A Day in the Life of The Happy Housewife ~ My Schedule

Thanks to everyone who has commented on this series. You are all an encouragement to me! This post is what many of you have been waiting for, my schedule or daily routine. In an effort to keep my posts from becoming epic novels today I will discuss my schedule and write about the kids’ schedule later this week.

In a nutshell this is what an average day looks like for me.

  • Wake-up between 6:30-7 (usually closer to 7).
  • Read my bible, check emails, and weather.
  • Take a super fast shower.
  • Start breakfast between 7:30 and 8.
  • Breakfast, morning clean-up.
  • Start school by 9 am.
  • School with kids from 9-12 with interruptions for laundry, meal prep, and naughty children.
  • Prepare lunch with help from kids.
  • Lunch from 12-1. I make lunch and the kids clean up. I use this time to check email, catch up on a few chores, check school work.
  • 1-3:00 School with kids.
  • 3 pm – usually we are finished with school at this time. Three or four days of the week we have a project we work on together, cleaning, organizing, or fixing things around the house.
  • 3:30 – 4:30 pm Free time for everyone. I use this time to work on the blog, pay bills, return phone calls or emails, work on school admin, or work on craft projects.
  • 4:30 pm dinner prep
  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm Dinner /dinner clean-up
  • 6:30 – 8 pm kids ready for bed, devotions, general clean up of the house
  • 8 -10 pm mom and dad time, this varies depending on the day, sometimes we will both be working on the computer, sometimes I bake or sew, sometimes we hang out and chat.
  • 10 pm – In bed, I usually read for about 45 minutes to an hour after I am in bed.

Waking up: I am not a morning person. For many years I tried to get up at 5:45 or 6 but I just don’t operate well at that time no matter what time I go to bed. I also end up getting really tired in the afternoon when I wake up that early. If I sleep until 6:30 I am able to make it through the day without feeling tired.

Breakfast: We usually eat a hot breakfast in the morning. If I make biscuits or muffins I will make them, put them in the oven, and then take my shower to save time. If I make pancakes I will work on laundry or other small tasks in between flipping.

School: My oldest two children do most of their school work on their own. This frees me to spend more time with my little ones.

Lunch: When I am making lunch I will try to work on dinner too. If I am baking bread I will get it in the bread machine, or cut up veggies for dinner or brown the meat. Since I am already in the kitchen it makes sense to get these things done early.

Projects: Working together with my kids shortens the time we all spend cleaning. We are able to accomplish a lot in our half hour of work. My kids are extra motivated because they know that when they are finished their free time begins.

Free Time: I try to make the most of my free time. I usually have list (in my head) of things that need to get done and work in order of priority. Since my kids are having free time too, I rarely have interruptions.

School planning: I usually school plan for the next week on Fridays. Since I already have their books out it works well for me to look over the next weeks lesson’s, write up school schedules, and plan for the week. If I don’t get it all planned on Friday, I finish on Sunday afternoon. As for grading papers and checking work I try to do it as we go, occasionally I get behind and will spend an evening catching up.

Menu planning/ grocery shopping: I plan my meals for 30 days at a time. I was planning weekly menus but that took up too much time. Now I spend about an hour planning 30 meals and creating a shopping list. I spend one (long) evening shopping for all the nonperishable items on my list for the entire month. Then I only need to pick up dairy and produce on a weekly basis, which I can do in less than 45 minutes.  If you look at my meals we don’t eat many fancy, or time consuming dishes. I love the crock pot and anything I can prepare in less than 30 minutes. We eat many of the same meals over and over because I know how to make them quickly and the kids will eat it. I also don’t spend time going from store to store trying to match coupons and save money. I shop at the commissary and CVS, both of which are a mile from my house. I don’t have time to hit several stores each week.

I stay at home: I realize this is not possible for many families who take their kids to therapy or other appointments. I do not run errands throughout the week. I go to the grocery store and bible study, that’s it. I am able to accomplish a lot because I am not in and out of the car. We are very selective regarding the extra-curricular activities our kids participate in and evaluate everything based on how it will affect the entire family. I try to plan ahead so that I only need to make one trip to Target for extra supplies each month. This saves me time and money. I reserve my library books online and try to pick them up and return them while running other errands.

I don’t watch television: I haven’t watched tv for about 6 or 7 years. I cannot even imagine how much time I have gained by not watching tv. My husband and I watch a movie every 2 to 3 months, or maybe not even that often. It is not a priority for us, and we would rather spend our time doing other things. I check the news daily to keep updated and we receive a weekly paper, but I don’t usually read it! Having my evenings or mornings free from tv allows me to catch up on reading, or work on other projects after the kids go to bed.

My husband doesn’t stop working when he gets home from work. I don’t write this so that you will nag your husband to do more around the house, I write it because he is one reason I am able to do so much. We function as a team in our house. For as long as I can remember after dinner he bathes the kids and I do the dishes. He tucks the kids in bed almost every night. This was never something we discussed or wrote down it just happened. There were many years when he wasn’t home at night or not home at all, so he enjoys this time with the kids. If I take on a big baking or craft project he usually rounds up the kids and plays with them so I can work uninterrupted.

We clean on Saturdays. Saturday morning we all clean the house. On a good day we can clean the house from top to bottom in under two hours. If we have plans for a family outing on Saturday we clean on Friday night. Everyone has assigned jobs and we all work together. Because we keep the house picked up throughout the week our house is never super dirty, so our weekly cleanings take very little time.

I pull a late nighter about every 10 days. I try to do this on Friday nights but occasionally it happens another night. I seem to get a second wind about 10 pm and can be really productive for a few hours. While I don’t recommend breaking your sleep schedule with late nighters, it is something I do.

Organize, Minimize, Simply: The less stuff I own, the easier it is to maintain it. I am constantly de-cluttering my home. I pay bills online so I have less mail to deal with. We have no debt so we have fewer bills. Fewer nic-nacs mean less things to dust. Less furniture makes it easier to vacuum. If a toy is not played with frequently it takes a trip to Goodwill. If we have somewhere to go in the morning, clothes are laid out the night before. The diaper bag is always packed and ready to go. Library books are stored in one spot. Creating systems like these allow everyone to help out and make it easy for me to stay organized.

As I said before, I am not an expert, these ideas work for our family, they might not work for yours. My schedule doesn’t always go according to plan, my kids get sick, I am on bed rest, my dh deploys…. I’ll address these topics in my next post.

hh signature green A Day in the Life of The Happy Housewife ~ My Schedule



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Comments

  1. Amy Ellen says:

    It is surprising how much our days are similar… except for the late-nighters… I haven’t tried this… although those few extra hours may be exactly what I need in a week!

    Do you mind if I ask how your blogs come out during the school day? Do write them in advance and schedule the posting? I am so curious to know how you fit all that happens on this blog into less than an hour!

  2. Kim says:

    You are amazing and very encouraging!! A lot of great ideas that I need to start implenting.
    Have a blessed day…
    Kim

  3. Thanks for the peek into your day! Our schedules are somewhat similar, but we aren’t into full-blown homeschooling yet, so this is helpful to know how to shift when the kids get older. I’m like you in that I just cannot get up early – I’ve tried. Doesn’t work. I’d much rather stay up until 1pm now and then! :)

  4. miss mary says:

    I have a schedual I try to follow. My day starts at 7 and I end up in bed between 11:45 – 12:00 p.m. Suffice it to say, I’m tired sometimes.

  5. MNKristy says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love hearing about how others structure their days and get everything done. It sounds like you have a great system and lots of great helpers. Congrats!

  6. WOW! I am so impressed!

    I am working really hard to try to find a schedule/system that works for us and you just gave me some GREAT ideas!

    Thank you again!

    Can’t wait to hear the kid’s schedule!

  7. Joelle says:

    Maybe I should try that once-a-month meal planning. It always takes me a long time, too.

  8. Bree says:

    I have a little that just turned 4 still at home and one in school.
    I have mom guilt because I keep tweaking my routines thinking that I just dont have it right yet but I think it is more that I need to stop trying and just start doing. I dont think I have ever actually done a routine long enough to see if it works and I keep Saying…”I need to make time to work on numbers, letters with the 4 year old” but I have yet to do it on regular basis … thanks for you input on this it is always interesting and encouraging to read what others do to spotlight what I can do to make things work better

  9. Love this post – very practical! I already have a schedule that I follow pretty regularly, but still got some tips from you that I hope to incorporate into my day. Appreciate your sharing with us!

  10. Thank you so much for taking the time describe your schedule!! I make is so much easier to see how you are able to accomplish so many things, and how I can use some of your techniques to better manage my time! Thank you!!

  11. Angel Beers says:

    I think with a large family if you wern’t on a schedule it would be like juggling one handed…possible but extremely hard. I have 1 in school and one at home. She gets interaction w/ my niece who I babysitt M-F on school days. We do go to the library once a week for story time & I usually do my errands that day so as to only make 1 trip. I have most everything I need w/in 4 mi radius. I am lucky to have a LARGE extended fam nearby so that helps. The park is close so we go there too. I also belong to a moms group but we usually do just the free or nearly free items. I get a calendar a month at a time so I can plan my stuff. W/ a DH gone every other month I like to meet other moms when he is gone so I have adult conversation. We stay home more when he is home. Of couse I have to bring him to the airport every month so I wait & do my big shopping at stores we don’t have in our small town then. I like to group things to make the most of my time. We also go to church twice a week which is a half mi from my house so its very easy. Take care w/ your bedrest.

  12. Samantha K. says:

    Thank you for your revealing look into your daily schedule. I really enjoy hearing about how other moms get done everything that is important to them and their family. I check your blog every day and enjoy hearing about your life!

  13. Love this series! Thanks for doing it! Looking forward to the next one. Have a great evening!
    God bless,
    Amanda

  14. Noel says:

    Errands are such a drain on time. I try to get them all done at one time. It’s amazing how much time can be wasted on those “little” errands.

  15. abba12 says:

    Your schedual is similar to what I’d like mine to be, except that in my experience kids work better in the mornings and I find, at least for the way my family teaches, we can finish in 3 or 4 hours, so my mother has tended to do school from 8 or 9am and lunch is simply when people finish. If theres a project, they can work on that independently through the afternoon, and that isn’t a problem since generally they WANT to! It’s great to see into other peoples scheduals to asess your own ideas, thanks for sharing!

  16. StephanieK says:

    I really admire your dedication. Homeschooling and being a stay at home mom is something I might like to do someday, but I know it takes diligence. It could be very tempting to sit around and do not much of anything! :)

  17. lis says:

    WOW! thanks for posting this!

  18. jen says:

    As I finished looking at your schedule I realised there was no TV in there and while I was wondering if you watched, you answered it for me. I realise TV cuts into the time I could spend doing other things but I watch it anyway. Sometimes it’s 1 hour a day, sometimes it’s more. Then I don’t have a husband and I only have one child.

  19. Suzanne says:

    I love what you said about waking up early. I can totally relate to that one. I’ve spent the last few years feeling guilty or lazy for trying to sleep in some. I have friends who wake up super early to get their exercise and shower done before the kids are up. I’ve felt like maybe I need to do that, too, but it just doesn’t work for me! If I get up too early I am just plain grumpy and that doesn’t work for anyone. Thank you for helping me erase my guilt and see it in a more practical light…we just aren’t all the same!

  20. Eve says:

    Your schedule is very similar to the one I have in my head, not necessarily the one that we actually employ on a daily basis. Since baby seven arrived last Sept., I have yet to feel at ease with our homeschooling on a daily basis, though. Our two year old twins and their four year old sister seem to monopolize so much of my time that most school stuff gets relegated to nap time after lunch, which ends up running into free time and dinner prep time. I am looking forward to reading about your kids’ schedules to see if I can glean any good ideas to implement. Our three homeschooling age guys(6yr, 8yr, and 9yr) are rushed along and getting stressed out.

  21. Tiffany says:

    OH I am just loving this series! We have a very loose schedule, but I am now seeing a zillion ways to tweak it and get more done! THANKS for all of this.. I can’t wait to read more!

  22. Mrs. Jo says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing; I’m always trying to learn from moms who are further down the road from me. Your schedule looks similar to mine except I’m not into full-time homeschooling yet. I admire military wives so much. How you do it with your husband gone amazes me. That must be so tough.
    Thanks for the great blog and I’m DYING to know what happens next in the love story.

  23. Mikki says:

    Hey there. I haven’t been by in awhile. Well, actually I have.. I’ve been lurking, just not leaving comments.. LOL.

    What a great post. I love having a routine/schedule.. I figure if God can work in order.. so can I.

    Have a great one :-)

  24. Sharla says:

    Oh. my. heck. You are not human. I have planned out a similar schedule about a bazillion times but I never stick with it. Ever. I don’t know how to do it.

  25. Amanda says:

    Have I ever told you you are my hero? LoL No really, LOVE this blog series and thought it ironic that our schedules look very similar. We have just recently started the Saturday morning cleaning sweep and after about 4 Saturdays I don’t think I will ever stop! Our 4 older 12-6 and I are able to thouroughly clean and de clutter our 5 bedroom 2300 square foot home in just under 3 hours. Can’t wait for the next post!

  26. Jessie says:

    I just found your blog and I appreciate your insight. Thanks! I’d like to hear more about those years your husband had to work a lot. We are in that stage with a 7, 5, 2 and 6mo old and while my Hubby is a gem and very helpful with the kids I’m constantly feeling unable to catch up and desperately deprived of time with my Husband. Eve has more kids than I do but I SO relate to her comment…it’s a monopoly!

  27. Amy Ellen says:

    It’s me here again :) I know I already asked the blog-time questions… but what about exercise too? I struggle to get up early enough for exercise and quiet time and shower before my littles wake up. Something has to go… or change. But, back to my question… do you have a time set aside to exercise?

  28. Monique says:

    You are amazing! I can see how having more kids to help would make cleaning much faster. Thank you for sharing what works for your family. Why don’t you save toys in the attic for the next child? We rotate our toys. I use a large bed in a bag to store them in. I change out the toys about every 6 weeks. And what they outgrow I store for the next one.

  29. TheHappyHousewife says:

    Monique-
    Thanks for the suggestion. We do rotate toys, but we don’t have an attic and we live in military housing so there isn’t a ton of storage. We also move every 2 years so living with less is sometimes easier. If I had an attic, or stayed in one spot for longer I would probably do more toy rotation.
    Toni

  30. great post! thanks for including what you don’t do (ie tv) as well as what you do include in your life. we like taking walks after dinner as a family when the weather warms up too.

  31. Beth says:

    Genius, pure genius. Loving your blog. Also, I feel strongly that keeping possessions and “extracurriculars” to a minimum is one important key to happiness as a mom and homemaker.

  32. Cierra says:

    Wow,you are amazing! I hope to be this organized and scheduled someday. Right now our life is heading for big changes and we don’t have our own house yet so my battle to be totally on top of things is really hard…But I see that in the near future things will get back to normal for us. Now that we have a baby I know the need for scheduling time to be able to get it all done. Your blog is a great help to me for ideas,thanks for writing! I look forward to reading your future post’s… :)

    ~Cierra

  33. Kristin says:

    We have a pretty full schedule around here with five children and another on the way. We threw away our television when our second oldest was born, seven years ago, and my husband and I both agree that this was a great decision for our family. Not only is it not missed, but we have so much more time to do projects, read, and spend time together as a family.

  34. Stephanie says:

    This is very interesting indeed. Thank you so much for giving us a “glimpse” into your daily schedule.

    I love that you plan your meals 30 days in advance. I think I’d like to try something like that.

    We also don’t watch much television and we “stay home.” Driving around town just gobbles up too much time and, besides, we kind of like being home. :)

    One question: where do you find time to blog and to do all of the bloggy-related things (read other blogs, comment on blogs, work with PR companies, do reviews, twitter, etc.)?

  35. Kristi says:

    I love your website and it’s great that you take the time to help others by writing your ideas and what works and doesn’t work for you. As for the schedule, I used to think a schedule was too restrictive and would stress me out too much, but now that 3 of my four children are home school age, I find MUCH COMFORT in our newly made schedule!

  36. Anamika jain says:

    Hi! there
    thanks for sharing your daily schedule. It gives us an idea on how to manage time and do your work on time n tidy.

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