you don’t have solid daily routines in place before you know it 5:00 pm rolls around and you haven’t left the house all day, the house is a disaster and you are still in the same dirty workout clothes. Speaking from experience. Therefore, it is imperative that you find a routine you can stick to. One where all the items you need to accomplish for the day are accounted for. This keeps the wheels from coming off the bus completely. Yes, there will still be those days but they will be fewer and farther between. Trust me on this one.

 

I think working mama need to focus more on their weekly routines and I’m going to go into more detail on that soon. But with that being said, to all my working mama friends, this could be a wonderful resource for you to use on your weekends or days off work.

 

Let’s get started…

I start by breaking my days into seven different time blocks: early morning, morning, late morning, lunch, early afternoon, evening and bedtime. If you have never heard of time-blocking before it is a time scheduling method to help you boost your efficiency. For example, I typically only respond to emails 1x/week instead of multiple times throughout the day/week which saves me time and energy. For the daily routine purposes, time blocking helps me to accomplish what I need every day. Here is what each time block looks like during this season of life with toddlers…

 

Early Morning (5:00 – 7:00 am)

These are the hours to focus on me. I get up super early before the twins wake up so I can get some quiet time before the chaos of the day starts. It isn’t always easy to roll out of bed, but it is always worth it. I’m planning to do a more detailed post about these two life-changing hours soon. Generally, it looks like coffee + some praying, journaling and reading my current book. At 6:00 am, I head to the gym. You can find that updated post here.

 

Morning (7:00 am – 9:00am)

The twins wake up at 7:00 am. David is in charge for the first hour. He gets them up, makes breakfast for them and then they spend the remainder reading books and playing until he has to leave at 8:00 am. I get home from the gym at 7:00 am, make my smoothie and hop in the shower. One huge game changer for my laundry routine started when I began to throw in one load of laundry as soon as I walk in the door and always ‘quick cycle’ so it is done and I can switch it to the dryer before we leave for the day.

At 8:00 am I am on duty. I get the kids dressed, brush teeth, put on sunscreen and clean up breakfast/kitchen before heading out the door. 

 

Late Morning (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)

Rain or shine, I use the morning to get out of the house, and hopefully outside! The actual activity changes daily depending on the week and the time of year. Would you be interested in hearing the activities we do? Tell me in the comments below.

 

Lunch (12:00 pm – 3:00 pm)

We are usually home for lunch. The kids do chores after they finish their meals. They put away their plates and switch up vacuuming up their crumbs and wiping down the table and chairs. This is another habit that has been a huge help to keep the house tidy throughout the day. 

We still get 2-hour naps, daily. Praise the Lord! My friend recently asked the secret and I’m convinced it is due to the blackout shades I installed in their rooms. I have these from Amazon and they work great! Also the Okay to Wake clock has a special nap timer and has been a huge help enforcing it.

While the kid’s nap, this is my time block to be productive. I typically use 30 mins to do house cleaning and then 1.5 hours to work on my goals for the day.

 

Early Afternoon (3:00 pm – 5:30 pm)

The early afternoon is my time to focus on my connection with the kids. When they get up from naps around 3:00 pm, we do a small snack and about 30 mins of reading together. Afterward, I spend about 15 mins of one-on-one time with each child. I made this a priority this year when I realized all of our time was spent together and I wanted more time individually. You can see my Instagram post about it here. The 5 Love Languages of Children was my inspiration to start this and is a great read!

We typically play until Alexa gives us a reminder that it is time to start cleaning up the playroom. The Alexa app has a special feature that you can program and I love it because she gets to be the bad guy…not me šŸ™‚

5:00 pm is bathtime – a highlight of the twin’s day. We use these fun color tablets to turn the bath water different colors and they love splashing around.  This is another positive of using time blocking. I realized that our evening time block was too crowded so I switched our bathtime before dinner and it makes the nights more enjoyable / less stressful! So take a personal note, is there anything in your schedule that you could switch to a new time of day to make your life easier?

 

Evening (5:30 pm – 7:00 pm)

David is usually home to entertain the kids while I prep dinner. I also use this kitchen time to make David’s lunch for the next day and layout any snacks and drinks for the kids (like school backpacks). We eat dinner as a family every night at 6:00 pm. I wrote a post about meal planning and what we eat here.

When dinner is over we all pitch in to clean up the kitchen: washing pots and pans, wiping down the counters, cleaning the floors, and starting the dishwasher. Once all that is done, we head upstairs to brush teeth and start the nighttime routine. While David reads to them, I lay out the kid’s clothes and my gym clothes for the next day.

They are in bed by 7:00 pm.

 

Bedtime (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)

This final time block is when I focus on David. We usually finish prepping anything for the next day (make-ahead coffee, backpacks, etc). I love to hear about his day and tell him about mine. Then we watch our current show. We always unload the dishwasher before heading upstairs for reading and journaling before bed. Lights out at 9:00 pm.

That’s it! A day in the life.

 

Things that have helped me:

  1. Re-evaluate. If something is never getting done, trial and error some new times of day until you find something that sticks.
  2. Prioritize. What are the things you need to accomplish every day? What are the things you can let go of?
  3. Cleaning up throughout the day. The twins have three chores to do each day: making their beds, taking their plates to the sink and kitchen clean-up. We also do a 15-minute group clean-up of the playroom before baths every night. Start small but make them help!
  4. The twins have SO MUCH ENERGY these days. I found that they have better behavior when we can get outside and do some physical in the mornings.
  5. Leave yourself plenty of time.
  6. Prep ahead as much as possible – the last chunk of the day should be your time to do this!

 

I created a PDF guide to help. Click here to download. And I’m happy to answer any and all questions in the comments below. Let me know!

You’ve got this, mama! XO

2 Comments

  1. Kristin Tauber
    September 3, 2019 / 12:46 am

    Hi Valerie! So fun to find your blog! This was SO helpful for me to read (and encouraging!). We had twin boys last summer and they just turned 14 months. Iā€™m in the weeds, ha! Did you use a schedule like this when your twins were younger?

    Thanks girl!!

    • valeriesmcfarland
      Author
      September 4, 2019 / 7:09 pm

      Hi Kristin! I’m so glad it was helpful for you. I remember that stage so well -it’s exhausting! I didn’t have a great schedule when they were that age, except I have been super strict about naps and sleep since they were born. When they were about 2, I started getting into daily routines and rhythms that have been so helpful for surviving the days. I think you could figure out something similar to this but adjusting for younger kids and that’s it is sooo hard to get out of the house with young twins by yourself. Maybe you can find a few small manageable activities for the mornings: asmall gated park, a nice walk around the neighborhood followed by drive-thru coffee a few times a week? Anything to get you into a small rhythm and, in my opinion, the most important part…out of the house. It gets so much easier when they are a little older. Let me know if you have any more questions for me. You’ve got this!

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