As a Mom, you are not only responsible for your schedule, but your children's schedule and sometimes the husband. This is a lot to think about and can be quite stressful at times but there are things that we can do in our daily routine that alleviate our stress and make things go a lot smoother! I am going to share a typical Monday in our household and give a few hints on what I do to help the schedule out.
I am very fortunate to only work 3 days a week with half a day on the fourth day for office work. Typically, I have Mondays completely off and most Wednesday mornings. I do have 4 children so the days off are needed to prepare for the rest of the week! Monday morning we leave our house at 7:30am to pick up another child and head to school and drop them off at school (our oldest already left for the day with Dad for school). Hannah and I stay there to help out in Emma's class, leave to drop her off to preschool, return to Emma's class and finish out the reading time. The key to my day being successful is what I do for the next hour and a half before I get Hannah from preschool. I generally run home and start laundry, make dinner for the evening and pack lunches for Tuesday. After lunch, I use the next few hours to do dishes or laundry, make meals for the week (that's right - the week). At 3:15 I leave for school pick up and begin my bus route. I pick up 5 children (only 2 are mine) from school and we start delivering them to their homes. I make 2 stops before getting to the middle school to pick up my daughter then home we go for snack and homework. In the next hour and a half, I help them finish homework, go through papers, wash dishes and finish up lunches or dinner. Then we leave at 5:40pm to get Sophia to chorale and return home for dinner. Wednesday is very similar to this schedule, just with piano and church and no chorale in the evening. Tuesday and Thursday I work until 5pm and the littlest 2 have soccer. Whoever has said staying home with the kids is easy has never had a schedule like this! My days at the office are my days off!
So how does this all get done? Some major coordination, a willing husband and some very great friends.
The first key has been finding some wonderful friends to coordinate activities and rides with. I am no longer afraid to ask for help especially when they know the favor will be returned. I carpool with another mom that knows I work on Tuesday and Thursday and really need the help in the afternoons. She has small children so mornings are tough, and she appreciates not having to take care of the morning run.
Next, I plan my meals for the week during the weekend and try to stick to it. We may divert from the plan on occasion so I make sure I have quick back-up meals. Since I am home on Mondays, I generally prepare a few of my meals that day so I am ready the rest of the week. If Mondays don't work that week, then I will do this on Saturday or Sunday. I also cut all the veggies I need for the children's lunches that week along with a big bowl of salad. We eat a lot of salads so I don't have to worry about it going bad before it is gone. I also try to plan ahead for after school snacks but some weeks I forget!
I also keep a planner with EVERYBODY'S schedule in it. I also write down what needs to be turned in, when snack has to be provided or when the kids have a test I should be aware of. I write everything down and carry my planner with me everywhere. If I don't write it down, it doesn't happen.
Of course, there are still times when things will not go perfectly planned (the computer isn't working, the children have twice as much homework as usual or a snack for school has been forgotten) and adjustments need to be made. You really have to be able to expect the unexpected and have an alternate plan!