I’m sharing #Luvs in my life as part of a LUVs sponsored series for Socialstars™
Finding and nailing down our perfect morning routine with a toddler has been mostly through trial and error, and of course fluctuates with doctors appointments, etc, that we may have. However, implementing a good daily routine has changed our days around for the better, and usually means less chaos!
The night before:
- Tidy up. We try to clean throughout the day, but lets be honest, toddlers are tiny tornados and it's impossible to keep our house clean while he's awake. After dinner and right before bed, we vacuum the floors and put everything back in its place - that way all his toys are clean and put away and ready to be pulled out the next day!
- Every night, I try to come up with a to do list of sorts for tomorrow. I like to add any appointments, playdates, etc that we might have scheduled, so I can know what to expect and what our timeline will be to make it out the door.
- To make the morning run much smoother, I pick out outfits for both H and I. This way, there's no last minute scrambling to find a missing shoe or looking through laundry to find a matching shirt. I lay out entire outfits, which for H means a hat, sunglasses, tee, shorts, shoes, and a stack of Luvs diapers, so we're set for the entire day. The accessories and extra diapers go into my diaper bag, and the clothing gets folded and put in a particular place in my bathroom.
In the morning:
I am not one of those super moms who wakes up before their kids. I am a grouch if I don't get enough sleep, so I wake up when H does. Yes, I'm sure I could get more things ready for the day if I woke up before him, but I'm soaking in having a good sleeper while it lasts!
- On my way upstairs to get H, I turn on and set the coffee maker, that way it's ready for me by the time we get downstairs. Caffeine is my love language, and without it I'm pretty worthless, so its a definite morning necessity!
- First thing's first - cook and eat breakfast. Once H lets me know what he wants from my list of options, we cook breakfast, together. I like getting him involved in the process, and if we don't eat first thing in the morning, than the little mister gets Hangry, and nobody wants that!
- After breakfast, we get cleaned up and dressed for the day. We're trying to make teeth brushing a natural habit for H, so we brush teeth, wash our hands and face, and put on the clothing I've picked out the night before. I've noticed that the longer we stay in PJs, the harder it is to get motivated and moving, so putting on real clothes is crucial for us. As a stay at home / work from home mom, getting dressed also puts me in "awake" mode, and helps me feel way more human so I can cross things off our to do list.
- Head outside! H has a ton of energy to burn, and is one of those kiddos who is AWAKE the second his feet hit the floor, so we always head outside right after breakfast before the weather gets too hot, to run around and play! Sometimes we play in the pool and splash around, sometimes we go to the park and climb and slide, but getting in some good Vitamin D and fresh air is a necessity. I let H run the show during this time, he gets to choose what activity we do, and he loves getting to have some input on the day's activities. We usually play for several hours or until it gets too hot!
- After a few hours of play, it's lunchtime! Once again, I like having H come into the kitchen and helping me both decide on what we'll eat and cook whatever it is we've decided on. If we've been playing inside, then all of his toys must be picked up and cleaned up before we eat, so I have him help me do just that while our lunch cools off.
- I probably won't win any parenting awards for admitting this, but next on the list is my favorite time of day: nap time! We clean up from lunch, I change H's diaper, and we head upstairs. He gets to choose the two books that we read, then I turn on his sound machine, lay down and snuggle him, and wait until he falls asleep to leave.
- While H is napping, it's mama time. We are very lucky that he's a marathon napper, so I typically get about 2.5 hours to myself. During this time, I get to catch up on emails, take pictures, draft a few blog posts, or whatever it is that I need to do. This is also when I try to start laundry, start thinking of dinner plans, tidy up whatever area(s) of the house need it most, etc. Although, I'll be super honest and admit that probably half of this time during the week is spent enjoying a hot beverage (while its still hot), eating cookies or some other sweet treat I don't want to share with my toddler, and/or catching up on my trashy television (RHOC anyone?).
- My husband usually gets home right around the time that H wakes up, so they get father and son time together, and I get a little more "me time" to finish my blogging / work from home tasks. They usually head back outside and splash in the pool for a little, play golf in the backyard, kick / throw around a ball, or head to the garage to organize a few things.
- My husband and I usually trade off on dinner duty, so whoever is cooking, the other one is playing with H. If our kitchen was bigger, we'd all probably be in there together, but because its a tiny space there's just not room enough for all of us. This is also usually when we turn on the TV and let H pick one of his shows to watch (he's currently obsessed with Little Einsteins, Super Why, UmiZoomi, and Blaze and the Monster Machines). Once dinner is ready, we make sure all Hs' toys are picked up, set the table, and then all sit down together and spend time together around the table. This is probably my favorite time of day, as we all get to catch up. My husband lets me know what's happening at work, I tell him all the silly (and hair-pulling) things H has done that day, and H chatters away telling us everything about everything.
- After dinner we snuggle and goof off and go on a family walk in. Just like our mornings, I feel like a little evening air is so cathartic and helps us all calm down and breathe a little easier. It also helps that another walk means a little more energy burned, and the dog gets some good exercise, so this is one routine that we try to maintain as much as possible!
- After we get home from our walk, and play a little longer, it's time for bed! We used to have a super strict routine for H for bedtime, but we've gotten a little more lenient with it as he's gotten older. Now, we put on PJs, brush teeth and I snuggle him while singing "rock a bye baby" and "itsy bitsy spider". After hugs and kisses, I pass H off to my husband, who takes him upstairs, reads him a few books, and lays with him until he falls asleep.
- While my husband is up with H, I'm downstairs cleaning up from dinner and doing things from "the night before" that I mentioned earlier. Once my husband comes down, he and I spend a little time together, decompressing and watching something on Amazon / Hulu / Netflix. Right now we're re-watching 24 together, and we're totally Jack Bauer obsessed!
This routine is nothing special, but it's one that we've all come to enjoy! Once the weekend hits, we are way more laissez-faire, because we're usually out and about all day long enjoying whatever our little town has to offer for family fun. If there is one thing I wish I would have started doing earlier, it is the getting dressed. It's crazy how making it a point to take off pajamas and put on real clothes right after breakfast wakes you up just as much as a good cup of coffee and gets you ready to take on the day! I also definitely notice that if I throw on some tinted moisturizer and mascara, I definitely feel like I'm ready to conquer whatever it is that toddlerhood can throw at me!
No matter what, we always make sure to keep our Luvs diapers handy. We keep some in the car(s), in H's room, in the living room, at the Grandparent's house, in the diaper bag - everywhere we could possibly need diapers. Luvs are a part of our routine just as much as cooking meals together and our evening walks, and it sure doesn't hurt that they're so cute! I love that they can last overnight (even with my heavy wetter!) and even through super long road and plane trips, with no blowouts or explosions, and with how affordable and budget friendly they are, we never break the bank keeping them around. Check Luvs out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!
How did you figure out your best daily routine for you and your family? What is your biggest tip for new moms trying to figure one out for themselves?