Before I had kids, and even after my first daughter was born, I did not think I would be the type of mom to put my kids on a strict schedule. For the first couple of months, I stuck to a routine, but not a particular schedule. I don’t know who I thought I was kidding. I am hyper-organized, bordering on OCD, literally. I organize my books by genre AND author. My clothes are arranged by color. I love folding fitted sheets. I LIVE for schedules. 

I realized, too, that my daughter did better when we did the exact same thing at the exact same time as much as possible. And then when my younger daughter was born, it became even more imperative that I knew what I should be doing at all times. That helped me a lot those first few months because I didn’t have to constantly wonder what I should do next. I had it all planned out. Obviously, I couldn’t stick to my schedule sometimes. I’m not THAT delusional. But for me, it helped to have a goal. I’ve had some moms tell me that it would just stress me out if I was strict about timing, but I found that it was more stressful to be too relaxed. Clearly, I’m an extremely uptight person. 

These days, my older daughter is 3 years old and in preschool 3 half days a week. My younger daughter is 13 months old. On days we don’t have school, our schedule looks like this:

6:00-6:30 | Kids wake up (they always always always wake up within 10 minutes of each other, even when the house is absolutely silent…it’s kinda creepy how they always know the other is awake)

7:00 | Kids get cups of milk and play while I get ready

7:30 | Breakfast and then play

8:30 | Morning nap for the little one 

8:45 | Chase/wrangle/cajole/threaten the big one into brushing her teeth

10:00 | Little one wakes up | Run errands (there are always errands. Always)

12:00 | Lunch

1:00 | Afternoon nap for the little one

1:30 | Quiet rest time for the big one

1:45 | Mama eats lunch, cooks dinner, washes dishes, plus anything else I can cram into an hour’s worth of work

2:30 | Rest time over | TV time for the big one

3:00 | Little one wakes up | Snack time for both kids

4:00 | Go to the playground or, if short on time, a walk around the neighborhood

5:00 | Bathtime

5:30 | Dinner

6:00 | Brush teeth (more chasing/threatening) | 5 final minutes of playing

6:15 | Little one goes to bed

6:45 | Big one goes to bed

I don’t deviate from this schedule much. I’m sure I’m quite in the minority there, but it works for us. Neither one of my kids has ever woken up after 6:30, so they have to be in bed really early if they are to get enough sleep. Too bad it took me over 2 years to figure this out. It’s not so bad, really. My husband and I eat dinner after the kids go to bed. It takes a little extra planning to prepare food that reheats well or that can be cooked in 2 batches, but its more relaxing than shoveling in your dinner between feeding the baby and cleaning up spills. And then we have all evening to do whatever needs to be done, read, watch TV, etc. So that’s our day!