The last time I shared a peek at our daily life was back in January! Since then, Sophie has grown and matured SO much, I’ve gotten a better hold on my anxiety, we’ve found out we’re pregnant with our second child (due in late November!), and even more! With all these shifts and changes going on, our schedule has shifted a bit as well. If you love reading others’ daily rhythms and routines like I do, then you’ll enjoy today’s post! I’m including a lot of extra commentary, as is my custom, haha, so I hope you like this more “chatty” post!
Of course, I feel I should add a disclaimer here: Routines do frequently adjust, and as parents we are often tweaking our days and rhythms. Today I’m sharing with you what our schedule currently looks like – not that it always has looked like this, or always will – but it’s a snapshot of our current season, frozen in time. I wanted to record this now before baby boy joins us pretty soon here! Sophie is over 23 months old now, right on the cusp of turning 2. Can you believe it? So, this is our life right now, in all its messy, glorious beauty.
Our Daily Routine (with a 23-month-old):
I’m up for the day. Bjorn typically gets up around 6:30 am, if not before, since he likes having time to sit and drink his coffee downstairs before heading off to work (teachers usually have to be there by 7:45 am).
Sophie’s usually stirring by the time my alarm goes off, and both of us want to sit and chat with Bjorn before he must leave for the day, so I quickly head into her room to scoop her up, change her diaper, and get us downstairs so we can sit with Daddy! Sometimes Bjorn will hear her chatting or singing before I do and then he’ll get her. (I think it’s kind of sweet rereading our old daily routine when Sophie was 15 months old, because back then I said “maybe someday” we’d get to have sweet time together as a family of 3 at the breakfast table. And that’s what we do now!)
Ideally, I’d love to get my makeup/hair done before Sophie wakes up, like I did last winter, but she’s been waking up earlier and we’re prioritizing time with Bjorn in the mornings over me getting myself ready upstairs. So, these days, I just wash my face and then sit with Bjorn and Sophie at the breakfast table. Usually Bjorn is drinking his coffee and Sophie and I eat waffles hot from the toaster as our “first breakfast.” 🙂
Bjorn’s gone for work by this point, and Sophie and I head upstairs for her to play while I do my makeup and brush out my hair. Sometimes we bring up what’s left of our breakfast, or I bring a “second breakfast for us,” like a HappyTot bar for her to enjoy while she plays near me. It’s a sweet, slow way for us to start our day together.
Depending on our commitments for the day, we’ll either get dressed in comfy clothes or we’ll get completely ready (and a bit more quickly!) for an outing. (I wear makeup every day, though – it’s just a little thing I like to do for myself – and then I always feel up to running errands, etc.)
This fall, I’ve got more on our schedule than we had last school year – and I’m finding I really like it this way! It’s fun to have various errands, outings, and classes to look forward to. Even though I am an introvert, I definitely like having a reason to get out the door most days that we can! I learned this the hard way in my past 2 years of being a stay-at-home mom, but personally it’s best for my mental health if we have things on the calendar pretty often.
8:30 – 10:30 am
This time of the day can really vary, depending on which weekday it is. If we have a commitment or a planned errand, this is usually the time slot it falls into. We love the community Bible study we joined this year (Sophie has her own class with a curriculum for the 1-2 year olds!), and MOPS as well. I also love looking for local events like library storytimes or other little craft/music/toddler events.
Otherwise, if we don’t have things on our calendar, we enjoy a more quiet morning at home, filling it with things like loads of laundry, tidying up upstairs, reading books together on the couch downstairs, or accomplishing other little household projects. We also enjoy “mini outings” like walks to the park or going to the post office to check our P.O. box. There’s always a midmorning snack involved, too. 🙂
Usually by 10:30 or so, I like to start making lunch (or at least doing final house tidying or playing with Sophie if we’re planning on just eating leftovers). I do cook a huge majority of our meals – we don’t eat out much – so mealtimes tend to involve multiple pots/pans, the oven, sautéing stuff, etc. so if possible I like to give myself time to make the kitchen messy AND clean it up before naptime. 🙂
For Sophie and me, lunch can happen anytime between 11:30 and 12:30. We’ve been shifting it a bit later over time, since our busier weekday mornings require a bit more time “resettling” back at home and whipping up lunch after a full morning. We take our time with eating lunch, too. I’ve always been a slow eater, haha – and Sophie may be following in my footsteps, whoops! So we enjoy a leisurely lunch.
After lunch, I clean Sophie up and wipe down her highchair, and then get started cleaning up the kitchen, putting food away, and doing the dishes. This is a new development since my last daily routine post – I used to wait to finish the dishes till Sophie was resting. But this new daily rhythm is awesome! Sophie loves playing quietly near me in the kitchen while I quickly do our lunchtime dishes. She has a play kitchen in our kitchen and she loves to cook there, too! I like to go about daily household tasks with Sophie near me, and we can still chat, and she can still feel loved while I get things done. I love this new rhythm for us of doing dishes while she’s still awake, because it means that during her naptime I have the freedom to accomplish other things/have time for myself, instead of being tethered to the dishes for a good chunk of naptime.
Sophie takes one nap every day (except on the days she falls asleep briefly on the way home from a busy morning and then boycotts a nap, haha). Naptime is typically 1:00 to 3:00 pm. She’s hardly ever taken a 3 hour nap before, and sticks to more of a 2 hour nap schedule. It’s almost like clockwork! Sometimes I’ll glance at the clock, realize it’s been just about 2 hours, and then right away I’ll see her starting to stir on the monitor! While I’m sure I’d love it if she took a 3 hour nap every day, this is our schedule and it’s what her body likes! (Plus, she is an amazing overnight sleeper, so I will take that any day over being an amazingly long afternoon sleeper!)
During naptime in the past, I used to do the dishes, like I mentioned earlier. But now those are almost always done before Sophie goes down. I also used to run for my computer to crank out blog work. If you’ve followed along here for a while, then you probably noticed I’ve been blogging less. I don’t have any official or intentional reason why it’s been less often – I’ve just taken the pressure off of myself to constantly be pushing forward and creating. I love to write, I love photographing our life…I just had such a bout with anxiety last fall/winter that I stopped telling myself I HAD to blog consistently. ALSO, I’m pregnant! 😀 I’m 30 weeks pregnant by now. This past spring (and much of summer), my body has been reminding me to slow down and to focus on the important things: hydration and rest! And sometimes that means letting go of the pressure I put on myself to post so frequently.
So, the first 45 to 60 minutes of Sophie’s nap are usually spent with tasks like picking up toys, cleaning, folding laundry, etc., but then I like to spend the last hour of her nap as some downtime for myself. Sometimes that even means just painting my nails and watching a show on my computer! But most days, it means sitting in bed with a snack and a water bottle, reading a book, texting friends back, or catching up on Instagram or a YouTube video…and then trying to close my eyes for a little bit. I’m grateful I have this quiet time in this season of life to take a nap if need be! I also consider this quiet time as special time enjoying our baby boy! 🙂 He kicks a TON and is very strong, but his movements aren’t always noticed as well during the day because we’re so busy and my focus is on Sophie! So I love feeling him kick or hiccup during naptime – it’s special to have that space in my day to actually soak that up.
3:00 – 4:30 pm
This is a fun, flexible time of the day. Sophie is the kind of girl who, while she loves to be scooped up upon waking and is always happy to see you, she also really appreciates waking up slowly and playing/talking/singing quietly in her crib. So I like to give her that time. Although she usually naps just 2 hours, there are about 20 minutes after her nap that are a lovely slow wake-up time for her. This helps me out especially if I am groggy myself and just then waking up from a nap..or just resting my belly by laying in bed a couple extra minutes. 🙂
When I go in to get Sophie, she’s always happy. She often tells me about a dream she had – recently there have been a lot of exclamations about flying pigs and flying cows(?!). Haha. I love it! We’ll sit and rock in her rocking chair, reading a pile of books, and then we’ll mosey downstairs for a snack.
This time of day looks busier on certain days of the week, though, because we have to hurry off to her weekly ECFE (early childhood) class or her weekly toddler dance class.
Ever since I was a nanny (during high school and college summers), I considered 4:30 pm to be that magic time I’d want to start supper by. And I still find myself following that rhythm! Lately, it’s been shifting a little later, and some days I don’t start supper prep till 5:00 or 5:30, but then those days are a bit more stressful to get everyone fed when we’re hungry! So I do like to get going on supper around 4:30 if I can. Sophie loves playing near me in the kitchen while I cook, but she’ll also happily wander off to the living room to play all sorts of make-believe games with her stuffed friends. 🙂 Sometimes she’ll be so quiet that I’ll peek around into the living room and find her reading a book to her bear, or taking her dolly in the doll stroller on a walk, or even just lounging around on the floor. 🙂
Typically Bjorn gets home around this time. He’s a cross country coach and has practice after school each day. Sophie LOVES greeting Daddy at the front door (or sometimes we’ll be outside eating a popsicle and watching for him!) – and I know it’s one of his very favorite parts of his day, too. He’ll usually play with her a couple minutes and then shower, and then he and Sophie will have some great daddy-daughter playtime as I finish making supper!
5:30 – 6:30 pm
We have a leisurely suppertime as a family, and Sophie and I will take turns (ha! or everyone will talk at once!) telling Bjorn about our day and just generally catching up with him about his day! I should note here, though, that there are seasons of life where we don’t have Bjorn home for supper much at all. Things like harvest season (we farm soybeans), cross country meets, and Bjorn’s city council meetings can mean that Sophie and I eat alone. We’re good at being independent that way, but we sure love the times when Bjorn is home for supper with us!
6:30 – 7:30 pm
We clean up after supper, and Bjorn and Sophie head to the living room to play! They both love this time of day – and honestly, it’s a blessing for me as well, because it gives me time in the kitchen by myself, to pull up a show on my laptop or listen to a podcast as I do the dishes, wipe down the kitchen and floors, and likely switch a load of laundry. 🙂 I adore getting the house all clean and settled before the day is done.
If Bjorn is not home, then I just do the dishes and cleanup with Sophie nearby! We keep a small basket of toys up high on a shelf in the kitchen, so that’s her special basket that I get out only when I am doing the dishes. She LOVES playing quietly near my feet – okay, literally sitting ON my feet! – as I wrap up the day’s dishes and kitchen mess. It’s really such a sweet time with her. She doesn’t usually whine, or if she does, it’s brief because she’s learning to ask for help with something, and she just wants to be near Mama as she plays on the floor! I love those moments.
But when Bjorn is home, I ALSO love the moments of hearing their laughter and her giggles and chatter as they play in the other room. 🙂
7:30 – 8:00 pm
This is our wind-down time for the night. Sophie may get a bath. It depends on what all went on that day and how much food got in her hair. 😉 We all like to go upstairs together and get Sophie ready for bed. I used to put Sophie down for bed all the time (it just worked best in certain seasons of life, especially with nursing) but Bjorn now puts her down some nights as well…since we know we’ll soon be in the newborn stage again with our little guy, and it’ll be nice if on some nights we can tag-team with feedings/bedtimes. Sophie does great regardless of who puts her down for bed, though, even at my parents’ house – I’m so proud of her! She’ll lay awake for a while usually, humming to herself, but soon she’ll be asleep. She knows that once we put her down, we’re not coming back in her room unless there’s an emergency, so I think that helps her know that the day and playtime really is done. I’m really pleased (and really grateful) that she’s such a good sleeper. There have been multiple seasons where sleep was harder, of course – with things like newborn life, growth spurts, and teething – but overall, it’s smooth.
8:00 – 10:30 pm
This is our time as a couple! Again, some nights in certain life seasons, Bjorn isn’t home at this time and I have a pretty quiet night reading or folding laundry. But it’s so fun when he is home and we can chat, catch up, or watch a show together. I also like to shower in the evenings and I French braid my hair to dry overnight. It makes my morning routine much simpler that way!
We’re usually asleep by 10:30, since everyone has earlier wake-up times in this family. (Plus I’m way more of a morning person than a night owl. Bjorn is so flexible – he’s fine either way, although he does like getting up earlier in the morning.)
There you have it! That’s what a typical day looks like in the Olson household! I hope you found it interesting! Do you have kids’ schedules that you work around, too? I’m curious – what does your evening routine look like for your family?
If you like seeing or hearing about snippets of our daily life, then you’ll enjoy following along on Instagram! Even if I don’t post photos on my feed every day, I’m posting lots of little moments on my Instagram Stories pretty much every single day! 🙂