By popular request: Evening routines

I've been saying for years that if I ran the world there would be universal nannies for all parents every day from 6-9 am and 6-9 pm.  I think I've proven my case for the necessity of an assistant in the mornings. Let's roll the tape for the evenings.

I'll go first.

Parameters: Single mom with two kids in school, picked up by babysitter. Kids' dad relieves babysitter between 4:30 and 4:45 and plays with kids outside or in my apartment until I get home.

I leave work at 6, walk to the subway, and am coming out of the subway any time between 6:15 and 6:25. I usually swing into the grocery store around the corner to get something for supper and whatever I'm out of for breakfast and lunch for the kids for the next day. Speed through the aisles, wait at the check-out, chit-chat with Krystal or Stacy or Gloria as one of them checks me out, walk home. As I'm in the elevator I invariably realize I forgot to get something at the store.

Arrive home. Cats and kids rush me. Hugs, kisses, petting. Put down purse and bags, take off shoes, exchange information with kids' dad. He leaves.

Start supper. If I'm lucky, the kids are playing with cars or trains or playing Club Penguin (devil's tool) or Hide the Farts or one of the baseball games on the computer in the living room so I can make supper quickly and with no unnecessarily messy incidents. Dinner probably involves George Forman grill or quick stir-fry of some sort. Need to start ramping up slow cooker again, now that there's a chill in the air.

I feed the cats. Did I mention that my babysitter and her roommate convinced me to start cooking my own cat food? I am such a dumb-ass, because I tried it. It takes about 45 minutes once a week, then I freeze the portions in silpat cupcake tins, pop them out, and store them in the freezer, 'til I thaw them and plop them on the plate for the cats. Their fur is definitely shinier and they have more energy and seem more playful. Or else I'm just imagining that.

Serve supper. Pray, eat. Yes, they can have more tater tots once they finish all of the broccoli and chicken. Yes, you may be excused, but please go wash your hands. With soap.

Clear supper dishes, wipe down table. Check mail, look over older son's homework packet. He's gaming the system by doing all of it on Monday night instead of in increments. Make sure he's not behind. Check any other correspondence from either school.

Roam the apartment looking for wayward laundry. Boy sock in between the tines of the broom. Interesting. Boy underpants on a desk. Collect enough clothes for a load. Consider prioritizing by which clothes will need to be used in the next couple of days, but don't have the emotional energy. Horrible thought: Do I have any quarters? Yes–it's a Christmas miracle. Toss the load in the shared laundry machine down the hall.

Break up fight between the boys. Turn on "Wheel of Fortune" to distract kids and learn more about the fascinating English language. Read books with kids. Snuggle, laugh, play with cats. Guess final round of Wheel of Fortune. Keep playing.

Look at time, and give 5-minute warning before bath. Run bathwater (with bubbles). Get kids out of clothes and into tub. Wash dishes while kids are playing in tub. Pick out pajamas for kids. Wash their hair, get them out of tub, dry them off, stuff them into pajamas. Help them brush teeth.

Tuck into bed. Hahahahahahahaha. The older one is easy–a cup of water, a kiss, and he's ready to sleep or else pretend to sleep until I'm gone at which point he reads Sports Illustrated for Kids in his bed quietly, thinking he's fooling me. The younger one is a nightmare of multiple trips for water and peeing, being tucked in the wrong way, needing to tell me "sumfing" a dozen times, and not wanting to go "tooo sweeeeep." Try to stay patient and loving. Triumph by eventually just saying "Goodnight" firmly and walking out of the room, ignoring the wailing. Switch laundry to drier.

Change into elastic-waist pants, althletic socks, and sneakers. Do T-Tapp (BWO+ or SATI). Have TV on in the background while I work on freelance work assignment. Write Ask Moxie post. Drink some water. Fight off urge for cookies. Look at time–crap! 11:30. Do face routine, brush/floss teeth. Put in retainer. Change into pajamas. Look woefully around my room and make mental note to do something about organization on the weekend. Send text to friend who drives a semi and gets lonely on the road. Pray. Fall asleep. Have completely forgotten about dry, wrinkled laundry in the hall.

0 thoughts on “By popular request: Evening routines”

  1. I missed out on posting my morning routine, so here’s the evening one.Parameters: 2 FT WOH parents, one 14 mo daughter in a nanny share.
    4:30-4:45: leave work, drop carpool members off (thereby saving me about $10 and costing me about 15 minutes each day)
    5:30 Get home or to home of other kid in nanny share. Walk or drive daughter home, if relevant. Immediately she starts the sign for “more” with me, which means “food” or “bottle” or “I want something but this is the only sign I know.” Think wistfully about how much easier this will be when she can talk.
    5:35 Start heating dinner. If I pre-cooked the night before, heat that. Otherwise, there’s a lot of amy’s frozen meals in my house.
    5:40 Baby starts to melt down wanting dinner.
    5:45 Sit down to eat with daughter.
    6:15ish Done with dinner. If she napped well that day, maybe go for a walk, go to store, or playground. If she didn’t, play for about 15 minutes in living room or on the back porch.
    6:30 (on a bad nap day, or 15-30 min later on a good one): Give a bottle, and cuddle or let her run around with it, depending on her mood.
    6:40: bath and massive cuteness.
    6:50: PJ’s for daughter and read books.
    7:00: (later sometimes): bed for daughter.
    7:05: Cry about how little time I get to spend with her. Check email and waste time on the internet.
    7:30: motivate to stand up, clean up, maybe do laundry, wipe down high chair, etc. Somewhere in here, husband comes home, eats leftovers of what I ate with the baby. On a good night, cook for the next night and put it in the fridge.
    Continue general household tasks till 9 or so, at which point I either give up and watch a Wire on DVD or read a book.
    10:00 or 10:30: head to bed, hours before husband. Wait to be awoken by a poorly sleeping baby.
    Honestly, this routine is killing me. Not sure what I can change to make it better though.

  2. Parameters: self, husband, one 4-year-old in all-day preschool, no pets. Urban setting (SF).5pm: realize I’m running late–aren’t I supposed to be working 3/4 time?
    5:10: get to subway
    5:25 or 5:30: reach Mouse’s school, give her 3 minutes to wrap up whatever she’s involved in
    5:35: walk to neighborhood’s main street for a cookie and milk at local cafe…maybe bump into a friend or two
    6pm: run errands on foot, which might include groceries for the night, drycleaning, hardware store, etc.
    6:30pm: reach home on foot; grab 15 mins for email while Mouse plays dress up or something
    6:45pm: start dinner
    7:15: Mr. C arrives home by subway & foot, can run any errands I forgot
    7:30: family dinner
    8pm: Mouse gets a 1/2 hour of TV while we clean up & run bath
    8:30: bathtime…preceded by potty, followed by teeth & pajamas
    8:50: Mr. C reads to Mouse
    9:15: Mouse in bed
    9:30: Mouse asleep, Mr. C finishes tidying kitchen
    from then on: read, do laundry, watch TV, play with Mr. C, whatever, until midnight
    similar except the dinner in the first instance is only for Mouse; Mr. C arrives home moves to 8:15 or so…and we continue on with:
    9:45: start dinner for self & Mr. C
    10:30: dinner in front of TV
    11:15: tidy kitchen together
    12:30 or 1: bed because that’s when I’ve managed to get enough mental space to consider my day done.
    I know…mine’s weird.

  3. My evening story paramaters: Vancouver, B.C., two WOH parents, one year-old DS.I leave work at 4:30. Drive to pick up DS from Nanny by 5. Home by 5:15.
    Take DS upstairs with me to play while I get out of work clothes and into comfies. Back downstairs. Deposit DS in front of pile of toys while I make his supper. If he freaks (50/50) he goes straight to high chair to munch on crackers/fruit. His supper never takes more than five minutes to make (usually our re-heated leftovers).
    Dad arrives home making DS too excited to continue eating. Dinner is over. DS screeches while I wash him up.
    After his supper, depending on how much he napped that day we either (a) go for a walk or to the play ground or (b) play in the living room (hide-and-go-seek is current favorite). If (a) then he gets bath at 6:30, bottle, book, and in bed at 7. If (b) same thing but moved earlier so in bed between 6:30 – 6:45.
    I tumble downstairs. DH has usually been making our dinner. Plonk on the couch and wait for it to be served 🙂
    After dinner, I wash up, watch tv while thinking that I should be trying to catch up on billable hour targets, into bed by 9:15 with a book, asleep by 10. All of this is made possible by housecleaner who does laundry too. I would cut almost every other expense in my life just to keep her employed.

  4. Parameters: 21 month old daughter in home daycare. Work 20 minutes away.Get to town and pick up daughter at 5:45, stop by post office and grocery store. Home by 6:15. Spend time with daughter playing or going for a walk, even though the house looks like a tornado hit it. Possibly get a load of laundry started or the dishwasher loaded/unloaded.
    7:00 or 7:15, make daughter supper.
    7:30 While she’s eating, try to clean kitchen/pay bills/whatever chore has to be done tonight. Then get daughter naked after supper for naked time.
    8:30 Bath time. Possibly fold laundry in bathroom while she’s bathing?
    9 PJ’s, books, rocking, bed for daughter
    9:30 Husband home possibly? If so cook supper for us, if not eat something quick, unless I snuck supper in with daughter.
    10 Sit down for a second to visit with husband or read
    10:30 – 11 Shower and bed
    Baby #2 is due in 6 weeks, so I will be watching these comments closely to see how you guys all deal with kids who are on different schedules, especially those who will probably not have a partner around to help with the night-time stuff!

  5. Stats: Kids 2 year old and 4 month old. Dad travels a lot. I work part-time. 5 minute commute. 2 year old sleeps in a crib in his own room. 4 month old sleeps in a port-a-crib in our (large) bathroom.The tricky part: Getting one to bed without upsetting the other.
    The goal: Getting both to sleep in the same room without upsetting and waking each other.
    A good evening:
    Come home at 4:30. Relieve the babysitter and discuss the day. Hold baby while doing something active with the 2 year old.
    5:00: Dinnertime. Put baby in the jiggling chair in the kitchen, the 2 year old does play-doh at the table or roams unattended while I make a toddler type dinner (noodles). Recently, we adults have tried to eat dinner at 5 so that we’re eating all together and also to simplify our evening. I add salad greens or beer and that makes macaroni and cheese an adult dinner. The problem is that by 10pm we are hungry and eating popcorn and are getting fatter.
    5:30: Eat, trade holding baby, put baby on the table so that 2 year old and baby can make each other laugh.
    6:00: Bathtime for both. Easy with 2 parents. Virtually impossible with just me. Bubbles or “swimming pool bath” depending on what the 2 year old wants. Stick baby on the bathroom floor naked while 2 year old starts bath. Baby in the bath for 10 minutes. Baby out of the bath into a towel while 2 year old finishes bath. Night diapers and pjs on. We try to brush teeth in the bathtub.
    6:30: Books in the bedroom. Baby lies on guest bed or nurses while we read books with 2 year old. I tell 2 year old, “Pick out one more book while I put the baby down for bed.” Put the baby down, return, read one more book. On a good day, baby settles or sleeps. On a bad day, baby screeches and I feel guilty and neglectful while I’m reading the 2 year old his final book. Put 2 year old in his crib, tell him I’m going to go check on the baby. Spend the next 20 minutes walking back and forth between the two rooms, patting, cajoling, comforting.
    7:15: Everyone’s asleep?

  6. Cast: 2 kids, 4 yr old and 1.5 yr old, nanny, 2 smelly cats, 2 working parents.6 p.m.: Get home from work, get the rundown of the day from nanny.
    Play, cuddle with kids, play outside for a little while.
    6:30: Begin preparing dinner. Kids always get a meat, a starch, a veggie and fruit. I make everything from scratch. That’s how I grew up and given my husband’s colon cancer, we do not ever eat prepared/canned foods and we eat organic. Most of my meals are prepped either the previous night or over the weekend. I simply do the “cooking” at 6:30.
    Husband arrives sometime around 6:30 and keeps an eye on kids while I cook.
    7:15 p.m.: Dinner for everyone.
    7:45 p.m.: End dinner, clean up while kids play.
    8:00 p.m.: Get kids upstairs. Quick bath, stuff them into PJs.
    8:30 p.m.: Little one and daddy read books, she goes to sleep.
    8:30-9 p.m.: Older one and I read books, talk, cuddle, there are multiple requests, potty trips, negotiations.
    9 p.m.-9:30 p.m.: Go downstairs, clean pots/pans whatever remaining from dinner, while hubby feeds cats and tidies up toys. Answer correspondence, write note/reminder for nanny.
    9:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.: Work on research/teaching, maybe do some food prep for next day, make shopping list etc.
    11:30 p.m.: Tuck kids in, retire to bed.
    Laundry: Nanny does the kids’ laundry during the day, we have W/D in house. I do my and my husband’s laundry, sheets/towels on the weekends, or throw a load in in the morning, nanny dries and folds.
    Serious cleaning: I have a cleaning lady, she comes in once a week.
    Dry cleaning: Gets picked up and dropped off at home, I don’t think I have ever seen the van or the driver.
    I work a lot and I make decent money, and I spend all of my free time with the kids. Anything I can physically and financially outsource (cleaning, dry cleaning, childcare), I outsource.

  7. @lolismum – they have the issue of “outsourcing” on the Wall Street Journal Blog, “The Juggle” today. I wrote the exact same thing as you. Am all about the outsourcing.

  8. Forgot to add. Twice a week I work/teach until 10 p.m. Kids’ routine stays the same except I am replaced by the nanny and I make dinner for everyone the day before so hubby and nanny can concentrate on the kids and not on cooking. (They both suck at cooking.)

  9. Parameters: 2 WOH parents, one 9-month old, 18-year old Brother in law, 3 neurotic cats. Our day begins at 4 am, with baby up by 6 am.I leave work by 3:30 pm, drive 30-45 minutes to pick up kid from daycare. (4pm- 4:15) Spend a few minutes doing info-sharing with daycare lady.
    4:20 Arrive home, unload kid, diaper bag, breastpump, purse, lunch bag etc. Put kid on the floor to play for a few minutes while I put diapers in the pail, lunch dishes in the sink, strip off into comfies (work clothes and cat hair do not mix), put pumped milk into freezer, wash out any pump supplies, and immediately put clothes for the next day out for me and the kid.
    4:30 Kid’s usually losing it by now and needing attention, so I nurse for a few minutes, more to reconnect than to feed. Spend a few minutes chatting with the baby and playing.
    4:45 Dad comes home and Kid is now SO OVER mama. Dad takes over kiddo play and gets him ready for dinner, while I get our meal together.
    5 pm, I tidy the kitchen and only then can I start to cook meal (this is my ME time, so I don’t sweat taking 30-60 minutes to cook dinner) while dad feeds baby some squash, mango etc. Right about the time dinner’s ready, Kid’s ready for a bath.
    6 or 6:30 depending on how involved dinner was to make, the adults eat in front of the TV while baby scoots around the living room. (With mixed success, sometimes he’s into playing by himself, other times he wants EVERYONE to be playing with him).
    7 pm, kid’s getting fussy, so we hustle to finish eating and chatting, the men clear the dishes out of the living room, Mom nurses baby, dad gets his stuff all ready for the next day, maybe catches a shower.
    7:30, tickles and cuddles for the baby and off to bed. Adults chat about their days, while puttering around grinding coffee, prepping lunches for the next day, and planning a meal for the next night.
    8pm, I grab a shower, adults watch a little Dexter on DVD, maybe snack on something sweet. Every other night, we get the diaper laundry going.
    9pm Mom and Dad to bed, while Brother in law does the dishes, takes out trash and generally picks up after us.
    Somewhere in there, I try to grab a run, or Dad tries to hit the gym. Half the nights of the week we have family or friends over, though it just tends to extend the grown up chit chat, kid’s schedule is the same.
    (Now that I look at it, I’m thinking I could probably trim a lot of time out of my cooking and have a lot more time to play each night. Hmmmm.)

  10. Moxie, how are you liking SATI? I have it but haven’t broken it out yet. I need to do something, can’t even manage to do BWO. 20 weeks pg today. Feeling every minute of it.No help for routines….we’re all f-ed up at the moment with the start of preschool two weeks ago. Any whiff of “routine” that might lead up to school (even the nighttime routine….because eventually that leads to the morning routine, right?) sets him off wailing “I don’t WANT to go to schoooooooool!!!!!!!!”. It’s been lovely around our house lately.

  11. Who’s involved? WOH father, WOH/grad student mother, and 21-month-old son.Where? Minneapolis, city/suburb border
    What happens? Most days, mom picks up son from daycare between 4:00 and 4:45, depending on how close to on time she was able to make it to work that morning. Drive home, comment on every construction vehicle, train, and bus we see.
    5ish: Get home, play outside w/ the neighbors for a few minutes if weather is nice and neighbors are home. Daddy comes home some time in here.
    5:30 – Dinner, usually consisting of leftovers or slow cooker meal or something on the grill.
    6:00 – 6:15 – Watch while son plays with his food, but insists that he is NOT DONE!
    6:30 – Mom and dad clean up kitchen while son plays in living room or brings his toys into the kitchen while begging mama and daddy to do PLAY TIME! LIVING ROOM!
    6:45 – Convincing son that yes, he really does like taking baths.
    6:50 – Bath time with daddy, while mom sorts mail, sweeps, tidies, chooses clothes for tomorrow, packs lunches, pays bills, etc.
    7:15 – Stories, snuggling/nursing/talking about dreams with mama.
    7:30 – Mama leaves the room and there is babbling about who pushed whom at daycare and loud, cute renditions of the day’s songs.
    7:45 – Son is asleep.
    8:00 – Maybe laundry, maybe read articles for dissertation. Likely fool around on computer, crochet, or catch up on Netflix w/ husband.
    10:30 – Go to bed, read. Ask rhetorical question: “Why did we stay up so late again?”

  12. Parameters: 6-month old, Mom is WFH 8am-5pm, Dad WOH 9am-6pm on a good day. Babysitter comes from 8:30-5pm.5:00pm mom desperately trying to wrap up work and get to the Squirrel before babysitter leaves. Calls dad to see if he can get home early enough for walkies with mom and Squirrel.
    5:30ish, mom, Squirrel, and sometimes Dad go for stroller walk around the ‘hood for 30 min. Sometimes mom is still on the phone w/ work folks, sometimes dad on the phone w/ overseas consultants.
    6ish, mom wolfing down crackers or yogurt while poking cereal/babyfood into Squirrel. Preheating oven or getting pot of pasta water ready to boil.
    6:30, bath for the squirrel, play in bath.
    6:45ish Squirrel starting to get fussy b/c he’s tired so we quickly put on the pj’s and I nurse while dad reads stories and lowers the lights.
    7ish, goodnight kisses, sleepy Squirrel goes into the crib. Usually asleep within 10 minutes or so.
    7:30ish M&D are eating whatever I cobbled together (leftovers, pasta, something frozen, or sandwiches). If it comes prepared from Trader Joe’s, it’s on the menu. Ditto for bags of salad–otherwise we might never eat fresh vegetables these days.
    8:00 start feeling guilty about not getting to chores/paperwork/admin yet. also feel guilty about not EVER doing pilates, T-Tapp, or anything remotely close to exercise.
    Watch 30 min of TV and realize there is still a pile of work to do before tomorrow but apparently it’s not going to get done b/c I am TIRED.
    8:30-9:00 shower, brush/floss, deal with wet hair, face routine, maybe read 15 pages of my current book. My only quiet time of the day.
    9:30-10ish, cash in the chips. Dad still downstairs working on laptop til usually midnight.

  13. Parameters: Greater Milan, Italy. SAHM with 2 kids: 3years 8 month old at kinder, 20.5 month old home with me. Husband home LATELet’s start from when kid 2 wakes up from sleep, usually around 2.00.
    2.00: Booby/snack: Finish preparing dinner/washing up after lunch
    2.15: take daughter for walk/park/bike ride ior stay inside to play if weather is bad
    3.45: arrive at kindergarten to pick up son
    4.00: walk in the door, give boy snack/drink, get kids into ‘dirty clothes’
    4.15-5.15: play in yard, go for a walk, go to park.
    5.15: If bath night ( every second night) kids have bath together, otherwise kids play/Noah watched dvd while I spend 10 (or so)minutes on internet- Zoe doesn’t self entertain much and so time is limited.
    5.30: start preparing kid’s dinner/finish preparing our dinner/tidy up/fold washing etc.
    6.00-6.15/30: DVD off. Kids eat. I encourage eating/stuff food into one or both children. I finish scraps
    6.30: By this time the DVD is on again (Noah watches no more than 1.5 hours a day)and happily satiated, Zoe tends to play a bit more by herselk or with bro or with me.
    7.00: Prepare Zoe for bed: teeth, pj’s, nurse. Put to bed awake or nearly awake.
    If not in a fussy period, I leave her and she falls asleep herself, otherwise 2/3 minutes of wailing, then falls to sleep.
    7.15: Half an hour playing with big boy: stories, puzzles, cuddles.
    7.45: get big boy ready for bed: pj’s teeth, kiss. Bed. Happily goes to bed after tiring day at kinder.
    8.00 till 8.30: time for me, FINALLY. Kill time till hubby comes home: internet, read, but mainly internet
    Rest of the evening is spent having dinner, talking, watching tv.
    10.45: bed
    Most nights, don’t hear from kids until an early wake up call from Zoe around 6.30. Usually she drops off again another 40 minutes or so and we all wake up around 7.30

  14. Who: DS – Bunny – almost 5 mos., DH WOH Mon-Wed 8 am-8 pm. I WOH Mon-Tues & Thurs-Fri 8 am-5:30 pm; WAH Wed 7-11 am.Where: Suburbs of mid-size Midwestern city.
    No pets [yet], thank God!
    Because of our wonky work schedules, the routine’s a bit different on the front and back half of the week.
    5:30 – Leave work
    5:50 – Arrive at my mom’s house to retrieve the Bunny. Nurse if he’s not striking; if he is, sit there struggling with him in despair while my mom gives helpful hints. After nursing (or giving up and deciding to try again when we get home), spend 5-20 minutes waiting for Nana & Papa to say goodbye. Resist the urge to remind them that they’ve had the past 10.5 hours to talk to him.
    6:20-7:00 – Arrive home, try to nurse if unsuccessful at my mom’s.
    [everything from here on out depends on what time we finally get home. I’m putting best-case scenario times because it makes me feel better]
    6:35 – Bath
    6:50 – Lotion, massage, and singing quietly in Bunny’s room.
    7:00 – Nurse [can take 10-30 minutes depending on his willingness/distraction level]
    7:15 – Bunny gets his snuggly and binky; we read 2 books, then lights out, womb sounds CD on, and we say his prayers.
    7:25 – In his crib; he rolls over and goes to sleep by himself.
    7:30 – Start thinking about dinner; eat leftovers or order pizza (gah!). Do dishes, deal with pumped milk, clean pump parts for tomorrow, prepare lunch for tomorrow, etc.
    8:15 – DH gets home, we watch something on Tivo and both play on laptops.
    9:30 – Start getting ready for bed.
    10:15 – In bed and falling asleep.
    10:16 – Bunny wakes up for the first time of the night. This time varies, depending on the exact moment my head hits the pillow and I start to drift off. It’s completely uncanny. He will awaken up to 14 more times tonight.
    I’m too tired to do the back end of the week. It’s really the same, just that on Thurs-Fri DH is home with Bunny so I don’t have the 1 hour of pickup time and DH & I usually get to eat dinner before we start bathtime.
    Until last week, I was keeping Bunny up until Daddy got home from work, so his bath started at 8:15 or so. With the obscene night wakings, he just wasn’t getting enough sleep, so we made the tough decision to put him down much earlier. It’s rough on DH not getting to see him at all three days a week, but hopefully it won’t last forever.

  15. So interesting to see what everyone’s evenings are like! Here is our situation:DH and I work for the same company. He works full time (or more) and I work about 25 hours a week. He goes to the office every day and has a 45 minute commute each way. I work mostly from home and ride in with him once a week. We have a 4YO boy and 2YO girl. They both go to a full-day child-care center three days a week. We live in central NH.
    4:30 pm (on days that I work): Pick up kids at child-care center. After much of “Mommy, look what we did today” and many goodbyes, head home.
    5:00: On work days, arrive home. On non-work days, come in from playing outside. Have a small snack.
    5:10: Pick up toys, books, etc (everyone is supposed to help — yeah right) or have a bath (yes, we are foolish enough to do bath before dinner).
    Around 6:00: Sit kids in front of two episodes of Curious George (we LOVE this show — thanks, PBS!). Sometimes I watch, too, but usually I put away laundry or do some cleaning.
    Around 6:30: DH calls to say he is on his way home. I start cooking dinner with the goal of finishing before George is done or before 2YO loses interest.
    Sometime before 7:30: DH arrives home, wrestles with kids while I get dinner on table.
    7:30: Sit down to eat. Remind 4YO that we do not put our feet on the table. Remind 2YO that we don’t put food in our hair. Remind both to say please when asking for more. Instruct 4YO that he can have dessert after he eats 4 more bites of vegetable. Eat dessert.
    Around 8:15: Bedtime for kids. I do a quick wash of faces and hands while they are at the table. Then DH takes them up to bed for teeth-brushing, pjs, 3 books, some cuddles, and then lights out. I clean up the kitchen, check the menu for tomorrow night and take something out of the freezer for the next day, make some tea.
    9:15: DH goes to the basement to exercise or cracks open his laptop to check work emails. I usually take my tea into our home office to work or pay bills.
    10:00: Watch a little tv, usually while folding laundry.
    11:00: Bedtime. DH checks on the kids. I turn off lights and lock doors. We perform our bedtime routines (face washing, teeth brushing), while chatting. Lights out.

  16. OK, two parents + 1 17.5 month old, living in San Diego. Both parents work outside the home in jobs with moderately flexible hours.4:30ish – I leave work and drive to day care, cursing at the closed road that would cut the drive time in half if they would ever open it again.
    4:45- Pumpkin runs over to greet me, and starts babbling away, presumably about her day. “Ball! Bird! Ball! Ball!” and then signs for milk, which means I should take her inside and give her the last of her milk before we drive home.
    5 – I distract Pumpkin by asking her to point to her body parts while I strap her into her carseat. If I rush to the car and/or forget to play the distraction game, a tantrum ensues.
    5:20-5:30 (depending on traffic) – HOME! Pumpkin watches Signing Time DVD on the “eee-eee” while I unpack our lunch bags, etc. If it is my night to cook, I also start dinner. Some days, she wants to play outside instead, so the lunch stuff sits and waits until later.
    5:45-6 (depending on traffic) – Hubby gets home. If it is his night to cook, he starts dinner
    6:15-6:30 – We sit down to dinner.
    6:45-7 – We head out for our after dinner walk.
    7:15-7:30 – We get home from the walk. Pumpkin usually nurses.
    7:30ish – bath time. For a horrible week, Pumpkin hated her baths. She is back to loving them. During the bad week, I had to get in the bath tub with her. Now that she’s back to bathing on her own, Hubby and I trade off. If it is not my night to do the bath, I make Pumpkin’s lunch for the next day.
    7:45ish – snack time. In our ongoing attempt to find the magic formula that will make Pumpkin sleep through the night, we instituted bedtime snacks. She likes her snacks, but she still wakes up at least once every night to nurse.
    8ish – Family teeth brushing time! Pumpkin insists everyone in the house come and brush their teeth with her. Hubby and I anticipate glowing reviews from the dentist at our next check ups.
    8:05 – stories before bed
    8:20 – lights out.
    sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 – the parent getting Pumpkin down stumbles out of her room, squinting in the light.
    The parent not getting Pumpkin down does the dishes and cleans up the floor around Pumpkin’s high chair. Two days a week, he/she also does chores off of our chores schedule. If it is not a chores day and I am the parent not in the bedroom, I blog. If Hubby is the parent not in the bedroom he does random stuff on his computer.
    9-9:30 – If I haven’t made Pumpkin’s lunch already, I do it now. Hubby and I either snuggle, watch TV, or do some sort of planning chore (like figuring out what to do with our sad excuse for a front garden). Friday nights we have our “pretend our living room is a pub” night, and both crack open beers and talk like we used to at our local pub.
    10ish – lights out for me. Hubby may come to bed, too, or may stay up and watch more TV.
    This routine sounds sort of sad, and would probably be effective birth control if read to a college kid. But I actually like our night time routine, particularly the after dinner walk. Of course, I don’t like it when bedtime takes 30 minutes instead of 10, and would love it if Pumpkin would start sleeping through the night so that I could push bedtime to 10:30 and still be reasonably rested the next day… but on the whole, the evening routine is working for me.

  17. Hide the Fart? If this is a computer game, I do NOT want to know about it. My 39 year old (or is it 12?) husband is already obsessed with Captain Underpants.The family: 2 adults who WOH 8-5, Casper in K and after-school, Dillo (2) at daycare at mr. flea’s work. 1-car family in Athens GA.
    5pm leave work, walk up the hill to stand on the sidewalk waiting for pickup.
    5:08 mr. flea slows and I jump into the car; Dillo is in carseat. Usually he has taken off his shoes and is covered in sand. He says, “Had a bad day!” (Bad means good, here. He also tells me a have three breasts; he’s two!) He asks to play with my watch.
    5:20 pick up Casper at after school. Dillo comes in with me barefoot.
    5:25 arrive home. 15 minute “nursie pink chair” session with Dillo. Sometimes I get to pee and take my earrings off first! mr. flea and I alternate cooking dinners MW/TTh, so someone starts dinner. I unload lunchboxes and deal with mail and school paperwork. Kids play, sometimes we go outside and chat with neighbors.
    6 or 6:15 dinner time. Meals during the week are simple, 30-minute-tops prep time affairs; we plan them and grocery on Sundays. Will anyone under 30 eat today? Let’s hope so!
    6:45 things deteriorate significantly. Often I am at fault as I am exhausted and start hanging out on the internet to avoid dealing with humans, i.e. my beloved family. Dinner is winding up, whether anyone has eaten or not.
    7pmish – bath time if it’s a bath night (due to drought we bathe every other). Play time, sometimes outside with neighbors, if not. Note it is still broad daylight at this point. Whoever is not bathing/supervising kids is doing dishes and kitchen cleanup.
    7:45 start bedtime routine. Separate stories, multiple cups of milk, sometimes a cd of classical music, often whining, lying in the dark with a parent in the bed for 45 minutes before falling asleep. Requires two adults and I am terrified of asking a sitter to try to get them down (we’ve never done it.) NOT A FUNCTIONING ROUTINE.
    9:15 both children asleep. Often one parent asleep in a child’s bed. I surf the web for relaxation, or sometimes read. Bed for me by 9:45 or 10 because the odds of my being awakened by Dillo by 2:30am are good and I am up at 6:30. I am barely functional on 8 hours of (interrupted) sleep, and cannot understand how many people live on 5.5 or 6.

  18. Parameters: Me, DH, a 3 year old and a 1 year old. We both work full time and DH also goes to school full time, I work from home.My mom watches my kids right now, and she brings them home around 4:30. I work until 6:30/6:45, but sometimes DH is often home by 4:30. If he’s home he sees the kids for a little bit and then leaves at 5 to go to school. My mom feeds the kids dinner (which I have either put in the oven for her, or in the crockpot- she does not cook for my kids as our visions of healthy food for kids are quite different) and she keeps them reasonably entertained until I’m done, in good weather they head to the park across the street from our house.
    6:30/6:45 I’m done teaching for the night and listen to the run-down of what the boys did/ate/slept/etc. that day. Sometimes Mom is willing to stay a few minutes so I can eat quickly, otherwise she heads home.
    7:00 Clean up the mess my mother left in her wake. (whole ‘nother post)
    7:15 Help my 3-year-old pick up his toys, look through his art work from the day, love on the baby, get ready for post-bath pajamas, books, drinks of water, etc. Also I pull out their clothes for the next day and any items that they need to take with them the next day.
    7:40 quick bath time for the baby; 3 year old hangs in his room reading books or playing until I finish with the baby and get him down for bed.
    8ish- bath time for the 3 year old, read 2 books, potty, put him down for bed.
    8:30-9 play “go back to bed” about 15 times with the 3 year old while I check in with all my online stuff.
    9:00 Get ready for the next day- clothes out, etc. for myself, and I pack the kids things. Once I’ve decided the 3 year old is really down I take a shower.
    9:30ish read, blog, knit, whatever I’m working on.
    10:00 DH gets home from school and does his whole shower/get ready for the next day thing. Spend about 5 minutes together before we both crash around 11.
    Our mornings are less stressful and cramped- I don’t start work until 10, so we have almost 4 hours together in the mornings. DH goes to school 4 nights a week right now, it will drop down to just 2 nights a week in October, thank goodness. It makes *everything* so much easier when he helps wrangle one of the kids.

  19. Parameters: New York City, two FT WOH parents, one 3.5 year old in preschool daycare, one 7-month old in different daycare.My husband works long hours in Long Island City (we live in Harlem), so is rarely involved in evening routine. He takes the kids to daycare in the morning and then I cope in the evenings.
    I leave work at 4:20 and either take the crosstown bus to the West Side to catch the subway uptown or take the mind numbingly long bus ride that drops me off in front of older son’s school. I arrive there at around 5:10-5:15, pick up older son (usually involving pleading with him to come down off the playground equipment because we are in a big rush to pick up his brother). We leave by 5:20 and go running down the street to catch the bus that is usually already in view. We board the bus and go two stops, get off, hurriedly cross the street and run to collect younger son who is at a family daycare near our building. His daycare provider is a bit psycho about being there on time and 5:30 is the cut off, so I’m constantly stressed about it. Go upstairs, chitchat with daycare provider, fight with older son about how to properly push the stroller so as not to hit people/trees with baby in it. Arrive home at about 5:45. Argue with 3.5 year old about washing his hands and taking his shoes off. Bribe him with the TV. I wash hands and change quickly into comfy easy-to-breastfeed-in clothes. Get screaming, exhausted baby out of stroller, plonk him on the floor to play for a few minutes. Prepare baby’s medicine for acid reflux, and administer it. Now must wait 10-15 while medicine takes effect before baby can eat. He’s usually wailing during that time. Meanwhile, while baby wails, I prepare older son’s dinner…usually heat up spaghetti leftovers, or make Amy’s frozen mac and cheese, or fish sticks, or chili with rice and put it on the table. Get older son’s water, and ask him to sit down to eat. Put baby in high chair and make him his cereal/strained veggies meal (he’s still wailing). Beg older son to come to the table. Turn off TV and wrestle with him to make him sit. Finish feeding baby and sit down with him to nurse him a bit before bath. Finish nursing, give older son a warning about eating his dinner. Plop baby down for a minute. Start bath water. Undress the babe, bathe him. Read him one book. Turn TV back on for older son. Get him some dessert. Tell him I’m going to put the baby to sleep in my bedroom (still in a pack-and-play in our room because he’s not sleeping reliably through the night and wakes older son up…we have two bedrooms in our tiny apartment and I’m dying to get both boys sleeping in one room, but wait I must). Warn him multiple times that he absolutely cannot knock on the door or yell or summon me in any way while I’m putting the baby to sleep (this rule is invariably broken…). Put baby to sleep by singing, rocking on shoulder for a few minutes. When baby is down (and on a good night he stays down for at least several hours…other nights he’s crying at intervals while I try to bathe older son), I give 3.5 year old warnings about bath time. Struggle to get him out of his clothes and into the water. Field multiple requests for more food. Bathe him, wash hair. Let him play for a few minutes while I get dinner going for me and husband. Plead with son to get out. Put on PJs, choose 2-3 books to read. It’s usually about 7:30 that I try to have him out of the bath. It’s at this point (7:30-8:00) that my husband usually comes home. We all sit together on the couch and read/drink milk. Try to have some loving moments together! Then son goes pee and gets into bed. I have to recite one more story and do a long involved routine of saying goodnight to the stars, moon, robots on his wall. Then I warn him that he has to stay in bed. On a good night he does, on a bad/normal night he gets up 1-3 times before finally settling down to sleep (8:00-8:30). Then hubby and I finish making dinner, eat, watch TV, hang out. I crash at about 10:00. What fun!

  20. Who: Husband and me WOH in academia (means somewhat flexible schedule) with just turned-three-year-old son.summary of our take on it (may not apply at all to other families): grocery once a week, switch boring duties with cool duties (cleaning versus taking care of son’s bedtime) between parents each day,get a dishwasher and a cleaning person. Live close to work (20 minutes walk + metro) and daycare (5-10 minutes walk from home).
    4pm: one parent leaves university and takes the metro to daycare. Arrives at 4.20-4.30pm. Walks to local park/playground 2 minutes away from daycare with son. This will change in the winter.
    5pm: other parent leaves university (we have 2 nights each of working until 5pm,and every other Friday). Parent meets parent-son team at the park and then its a 5 minute walk to home or everybody meets up at home at 5.30pm.
    5:30pm husband cooks 90% of the time, usually from scratch. We stopped going to the grocery during the week as it made everything very difficult. As many posters said on this site, it saves a lot of time to do it once a week. It was our biggest improvement for sanity (with having a cleaning lady once every two weeks). The other parent (me!) gets to play with son. We may also help Dad with cooking by washing the vegetables, or placing cutlery or chatting with him in kitchen or taking care of the kitchen robot to cut stuff (that’s the 3 year old exclusive job)
    6:00-6:45pm: dinner.
    6:45-7:30: Play with son and talk in the living room (that is really a giant play room, we have accepted the fact that toys are all over it). All the mess stays in the kitchen. We play music instruments and read books in turn or do puzzles or play with matchbox cars on the floor, or do playdoh or painting and just chill out with him.
    7:30 (with a 5 minute warning for the son): The parents split up the tasks (we alternate every night). With son, in this order : cleaning up (usually with a bowl of water, he gets a full bath twice a week), pyjama, asthma medicine, toilet and teeth brushing, one book, a glass of water (and only one!), then he gets to bed and we do “tell me about my day” where we retell with him everything he did that day (it gets very involved with Mama, may take 15 minutes) and then a kiss goodnight. During this time, other parent cleans up kitchen, brooms, empty the dishwasher (best investment ever when our son was 18 months old or so, and it takes less water than dishwashing by hand according to a recent study, which made me feel better as I felt so bourgeois for having one) and cleans pots and pans by hand.
    8pm: Usually the other parent switches and comes in for a song or two. Then son settles. Now falls asleep around 8:30pm since he moved with older kids in daycare in september, but could take up to 9pm this summer (or its the daylight change or both…)
    8pm (with a few trips to son’s bedroom next to home office for additional cuddling): we both work until around 10pm, sometimes more, to catch up since we left “very early” at 4pm or just “early” at 5pm. We log about 40-45 hours a week of work total this way (9am to 4pm + evenings), which is average for our jobs, but we do it in increments so we can spend time with son.
    10pm: maybe catch the news on tv or on the radio. Then we talk in bed and try to be asleep by 10.30-11pm. All the fun is between 4.30 and 8pm (well, maybe some after 10pm also)!

  21. Wow, this is all making me realize how good we have it…Parameters: Husband is HS teacher, I work at home 4 days/week. 28 m.o. daughter goes to wonderful small daycare center on the next street over from our house. Neurotic shih tzu. Outside Portland, Maine.
    3-3:30 pm: Husband comes home from work. Tries to talk to me while I am desperately cramming in the last of my work for the day.
    4 pm: We walk together to daycare. Chat a bit with our provider; since we’re one of the earliest pickups, we get some uninterrupted chatting time every day, which is really nice.
    4:20: Head out w/ the stroller to the beach, the bench in front of the bakery or the playground… Very occasionally, come straight home and play inside (although this routine will theoretically change once the frigid weather arrives).
    5 or 5:15: I start dinner prep while he hangs with the girl. Sometimes she’ll play on her own while I listen to NPR and cook; usually from scratch, but with takeout written into our budget 1x/week.
    5:30: The girl feeds neurotic shih tzu (parent fills cup w/ food, she carries it to dog bowl, pours it in and puts cup away).
    6 pm: Dinner. The three of us eat together, and it’s usually not too traumatic.
    6:20-6:30: Wrap up dinner, swab the girl down and head outside for a walk (again, likely to change in a couple months). Have to say hi to the neighbor’s extensive porch collection of wooden cows, as well as the truck up the street. Alternatively, hang out inside playing. We try to do this together – ie, one of us doesn’t bail out and do the dishes or check email – most nights. Exception: bath night, a couple times a week. Then the non-bath parent does whatever the h— s/he wants.
    7:20: Kiddo gets the 10-minute bedtime warning.
    7:30: Potty & teeth, overseen by the parent who is not doing the rest of the evening ritual. (We switch back and forth every night.)
    7:35: Kid gets handed off to the other parent and taken upstairs for pajamas, pullup and books, followed by a lengthy recounting of her day and other distraction techniques. Meanwhile, non-bedtime parent is cleaning the kitchen.
    8 pm: Woohoo! Done with the kid. Pour glass of wine. Husband watches baseball/football/insert sport here while I spend too much time w/ the laptop next to him on the couch.
    8:30: Ignore self-imposed Internet curfew. Occasionally watch DVD of Mad Men w/ husband.
    10-ish pm: Take turns in bathroom. Head up to bed. I read for 10-15 min, then collapse.

  22. Parameters: NE college town; I stay at home w/ 14 mo. old son and do a little freelance work, husband works full time from home and takes online classes toward his masters at night/on weekends5-5:15 Husband finished work and takes the 10 second commute down the stairs (man, I’m lucky)
    5-6 if it’s nice out, husband takes son for a walk while I make dinner, if not husband tries futilely to detach son from my leg while I try to cook
    6ish feed cats. we all sit down to eat together (kid has eaten whatever we eat from the beginning, woohoo)
    6:30 finish dinner, one of starts clean up while the other plays with the kid, outside if possible
    7ish (depending on how naps(s) went today) one of us gives the kid a bath while the other finishes dinner clean up or works on other household stuff (laundry, etc.)
    7:30 bedtime; read a few books, lay down on mattress at the foot of our bed and nurse the kid to sleep; ideally this takes 20-30 minutes (or, when son was gearing up and learning to walk 10-11 1/2 months, took 1-1/2 HORRIBLE hours)
    8ish depending on my motivation, how bedtime went, and jobs, either do more housework/work on freelance projects, or tool around on the internet pointlessly. think about calling long-neglected friends but probably don’t do it.
    9ish husband is hopefully done with homework and we either do our own things, reading, knitting etc., or watch a dvd show together
    10ish husband and I go to bed; if I’m feeling frisky, leave the kid on the mattress until he wakes up a few hours later wanting to nurse, otherwise bring the kid to bed with us now.
    Reading about other people’s schedules really puts things in perspective for me; I feel really fortunate that we have as relaxed a schedule as we do and both get to spend so much time with the kid. I’ll try to enjoy it while it lasts!

  23. We have 2 WOH parents, a 14 year old, a 5 year old and a 9 month old.DH does pickups, mostly. The 5 year old needs to be picked up by 6, which seems to be impacting his carpool situation.
    5ish – I leave work arrive home between 5:30 and 5:45. Scold the boy for waiting until 5:30 to start dealing with the dishes and/or clearing the table. (This kitchen’s not big enough for the both of us.) Make dinner (or assemble diaper bag if we’re going out), Give a heads up when dinner is mostly cooking itself so that the boy can get the table ready, etc.
    6-6:30ish – DH and the girls arrive home. 5YO asks – What are we having for dinner? before I get to answer, she replies “I don’t like that.” consider negotiations/alternatives (I think she just likes to pick her own meals mostly.)
    6:15-6:45 – sit down to eat. Last minute meeting-sorting logistics (who is taking whom to a meeting, when will they be home, etc.)
    7:30 – bathe the girls, sequentially.
    Feed the baby a bottle, work through kindergarten homework, let the 5yo watch a show.
    8pm – time for story (usu. for the 2 girls) Shower for the boy.
    8:30 – all the kids are in bed. May be keeping the 5 year old company until 8:45 or so. Breathe.
    Figure out if we need to wash bottles, check email, figure out if there are any good shows on, prep for tomorrow, clear off my bed.
    10:30 start puttering towards bed.

  24. Parameters: 2 WOH parents in professional careers that used to involve a lot more overtime. If 1 of us has to work late or travel for work, a home cooked meal is replaced with dinner at a neighborhood restaurant, microwaved mac’n’cheese or pizza. 1 child who is 19 months old and we’re TTC #2.Daycare center is near dad’s office and he does drop off and pick up by car. I take the bus to and from work.
    5:20 – Dad and daughter get home
    5:30 – I get off the bus, and on nice evenings Dad and daughter meet me on my walk home
    5:45 – I start dinner. If the peanut is hungry I will let her have a small snack. I’d rather she get a snack so we can eat dinner as a family then serve her a separate meal
    5:45-6:30ish – Random playtime, bike ride, walks, etc while I’m cooking. I try to get in on the action while things are simmering or baking, but I admit that it’s nice when dad and daughter go on a bike ride so I can cook in a quiet house.
    6:30ish – Family dinner
    7-7:30 – either quiet playtime or bathtime depending the day’s activities and our level of tiredness
    7:30 – books, pajamas, nursing, brush teeth (order varies based on daughter’s mood)
    8:00 – bedtime. When we’re not dealing with teething, developmental spurts, etc, I settle her in with her blanket and pacifier, turn on musical bunny and say goodnight. When things are bad, it could take an hour of rocking, holding, crying, etc to get her settled.
    Once she’s in bed I consider the chores that should be done and my level of tiredness. On a good night, I spend an hour doing chores, 30 minutes on the computer, 30 minutes knitting in bed and go to sleep soon after 10. On a bad night, I sit in front of the TV and computer until 11pm and curse myself for not being productive and not going to bed earlier. Dad is generally on the computer all evening and goes to bed at 11.

  25. What routine?? It’s catch as catch can! The 10 mos. old kiddo goes to bed between 9:30-10:30 and so do his parents & dogs. House is a disaster. Dishes are dirty. Laundry isn’t done. We’ve embraced the chaos.@Mamabird – Oh how we loved “The Wire.” I heart Omar so very much. Once we finished the series, we felt like one of our best friends moved away. Trying to fill the void with “Weeds,” which is very different of course, but also highly entertaining.

  26. Parameters: 1 WAH parent (me), 1 WOH/student parent (DH). 17month old boy, goes to babysitter 3 days/week. Dog, 2 cats.4:00pm – start thinking about dinner. Get it as “ready” as possible without actually cooking it up. Everything on the stove/in the oven, just needing to be turned on before the little monster starts getting cranky.
    5:00pm – stop working. If the little dude is at the sitter, I go pick him up and then go do something fun (if he’s home we just go and do something fun) – go to the park, go to the mall, anything I think he’ll enjoy that particular day
    6:00pm – head back home – turn on stove/oven when ds isnt looking (major food aversions, freaks out when I start cooking and he notices – he’s hungry but is frustrated that he “cant”/wont eat). Sit down and read stories or play with his shapesorter. Basically keep him occupied
    6:30pm – if dh is at work, he arrives home (if he’s at school he doesnt get home until 9pm). By this point dinner is ready. I throw it on the table and we sit down to eat. Meals are not relaxing as they are a giant feeding therapy session for ds, and there are nearly always tears shed
    6:45pm – me and ds do the immediate neccessities for “cleaning up” dinner (ie, dishes in dishwasher, pots and pans in sink, leftovers in fridge) while dh changes out of his work clothes (if he is home)
    6:55pm – we take the dog for a walk (little guy in stroller). Inevitably run into ds’s “friend” from down the block, talk with family for awhile.
    7:15pm – arrive home, let little man run around the yard for just a few minutes to get out his last remaining energy (and procrastinate the inevitable temper tantrum that will ensue when he finds out he has to go indside)
    7:25pm – promise ds a “special big boy treat” once we go inside. Give him a “milkshake” (his formula comes in little juice box containers, and actually tastes good so he thinks hes pretty cool drinking it sometimes). Read with him while he drinks it so he doesnt spill everywhere
    7:35pm – upstairs and into the tub. I sit with him while dh (if he’s home) throws a load of laundry in, or starts to finish the dinner clean-up
    7:45pm – pj’s, a little whining, begging to read one more story (which we give in to), convince ds to get into bed
    8:00pm – lights out. I stay and rub his back for 5 mins or so and talk about what we did that day until hes totally relaxed.
    8:05pm – quick cleanup of toys, any remaining dinner tidying that dh may have forgotten, start the dishwasher, sit down to check my email with a glass of chocolate milk. Relax in front of the tv for a few minutes, maybe do some readong
    9:30pm or soon after – bed time for me, wishing my poor husband good luck as he stays up until all hours of the night working on homework.

  27. Who and what they do: Mama works at home 3xweek and in office 2xweek. Dad is a grad student and teaches but is home mostly. 15 mo. old daughter is in part-time (mornings) day care and likes to play.5ish: Mama home from work, or work day at home wrapping up.
    5:30ish: Mama nurses daughter. Parents discuss the day, discuss whether Obama is going to win, and what to have for dinner. Start dinner prep (usually dad does this, but sometimes it’s a collaborative effort).
    6ish: All three sit down for dinner together. Daughter eats what we eat, lots of food ends up on the floor. Games, such as clapping hands, peekaboo, putting on “earmuffs”, and pointing to noses, keep us occupied.
    6:30ish: Haul daughter out of high chair. One parent takes on task of cleaning baby while the other cleans the floor/chair/table.
    7ish: Sometimes daughter takes a bath. Sometimes she just runs around and plays, or if she is tired, she stands irritably at mama’s feet, asking to be picked up.
    7:30ish: Nighttime diaper (Plug for product we like: since cloth don’t hold enough pee, we use Nature Babycare brand–they are european, biodegradable, and GREAT. Get them online from and jammies. If irritable and tired, proceed directly to toothbrushing. If not, some more playing while adults try to clean up the kitchen.
    8ish: Brush teeth and Mama takes daughter to (family) bed. Occasionally read a book or two but more often just get down to business (nursing with lights out). Daughter still nurses to sleep, and requires mama to stay with her from then on. Generally, after about 20 minutes of nursing, reading light comes back on and mama reads in bed and dad checks to see what mama needs (milk and cookies, please). Dad putters about doing dishes, emailing, grading, and joins family at 9:30 or 10 for a bit of reading. Lights out for everyone at 10:30ish. Daughter nurses on and off all night.
    Pretty low-key routine, and easily adjustable for social outings, etc. We do need to focus on breaking the nurse-to-sleep association, though. Mama would like her evenings back for chores, movies, and cuddles with husband. Also, we’ve never had a nighttime sitter, since evening routine is so mama-centric.

  28. Yay! Our parameters: live in suburb-amalgamated-city Toronto, husband WAH 3-4 days a week, both work full-time, one 3 yr old in Montessori4pm: rush out door from work feeling guilty (I work 8-4 but it is not the norm) for 45-50 min subway ride, 15-20 min drive to Montessori
    5:15-ish pick up the boy.
    5:30 arrive home. Most nights have 10-15 min dinner prep thanks to meal planning o’doom. (See example here: )
    5:45 (ish) eat dinner, occasionally with husband. Often not. He will be working.
    6-6:45/7 clean up, play time, nightly walk if husband is not available. If husband is available he and son play their game called “dub-dubs” which involves much jumping on the bed and occasional bruises. No comment about this primate activity.
    7 pm pyjamas on, brush teeth (lately in front of YouTube Thomas episodes as we seem to have hit some kind of body integrity/tooth brushing wall), read story. Husband returns to work.
    7:20 Lie down on bed and chat
    7:40 still chatting/listening to son chat/listening to son sing and chat/chat-chat-chat. OH MY GOD. Have tried many things, including no active play etc., but chat is mandatory regardless of routine tweaks.
    Keep reminding self that when son loses voice at 14 will remember this fondly.
    Leaving room only results in boy getting every stuffed animal “to talk to.” World’s biggest extrovert.
    7:45 Insist it is time to sleep, not chat.
    7:48 Do not care that rockets need fuel to launch into space.
    7:51 Cannot handle another round of “the wheels on the bus”
    7:53 am glad you love me but for the LOVE OF GOD let’s be quiet.
    7:54 Quiet means not talking
    7:55 Quiet means not singing.
    … or humming
    8:15 by now, asleep. Talking in sleep. But asleep. Interrupt husband’s work to communicate.
    8:30 Go online, chat with non-husband BFF. Do some work, mess around on YouTube. Read NY Times a day late. Pretend to work on novel.
    10:00 Do 45 minute routine (tidy, kitchen, meal prep, sweep.). Or not.
    10:45: bed. Husband still working
    1:00 am Husband comes to bed.
    Baths occur in the morning after I’ve left, so I get free and clear on that one.

  29. We don’t have much of a routine these days. Between the late pregnancy exhaustion, the trying to keep contractions at bay, and the coughing ick that we keep passing back and forth, it’s all we can do to get everyone fed (AM and PM) and dressed (AM) or to bed at a semi-decent hour(PM). It’s not pretty.The one constant is feeding the cats immediately upon waking or getting home from work to get them to stop the howling.

  30. Parameters: WOH hubby, SAHM with 8 month old DS, living in large town commutable to NYC.5pm: feed the little guy some veggies & rice, which I try to make although I use jarred food also
    5:30pm: sit & play a bit before DH comes home.
    6pm: we all three go for a walk in town; DH & I talk about hopes/dreams, but also grouse about this and that
    6:45: give the little guy a bath. DH pretty much takes over here, and puts his clothes on and hands him off to me…
    7pm: …to nurse
    7:15pm: the little feller is usually asleep, and DH and I are usually drinking an adult beverage
    7:30pm: maybe I started dinner and am finishing preparing it? Maybe I forgot to come up with something for dinner? Maybe it’s just cheese, crackers and wine?
    8:30pm: eating dinner if it all comes together
    9pm: maybe watching a netflix movie; or DH will surf internet and I will read one of many New Yorker mags sitting around the house
    10pm: go nurse the baby.
    10:15pm: make the choice: shower or go to sleep. I usually say SCREW IT to personal hygiene and go to sleep

  31. Wow, this is so interesting. And I am really feeling incredibly fortunate and grateful.Parameters: 2 parents and one 21-month-old, in the suburbs of a small city. I work at home 3 mornings a week (with nanny care)and am with the girl the rest of the time, husband works at home full time.
    5 PM: I start dinner while The Girl plays
    5:15: Husband comes down from his office, plays with The Girl while I finish cooking
    5:30 or 6: We all sit down to dinner.
    Until 7:30: Do dishes, then take walk or play in the yard or run an errand together, or else if it’s been a rough day the husband will play with The Girl while I read or work on a deadline.
    7:30 A cup of milk on the couch, then upstairs for bath (husband’s job, since he likes it and I don’t) and bedtime (we take turns).
    [On a good night]8:30: Girl is asleep or on the way, going down just fine on her own
    [On a bad night]9:15: Girl is finally asleep, after I sat in the doorway of her room until she fell asleep because it was a freak-out night (not too many of these nights, thank goodness]
    Until 11ish: Reading, watching The Wire on DVD with the husband, making tea and hanging out or maybe doing some baking, or, all too often, both of us working
    Reading these, I am so grateful we are both able to work from home–and that I can work part time–so our evenings are not as frenzied as a lot of people’s. And I have NO idea how single moms do it.

  32. @Shandra — I want that meal plan! That is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! Do you post it somewhere (?blog?) or could I get on your distribution list for it, or is it strictly for the Shandra Fam only? How often do you change it? Where do your meal ideas come from? How far ahead are you planning? You are my HERO with that thing! Email me: rosebud1742 (at) gmail (dot) comPM Routine
    Parameters: SAHM to 21 month old girl, DH WOH, 40w3d pregnant with #2
    4pm: DH returns home — potty, change clothes & exuberant welcome usually takes an hour
    5pm: I start adult dinner & DH feeds DD
    6pm: Adult dinner while DD has a cookie or tastes what we’re having
    6:15 / 6:30: DH cleans up from dinner & I take DD up for bath
    7pm: DH comes up for hugs, kisses and goodnights
    7:15pm: I’m back downstairs to finish cleaning up & pack DH’s lunch for tomorrow. I also do a version of the FlyLady’s ‘Evening Routine’
    8/8:30pm: Up to bed for reading or TV
    9pm: Lights out.

  33. So wow, Moxie, are you just super quick or do the kids stay up a little later??? That is a big load of stuff to do in a very short period of time.I work part time from home … husband works full time outside. Kids 4.5 and 1.5
    So: we are either home already, or arriving home from some activity/etc at about 4:30. On the days I am working later, the routine is basically the same with the nanny doing the earlier part of the kids’ routine (she leaves around 6:30 or 7).
    One thing we don’t do at this point is family dinner. My husband gets home at 7 and (a) the baby would never make it, and (b) it would make getting the 4.5 year old to bed take much longer and cut in on evening grown up time. So for the moment, we do an early kids’ dinner and a later grown up dinner. (I am also a bad, bad mother that I don’t make my kids eat what we eat. I am not really interested in “dumbing down” the grown up food to appeal to kids or in fighting with the kids to eat the grown up food.)
    5:15: kids eat dinner. I sit with them or do some prep for grown up dinner.
    5:45: kids take bath together. Life got infinitely easier once I could do both together (when baby was about 6 months).
    6:00: PJs etc for kids. I work on grown up dinner prep while kids watch TV. Also give the baby a bottle.
    7:00(ish): husband arrives home. Plays with baby briefly.
    7:15: baby to bed. Finish making grown up dinner and dish it up. Read 4.5 year old stories while we eat. Then quick brush teeth and bathroom trip.
    8:00: 4.5 year old to bed. Finish dinner, talk to husband, watch some TV.
    9:00: Dinner clean up/dishes.
    9:30: Administrative stuff for work if necessary (bookkeeping, etc) or just monkey around on internet on laptop while sitting on couch with husband.
    11:00: to bed on a good night
    12:00 or later: to bed on a night when I cannot tear myself away from the computer and TV. (Bad Muriel!!!).

  34. @Carla, my kids are in bed between 8:40 and 9.@Julie, I love SATI, although rarely do it from the actual DVD anymore because I ave it memorized, so I do it while I watch something else on TV.
    I can’t believe all of you people get home so early! That sounds like heaven.

  35. Just reading these comments has led me to an epiphany: I am lonely!When my son was born I took the US government’s 12 weeks of unpaid leave and then went back to work part time for another 9 months. During that time I was able to make the acquaintance of several SAH moms. I went to lunches and play dates once or twice a week. But those friends kind of slipped away when I went back full time in June, largely because playdates and lunch time take place during work hours.
    I thought perhaps I was just too lazy to make friends, or possible not likeable, but I see that most most moms (WOH, WAH, and SAH) are too busy and too tired to deal with new friends on top of everything else. I had hoped that going back to work would make me feel less alone, but it has actually increased my isolation because it makes cultivating mommy friendships and a support network so difficult.

  36. Parameters: 2 FT WOH parents, one 3.5 year old son, one 13 month old daughter, one ferret, located in Kentucky about 30 minutes from work by car. I hesitate to even call this a routine because our schedule changes so much, but this is what we do. I mourn the fact that DD needs so much sleep so it seems that I never see her (especially on Monday and Tuesday). DH is supposed to care for the ferret, but I usually end up cleaning out his cage/ feeding him or nagging DH about it endlessly. I truly think I married a man who was not ready to grow up, contrary to his claims that he wanted a family.~~Sunday~~
    I usually pack the kid’s diaper bag, and non perishable foods for the next week. I finish the previous week’s laundry (usually about 6 loads), and iron a week’s worth of clothing for myself. I check the weather report and then layout a week’s worth of clothing for the kids so DH can dress them in the mornings. I get a basic idea of what meals we’ll be eating during the week. DS is in a children’s club, so we take him there at 6:00 pm, and pick him up at 7:30 pm. We usually do the grocery shopping while he is gone.
    ~~Every week day~~
    4:30 pm, I get off work and wait for my husband to come pick me up (we work the same schedule for the same company, but are located several miles apart). DH arrives @ 4:45 pm.
    5:00 pm, arrive at my mom’s house (she is watching the kids for the time being) to pick up the kids. Monday and Tuesday I stay at my mom’s house to tutor my siblings for two hours to help off-set the cost of my kids’ daycare (I spend 4 hrs. a week tutoring along with $150.00 to pay for my kids being at their grandma’s house. That will be changing soon, as it is more expensive than putting them in daycare—and I’m pretty sure they would be cared for better at daycare).
    ~~Monday or Tuesday~~
    5:20 pm, DH arrives home with kids, fixes dinner for the kids (something simple such as a Crockpot meal, sandwiches, leftovers, frozen dinner)
    6:00 pm, DH gets on internet game and plays while the kids entertain themselves/ watch cartoons.
    7:00 pm, DD is getting fussy so DH changes her diaper and puts her to bed.
    7:20 pm, I arrive home, get my lunch for tomorrow together, read with DS. DH continues to play game. I deal with laundry if necessary.
    8:00 pm, I help DS get ready for bed and put him to bed. I pick up the dishes from dinner. I refuse to wash the dishes, so they pile up.
    8:15-8:30 pm, I prepare dinner for tomorrow, clean up the leftovers from dinner. Often I spend time on the phone with a friend.
    9:00-9:30 pm, I go to the bedroom and read/ watch TV waiting for DH to come to bed. Often I fall asleep before he comes back, but sometimes he comes back around 11:00 pm or so.
    ~~Wednesday or Thursday~~
    5:20 pm, we arrive home and I change into comfy clothing, nurse DD and then fix dinner. DH gets on his internet game. DS tells me about his day/ runs around under foot/ watches cartoons.
    6:00 pm, we eat dinner; I pick up the dishes and do the puttering I need to do (lunch, laundry, etc.). Due to DH’s addiction, TV and computer usually stay on during dinner.
    7:00 pm, DD is getting fussy, so I change her diaper and put her to bed. We bathe the kids only 2-3 times a week as they both seem to have sensitive skin, and more frequent bathing seems to make skin problems flare up. If DD has a diaper rash, I’ll often put her in the tub with warm water for a few minutes and then let her run around naked for a little bit before bed.
    8:00-8:30 pm, I get DS ready for bed (usually he’ll have a bath one of these nights). Sometimes I can convince DH to do the bathing as I usually bathe them both on Sunday night on my own. If DH helps, we usually bathe around 7:00 pm, and I dress them in their PJs and put them to bed.
    9:00 pm, I give up trying to talk to DH because I’m tired of talking to the side of his face while he kills the bad guys on his game. If he’s not using both computers for his game, I’ll often take the laptop to the bedroom and surf the net there. Sometimes, I make dinner for the next day (I love my Crockpot).
    Family Day (no TV, computers, cell phones, etc.) We’re also experimenting with Family Day being on Thursday, but then DH misses his wrestling, and he hates that.
    This day can vary. Often we go to the park and eat dinner (fast food, usually) and then feed the ducks and play until 7:00 pm (and DD is wiped out). Sometimes, we go to a local video game/ buffet and eat and play (it defeats the purpose of no electronics, but I’m trying to keep DH on board with this). Anyway, we’re usually home by 7:30 pm.
    8:00 pm, DD is nursed and in bed sound asleep. DS is usually thinking about being tired so I get him ready for bed, and we usually read together or play blocks until bed time. He usually is asleep by around 8:30 pm.
    9:00 pm, I hit the hay since I don’t have anything to do. DH waits until I’m asleep to break the ban on electronics and breaks out the TV and computer(s). Sometimes, if Family Day is on a Friday, I break the ban, too and watch TV or surf the internet. If I don’t go straight to bed, I am usually up until 1 or 2 am. I can definitely see how married folk can “just drift apart”. On the plus side, other than having to prod DH out of bed (several times each morning), he gets the kiddos ready, gets his lunch ready, and I just have to get myself ready and out the door (by 6:35 am, or we hit all the school busses and are late).
    Wow, I’m really long-winded, sorry about that!
    @ paola: I have a Zoe, too! ::smiles::

  37. 2 parents, DH WOH and usually travels 4-5 days/week, I’m SAHM, 2 kids, 3 1/2 and 2. We live in a large city. I’m pretty attached to my routine especially when DH is out of town and especially by Thursday when I have about no patience left.4:30’ish talk with kids about dinner. When DH is gone, I do a frozen meal and salad or something I put together at “Let’s Dish” for me. I prepare something in addition for the kids.
    5:00 Kids try my food, but usually eat something else. We eat outside to avoid mess inside!
    5:30-5:45 clean up, put dishes in dishwasher
    6:00-7’ish In good weather go to the park. This can be decent adult time, since the same people tend to come at the same time. In bad weather stay home and play- something artsy at the dining room table or play with trains in bedroom.
    7:00-7:30 bathe, brush teeth, get pajamas on
    7:30-7:45 each kid picks one book. might get an extra “mom’s pick”
    7:45 ‘ish lights out, sing a couple of songs, say prayer, lay down with them, admonish that if they don’t settle down they’ll have to sleep in seperate rooms
    8:15 Usually they’re asleep or close enough for me to leave them
    8:30-9:00 Take care of any calls or e-mail for volunteer stuff I do, talk with friends
    9:00-10:30 Try to pick up, fold clothes, get lunches/backpacks ready if the next day is a pre-school day, start dishwasher
    10:30 get a shower, get ready for bed, talk with DH, read
    Asleep by 11-11:30

  38. US: 2 WOT parents, 18 month twins, work 1 mile from home, nanny 9-44:00- I leave work, relieve nanny
    4:05-5:00- play with boys
    5:00-6:00- DH arrives home, cooks dinner (we alternate who comes home at 4, and who cooks)
    6:00-6:30- we all eat dinner together
    6:30-6:45- I bathe boys, brush teeth, DH starts clean-up
    6:45-7:00- diapers, PJs, bit of crazy time
    7:00- boys get boob while DH feeds cats
    7:30- both boys usually asleep by this time, after we each take one and read/pat/lie down with him
    7:30-9:00- more clean up, laundry folding, prep snacks for next day, some wine, maybe chocolate
    9:00-10:30- computer time, teaching work, ordering stuff online. Sometimes a boys will waken around this time.
    asleep by 11:00 at the latest

  39. Parameters:1 40+hr work at home father. 1 40+hr student mother. 1 in daycare toddler. 1 dog. Small city (Lansing, MI).
    5:00-5:15 – back up study guides on flash drive, log off computer, head out to pick son up at daycare.
    5:20-5:30 – navigate hellish Michigan-left turn onto main road.
    5:45 – pick up toddler at daycare. Often have to go say goodbye to the babies in the nursery. Pick up crackers by the door on the way out. MUST PICK UP CRACKERS OR TODDLER WILL MELT.
    6:00 – get home. Most nights I make dinner, some nights dinner is in Slo-cooker or already in oven baking.
    6:30-6:45ish – sit down to dinner as family. Say grace, eat. Must work on wandering toddler during meal times. Most often ends up with him sitting in the living room while the adults finish our meal.
    7:00-7:15ish – husband heads up to bathe the boy while I clear the table and do the dishes.
    7:30-7:45ish – husband dresses toddler, toddler “helps” feed the dog. While husband takes the dog out for his post-dinner poo, I read stories to the boy.
    7:50ish – Tell the boy no more books, and have him pick out a “chunky” book to take to bed (he must take a board book, or we’d wake up to pages strewn about his bedroom). Give hug, kiss, touch cheeks. Tell him goodnight. Little boy (God bless him) lays down, goes to sleep and is not heard from again until morning.
    8:00-8:15 – husband begins to veg out, play video games, whatever, while I set myself up to study.
    10:00-10:30 – stop studying. Head up to do nightly cleansing, then read a little in bed while husband takes dog out for last chance piddle.
    Goal is to be in bed, ready for sleep, by 11:00. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.
    This nice schedule is thrown completely out of whack when husband travels for work, or when I have lab later than 5pm.
    Next semester will be a free-for-all, as I’ll be starting clinical rotations and my schedule will change every 3 weeks.

  40. @Moxie – it is nice getting home early, but for me it’s because I’m up early and out of the house by 7 a.m., before DS is even awake. It’s the only way I manage to cram a full day’s work in and still get out the door by 4:30. Not that I would change it, am lucky to work somewhere the gives me flexible hours as long as there is some face time during the main business day (i.e. 9 -4).

  41. @eep- I hear you on the “too busy to have friends” thing. I do most of my catching up with friends at occasional lunches during the work week. Maybe you can ID someone likely and invite her out to lunch?This reminded me that I need to bug a friend I haven’t seen in ages (another WOHM) and get a lunch date set….

  42. Parameters: 1 SAHM, 1 Dad with flexible (kind of unpredictable) job, 5.5 yo, 2.5 yr old, 9 mo.Umm..routine is definitely too strong a word to use for us, more like sample:
    4:00 Mommy+kids home from picking up in Kindergarten (10 minutes away)
    4:00-5:00 play outside, read inside, look at backpacks, prep dinner, deal with meltdowns, nurse baby, hold baby, deal with meltdowns (being a new is hard!),oh yeah, deal with snacks for STARVING children,without ruining dinner, but it’s still TOO EARLY for dinner, according to children who are way smarter than mama, etc.
    5:00-6:00 attempt to feed “bigs”, “little,” and grown ups, clear table (umm..let’s say dream night instead of sample night)
    6:00-7:00 Baths, creams for big kids (they have some skin stuff) , pajamas, books, kisses, water, etc.
    pajamas and nursies for baby
    7:00ish mama stares off into space for extended period of time, trying to regroup enough to finish what needs to be done, either:
    A.she does and then: does dishes, cooks,bakes, cleans, launders,folds laundry,makes lunches, puts out clothes for the next day, or
    B.she doesn’t and then: spends too much time reading blogs
    1011 ish. Collapse completely into bed. Hopefully manage own bedtime routines.
    This all works much better when we are both home then when I am doing it by myself, or more commonly, my husband has to leave midstream (read, 2 kids in bath, one cranky baby who still wants to nurse, bye-bye, Abba has to go!!)
    Also, it seems much much simpler on “paper” They are rarely actually asleep by 7!!! And, I gotta reread you organized people’s stuff to get more efficient!

  43. Having a grown daughter, we have had different routines based on age and situation. I will share with you the last routine we had before she went to college:4:00 – get off work
    4:01 – wait in lobby for daughter to pick me up. (One car, she gets to drive to school)
    4:05 – Car (and daughter arrive) — I get in passenger seat and relax while she drives us home.
    . . . the rest is irrelevant because, oh the joy of having someone else do the driving after all those years!!!

  44. I’ve got two variations. One is for days we get out of the house earlier and the kids have breakfast at daycare (meaning I arrive at work around 8) and one for days we stay and have breakfast together at home (meaning I arrive at work around 9).The earlier variation is cake — lots of time for whatever, so I’ll do the later one.
    5:30 – leave work
    5:40 – arrive at daycare, track down kids (late kids are consolidated into various classrooms)
    5:55 – finally talk kids into leaving daycare with me; start drive home; call Hubby to let him know we’re leaving (he starts dinner)
    6:25 – arrive home
    6:40 – dinner
    7:00 – finish dinner, short playtime
    7:15 – put Little Dude’s pajamas on; Munchkin does her own
    7:20 – ditto for teeth brushing
    7:25 – read books (2-3) with both kids
    7:35 – pick out car for Little Dude to “vrum” in his room while I settle Munchkin in (sometimes read another book, always listen to a little music in the dark, in the rocking chair together)
    7:50 – tuck Munchkin in, start her CD again, quietly leave room, ignore Munchkin instantly getting up to pee, go into Little Dude’s room, say goodnight to the car, rock and sing
    7:55 – lie down with Little Dude in toddler bed (!) and tell ‘the truck story’
    8:00 – Little Dude gets 7 kisses (both sides of neck, both cheeks, top of head, forehead, nose), then ‘just one more’ on the mouth, hugs, on his tummy so I can cover him up.
    They’re well-trained, so once they’re in bed, we don’t see them again, though we usually hear the Munchkin up and around for a half hour or so. Which is fine with me — she’s still napping at almost 4 1/2 and I’ll happily trade the daytime break for a little nighttime ruckus.
    The rest of the evening varies a lot, but it usually involved some prime time TV, is supposed to involve cleaning of the kitchen, and too-rarely-for-somebody’s-taste involves a little “adult time”. I try to be asleep by 10:30 — the Munchkin gets up around 6:30 and I’m still playing sleep-catch-up from the apnea.
    I do baths twice a week — Saturday nights and Wednesday mornings (I work at home Wednesdays and my mom comes to us, so we have that extra commute time available to us.)

  45. Oops, forgot parameters: two-parent household, Dad works FT, I work 3/4 time. Almost-3 and almost 4 1/2, in all-day care at a center the days I am at the office.

  46. Parameters: 2-parent household, 1 almost-5 year old, one very attention-demanding cat, small city.5:15 — I get home, mess around on computer or tidy house. Receive enthusiastic welcome from cat.
    5:45 — husband gets home with daughter. They receive cooler greeting from cat.
    5:50 — I play with daughter (nice day — playground that’s close; not nice or winter, inside play). Husband starts dinner.
    6:00 — Cat blocks Bits from getting up the stairs to potty. Bits screams, cat howls. I mediate.
    6:45 or so — Eat. Cat sits hoping someone will drop something.
    7:20 or so — I give Bits bath while husband washes dishes. Occasionally we switch off.
    7:45 — Bits out of bath and in jammies. Books, blocks, board games with cat in the middle of whatever it is until 8:30 bedtime.
    8:30 — Rock and sing at bedtime.
    8:45 — I remove yowling cat from outside Bits’ bedroom.
    Post 8:30 — Husband works on professor-stuff. I do laundry or whatever social stuff and other administrative bullsh*t needs doing (phone calls, notes, pay bills, etc.). Laundry. Cat tries her darndest to be in the middle of everything.
    11:30 — Cat eagerly follows adults to bed. Adults read, cat purrs. Eventually everyone sleeps.
    Yes, Moxie, you’re right about commute time — I have a 5-minute commute, so short that I generally come home for lunch, which means I can also throw a load of towels into the washer or whatever. It’s a giant contributor to quality of my life.

  47. Stats: I WOH 3 days a week, DH is chef and works nights. 1 DD, 10 months, 2 cats, numerous fish4.30pm Leave work, head for trolley
    5.15pm Get home, pump
    5.45pm Pick up DD from daycare
    6.00pm If DD is not too tired or hungry, drive to trolley station, park car for DH, walk home (sometimes via playground)
    6.30pm – 7.30pm (order may vary on a given night) DD dinner, bath, PJ, book, nurse, sleep
    7.45pm Feed cats, indoor fish, outdoor fish
    8.00pm Scrounge for dinner (unless I have cooked ahead, in which case, reheat dinner), check email, surf the net
    9.00pm Start making lunch for myself, pack bottles and food for DD, pack diapers for daycare (CD), wash diapers if necessary, laundry if necessary
    11.00pm Pump
    11.15pm In bed
    12.00am or later wake up when DH comes home, give him a quick cuddle, go back to sleep

  48. I missed this somehow.Parameters: As before, two WOH parents. One flexible full time schedule (me), the other very inflexible 1.5 times schedule. One 21 month old.
    The thing that DRIVES ME INSANE about what goes on here is that there is very little certainty about what time Dad will be home. Five would be an extremely early day. Eight would be pretty late. 6:00 would be pretty early. Because dad sees so little of the nugget daddy does dinner and bedtime for him as their thing. So the schedule of those must be somewhat flexible, even though the son isn’t so much flexible.
    Between 4:30 – 5:15 I pick up the nugget from day care. This depends on a lot of things, but mostly my work, traffic and how late dad is likely to get home.
    After daycare: Mommy and nugget either run a short errand or trip to entertain the baby, go to the park or come home and sit on the front steps of our house and watch the “cai’s” and the “Boid”s go by. We are home before 6:15, if dad’s going to be early we are home earlier.
    6:15 – Whenever dad comes home: Chase the dog, read books, pick raspberries, empty the dishwasher clean the bathroom etc. tickle each other, play with sticks in the yard.
    Arrival of dad: If it’s early we feed the nugget dinner and maybe go running as a family or I go running alone or dad goes running with the nugget. NOTE: This is something I don’t like. We DO NOT usually eat dinner with him. He screams a lot during meals and generally makes a fuss, barely eats anything and I can’t digest. Also, preparing a full on meal for three people without knowing when you can sit down to eat it is sort of impossible, when the time range is 2 hours.
    If the child is exceptionally dirty or it’s been more than one day since the last bath, he gets a bath (by dad). If we went running he gets a shower with dad.
    I start dinner, laundry, diapers, my own continuing work etc while the nugget goes upstairs.
    By 7:30 he should be upstairs and starting the bedtime thing. Bedtime order of operations goes:
    Jump around on mommy and daddy’s bed all nudie.
    New diaper and pjs
    Medicine (singulair and decongestant antihistamine)
    Teeth, a drink of water.
    Three or four short books selected by the nugget.
    Nugget lays down during the last book, then lights out.
    Parent sits on the floor next to the bed waiting until the boy falls asleep (or in reality repeatedly tosses him back into bed until he gives up the screaming and climbing out and finally falls asleep)
    Whole thing is over by 8:15, sometimes earlier if daddy has gotten home earlier.
    If dad isn’t home by 6:45, I do all of this until he gets home and takes over.
    The nugget usually wakes up at least once in the middle of the night. Resetting the sleep involves telling him to get back in bed and lay down, and sitting next to his bed till he falls asleep. (or tossing him back into bed until he’s gives up)

  49. 1 WAH dad, 1 SAH mom, 1 nearly 10 month old son (Mr B) and 2 dogs, living in Colima, Colima, Mexico.Dad’s work days:
    A bit before 4:30, I make and start bottle heating for Mr B. Start preparing his dinner while the bottle heats up.
    4:30 – Mr B has his bottle and then chills in his high chair while I finish making his dinner.
    4:45ish – dinner for Mr B, maybe a snack for me at the same time.
    5ish – bath time, usually 15 minutes, then butt cream, diaper, pajamas and getting Mr Bs room arranged for the night…windows open, curtains cracked, mosquitoes shooed out of the mosquito netting over his crib.
    5:30 – curl up with Mr B, ‘bunbun’ the stuffed bunny and read 3 english language books. Point out that bunbun looks really sleepy and it must be time for her to go to bed. Mr B and I put BunBun to bed and then he nurses for as long as he wants to before being handed over to Daddy for a top up from a bottle and to be rocked to sleep.
    6ish – MrB is asleep for the night and we usually don’t hear from him again until the next morning. He’ll wake up for the first time sometime between 5 and 6 but go back to sleep again, then I get him up for the day sometime between 6:15 and 7.
    On the days when his dad isn’t working, one parent usually gives Mr B his dinner and the other handles bathing and dressing afterwards. Then it’s always to mom for storytime and nursing and dad does a bottle and rocks him off to sleep.
    After Mr B’s down for the evening, I put away all the toys and playmatts, clean the kitchen, bring the wash in off the line and fold, then I walk my dog, then my husband walks his, before we make a quick dinner and watch a show or play cards or whatever. Our main meal of the day is mid afternoon, so we have a small lunch like meal in the evening and leave the kitchen mess from that for the next morning.

  50. Currently on mat leave so I’ll give you the version I envision when I’m back at work.Parametres: 2 WOH parents in Toronto. Husband works long hours hence normally absent from evening routine. Two daughters: 2yo and a 6mo.
    Leave downtown office 3:45 or 4:00. Grab dinner items from concourse/underground grocery store. Hop on subway, arrive home to hop in car and drive to younger’s home daycare. Get caught up with lovely caregiver. Hustle younger into car.
    5:30 arrive at older’s preschool.
    5:40 Home. Shoes off, clothes off for kids, wash hands whilst naked. Gather up clothes other articles of laundry, toss into washing machine (Is anyone else as weird as I am when it comes to washing day’s old clothes imeegitly?)
    Go upstairs. Everyone changes into comfy clothes.
    6:00 play, goof around or go down to gated play room to colour etc.
    6:30 Hightail into kitchen to start dinner
    6:40 Screaming ensues “Mommy! We want out!”
    6:45 Turn on Hi-5 or Yogabbagabba
    7:00-7:15 Dinner on the table usually brown rice, chicken and salad. Or easy to make soup (chicken stock, chick peas, diced tomatoes)
    7:30 wash dishes while kiddies eat fruit. Run upstairs to grab girls’ towels, hang on bathroom door.
    7:45ish Start bath.
    8:00 upstairs for lotion, pjs, brush teeth, read stories, sing songs. Night-Night.
    8:20 Creak down stairs. Grab dry clothes from dryer, toss basket in family room next to lap top. Clean kitchen floor, general tidy of house, organize for next morning.
    9:00 Cleanse routine (wash face, retinol, emu oil around eyes, Smith’s rosebud salve on lips)
    At this point, Dear Hubby arrives. On good evenings he’s early enough to see girls and help with pjs and story.
    9:15 Grab glass of water or other bevvy. Sit tired ass down in front of TV and laptop, fold laundry.
    11:00ish get into bed, set alarm with intentions of t-tapping before work.

  51. Hi… didn’t participate in the AM posts.Household – 2 WOH parents (both full time, both mostly on NY hours), 3 1/2 year old boy twins, 1 cat living in So Cal.
    Leave work around 2:45/3, swing by grocery story on commute home if leave early enough. Relieve nanny anywhere between 3:30/3:45 – 4 is the actual deadline.
    Boys finishing up their nap when I get home and wake up anywhere between 4 and 4:45. Hang out in my room changing clothes, checking emails, puttering for a few minutes.
    Hang out and play with the boys until husband gets home around 5. Dad plays with kids while I try to make something for dinner (we’ve been really trying for a healthy homemade family dinner most evenings). Running later than I wish getting dinner ready – typically aim for 6, winds up being closer to 6:30 most nights.
    Eat dinner, depending on both how messy dinner winds up being and/or how long it takes, husband gets the boys bath ready while we finish up our fruit. Husband bathes boys – we are now trying to bathe them separately – while I clean up kitchen and table and entertain the non-bathing child. Switch children, finish cleaning up. Husband uses kitchen timer and keeps each child’s bath to 7 minutes.
    Boys now in PJs – if we are running early, we go for a quick walk up/down the street. Then, they each pick 2 books for their bed and then each pick one book for bedtime stories. I pick one bedtime story as well. We read the three bedtime stories together on the couch. Then they go to bed and I tell them a made up story about their day. Sing a rendition of Rock-a-bye-Baby and then say goodnight.
    In my dreamworld, it would now be my husband and my time. Sadly, although the boys are now in bed, they call us, cry, need their blankets put back on, etc. This goes on for a good hour, possibly up to 2. We’ve definitely lost on the bedtime battle. Only thing going right at this point is they are not in our room. Otherwise, I don’t think we are doing anything right.
    During this time, my husband and I trying to do our daily chores, maybe watch a show on DVR (only way to really watch TV since we are interrupted so frequently), check Internet, etc.
    Get ready for bed around 10. Read in bed until about 10:30 and finally go to sleep. Alarm goes off at 5:30AM.
    Most evenings would be sooo great if we didn’t have the whole bedtime battles.

  52. @Moxie: did you ever ponder have the kids’ dad give them dinner (at your place, I guess) before you get home? That would take something off your plate (heh heh) and get everyone to bed earlier and be something nice for kids/dad to do together. Maybe you would have to plan it out ahead, shop, etc so it would be extra work for you in the end but that seems like it would give you a break and be a more even division of labor, considering you do all the bedtime routine and the morning routine yourself.

  53. Parameters: Two children one in FD kindergarten and one in daycare, two working parents, I work school hours in home office, D WOH in an office less than 5 mins away but frequently travels.8:30am-2:50pm–Cram as much work as possible into the day and ideally also manage to squeeze in a BWO+ or 30-minute run for lunch, move along and fold the laundry I started in the AM during a conference call.
    2:50-3:00pm–Race out, pick up M from kindergarten, give her a snack and transfer work location to laptop at kitchen table.
    3:00-4:00pm–Supervise homework and usually an art project while typing at the kitchen table. Repeatedly insist that homework be completed before PBS goes on. Try and seem like a competant professional who isn’t fighting with an over-tired kindergarten if anyone from work calls me.
    4:00ish–Finish work, announce art project must be completed soon, consult menu plan and do minor dinner prep.
    4:15ish-sometimes as late as 4:45ish-Go to daycare, go inside to sign him out andget his bag, walk over to the playground as they are finishing up outside time, talk to teacher, forcibly remove both children from the school playground, drive the 5 mins home.
    4:30-5:45ish–Make dinner with two helpers. Supervise outside or playroom play. Check blackberry and make sure work did not melt down, but usually have some minor crisis to deal with via bb while pushing kids on swings or serving as the audience to a “play” M is producing in the playroom.
    5:45ish–D comes home if heisnot travelling. He helps B and M set the table, I finish getting dinner to table.
    6-6:30–Pray, eat, repeatedly insist that the little one SIT in his seat and that no dessert will be forthcoming if they do not at least try X bites of whatever is the unacceptable food of the night.
    6:30–Fork over a popsicle or cookie to M and usually deal with tantrum of two year old who too full to try a bite of a vegetable but miraculously would be able to manage a Dora freeze pop.
    6:30-7–Let kids play outside or playroom, talk with D about our days, maybe clean up kitchen a bit together, he may do a household chore.
    7:00-7:30–D cleans up kitchen and does some household chores (usually something outside now that it isstill light out then) while I supervise bath and pjs, put away laundry and lay out clothes for everyone for tomorrow.
    7:30ish to 8:ish—Family snuggle, stories on our bed, pray.
    8:ish–put kids to bed. Easy for big one, may take a while to convince little one that he is tired and must go to sleep now and no he can’t snuggle in our bed more. Occasionally let him come back and calm down in our bed. Usually thank God for the wonder that is the crib tent.
    8:ish forward–Usually go back downstairs and pay bills, get backpacks ready for tomorrow, straighten house, do 15 minutes in my flylady zone, and do some of the writing part of my work while D watches tv and types on his laptop in our room. Try and come upstairs at a reasonable hour, shower and go to bed. 2-3 days a week realize that it is 1am and I must go to bed. Come upstairs to find D either passed out or still typing too.
    At least once a week collapse on the bed with D and just veg out with him in front of TV and both fall asleep at 9ish.
    Tuesdays we fit after dinner soccer practice into this and Thursdays we havegymnastics right after school.

  54. Two nights a week I leave for work at 6:30 pm, so my husband does the entire routine alone with all 3 kids. On Mondays he works late and I do it alone. When we’re both together:6:15-6:30 – He arrives home from work to shouts of accolades. Everyone is SO EXCITED to see him. I pour myself a glass of wine.
    6:30 – We’re sitting down to eat dinner. (If I am going to work, he makes scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, or some other kind of bachelor food for everyone.)
    7 pm – Done. He plays with the kids, we take turns wiping hands and faces, and I enjoy loading the dishwasher without anyone hanging off my legs. Sometimes I use this time to head to a yoga class or get a haircut. If it’s bath night, that gets started (by him).
    7:30 – I usually am heading upstairs with the baby to nurse her down by now. Our older 2 are in their PJs, brushing their teeth, picking out their books, last minute drinks and toilet usage.
    7:30-8 – My husband is reading them stories, answering questions, doing a short devotional and prayers. I finish nursing the baby (she is FAST), read her a book, and lay her down in a crib with a zillion pacifiers and a sippy of water. She plays happily for a few minutes and is asleep shortly.
    If it’s been a good day, I join everyone in finishing books, snuggling, etc. Sometimes I put away laundry while we talk. If it’s been a tough day, I go back downstairs, pour a second glass of wine, and check my blogs.
    8 pm – Everyone is in bed without too much fuss. We’ve been flexible about bedtime for a while (8 pm plus or minus), but with school we’re trying to be more strict.
    8-11 or 12 – We pick up the house, sometimes get a 2-person chore done, like yardwork or sorting through the mess in the basement. Usually we collapse on the couch together and reconnect, going over our day. Then we spend an hour or so picking up, get organized for the next day, etc before bonding with our respective computers.

  55. Team Lawrence – I stay at home, husband works PT and is home by 4.15. Baby is 13 months old. We are in Australia, so we are heading into summer.Our routine is pretty set but as he turns older I need to figure out how to tweak. Will read through everyone’s routines and get some ideas.
    4.45 – I start dinner. Son does not chew too well so still using purees with a little texture. Worried about this (if anyone wants to comment.) He has 4 teeth only and gags/pukes if food has big chunks. We are working on it.
    5 – Dinner
    5.30 – End dinner (unless he pukes up something in which case dinner starts all over again and we try to finish up ASAP)
    Crawls around for 5 mins or so and then I offer yogurt or custard (pudding) for dessert.
    5.40 until 6 – books on our bed (dad reading mostly while I tidy up kitchen)
    6 – bath and get in pjs
    6.20 to 7ish – Breastfeed on our bed, change diaper again (normally has poop during feed) and read Goodnight Moon. (this is the part that needs work – what do I do once he starts breastfeeding less (or not at all)? He drinks milk from a cup but not big amounts. Just sips here and there.
    7ish – Walk into his room (lights are off), sit on chair for 2 mins – sing, say prayers, give speech about sleeping through the night : ). Put into crib and sing Twinkle Twinkle 3 times and pat a bit.
    Good night – he is asleep when I leave the room or shortly after. Otherwise, go in and out until 7.30 when he is normally asleep.
    Husband eats while I am doing the above. I eat when baby is asleep. Mess around with tempermental air conditioner and try to control air temp. Internet/read/etc for a bit and ideally asleep by 9 or 10 (i like my sleep). At the moment, we are going through the dev spurt so up a few times during the night. Have night weaned now and all going well there, so pat/shh when he wakes.
    Any comments.advice welcome.

  56. @Hope,Dd was still getting pureed food at 17 months! She just didn’t want to chew anything, except banana which she had no trouble eating at all, so I knew it wasn’t ‘cos she couldn’t, but because, she didn’t want to. The ped said not to worry as she would switch to chunks when she felt like it, but to offer them occasionally. At around the beginning of the 18 month regression, she did regress as far as eating went, but back to eating like a regular person, and didn’t want a bar of pureed stuff, but nice big chunks of steak, pasta, big pieces of fruit. I could not believe it. I promised myself I would never ever fret over her eating habits again ( which I have broken on occasion, but not as badly as before)
    p.s Where are you in Aus?

  57. what we’re dealing with over here…i work evenings, the mister works an early day shift, the little biscuit is 8 months. we live in a smallish town, middle o’ de bible belt.
    mister generally gets home @ 3:30 after, stopping by the market to pick up dinner ingredients on his way. i’m happy to report the mister takes pleasure in cooking, so he is the house chef. it allows for the kit-kat and i to get an afternoon walk or a quick snuggle-snooze, depending on the kind of day we’ve had together.
    4pm i pump a bottle so girl child can tuck it in later.
    4:45 is our ridiculously early dinner time. kit-kat is in high chair sometimes eating, sometimes clanging her hands on the tray, always jibber-jabbering and bubble blowing.
    5pm i leave for work, the mister and daughter finish dinner and then have playtime, usually involving a bouncy chair and bluegrass music
    5:45 mister gives kit-kat a bath, administers baby massage, and stuffs her into pj’s.
    6ish mister feeds little miss her night bottle, rocks her for a bit, then has her in his lap as he watches show either “the daily show” or “tim and eric’s awesome show, great job!”
    by 7, kit-kat is asleep and mister has time to clean up the kitchen (he doesn’t) and busy himself on the computer or with his music…usually a combo.
    i’m home around 11:30, pick up the kitchen, run the dishwasher or a load of laundry, pump while checking email and watching an episode of “scrubs”
    12:30ish, clothes hung up to dry or dishes left to unload in morning. nighttime self cleaning routine, attempt to get self to sleep. usually it doesn’t happen until closer to 2. (i know i’m not getting enough sleep, but we haven’t been able to figure out make it work, yet)

  58. Ack! Friday was crazy at work so I missed this until just now.Here is the routine most days.
    4:30-4:45ish leave work and walk 3 blocks to catch train. Ride train to park n ride, pick up car and head to toddler’s day care.. 15 minutes (assuming no traffic snarls). Pick up toddler, chat with teacher briefly, gather up all this things and try to shepherd him to the car. Then drive another 15 minutes to older son’s school to pick him up at after-care.
    Home by 5:55 to 6ish. Usually husband is getting home around then as well unless I asked him to stop for an errand. Get both boys a snack, ask older one about homework.
    Usually he does his math while I am cooking dinner. And the little one is running around the backyard or watering the rocks or whatever keeps him occupied.
    6:30ish we sit down to dinner. Then vocab/spelling review for the older one.
    Depending the night, my husband will get them situated in a bath while I clean up from dinner. Then I make a big bowl of popcorn and we all snack while the boys are playing.
    Again depending on their behavior, we let them watch 30ish minutes of tv. At 8:30, I start getting the little one ready for bed while my husband listens to the older one read his reading assignment. Brush teeth, potty, kisses and lights out.
    The older one goes right to sleep and is out like a light within minutes.
    The toddler *sigh* is more of a challenge. He needs another drink or has to potty one last time or wants mommy to snuggle him. He is generally asleep between 8:30 and 9:00 but closer to 9 on most nights.
    I know that sounds late but the toddler is nearly 2.5 and take a nap of 2+ hours every day. If the weather is nice and we have been able to wear him out (walking the dog around the block, play at the park, chase around backyard, etc) he goes to sleep much easier.
    He gets up cheerfully at 6ish every morning on his own so I guess it isn’t a big deal.
    At 9ish, I head downstairs to pack the little one’s lunch (daycare doens’t provide lunch) and the older one if he doesn’t like what is on the menu at school. Also pack my lunch, husband is on his own. Get anything out of the freezer that I need for dinner the next night.
    Fall into bed around 10ish, too tired to even contemplate exercise.
    Of course this is on a “normal” day and this week was rough. I think my husband picked up the kids most days this week because I had to work late. And I brought work home so they watched way too much tv while I worked for a couple hours. *sigh*

  59. Parameters: Mom WOH, Dad WAH, 3.5 yr old in pre-school. Both Mom and Dad have a lot of work to do outside of “regular” work hours. Work and preschool 5 min driving distance aor 15 min biking distance way, (yes I know I am very lucky). Live in the suburbs, east coast US.5pm: receive cell call from The Dad, “Are you picking The Boy up or am I?” Usually I do but sometimes he can & I stay at work a little later. (When I bike this is especially helpful.)
    5:30ish: pick up The Boy from pre-school. Too early in school year to predict mood.
    5:40: arrive home. The Dad plays with The Boy while The Mom (me) cooks dinner. Usually it is a reheat of something I made over the weekend, (chick cutlets, meatballs, hamburger pie, sometimes lasagna) or something easy to heat and eat in under 20 mins (store-made meatballs, fish sticks, breakfast for dinner). While cooking, The Mom cleans out laptop lunch system from The Boy to get ready for next day.
    6:15ish: All sit down for dinner. Attempt adult conversation with limited success. Have contest for who can eat veggies first. Allow The Boy to feel triumphant.
    6:45ish: clear dinner dishes. One parent plays with The Boy while other parent cleans up. (Play could be backyard w/ ball or puzzle or blocks or books, etc) Hopefully the clean-up parent packs a lunch with leftovers for The Boy. (LOVE the laptop lunch system but I do pay $7/week to order Hot Lunch at pre-school 2x week for sanity and variety.)
    7:20ish: set oven timer for 5 mins and remind The Boy that when timer goes beep, time to say good night and head upstairs. (I think I read about the timer idea on this board; excellent for The Boy; he can’t blame The Mom or The Dad for end of play time b/c he sees The Timer as separate entity.)
    7:30: head upstairs. (The Mom and The Dad take turns. Whomever stays downstairs makes tea for both adults.) brush teeth, change The Boy into pjs, insist he go to the bathroom, read 1 or 2 stories, turn off light, tuck in. Sit in chair in Boy’s room for about 3 mins, say final goodnight, and head downstairs. Remarkably, (don’t hate me), it is usually this easy. But, hey, we had a *really* rough first year sleep-wise! (If The Dad did night routine then The Mom is doing work or relaxing from day during the 1/2 hr bedtime routine.)
    8:30ish: ask self how did it get to be 8:30. Shake off evening fog and do work for at least two hours, sometimes more. Occasionally watch a DVD with The Husband, (earlier known as The Dad) or something on Hulu; enjoy the time together but regret staying up too late… try not to snack and be satisfied with just tea. Mostly succeed, (especially difficult when menstrual)
    About 10:30pm – wish for sleep. Debate about making self lunch but know I can get from cafeteria tom’w if needed.
    Final before bed: try to pack bags for next day so can grab and go. Set alarm for 6am but usually up a little earlier.
    One day about every other week = The Mom, exhausted, begs The Dad to put The Boy to bed and The Mom puts self to bed about 8pm for the night, forgetting all other obligations.

  60. Parameters: Mom WOH, Dad WAH, 3.5 yr old in pre-school. Both Mom and Dad have a lot of work to do outside of “regular” work hours. Work and preschool 5 min driving distance aor 15 min biking distance way, (yes I know I am very lucky). Live in the suburbs, east coast US.5pm: receive cell call from The Dad, “Are you picking The Boy up or am I?” Usually I do but sometimes he can & I stay at work a little later. (When I bike this is especially helpful.)
    5:30ish: pick up The Boy from pre-school. Too early in school year to predict mood.
    5:40: arrive home. The Dad plays with The Boy while The Mom (me) cooks dinner. Usually it is a reheat of something I made over the weekend, (chick cutlets, meatballs, hamburger pie, sometimes lasagna) or something easy to heat and eat in under 20 mins (store-made meatballs, fish sticks, breakfast for dinner). While cooking, The Mom cleans out laptop lunch system from The Boy to get ready for next day.
    6:15ish: All sit down for dinner. Attempt adult conversation with limited success. Have contest for who can eat veggies first. Allow The Boy to feel triumphant.
    6:45ish: clear dinner dishes. One parent plays with The Boy while other parent cleans up. (Play could be backyard w/ ball or puzzle or blocks or books, etc) Hopefully the clean-up parent packs a lunch with leftovers for The Boy. (LOVE the laptop lunch system but I do pay $7/week to order Hot Lunch at pre-school 2x week for sanity and variety.)
    7:20ish: set oven timer for 5 mins and remind The Boy that when timer goes beep, time to say good night and head upstairs. (I think I read about the timer idea on this board; excellent for The Boy; he can’t blame The Mom or The Dad for end of play time b/c he sees The Timer as separate entity.)
    7:30: head upstairs. (The Mom and The Dad take turns. Whomever stays downstairs makes tea for both adults.) brush teeth, change The Boy into pjs, insist he go to the bathroom, read 1 or 2 stories, turn off light, tuck in. Sit in chair in Boy’s room for about 3 mins, say final goodnight, and head downstairs. Remarkably, (don’t hate me), it is usually this easy. But, hey, we had a *really* rough first year sleep-wise! (If The Dad did night routine then The Mom is doing work or relaxing from day during the 1/2 hr bedtime routine.)
    8:30ish: ask self how did it get to be 8:30. Shake off evening fog and do work for at least two hours, sometimes more. Occasionally watch a DVD with The Husband, (earlier known as The Dad) or something on Hulu; enjoy the time together but regret staying up too late… try not to snack and be satisfied with just tea. Mostly succeed, (especially difficult when menstrual)
    About 10:30pm – wish for sleep. Debate about making self lunch but know I can get from cafeteria tom’w if needed.
    Final before bed: try to pack bags for next day so can grab and go. Set alarm for 6am but usually up a little earlier.
    One day about every other week = The Mom, exhausted, begs The Dad to put The Boy to bed and The Mom puts self to bed about 8pm for the night, forgetting all other obligations.

  61. Parameters: Mom WOH, Dad WAH, 3.5 yr old in pre-school. Both Mom and Dad have a lot of work to do outside of “regular” work hours. Work and preschool 5 min driving distance aor 15 min biking distance way, (yes I know I am very lucky). Live in the suburbs, east coast US.5pm: receive cell call from The Dad, “Are you picking The Boy up or am I?” Usually I do but sometimes he can & I stay at work a little later. (When I bike this is especially helpful.)
    5:30ish: pick up The Boy from pre-school. Too early in school year to predict mood.
    5:40: arrive home. The Dad plays with The Boy while The Mom (me) cooks dinner. Usually it is a reheat of something I made over the weekend, (chick cutlets, meatballs, hamburger pie, sometimes lasagna) or something easy to heat and eat in under 20 mins (store-made meatballs, fish sticks, breakfast for dinner). While cooking, The Mom cleans out laptop lunch system from The Boy to get ready for next day.
    6:15ish: All sit down for dinner. Attempt adult conversation with limited success. Have contest for who can eat veggies first. Allow The Boy to feel triumphant.
    6:45ish: clear dinner dishes. One parent plays with The Boy while other parent cleans up. (Play could be backyard w/ ball or puzzle or blocks or books, etc) Hopefully the clean-up parent packs a lunch with leftovers for The Boy. (LOVE the laptop lunch system but I do pay $7/week to order Hot Lunch at pre-school 2x week for sanity and variety.)
    7:20ish: set oven timer for 5 mins and remind The Boy that when timer goes beep, time to say good night and head upstairs. (I think I read about the timer idea on this board; excellent for The Boy; he can’t blame The Mom or The Dad for end of play time b/c he sees The Timer as separate entity.)
    7:30: head upstairs. (The Mom and The Dad take turns. Whomever stays downstairs makes tea for both adults.) brush teeth, change The Boy into pjs, insist he go to the bathroom, read 1 or 2 stories, turn off light, tuck in. Sit in chair in Boy’s room for about 3 mins, say final goodnight, and head downstairs. Remarkably, (don’t hate me), it is usually this easy. But, hey, we had a *really* rough first year sleep-wise! (If The Dad did night routine then The Mom is doing work or relaxing from day during the 1/2 hr bedtime routine.)
    8:30ish: ask self how did it get to be 8:30. Shake off evening fog and do work for at least two hours, sometimes more. Occasionally watch a DVD with The Husband, (earlier known as The Dad) or something on Hulu; enjoy the time together but regret staying up too late… try not to snack and be satisfied with just tea. Mostly succeed, (especially difficult when menstrual)
    About 10:30pm – wish for sleep. Debate about making self lunch but know I can get from cafeteria tom’w if needed.
    Final before bed: try to pack bags for next day so can grab and go. Set alarm for 6am but usually up a little earlier.
    One day about every other week = The Mom, exhausted, begs The Dad to put The Boy to bed and The Mom puts self to bed about 8pm for the night, forgetting all other obligations.

  62. wow. I am kind of freaked out about this. I am a SAHM and really am NOT using my time wisely. and on top of that bed time for the 28M old is 10pm and wake up is 6AM, sometimes 6:30 if we’re lucky. My WOH Husband is clearly doing more than his share I think.

  63. I’m hoping I get to read these sometime this our morning routine, our evening routine has gone to hell in a handbasket after the arrival of Baby Boy. it will also change some come January and I need to start teaching MWF again (now I teach one late afternoon night class instead of an actual maternity leave–I’m a temp employee).
    Parameters: DH, me, nearly 4 year old girl, baby boy (6.5 weeks), cat and many fish (I ignore the fish–DH’s project). Full day daycare/preschool MWF for Girl. Location: college town USA turned mid-Atlantic suburb.
    5ish (preschool days)–load up Boy, pick up D from preschool. head home.
    [during normal terms this involves me taking the bus from campus to the park and ride but now its unnecessary. on Wednesdays I teach until 6 so DH comes home early to get DD and its starts from there).
    5:30–get home. note that we live a whopping 5minutes from daycare. Girl dawdles.
    When we get home DH has usually arrived and is either watching the news or getting started on dinner.
    5:30-6/6:30. Nurse the baby. try to simultaneously fill Girl’s empty mom cup. doesn’t work well.
    6:30 (on a good day)–eat, usually while nursing baby with one hand b/c he wasn’t finished/refuses to be put down.
    7–we play with Girl. recently I haven’t been as involved. in the ‘old days’ (6 weeks ago) DH would go to the gym here and Girl and I would wash the dishes, give her a bath and be reading books by 7:45-8pm and asleep by 8:30. These days its much harder. She has the biggest room in the house but currently the farthest bedroom from the living room. so she feels very isolated compared with her room in the old house (right next to living room). This evening is a great example.
    7:30 (we had a late start). I go into our room to try to get fussy, overtired Boy to sleep. DH gets Girl ready for bed, they go into her room to read books, *he* falls asleep. She comes into parent’s room with baby and I. we all snuggle (well, mostly I try to keep her from burying the little guy) and I read 2 books. I feel very loving and maternal. Boy wets his diaper and it leaks. DH wakes up as she gets the magic sleep book. I’m changing Boy. he stumbles in. all 4 of us are in the queen bed. Girl is trying to get as close to my breast as possible around nursing infant (she has residual nursing urges it seems). Finally, DH and Girl are asleep.
    9pm (relatively early for the last few days)–put still freaking awake baby in sling. ask him if he’s awake b/c of all the caffeine I drank trying to stay awake after last night’s marathon nursing sessions. Put in load of laundry. wander thru Girl’s room picking up dirty laundry. Notice lots of almost-made-it-to-the-potty undies around. Decide next load will be whites. debate how many toys I can give away while she sleeps before she disowns me. remember that she’s still 3.5. think it might be worth it.
    9:15 do dishes.
    9:35 sweep kitchen and dining room. wish we had a dog. wish we had a dishwasher. tell Boy he’s lucky he isn’t bigger or he’d be doing dishes. remember I need to give him his antibiotic (ear infection)
    9:35:30 boy falls asleep.
    9:37-checked Girl’s weekly school menu to see if she can eat any of the meals (she has a dairy allergy). Boy still in sling. Girl and Dad still asleep on parent bed. I’m on the laptop, also on parent bed. DH wakes up and moves DD.
    and then I started this post. its relatively early but I need to get Girl’s stuff together (including a lunch and a snack), the living room needs picked up, I have 3 papers to read for class this week and by then I’ll decide I might as well stay up and watch eastenders on pbs since he’ll need to nurse soon anyway. or maybe I’ll try to put him down in the bedroom?
    I haven’t been asleep before midnight since my mother left Labor day weekend (US). Then again, last term I was never in bed before midnight anyway. 10pm-midnight is the only time I get peace and quiet to do things I want to do!

  64. @paola – we are on the sunshine coast – just north of Brisbane. Are you in AUS? Thanks for note re: eating. My latest goal is to give him something that requires jaw work (chewing) at each meal, along with chunkier purees. He just swallows everything whole. Also going to start eating my dinner with him so he can see me chew. Maybe that will work…….

  65. It was so therpeutic just reading all of these posts. I’m nearly in tears. How do we do it and not go insane?I’ve been struggling a lot with the evening routine. The morning is somehow less crazy, and because I’m more of a morning person I’m energized and can roll with it more easily. Evenings are a whole different story.
    I leave work at 17.30 and pick up Boo. We are home by 18.00. He’s such a chowhound that as soon as we enter the house he’s asking for a snack. I have one hour before his dinner time which is taken up with a panic of what to make him and us (still different things – why can’t I get orgnized?), changing my clothes and a little play time which focuses my attention on him and cuts down the clinging a bit.
    Start dinner. Boo on the floor in the kitchen with various kitchen utensils and some sort of snack.
    19.00. He’s in the high chair and eating. Usually this goes smoothly unless I’ve given him too much already to take the edge off.
    19.10 Papa arrives home from work. Whew, back up arrives.
    19.15 Papa makes himself a snack, which Boo decides is more interesting than his dinner. Nasty glare from me.
    19.20 Boo and Papa play a bit while I begin to fix grown-up dinner.
    19.30 Boo and Papa go to the bath. I’m scrambling to clean up Boo’s dinner dishes and toy-covered floor. Try to put away laundry (ha!) and get Boo’s bedtime set-up.
    19.45 Boo out of the bath.
    20.00 Watch 15 minute show: Les Guignols. (Current events satire with muppet-like puppets. It’s a french thing).
    20.15 Papa puts Boo in bed. I’m drinking wine by this time. Finish the dinner.
    20.30 We eat, talk about our day and try to unwind.
    21.15 I go to bed. Papa cleans up.
    Now that I’ve written all that, I see how much my husband does. It often feels like not much since we’re not always in sync or do things the same way, but I guess I can’t complain. But like many of you, the time is exhausting and seems to fly by.

  66. Parameters: DC and its environs, two FT WOH parents, three kids (3rd grader, kindergartner, preschooler)Typical workday:
    3:00 Leave office, walk to daycare
    3:15 Pick up preschooler, walk to Metro, walk to school bus stop
    4 – 4:15 Bus arrives
    4:15 Walk home, discussing snack & dinner & unacceptability of same, possibility of having a friend over, school, what the Bush doctrine is and whether a vice-presidential candidate should reasonably be expected to know it, etc.
    4:30 Snacks for kids, sorting through mail, etc. for me
    4:45 Play/homework for kids, sometimes with help from me. Sometimes I am starting dinner, doing laundry, cleaning out backpacks, etc. although I try to save going through notices from school until after kid bedtime so my husband and I both know what’s going on
    5:15-5:30 Daddy’s home! Yay! Daddy takes abotu 15 minutes to change clothes. WTF? But then he plays with boys so Mommy can cook in peace, except that the 3YO pretty much always wants to help, more doable sometimes than others, and no, he cannot be fooled with fake tasks.
    A little before 6: Call to wash hands, request that KindyBoy set table, repetition of request, observation that those are the rules, I am done now, and you set the table or you don’t eat with us. Why this works as a warning (at least sometimes) is beyond me. I certainly don’t want to eat with us most nights.
    6: Dinner
    6:15 – 6:30 Dinner over, oldest helps husband clean up kitchen
    6:30 Play/more homework/gather data about next day
    7:15-7:30 I take 3YO up to get ready for bed. Stories, snuggling
    7:30 Older two have bedtime snack (which can look like leftover dinner if none was eaten at dinnertime)
    7:45-8 Husband takes older two up to get ready for bed. Stories, snuggling
    8:30 Spouse comes for kid hand-off. He gets 3YO, I go to see older boys. Usually read to 8YO first, because he falls asleep first. Read to 5YO, rock, snuggle.
    8:45-9 Turn on mp3 player with downloaded book (thank you, Overdrive media and public library system). Remind 5YO that if he can’t be quiet, the story goes off. Go downstairs to do chores and watch TV.
    9-9:30 Joined by spouse. Sort through stuff together, do other chores, have wine, get foot rub.
    10-11 Up to bed. I shower the night before because I will do anything to simplify the morning routine (I leave the house at 5:45).
    At any point from 8:45 on, we could be joined by a child who needs something or be summoned by a crying child. But often everyone sleeps through the night, which is nice. Never thought the day would come. And I am hoping that at some point a pleasant dinnertime will be likewise the rule rather than the exception. Anyone want to give me hope on that? Anyone?

  67. As someone who was adopted by a kitten this morning while dropping my son off at daycare, I second (third?) the request for the cat food recipe.

  68. I’m in…also missed the boat on the morning routine but I’m liking how our evenings are going lately, so here goes..Parameters: Mom, Dad, and one energetic 18 month old. Mom and Dad work at same company and drive together to work. Carpool with neighbour M/W/F. Commute is about 45 minutes.
    4:10pm: Outlook reminder tells Mom & Dad to pack up and head to the car. Meet carpool buddy at the car, if he’s not there by 4:20m, we leave without him.
    4:20pm: Pull out of the parkade and head for the daycare to pick up M by 5:00pm
    4:20-5:00: Dad drives, Mom catches up on her to-do list & plans the evening on her PDA. On some occasions Mom closes eyes on trip home, or plays Zuma on her iPod.
    5:00: Pick up M at the daycare. Brief exchange over how the day went (poops? sleeps? meals?) and then head home
    5:10: Drop off carpool buddy at his house
    5:15: Arrive home. Mom heads in, consults meal plan on fridge, starts making dinner. Dad unpacks M from car, feeds the 1 dog, feeds the 2 cats, plays with him till dinner is ready. Firmly enforced “No computer” rule between arriving home and when M goes to bed.
    5:45-6:00: Dinner is served. Eat around dining room table for family togetherness. Try very hard not to laugh at M’s inappropriate toddler dinner table behaviour even though it’s oh-so-hilarious.
    6:00-6:05: Put away any leftovers that need immediate refridgeration, place rest in oven to keep cats from climbing on counters and licking it.
    6:05-7:00: Mom and Dad and M either play indoors, play outdoors, or go for a walk with dog and stroller, depending on weather & energy levels. Chat with neighbours if they are around.
    7:00: Either Mom or Dad takes M upstairs, starts with bedtime routine, in this order: Bath, brush teeth, put on diaper, PJ’s, grab sippy cup of water, turn off light, turn on small reading light,sit in rocking chair and read a couple of bedtime books while M drinks to satisfaction. Turn off reading light, give hugs. Put M in crib, give kisses, turn on Fisher Price aquarium toy, tuck in, say “night night” and leave the room. M usually drifts off, sometimes complains, but we don’t go back in except for extraordinary circumstances. Meanwhile other parent clears dinner table, tidies kitchen, sets dishwasher to run overnight (on timer), and prepares coffee so we just have to hit the button in the AM.
    8:00-10:00: Mom and Dad do whatever needs doing, usually 1/2hr on the computer to catch up with emails, finances (MS Money), etc. Watch 1-2 TV shows or play video games to unwind.
    10:00-10:30: Mom goes to bed – face wash, moisturize, brush teeth, peek into M’s room and reapply blanket if he’s kicked it off. Read a few pages of whatever’s on the go. Check to make sure alarm is set for 5:50am. Put in earplugs, go to sleep.
    11:00-12:00: Dad stumbles to bed after having played Call of Duty 4 for longer than he should have.
    Repeat daily.

  69. Parameters: Dad works full time but at home on Mondays, Mom works long days to have Fridays off (and at home Tuesdays and Thursdays). One 7 month old almost walking at daycare 2 miles from home.4:15 (Mon,Tues,Thur) Work-at-home parent picks up baby at daycare
    between 4:00 and 5:00 (Wed) One of us picks up baby at daycare – depends on dad’s meeting schedule that day.
    Friday – mom at home w/ baby already
    whenever pickup was until 5:15: whoever is home plays with baby and takes him outside to pick up the mail
    5:15 feed baby baby cereal/fruit/veggies/cheerios. Daddy is banned from the kitchen unless he wants to feed baby (because if he sees daddy while mommy is feeding him he starts squealing and dinner is over). Non baby-feeding parent throws a load of wash in the machine and sets it to start at 7 because electricity is cheaper then (whoever invented that button on the machine was a genius. That I owned that machine for two years before I noticed the button was not so smart.)
    5:30 clean up the baby/floor/highchair and rinse dishes. If it’s bath night one parent gets the bath ready and the other one gives baby a couple teething biscuits (super messy – only on bath night!). Otherwise play a little.
    6:00 either a bath or a walk. If the weather isn’t nice enough for a walk, play inside.
    6:30 not bath night: wash face & hands;
    bath night: wrestle baby into towel to dry off, brush hair;
    either way: talk to the baby in the mirror (amazing how that baby is always there!), nighttime diaper, lotion all over, eczema medicine wherever, PJs, rock, bottle, sleep by 6:45/7 (sometimes 7:30 if the afternoon nap went late). We started alternating who does the rock/bottle/sleep part when we realized he wouldn’t fall asleep for anyone but mommy (oops). Whoever isn’t rocking makes grownup dinner.
    7:00 mom & dad eat and watch TV (unless we ate already)
    7:30 – 9 clean up kitchen, put away toys, put the wash in the dryer and start another load; do whatever else needs to be done; sometimes one of us leaves to run a few errands. Pack leftovers into single-serve containers so they are easier to grab for lunch the next day. Forget to get the load of laundry out when it’s done.
    9:00 Tired. Quickly throw together baby food for daycare tomorrow. Prep bottles and measure formula for middle of the night feedings (we’re back to two now – eek!) and for daycare tomorrow. Think about how we should have put baby’s clothes together for the next day.
    9:15 finally remember the laundry… put the second load in the dryer and fold/hang the first one. Or dump it on the couch.
    9:45/10 go to bed because the baby still wakes up too many times during the night and I am tired.
    So that’s how it usually works. We try to have dinner ready for us so we can eat as a family but it usually doesn’t work. Especially now that Daddy Is Cool!!! and the baby won’t eat if he can see daddy.
    @Moxie… the getting home early is nice, but maybe not so much if you realize that we are up at 5 am so we can do day care drop off at 6:30 am and be at work by 7.

  70. Howzabout sharing that catfood recipe?We have an evening routine, but the tiem varies according to day of the week. I can tell you that the constants are:
    – A bath for CX as soon as we get home (on school days) works better than a bath right before bed
    – I do laundry every day (we are fortunate enough to have our own washer & dryer).
    – I cook or prep every night (in addition to supper).
    – I do as much lunch-packing as possible each night.
    – I get things ready for the next day the night before whenever that’s possible.
    – I am almost always working on freelance stuff at night for at least 45 minutes.
    – I do not watch TV, but might watch something on DVD (right now I’m watching The Wire) if I can also do something simultaneously (no foreign films for me, alas). Usually that thing is laundry- or cooking-related.
    – I avoid email and being online generally (aside from frelance-related stuff) after I get home from work
    – I never get enough sleep.

  71. Oops, forgot to list my parameters: One FT WOHM (me), one PT SAHD/FT student who is in school (30 miles away one way) MWF, so CX (4.25yrs) is at preschool MWF, but at home with dad on TTh. Two cats. One fish.

  72. OK- I am just seeing this today and can’t resist typing in my routine, even though I’m late. Two kids (1 and 4), two parents, space madness.Leave work at 5:15, drive through traffic to burbs, pick up kids and get home by about 6:30.
    Me, try to launch into preparing something for dinner in our “one fanny” galley kitchen around my husband’s snacking and kid needs (juice/show me an art project/4 year old insisting that she needs me to accompany her to the bathroom when she really doesn’t/me desperately trying to pacify crying 1 year old with a cracker);
    Have a fight with aforementioned husband over his snacking in my way during the “dinner rush” or some other stupid nonsense;
    Husband gives 4 year old a bath while I make dinner and attempt to entertain 1 year old. Sometimes.
    Eat/feed 1 year old. While 4 year old takes forever to finish eating, I give 1 year old a bath. Sometimes. Well…rarely.
    7:30- 1 year old is miserable and needs bottle and bed. One parent deals with that while the other hounds our 4 year old to eat her veggies and get into nightgown.
    7:45- 1 year old goes to sleep. 4 year old gets ready for bed and has a half an hour of books or TV.
    8:30- I put 4 year old to bed and deal with at least 20 minutes of nonsense and delay tactics. Husband makes 4 year old’s lunch and gets coffee together for the morning.
    9:00- Husband plays on the computer or watches TV. I wash all bottles, find food that the 1 year old can/will eat for next day and do the dishes.
    9:45- I do laundry. Or try to cook something for the next day. Or watch TV. Make-up with husband.
    10:00- husband feeds 1 year old “dream feed” bottle. I relax for a few minutes.
    10:45- lights out for adults until 1 year old wakes up at about 5:30.

  73. Have been loving reading these. It’s somehow so comforting to picture so many other people wrestling their loved ones into jammies at about the same time I am…2 parent household. I work a 4 day week (32 hours) so have Fridays off. DH works full-time.
    Leave work at 3:30. Navigate a longish, unpleasant commute. Pick up girls at daycare by 4:30. Depending on the season, we may go to the wading pool, the playground, the library, run errands, or go straight home. I usually start making dinner around 5:45 or so. The kids watch some tv, the PBS stuff, or take advantage of the fact that I’m tethered to the kitchen chopping vegetables and systematically destroy the house. It’s generally a pretty fun time. We have small house with an open floor plan, so it kind of counts as together time. DH comes home around 6:00. We eat dinner together.
    (I’ve been laughing when I read people write Dinner: 6:00-6:30. I’m sooo tempted to pad my numbers here, but dinner is like sex–truth be told, it takes 15 to 20 minutes. Tops.)
    After dinner we all clear the table. Playtime. I may go for a run or start prep for the next day, or do laundry and cleanup stuff. Then it’s usually baths for the girls that I am in charge of, while DH cleans up in the kitchen. This is from 7:15-7:30. Into pajamas and then storytime.
    (We’re reading Little house in the big woods and I am loving it! I never read it as a kid. I’m definitely the most into it.)
    Brush teeth, potty. Now it’s about 8:00. I’m starting to feel frazzled. I’ve been up since 5:15. This is the worst part of the day for me. We get them into their beds (they share a room) and sing their song. Some cuddle time. Possibly some crying. Possibly another potty visit (stalling tactic) and sippy cups of water. They fool around in their room. Usually, both are quiet and asleep by 9:00. DH will get online or watch tv or read or something. I’ll do whatever still needs to be prepped for the next day. Crawl into bed by 9:30 and hopefully read for awhile. Maybe DH will come in and we can talk or fool around. I’m usually asleep way before him.
    Another day done.

  74. Oh – I just thought I’d add, in case anyone is wondering where housework fits into my comparatively blissful evening routine…I work M/T/T/F, and take Wednesdays off to take care of housework. I hire someone to come clean my floors and bathrooms (the two chores I hate most of all), and then I spend the day meal planning for the week, grocery shopping, go for a run if my schedule & energy levels permit, and do 2-3 loads of laundry. An extra “relief” load usually gets done on the weekend too. My Wednesdays “Off” are the busiest day of my week.

  75. I’m a latecomer to this too although I’ve been reading and enjoying all the comments.I am a SAHM with a 2 year old and 3 months away from giving birth to the second one. Husband works reasonable hours and has a decent commute (about 30 min).
    4-5:30 playtime either outside in the backyard, at the playground which is a 5 min. walk, with the neighbor kids in the back alley or inside the house.
    5:30-ideally I start prepping for dinner. If I am tired or the kid is cranky then the prep time is eliminated (i.e. we are eating something frozen) or it gets pushed out until husband gets home.
    6-6:30-the kid is starving. I must feed her something. As mentioned above, in an ideal world, dinner is ready by this time.
    6:30-husband usually gets home and takes over. I can earnestly finish dinner, get plates on table etc.
    6:45ish-we are all sitting down eating dinner.
    7:15-bath time for little one. One of us gives her a bath while the other cleans up kitchen.
    7:45-jammies and books.
    8-lights out. (if there is no nap or she is cranky, lights out are at 7:30)
    8:15-we crash on the couch. catch up on the day’s events. maybe watch some TV or do a few chores around the house. (laundry, trash, load dishwasher, return calls)
    9:30/10-we are both completely spent.
    10:15-10:30- we go to bed. I usually read a few pages. My husband falls asleep 5 min after his head hits the pillow.

  76. “(I’ve been laughing when I read people write Dinner: 6:00-6:30. I’m sooo tempted to pad my numbers here, but dinner is like sex–truth be told, it takes 15 to 20 minutes. Tops.)”rudyinparis, get out of my head.

  77. Parameters: Single Mom by Choice (so really single – not divorced single – no dad at all, ever). Two boys – 5 and 9.4:30ish. Leave office
    5:00 Pick up the boys at afterschool
    5.05-5:30. Arrive home, deal with mail (instant recycle as much as I can!) , look at kids papers from school, start thinking about dinner (which usually involves starting water for pasta of some kind). Biggest decision: Wine or Beer. Maybe chat with neighbors if they are outside.
    5.30-6:00 Monitor homework if not done at afterschool, continue dinner prep
    6-6:45ish. Dinner with the kids. They help with cleaning up as best as they can- put their dishes in dishwasher, clear table etc.
    6:45-7:15 Kids play outside in summer, inside in winter. Maybe more homework or reading.
    7.15-7:45. Get kids to go upstairs and start bedtime prep. Maybe showers or baths, maybe not depending on how dirty they are (in summer it is every night, unless they have just been swimming, in winter it is every 3 nights or so). If no bath, then encourage reading!!! Best when older son reads to younger son. I futz around upstairs folding laundry or tidying up. If they take a bath, sometimes I lay on my bed and watch mindless Entertainment TV (you know- the shows that are on between 7 and 7:30) and tell them I am busy folding laundry!!!
    7:45-8. I read to them from a chapter book.
    8:00 Come downstairs (Phew!) , get (more) wine and sit on the couch and recover for a while watching useless TV (HGTV!). Kids sometimes read in their beds for a bit – so I have to go up back up and give them a final good night hug around 8:15-8:30 or so. Can not really relax and begin “me time” til lights are out and they are settled.
    8:30-910ish. Tidy, watch TV while organizing stuff, try to get rid of endless piles of papers on the dining room table, deal with laundry if necessary (once a week – though I try to do it on weekends), work if I need to (3 or 4 nights a week). Maybe talk on phone to other adults.
    10ish BED for me, – though sometimes will stay up if there is something exceptional on TV (I still miss The West Wing!)
    This schedule has to flex a lot, depending on older son’s sports (younger son is just beginning sports stuff). Some nights are a bit more hectic. Especially during Little League season, when there are games on weeknights. Those night require lots of adaptation. I have to get home earlier and older son eats before the game. Younger son and I eat some kind of portable dinner at the games.
    Best night of the week is our weekly neighborhood Pizza and Video night. 4 families involved . Kids eat pizza and watch a video or in the summer, play outside. Moms and Dads eat pizza, drink wine/beer and chat. Since I only have to host once a month – on the other weeks I get to have a night when I don’t have to think about dinner!!!! Highly recommend that all mothers start a pizza night with neighbors.

  78. Northwest Ohio, college town, husband teaches high school 30 minutes away, I work at university, 5 year old kindergarten, 3 year old morning preschool, baby 3 months sitter.-Husband leaves work about 3pm unless helping coach powderpuff football, tutor kids on state test, or various other afternoon actives. He teaches high school and get their at 7- full schedule no planning period only 25 minute lunch.
    -3:45ish picks up daughter from school’s extended day then to sitter to pick up boys. During my lunch I picked up 3 year old from preschool and took him to sitters. If I was lucky and did not have to get right back to work I might stop at home and switch laundry or wash dishes
    -Husband is home with all 3 kids. He unpacks bags, deals out snack for the older two and starts on dinner.
    -5:15 I get home. Feed baby and help set table.
    -5:30 we all sit down to eat- right now we sit down to eat together every night. Maybe twice a month one of us is gone.
    -After dinner I clean up kitchen since husband cooked and I try to start on lunches for the next day but spending time with the kids wins out.
    -Play with kids inside or out, maybe splitting the group and going to library or running errands.
    -7:00 kids in the tub. I start with the baby and then husband gets him dressed while I wash the other two. Help them with teeth and into tub. Then into pjs and then Dad reads them a story or I read one to one kid while nursing the baby and husband reads to other kid.
    -7:30 close door to their room and before I can sit down 3 year old is up for the bathroom. We help him once then tell him he is on his own after that.
    -7:45 sit with the baby and smile. Sometimes husband works on laptop on floor with baby while I repack bags for the next day and do lunches
    -8:30 whine from baby says he is ready for bed. Wrap him like a burrito and place him in bassinet his our room. He will up up once at night to eat.
    -8:45 run around the house doing laundry. Clean bathroom- I usually do it on the weekend but it is the only bathroom in the house and with a 3 year old and my postpartum hair loss it needs cleaned more. Fit out urge to go to ice cream store.
    9:00 We give in and one of us gets ice cream or make a run to grocery store or gas station for next days needs. Tell myself I’ll get to bed early
    9:15 pack lunches for the next day and set out all breakfast needs. Fold laundry. Work on crafts or other projects.
    10:30 go to bed and set alarm for 5:50. Baby will be up about 2.

  79. I don’t have a kid, but I want a nanny anyhow. (Is it ok that I lurk AskMoxie? I dig her.)Grad student: 3 days at field placement; 2 days at school.
    School days: leave school (after class, printing documents, or chatting) at 7pm
    Drive-thru dinner, get home at 8pm (long commute!)
    Think about laundry, messy house, printed but unread documents
    Play on laptop while watching TV
    Go to bed between 9pm and 10pm
    Wake up at 6am, get to field placement by 8am
    Placement days: leave placement at 5ish
    Get home at 6ish (another long commute!)
    Repeat above
    Dream about placement (spinal cord injury unit)
    Wake up at 6am, get to school by 8am

  80. 2 WOH parents of a 3 yr old in full time preschool in San Francisco.5:00 hubby picks up dd at preschool. Stops off at grocery store to pick up needed dinner items if needed. Brings daughter home and either has her play or watch PBS while he cooks dinner.
    5:00 I get off work and come home by bus. About a 25 minute commute.
    5:30ish Spend time with dd while dh finishes dinner. Yes, I know I am lucky. Look around the house and think about all the housework i should be doing but decide the house will still be around but my dd is onloy going to be this age the once so I keep playing.
    6:00 eat dinner together as family.
    6:30 try to get something in the house done but usually spend time talking with dh while dd plays.
    7:00 bedtime for dd. DH does all the bedtime routine: Potty, teeth, brush hair, pjs. Then we both do her star chart which decides how many books she gets before bed (each star she earned=1book). Daddy reads all but one of the books. Then it’s my turn. She then gets boob (still!) and cuddle time and goes to sleep with the encouragement to earn her bedtime star by sleeping all night long in her own bed.
    7:30 dd in bed and we are generally on the couch watching tv and/or on the computer. We ought to be exercising and/or cleaning the house.
    10:30ish bed.

  81. Parameters:2 work-at-home, parents who run a theatre company and a 10 month old boy, in a two-bedroom apartment (one is office)
    9- 5: trading off parenting/who’s in the home office with lots of exceptions (‘nursels’, snuggle, ‘its too beautiful outside, lets take a walk’, meeting consult/playtime) We EC our boy, so lots of ‘pottytunites’ and some puddles.
    5ish: Husband cooks dinner, a passionate gourmand. Boy extremely upset that he isn’t allowed in kitchen. Tries to jimmy open gate with set of measuring spoons. Mama tries to entice boy away with ‘Bunny Foo foo’ and other songs.
    6ish: Feed boy first then hopefully he plays on floor while we scarf gourmand food very quickly.
    6:15ish: forget to EC boy, puddle
    6:30ish: boy in bath, often with Mama, although sometimes with Papa. Boy refuses to sit in bath and walks around the bathub. (in general boy is prefers vertical) Vertical shampoo.Vertical pee in the tub.
    7ish:dramatic reading of books on family bed. Usually both parents, funny voices. Boy does some vertical listening, or has a crawlathon. Papa plays goalie on the ‘big drop to the floor’ side.
    7:30ish if boy is still on the move turn off lights and turn on flashlight. Shadow puppet show on the headboard. Bunny Foo-foo gets eaten by crocodile. Boy stops roaming to watch.
    7:35-8pm depending. Finally Boy gives up and goes to boob. Feeds down in 5-10 min. During nurse down Papa straightens the family room and sweeps (when he remembers)
    7:45 Mama makes coffee and starts ‘workday #2’ . Papa works till midnight, no coffee, how?
    3am. Mama to sleep. Papa will take boy in morning until 10am

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