Doing it all wrong

Our wonderful daycare provider, a woman whose opinion I hold in high regard, had a long talk with Mike about working on a better routine with Nathan at home. Her idea is that Nathan will transition into his days there much better if he had similar system at home, as opposed to the routine we have right now. A routine that is extremely lax, however you can depend that most nights I serve up a plate of shredded cheese for HE WHO WILL NOT EAT ANYTHING ELSE.

We do have a system at night–dinner, brushing the teeth, bedtime–but there isn’t a regimented schedule. Bedtime is whenever, dinner is whenever, and brushing the teeth comes sometime between those activities. I know that we have to be better about this. At his daycare there is schedule and structure, all which drew us to placing Nathan with her in the first place. And of course, we really need this before the next baby comes around in March.

Do you have a schedule at home? Like dinner always at 6:30, bedtime at 7:30, Cinemax from 8-11:00? I’m trying to figure how we’re going to manage all this with two full-time working parents and a kid who will ask to go to daycare in his chicken costume from two years ago.

just us chickens

just us chickens



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  1. We have a pretty solid evening schedule, but you have to be flexible, too (you know this). Usually have dinner as soon as my husband gets home from work (6:30, 6:45ish), then playtime, then a bath around 7:30, then bedtime at 8. We have to do it this way in order for me and the Hubs to get shizz done.

    The flexibility part comes into play when he’s running late, Austin’s in a shit-tastic mood, or I have to work the next morning. I always worry that if I keep the kid on too tight a schedule, he won’t know how to handle it if/when that schedule ever has to change.

  2. We have a pretty solid schedule, but it’s not just for the kids, it’s for ME. I can’t deal with a kid who is downstairs hanging out with me past 8pm. I don’t care how much we have to fight with him to get him to go to bed: HE IS GOING TO BED. P gets home at 6 and we eat dinner as close to that time as possible (not always possible, obvs) and by 8 at the latest those kids are in bed. It’s not always on the dot and sometimes it’s earlier or sometimes something fun is going on and he’s up, but we are dead without that routine. P has schoolwork and I have to, you know, BLAWG!

    My kids are on a pretty set routine and it’s true that they don’t do well when they skip naps or things are otherwise shifted around, but I NEED IT. I need to know my downtime is just around the corner, or that he’s cranky because he didn’t sleep enough or whatever.


  3. We have a pretty consistant schedule, although we a flexible for special occasions. dinner arund 6:30pm, followed by homework, bath around 7:30pm and bed at 8:00pm with either a couple chapters from a chapter book or a couple of picture books.

    We have had to adjust and change things. J-man used to watch a short video almost everynight and now he only gets a movie on Friday night and sometimes one on Saturday. Jonathan is VERY routine type in all things.

    I have found that parenting is the ultimate learning experience.

  4. Ha ha ha. Um, yeah. You probably know by now I am fairly obsessed with the schedule. Not that it works for everyone! In fact we were way more lax with Emma, and I hated the idea of it at first. But once the babies came the schedule saved my sanity. Everyone liked the schedule/routines and it eliminated a lot of drama (and missed sleep!). One kid melting down due to being overtired or not knowing/accepting what comes next is manageable (though not fun). Two or three melting down simultaneously, erm, not so much!

    For us, we started more with getting meaningful routines down (little things we do that signal what comes next), then added specific times to that. Mostly we aim for certain times for meal/food and bedtimes, everything falls into place around that.

    The downside is that my kids are way less portable than I’d like. Social things can be hard to manage — we are big sticks in the mud. BUT, having easy, fun, predictable bedtimes, and being able to pretty much count on me/us time every day for naps and after 7:30 at night is absolutely worth it. We will be able to be way more flexible in a few years!

  5. We have a pretty set routine. Dinner at 5 or so, play time until 7. Then baths/showers, bedtime snack and a story. In bed at 8 on the dot, lest Mommy lose it.

    I need the routine for me and so do the kids. They love knowing what their day/night is going to be like. Do what works for you guys. šŸ™‚

  6. We have a schedule, ish. Because I am a creature of habit, mostly. We eat between 5:30 and 6 because my son LOSES HIS MIND if he doesn’t eat pretty early. I gave up waiting for my husband to get home – if he’s there, fine, if not, too bad so sad he gets leftovers.

    After dinner, some time for playing/goofing around. We don’t do baths/showers every night but when we do, I try to get them started between 6:30 and 7. Start PJs, teeth, stories between 7 and 7:30 at the very latest (this tends to depend on which parent is in charge of bedtime-we alternate). Lights out/asleep 8ish.

    When we did both work fulltime not at home, and had only one, younger child, everything started later and there wasn’t much playing after dinner–just eat, bath, bed.

  7. We don’t have a very tight schedule. The only part I really stick to is bedtime by 8:00 PM. That means all three kids are in a horizontal position of some sort and nowhere near me. I may have to fetch water, give medicine, read a quick story, etc. near that time but once 8:00 PM rolls around, Mommy becomes Mommy Dearest. But we don’t have a regular dinner time because we both work and after-school activities get in the way at times. I love your blog and I hope you continue blogging as time allows once your baby gets here.

  8. We don’t really have a schedule, per se, but we do end up doing mostly the same stuff every night. Because the boys are usually hungry around 6, that’s when I have dinner ready. Because they are usually tired around 8, that’s when we put them in bed. We don’t try really hard to hit any sort of time frame for anything, it just happens naturally, I guess.

  9. We did not have a set schedule in place until after the second one was born. And it took us a little while to get it set. But things are so much more pleasant at night. There is no arguing when it is bedtime. That is just when it is, especially on school nights. We do give a little leeway when their sports are going on…
    I do recommend getting into a routine. It helps.

  10. Kudos for you for trying to get into a schedule. Dinner is sometime between 6-7. Then we play/watch TV for a bit, have a bath if it’s bath night, and brush teeth sometime between 8-8:30, and then off to bed.

  11. Yeah, we don’t keep much of a schedule either. We eat dinner. We brush teeth. We go to bed. Sometimes the kids go visit the grandparents in the evenings. Sometimes they eat dinner there, sometimes they eat dinner at home, then go visit, sometimes they visit, then come home eat dinner with us. It’s all pretty fluid. But, my hubby is a stay-at-home dad and we homeschool, so the kids’ days don’t have a strict schedule either.

  12. We never had a set schedule till Jarren was about to start school. Now, we just make sure to have dinner at a decent gap before bedtime at 8:30. Sometimes we do night baths, sometimes we do them in the morning. He gets to stay up a little later on weekends… and when we have one of those bi-weekly birthday parties for one of DJ’s millions of cousins.

  13. Nothing wrong with chicken suits! Leave the tv off until after the little one has gone to bed, make bedtime nice and early. Dinner at the same time every night is a good thing…hungry little people are scary! Tell him you don’t have any cheese and try plain noodles with a tiny bit of butter or parmesan to start…then make sure and introduce something new each night. my last blog post has a little bit on how to make dinner a little easier. I usually don’t give advice so don’t know why I’m babbling on!!!!!!

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