We are still working on our daily and weekly family rhythm but we are getting so much closer. I have my “anchor times” down really well. Mornings, and evenings, are pretty consistent. Not perfect, but the flow and calmness and joy that we have created in our mornings works really well for us. If you stopped into my house prior to 10:00am you would think I have this parenting thing down… but if you popped in at 2:00, you may get another feeling. But this parenting thing is a work in progress, right?
I wake up
I love mornings. Always have so my morning time is super special to me. I set my alarm for 5am and go sneak out to the kitchen for my morning coffee. Regardless of what I have for dinner, I wake up hungry (thank you night nursing!) so I usually make myself some oatmeal. My oatmeal consists of rolled oats, peanut or almond butter, a tiny bit of brown sugar and probably over abundance of cinnamon. Sometimes I opt for just a banana. I always start a mini load of laundry in the morning. I’ll share my laundry routine some other post. I take this morning time to focus on me- sometimes I take it to read, snuggle with my dogs, write or cook. Some mornings I need to get office work done, so I sit at my computer and shoot off emails, work on consulting projects, but this is not ideally what I do at 5am so I try to limit that work at that time… as in push it off until afternoon nap time.
Lydia plays with Zach
I am still “off parent duty” until 6:15. This is Zach and Lydia’s special time to hang out since he goes to work for the day. Some days, she wakes up with I crawl out of bed so my husband, Zach, tries to get her to sleep for a bit longer either in bed or in her room as he rocks her in the rocking chair. I can usually find them playing with blocks and singing together. Sometimes I sneak in and listen to them and I swear my heart feels like it may burst. This timing may get adjusted a little bit because I am working on fitting more “meal opportunities” to her and want to begin feeding her right upon waking up. We shall see how that works over the next couple weeks…
We try (emphasis on try) to enjoy family breakfast everyday. It is usually something super simple like fried eggs with a piece of toast (. Something that doesn’t create a lot of dishes but still offers nutrition. We try to pair this with some hot ginger lemon water rather than our coffee. Right after breakfast, Zach gets ready for work and I bop around the kitchen with baby girl. I pack up Zach’s lunch and prepare mine and stick it in the fridge. Meanwhile, Lydia chomps on apple slices, or since she doesn’t get much off yet, the apple core. We always have a yogurt with chia seeds, rolled oats, cinnamon, granola, sliced banana, berries and often a little essential oil in it. That is our go-to because it sustains us for the day. The rest of lunch is a hodge podge of either a leftover from the night before or a breakfast burrito that I pull out of the freezer. We always have a tiny serving of orange juice with vitamin D drops and 2 fish oil pills mid day. There is always a fruit to go with lunch (generally an apple, often with peanut butter). Sometimes there is some cheese slices. When the weather gets hot I tend to go for green smoothies in our lunches rather than leftovers- one because they always sound good in the heat and also because I don’t like to cook as much when it is hot out because we would rather hang outside and not run the oven and stove.
Zach to work
About the time Zach is ready for work, looking far too handsome compared to his morning hair, t-shirt wearing wife and daughter, Lydia and I let the dogs play in the backyard while we water the veggie garden. We take a nice long morning walk. I often get a little work out in during this time. Just simple lunges and squats but I count it as a win! Lydia loves being outside… like seriously loves it. I am thinking next house I will throw a bed and toys outside and make her bedroom a wine cellar (ok, maybe not.. but a girl can dream!) We usually walk 1.5-2.5 miles in the morning. Oh and always with coffee… I wish I could say that I don’t drink coffee after my morning cup but that is simply not true.
All times after this point are very much a range. They can be off by 30 minutes to an hour depending on our flow and her tiredness.
I am not that great at going by a schedule so this morning chore schedule has been a big step for me. And guess what? Mine is super simple. Just laundry! I am doing one small load of laundry per day. It’s probably not best for our water usage or environment, but oh so good for my sanity of not being stuck with 5 loads piling up on me. Lydia likes laundry time because there is a lot of peek-a-boo and singing involved. I fold the laundry on the floor on her play mat so she also has access to her little toy baskets at this time. I only have one basket out at a time. Each basket has about 5 items in it: a book, something that makes a neat noise, something soft and then 2 other little things. She goes from “helping” fold the laundry, as in eating the clothes, to playing with her toys. Then, we read a book or two or play with her knit balls in her room.
Lydia is still on a 3-nap schedule, although I think she is getting close to dropping to two naps soon. I didn’t try to get her on a particular schedule; she really has just eased herself into one, which is great. And since she is my first baby, we can roll with that… baby #2 or #3 will hopefully (ha!) just flow right into our schedule. This first nap is short, almost a shut off rather than an actual nap. She often just sleeps in the carrier for this nap as I pick up stuff around the house or do some sweeping. This is the time of day when I work really hard on my meditative thought as well. If I am sweeping, I am just sweeping. If I am cleaning counters, I am just cleaning counters.
Once she is awake from her nap, we eat breakfast number two. (Ok. Yes, if you were reading this closely, it is breakfast number three for me. I eat a lot in the mornings and tend to eat less as the day goes on. It is just how my body works, especially while breastfeeding.)
Then, we head out to the backyard with the dogs. Watching the dogs run around and eating leaves are two of Lydia’s favorite activities. I usually let her sit in the grass or on a blanket and we observe different parts of nature. We take mini nature walks around the yard and often go “zooming” to chase the dogs. Sometimes I use this time to tend to the garden or pick up fallen sticks, but usually it is just observing nature.
And this is when my morning schedule begins to fall apart. Not even 10:00 and I have lost my rhythm. Part of this is because I can’t seem to figure out if this outdoor time is a “breath in” or “breath out” time. Observing and exploring stimulate her, yet calmed by the sunlight and fresh air. It leaves me not knowing what should come next in our day. For now, we tend to come inside. She nurses. We play on the floor and read books. And I attempt to decide what the next part of our day should be.
What does your morning routine look like? Do you have any suggestions of what comes next? She is usually reading to go back to sleep between 10:45-11:30 and will sleep for a good hour or so. Two days a week we have library time at 10:30 so that sets that up. Just trying to find some consistency for the rhythm though and welcome any thoughts and feedback that you may have.