Juggling life with a preschooler can be fun, all over the place and difficult at the same time. I love learning and growing from other moms. Seeing what works for them gives me hope that my son and I can have great days together too. And that, friend, is why I’m going to show you a day in the life of a mom (me) and her preschooler.
While I don’t have this motherhood gig figured out by any means I’ve learned that when my Dalton and I stick to a routine our day flows more smoothly. Take a peek into our normal daily routine. I say normal because our routine can (and does) change depending on what needs to get done that day.
As you’re taking a peek into our day keep in mind that our routine might not work for you, and that’s ok. The key is to find a routine that works for YOU and do your best to stick to it. Kids crave routine and you’ll notice that when you have a routine in place your child will direct you as to what should be happening next.
I’m generally out of bed in the morning by 7:00 a.m. putting my hubby’s lunch together and making his protein shake before he heads out the door for work around 7:15 a.m.
Dalton’s wake time varies every day. I let him sleep until he wakes up (anywhere between 7:00-8:00 a.m.). Most mornings he’s up before daddy leaves for work and gets to give him a big hug and tell him he hopes he has a great day.
Mom’s Quiet Time
After Trent leaves for work I generally have my quiet time while Dalton plays (either in his room or play room). He doesn’t always want to comply and give me sufficient time to do my quiet time but I’m thankful for any time that I get to spend with the Lord.
On the mornings that he sleeps until 8 I have my quiet time done before he wakes up. But I do like him to see me having my quiet time in hopes that he’ll adapt the same practice when he gets older.
*If for some reason Dalton is adamant that we have breakfast right after Trent leaves for work then we’ll have breakfast before I have my quiet time.
One thing that has helped keep my kitchen clean is adapting the one touch rule. When something is taken to the sink I generally wash it right away. Not having to touch it again not only saves time but water too.
Exercise (4-5 days a week)
If the weather permits I walk outside in our neighborhood and Dalton rides his bike with me.
If weather doesn’t cooperate I’ll either walk up and down the stairs inside our house or do an exercise video (this one is my favorite).
Getting your child in the routine of exercising is huge and as they learn that they’re going to be exercising every day they’ll become your accountability partner. (Some days that’s awesome but on days when you’re wanting to take a break it can be annoying. HA!)
Quality Time with Mom
If the weather is nice this is a great time to play outside. Pediatrician Meg Meeker says that in order for boys to be healthy and happy they need to be exploring outside. (Read her post 7 Tips To Raising Healthy Boys here and check out her awesome books here.)
And, yes, it’s great for girls to be outside too because I loved exploring outside when I was younger.
Here are a few other activities we do together during quality time:
Play with his cars/toys
Board games and cards (uno and these cards are his favorite)
Before we move to the next activity we clean up. This helps keep the house tidy and teaches him responsibility. We work as team and clean up together.
I do my best to only allow Dalton to watch 1- 1 1/2 hours of shows a day. We don’t have cable so he watches PBS Kids, Nick Jr. or Youtube videos through our Roku.
While he’s watching shows I shower and get ready for the day. I’m a work-at-home mom so I use the remaining time to do a bit of business work while I can squeeze it in.
I’ve found it very helpful to pre-warn him before we’re turning the tv off. Whether it’s a 5 minute warning or letting him know it’s the last show this lets him know that screen time is almost over.
It’s funny how kids can eat the same thing for lunch every.single.day. isn’t it?! While it doesn’t bother him in the least I like to try to mix it up sometimes.
Dalton’s go-to lunch is cheese, hummus, veggie straws (similar to these but the Aldi brand), a vegetable and a fruit.
On the days we mix it up he’ll have tuna salad on bread or with crackers or peanut butter and jelly.
I also try to make sure that he has some type of vegetable and fruit at lunch.
I do my best to practice the one touch rule for dishes here too.
Quality Time with Mom
This is the time of day when he loves to play indoor hide and seek. I’m not sure how we started playing it but most days that’s what he asks for. We alternate turns of who’s going to count so that I’m not always the one seeking him out.
Before we start playing I’ll always tell him how many rounds we’ll be hiding. Letting him know how many rounds we’ll be playing sets him up for success for knowing when we’ll be done so that he doesn’t pitch a fit. (Trust me, he occasionally pitches a fit. But I’ve learned that if I stick with my guns he’ll figure out that I’m not giving in.)
If he doesn’t want to play hide and seek we’ll do whatever he chooses.
Quiet Time (1:00-1:30 p.m.)
I wish this time could be called nap time but when Dalton moved into his big boy bed at the age of 3 he stopped taking naps. Even though he doesn’t nap I still require that he have quiet time in his room.
He listens to audiobooks while quietly playing with toys, coloring, playing with his magna doodle or any number of other quiet activities.
We start quiet time out together and I read 2-3 books to him (that he picks out).
While he’s having quiet time I do more business work.
Sadly, quiet time isn’t always a success. If you follow me on Instagram stories you saw the saga of him climbing the bookshelf in his closet to get to the items on his storage shelf or the time when he thought it was fun to walk on water and poured water all over his floor. (My office is upstairs so I didn’t hear him quietly walking back and forth to the bathroom with his toy tea pot.)
Depending on how much work I got done during quiet time determines how we use this time. Sometimes I’ll finish a bit of work while he’s in the play room. Other times I’m good to go and we’ll either do a bit of housework or simply play.
I keep a snack bucket in the cabinet and let him choose what he wants. It has fruit leathers (similar to these but Aldi brand), granola bars, crackers, etc. When I make protein balls or copycat larabar bites those are also an option.
Depending on what I’m making for supper, I head into the kitchen between 4:30-5:00 p.m. I use this time to put away dishes, make snacks/overnight oats and get dinner started.
If it’s a really hairy day I’ll let Dalton watch a few extra shows during kitchen time, otherwise it can be mass chaos. (Please tell me you have those days too!)
We generally eat between 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. Trent doesn’t get to leave work right at 5:00 p.m. so I’m never sure when he’ll be home until he calls to tell me he’s on his way.
In case you’re wondering, yes, Dalton eats the same meal that Trent and I do. If he decides he doesn’t want that then he knows I’m not going to be making him anything else. (There have only been a few times when he went to bed without eating…and he woke up quite hungry the next morning.)
It’s important that Dalton learn manners so he carries his plate to the sink when he’s finished eating.
While I wash the dishes Trent and Dalton usually hang out and play.
We generally let Dalton decide what we do during family time. Most nights he wants to wrestle with daddy but we’ll also play indoor hide and go seek, play cards/board games or watch an occasional movie.
Bedtime for Dalton (7:30 p.m.)
When it’s time to start getting ready for bed I take care of brushing his teeth but then Trent takes over. (I know that Trent has worked hard all day too so I don’t take forgranted that he steps in at this point.)
They read 2 books and a Bible story (this is my favorite Bible for kids), sing songs and then it’s time to turn out the light by 8 p.m.
Chill Time for Mom and Dad
While Trent is putting Dalton to bed I set myself up for a successful morning. I finish cleaning up the kitchen, straighten up the living room and make Trent’s lunch so that it’s ready to go in the morning.
After Trent puts Dalton to bed he likes to relax and watch tv or gunk around on his iPad.
This time of day varies for me. Sometimes I catch up on business work, listen to an audiobook, or watch tv with Trent.
Bedtime for Mom
I try to turn out my light by 10 p.m. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m the type of girl that needs 9 hours of sleep a night.
What about errands, appointments, play dates, etc.?
I generally try to schedule appointments or play dates around 10:30 a.m. This allows him to sleep as long as he needs while still giving us time to exercise before heading out the door.
This is also the time of day when we go to the library, discovery center or run errands.
When do you do housework?
I generally do housework in the mornings after I exercise(while I have the gumption to get it done). Even though it can take longer, I try my best to include Dalton in housework. My hope is that some day he’ll be able to do some of the tasks on his own.
And there you have it, friend, a day in the life of a mom and her preschooler! Our day might not be too exciting but it works for us.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask. And if you have any tips to share I’m all ears! :o)
L I N K S O F T H E D A Y