Developing a Simple Schedule & Routine

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Routine…it is a beautiful word. Children thrive on it. Mommy’s fill satisfied and organized when they have it. And Daddy’s get all the benefits of a peaceful home upon their arrival when it’s in place. At least that’s what we strive for. Perfectionism is not the goal…but rather a good structure through which we can maintain our lives, relationships, and homes for the glory of God. It brings peace into our household when all the little ones are well rested. But it can be the hardest thing to figure out what works for your family. But your efforts are well worth it.

After developing a mission statement in which you map out your main priorities and goals, then building a simple schedule/routine can be more easily accomplished. You have decided what are the priorities, what you can and cannot do, and now we will map it out.

Time Budget

You might choose to use a time budget approach (as described in Tell Your Time) which means you take the 24 hours of your day, subtract your hours of sleep, and divide the remaining hours (usually about 16 hours), into your envelopes of priorities. I want to spend two hours of focused time with my children each day, so I put two hours there. I need to spend about 2 hours on meal preparations and clean up, and so I stash two hours there. And so on. This approach really helps for us to see how much time we truly have at our disposal. If used and divided wisely, we can surely accomplish those dreams on our list. Always add a hour buffer to your time as well, taking note that something will not always come out as planned.

Morning/Evening Routine

Another method is the Morning and Evening Routines. Rather than structuring hour by hour, this provides a bit more simplicity by just making a list of what are your morning tasks to be accomplished sometime between 9-12noon, and what are your evening tasks to be accomplished before bed. This method provides plenty of flexibility and works well for those who do not like too much structure.

We use a mix of both structures in our home. I like to schedule out my mornings more definitively, but I do have a rough morning routine  that may not always fit into the hour structure. Here is what an average day looks like at our home:

Our Daily Schedule

6:00 am – Personal Bible reading time individually, plan for the day (make my to-do list)
7:00 am – Shower (3 times a week), dress, devotions with Aaron
7:20 am – Lindsay prepares breakfast, packs Aaron’s lunch (if I don’t get to it the night before)
7:45 am – Aaron leaves for work
8:00 am – Breakfast with kids, read Jesus Storybook Bible together over breakfast, cleanup, dinner preparations (take anything out of the freezer, etc), quick house pick-up, fill up water bottle
9:00-11:00 am – Learning time with Karis (currently we are using the Sonlight P4/5 curriculum and are loving it, along with Singapore Math KA), reading stories, special activity (tea, baking project, playdough, etc)
11:30-12:00 noon – Lunch, cleanup

Variations from day to day: Monday mornings is my cleaning and laundry day. This is the day I am wearing my comfies and just get the house in order for the week. This helps me get the fun stuff out of the way first ;) , and then I don’t have to worry about it so much throughout the week. I spend two hours vacuuming and mopping all the surfaces in our home and clean the bathrooms, while rotating the laundry through. We do about 5 loads of laundry (this is for the whole week). Thursday mornings we attend story-time at our local library. Saturday morning is my planning time, when I go to a coffee shop for 2 hours while daddy feeds and plays with the kids.

Afternoon Routine: Naps all around. The kids will nap for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. During this period, I usually nap for 30 minutes, followed by my 1 1/2 hour computer/personal time. After naps, we have a snack, and then we might go for a walk, visit the playground, prepare dinner, etc. I keep the afternoons really flexible. I may have to complete something that didn’t get done in the morning. We do our grocery shopping (through our local co-op), and various errands on Tuesday afternoons.

Evening Routine:
Family dinner
Clean up dinner dishes while Daddy plays with kids
Kids bath (3 nights a week)
Prepare Aaron’s lunch
House pick-up (this helps give me a good start the next day if the house is picked up, kids put away their toys before bed)
7:00 pm – Titus’ bedtime, 7:30 pm – Karis’ bedtime
One on one time with Aaron

Variations: Tuesday night is our date night. Thursday night we host community group. Friday night is family night. And we usually have hospitality on Saturday or Sunday evenings.

Q & A From the Readers

How do you entertain my children while you maintain the house?

This is a question we receive frequently. How do we get anything done around the house with little ones? We have always emphasized in our children’s training that mommy is not here to entertain them. Since they were babies we were intentional in giving them time to themselves each day so they learned how to entertain themselves. We would set them up in the pack n play, or on a blanket and allow them to have time to play by themselves for 30 minute periods. I would often leave the room for brief periods as well, so they would learn that they could survive without mommy there at every moment. This practice has surely paid off, because my kiddos entertain themselves so well now.

On Mondays, during housecleaning, I do allow Karis to watch a 30 minute video to break it up a bit. This will be either a learning video or family home videos. She loves family videos and will certainly have our family history memorized! For a portion of our housecleaning, the kids will help out. They may play a game of chase the vacuum, or mop the floor, or help me wash the dishes. I try to include them whenever they want to participate, reinforcing good work ethic and responsibility. Otherwise, they like to play with their tricycles indoors or outdoors (bringing bikes indoors is tons of fun!), listen to music on a portable CD player, play with their kitchen set, dress up with the dress up box, or simply look at books. Since we haven’t exposed them to much technology entertainment devises (we don’t have a TV), they have learned to enjoy themselves in whatever fashion they desire.

How do you do laundry all in one day?

I strive to keep the laundry simple. We only have 8 outfits each for the kids in addition to 3-4 pajamas, so we keep our clothing limited. Aaron and I usually wear our clothes at least two times between washing. I combine loads of laundry to make sure I have full loads for the greatest efficiency. This means instead of doing a separate towel load, I combine the white towels with the white clothing, and the dark towels with the dark clothing. The same is true with our linens – they go in with the other laundry. I wash the sheets and towels once a week and they all get stripped down and replaced on Monday, so I can keep track of their cleanliness. This enables me to keep our laundry to a minimum. So all together we have about 5 loads per week – 1 colored loads, one white, one dark (which may have colored additions), one for kitchen towels/rags (as I wash these separately as I don’t want the smells to affect our clothing), and one for cloth diapers. I also do a second load of cloth diapers later on in the week.

When do you exercise?

Good question. Whenever I can fit it in. Sometimes I will run up and down the steps after the kids go to bed for 15-20 minutes. Sometimes I will take a walk with the kids in the afternoon. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. If nothing else, I just keep moving around the house quite a bit.

Do you have any girl time?

Yes, I actually get together with my sister once a week (early Wednesday morning before Aaron goes to work) and we have accountability time together. I also participate in a monthly ladies Bible study. We also like to have friends over for lunch at least once a month midweek to have play times and fellowship.

Overall, it is important to remember that what works for me may not work for you. This is also the beauty of routine. Your routine will be adapted to fit your needs and preferences. There is grace to adapt, grace to flex, and grace to simplify. Try a little of this and a little of that to help determine what works for you. And once you figure it out – stick with it! But remember, it will need adapting in future seasons. Our schedule changes a bit every few months, as something is added or another is dropped. There is grace to make changes as you see necessary. Pray and dedicate your time to the Lord and ask Him to guide you in crafting your own routine/schedule.

In addition, there are many days when all I accomplish is getting the kids dressed and fed. I have to let other things slide and just keep food on the table. If everyone is happy (their cups filled with love), even if the house is a mess, than I can feel it has been a productive day. There is always beauty to find in the mundane! You are a virtuous woman when you take delight in worshiping your Creator through your work.

If you have any questions on our schedule, please feel free to ask. I’d also love to hear your scheduling tips!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

100 Responses to Developing a Simple Schedule & Routine

  1. Stefanie April 15, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Hey LIndsay- I still LOVE LOVE your blog! It is amazing with so much great info to apply. I just thought about how you said your sister is your accountability partner. What does that look like? How do you have a good accountability partner? I actually meet with another lady that is older than me from church. But it may be good to have her ask the big questions if there is anything that I am struggling with that she can ask about it.

    I have thought about accountability partners when it comes to exercising and eating right. Sometimes I have needed help and other times other friends have needed it. I never felt like I knew what it looked like and also what questions to ask to help the friend.

    That would be a fun post on accountability partners. :) I would enjoy it!

  2. Donna February 7, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I am confused why some readers think 3x a week is not enough bathing. That is all I have ever done, and I don’t think that’s wrong. How dirty can you get every other day, for goodness sake? I find it keeps my skin and hair soft to not overcleanse it. Great post, Lindsay!

  3. Melody February 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Thanks for the post. I love it.

    Can you expand on this quote: “We have always emphasized in our children’s training that mommy is not here to entertain them”

    - What exactly does this mean?
    - How does it work?

    And naptimes, are the kids expected to stay in bed (quietly without playing or reading) if they are not tired or don’t fall asleep? Do you get them up or do they come out when they’re awake?

    Thanks!

  4. Larhonda February 4, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    Lindsay, ive enjoyed reading your blog. I have struggled with keeping a routine i really need some help. I have 6 year old triplets 1 boy 2 girls and its has always been very hectic around the house. and i realize that its because of no routine. my husband and i pastor a church and also do some revival meeting during the week and weekends. i also homeschool the children and a must on keeping the house clean. so my question to you is “WHERE DO I START AND HOW”? we have always been night owls because sometimes we dont get home till around 11:30 or midnight. sometimes i get very overwhelmed. the kids fighting all the time (never ending), laundry, meals, house cleaning, lessons for homeschooling, lessons for children church, bedtime which right now its been getting in bed at 3am and fighting with them to stay there. its getting to the point where i cant find time to just sit with the kids and enjoy being a mother. i dont mind haveing a later routine than most people because of our late nights that we have. how do i get my self to the point to sticking to a routine? im only getting about 4 hours of sleep a night because by the time i get the kids to sleep i want so alone time just to read the bible prepare for messages and pray and by the time i finally get to sleep its time to start all over again. sorry to just download on you but i was reading about the routines and hearing everyone enjoying life and i want that i just dont know where to start…. Thank you for all you do and mostly for keeping the Lord in all you do. God Bless You…

  5. Rose February 2, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    I’m sure someone asked this but how do you let your kids watch videos if you have no tv????

    • Lindsay February 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      They can watch DVD’s on our laptops.

  6. joanna February 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    you get together with your sister before 7:45 in the morning when he leaves???

    • Lindsay February 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

      Yes, we meet from 6:30-7:30am on Wednesday mornings.

  7. Jenni January 31, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Okay, have to chime in here on the showering/laundry issue as well. I worked overseas in Uzbekistan for 5 years, living with a local family for the first year, and if you want to talk about infrequent bathing, they often took baths just once a month. I had to scale back mine to every few days there, and even then it was with a bucket of water. They still thought I was this crazy American who had to bathe all the time! One thing I learned, though, was that my hair got less oily when I washed it less. This has also been recommended by my stylist who works in a very upscale salon here in the States – so yes, I’m with you on the showering every other day or 3x a week. We also try to only wash our clothes when they really need to be washed, instead of after wearing them once.

  8. Heather January 31, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    I think bathing 3x a week is a wonderful idea. It would definitely help in way of organizing our time. I dont understand why some people have a problem with this concept. We tend to forget that their are countries people struggle with water supply and their own hygiene because lack of resources. So for us, 3x a week is plenty and a blessing.

  9. Lori January 30, 2011 at 5:28 am #

    Me and my 14 month old son bathe 3 x a week also simply for our very dry skin. The frequent exposure to water dries it out even more. People have many reasons for their personal daily habits.

    Lindsay, thank you for sharing not only what but why. I struggle with perfectionism and really need to pray that it’s for stewardship and not what other’s think of me. Take care and God bless!

  10. Julie January 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Lindsay,

    Don’t worry about the negative comments about showering or having limited numbers of outfits!

    Showering everyday and having enough clothes to not have to wear them more than once a week is not wrong, but it is a luxury. In fact, only the richest nations of the World can afford to do that.

    I think it is great that you and your husband are striving to be good stewards of your time and money.

    I live and study in China and my classmates only shower once a week in the Winter (partly because there are no showers in their dorms and they have to walk to a communal shower house, not too appealing when temperatures are in the single digits) and have approx 3 outfits per season.

    I really enjoy reading your blog, thanks for this ministry!

  11. Priscilla January 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    For quick showers, I put my hair up in a clip & use a shower cap…that way I don’t have to take time washing my hair every time I shower. as a mom of 6, I have plenty to keep me busy =)

  12. Ginger January 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Thanks for another great post Lindsay! We are currently remodeling our house so my first reaction to this post was “I wish we had our normal routine!” but when I got to the bottom and read your last thought about keeping everyones cups full of love I was reminded of the important things in life. Thank you for the reminder that Christ is in the everyday and He get us through everyday!

  13. Amanda January 28, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    I just found your site and I am so thankful for you!!! I have a renewed sense of purpose in my homemaking! My girls are also 4 and 2 and we are also expecting baby #3 (in July), so I love hearing how you are running your household at such a similar lifestage. I’m also already working with my girls at home and am considering starting a homeschool curriculum for my oldest next year. Thank you so much for your willingness to share that it CAN be done and we can bring glory to God in the midst of it!

  14. Priscilla January 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I’d like to limit clothing for our family of 8 (space is limited) but I find it difficult to do. We live in WI & have different seasons. I don’t know if I could do 8 outfits for winter & 8 for summer. Whenever I try to get a # count on outfits, I get stuck when I start breaking down into categories…play clothes (don’t care if you ruin these, get more holes in ‘em, or paint on ‘em/ec.), church clothes (how many outfits?), every day or nice clothes to go to Dr’s office/errands,…how many blue jeans, khakis, shorts, cut-off blue jean shorts, t-shirts, button up shirts, turtlenecks, sweaters, sweatshirts with & without hoods? See I don’t get far with a solution to how many of each.

    • Ginger January 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      Priscilla,
      I hear ya! I grew up in MN and remember my mom bringing boxes out of the attic or basement when the seasons changed. Now I’m in TX and have found that we don’t need seasonal wardrobes as much as we need seasonal accessories (like a heavy coat to wear the three days of the year it’s below freezing).
      I still, however, struggle with this issue because there are so many possibilities of what we can wear and what we’re “supposed” to wear in certain situations (dr. appt, church, playing, etc) and the option to wear completely different wardrobes every season still exists.
      I’ve been praying and seeking wisdom on the issue lately and a lot of what I have been learning is that I need to constantly check my motives. Why do I “need” all my different types of clothes. What I’ve learned about myself is that I feel better and even more confident with less clothes. I don’t agonize over what to wear or how to make the “perfect” outfit when I only have three pairs of jeans a handful of t-shirts, skirts and a few “nice” outfits. Everyones life necessitates different types of clothes (where you work, etc) but I’ve personally found that when I find my identity in Christ my clothes don’t matter as much and I feel comfortable and better able to serve my family and others with less clothes!
      It has also done my heart good to hear friends talk about trips they’ve taken to parts of the world where people have one pair of clothes until they wear out or they outgrow them and they are joyful and confident in Christ!

    • Lindsay January 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      I honestly don’t worry about categories. Karis has 3 dresses for church, but then everything else is suitable for play or various outings. I have like three button up shirts and 4 long sleeve t-shirts for Titus and a collection of various pants – khakis and jeans mainly. I find that limiting each child to one draw has helped narrow down the clothes. We have one dresser for our two kids, and they each have one drawer for all their pants, skirts, underwear, socks and shirts. Then they share a drawer for all their jammies. This has been the best means for helping slim down the clothing. The final drawer is for cloth diapers and wipes. We keep the opposite season clothing in boxes in the closet – which is limited one box per size.

  15. TJ January 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    I want to know how you only do your diapers once a week! I wash them MWF, and could probably go one more day between loads but I don’t like to risk running out. I can’t imagine having enough diapers to wash only once per week!

    • Sonia January 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      I think she said she does an additional load of diapers at a different time in the week. :)

  16. cara January 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your routine. I am a former teacher and am now staying home with my little ones. It has been hard establishing a routine. When I was in the classroom, I was able to organize my schedule, teaching supplies, and lessons with limited distractions. I try to do the same at home, but with little ones I feel like my day is so unpredictable. I will get there.

  17. Julie January 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    As far as laundry goes, I used to try to keep to a MWF schedule, but then I found I was trying to get TOO much done on Mondays, so I switched to TWF…Tuesday and Friday are regular loads like darks, lights, ‘reds’, Dad’s shirts & pants, and on Wednesdays I do sheets, towels and whites (simple, no brainer, low maintenance loads that even the youngest can help with!). This frees up the washer on the weekends when I am doing something and decide all the throw rugs need to be washed, or the curtains in a particular room need some attention. It also got rid of that feeling that I was doing laundry non-stop, all day everyday!

    HTH someone!

    Julie

  18. Mommy January 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    I just want to give my few cents to those moms who have little children and who feel like they “don’t have it together.” When I was single,I remember giving advice to my older sisters who were married and had children on anything from how soon the diper needed to be changed (of course as soon as the baby peed I thought) to medical and discipline advice. I thought I knew so much until I got married and had my own kids and then realized I don’t know anything! Today I have three girls ( 41/2, 3, and 21 months). What I learned so far is that nothing can prepare you for marriage, children, and just LIFE. We learn as we go through it. Just like physics, we first must take the course and then we might just start to understand it. When my first arrived, she was very difficult. My husband would come home from work and find me crying with the baby in my arms. I still had my pajamas on and my teeth were not brushed…. ofcourse dinner was not ready. Before this I thought I was tough but at the arrival of the first I realized I was so broken. No one could fix the state of my heart except God because nothing and nobody else satisfied. I believe God allows disorder to happen at times to teach us something. When my second was born I was expecting the worse but she was a wonderful baby and my third is an angel. I just want to tell the new moms that you will be a better mom with time. God won’t give you more than you can handle. Now with three kids I’m a better wife, mother, housekeeper,cook, organizer and a better person overall than I was with one kid (at least I think so). My first never had a schedule, but today it is a must in order for me to make it through the day. I also found out early that I learn best when I go through an embarassing situation. A surprise visit taught me a lesson how clean I should keep my home. Please do not compare yourself or your family to someone else . I also learned if you try your best, you wont feel as bad even if you fail ( unless you are cooking). Just like lindsay said there will be days when you wont get much done. When I had a day like that, I asked my husband what he wanted more, a cooked dinner or a clean house? He said both but chose dinner.Do what you can and pray before your day starts, you’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish. Lindsay I love your blog and can’t wait for the next post:).

    • Lacey Wilcox January 30, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

      Wow…good words there…lol, I’m a new mom and can’t think of one day yet where I haven’t had the thought: I failed at something. Thanks for an encouraging word.

    • Susan November 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

      I agree! Thanks for the encouragement, we all need these life-giving words!

  19. mel January 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    thanks for sharing this. ive been desperate trying diff. routines to get everything done, as i have a 4yr old that i home school, an almost 2 yr old and a 5 mnth old. ive been trying to clean a little each day but i never get it all done so im gonna try it all in one day. My question for you is this: when do u manage to get any deep cleaning done like organizing office or bills, clean out fridge, oven etc…? do u have a schedule to do the monthly/yearly cleaning jobs too? thanks again for your blog it has inspired and helped me tremendously :)

    • Anna January 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

      I would like to hear your thoughts on this too. I have great routines in place for daily and weekly upkeep, but those bigger tasks hang over my head and overwhelm me!

    • Janet January 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      Mel,
      The only advice I can offer is on cleaning the refrigerator: Don’t do it all at once. Just try for one shelf, or half of one shelf, and be thankful for whatever you can get done.

    • Lindsay January 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      Deep cleaning? Well, I used to have a schedule for it, but was never very consistent with it. Now I just do it whenever I see that it really needs to be done. I try to clean out the fridge once a month and do one other deep organization project once a month on a Saturday when my hubby and I get inspired together to attack something. So sorry…no real schedule with these. They are really last on the priority list for me and I deal with them when I can.

  20. Miracle Quelle January 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    It gets so much harder to give them the individual time they need the more kids you have. I am pregnant with number 5, and I really struggle with that. Especially with my second, who needs me to sit and really listen while she rambles on and on about her plans.

    I would definately suggest getting the kids working as much as you can as early as you can. My oldest is 7 now, and although we expected much less out of her than we do her siblings at the same age, all of that training in chores is finally paying off. They are actually getting helpful and lightening my load. I ts wonderful!

  21. Rachel January 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Great post. Just wondering what time your kids get up, if you put them down at 7? I can’t seem to get my 3 kids (21m, 3, 5) in bed before 830pm, because if I get them to sleep that early, then they’re up way before I can be awake, even when I go to bed at a reasonable time (9:30-10) The older 2 only take naps occasionally (even though they do have quiet time), but if they happen to fall asleep, then it’s even worse. My husband has to be in bed by 8:30 too, so we really haven’t found a way to solve the ‘get to bed’ dilemma or the ‘couple time’ dilemma. My husband leaves the house at 5am, so being awake together before he leaves is pretty impossible (especially since all 3 kids have been bad sleepers and I’ve been up alot at night with them) Any ideas?

    • Jenny January 28, 2011 at 6:11 am #

      Of course, I can’t speak for Lindsay… but mine goes to bed between 6:30-7:00 and wakes between 6:30 and 7:00. She is only 14 months, and still naps twice most days. With kids your age (especially the older two), have you tried sleep rules? For example, put a digital clock in their room and a picture of what the clock looks like at 7:00 a.m. Tell them that when the clock looks like that, it’s time to get up… and not before. The GirlTalk blog has an article about doing this in the archives from a few years ago. With mine, I’m obviously not at that stage yet. But even if she wakes before 6:30, we generally don’t go to her to get her up before then. They often start to expect and look forward to the company and wake earlier and earlier.

    • Lindsay January 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      Bedtime has honestly been one of the biggest struggles we have had in our parenting…so I understand where you are coming from. It is one of those areas where it has changed alot and I have had to just learn to be flexible. We put them to bed at 7pm but sometimes they haven’t fallen asleep till 8 or even 9 at times. It’s a mystery to us. Titus wakes up around 7:00am and Karis wakes up between 7:30-8:00am. We have a Good Nite Lite that helps train Karis to wait patiently in bed till 8:00am. Ty is not quite old enough yet to understand the concept, but he usually quietly plays in bed for a bit before I grab him. I would utilize a timer clock in this manner because it really helps! She is excited to wait for the sun to come up on the night lite before she can get up. You may want to try starting earlier on your bedtime routine. It usually takes us an hour to get the kids ready and in the mood for sleep – we may take a bath, read stories, snuggle, rock and sing, etc. They like a consistent bedtime routine and it helps wind them down for bed.

  22. Colleen G. January 27, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I had to smile as I read through some of the comments here. Some people would cringe at my kids, laundry and bathing habits but I don’t think we have even scared anyone off. I loved the last part of the article. Some blog writers seem afraid to say that they have those days where getting dressed and making meals are about all they can get done. People before things. The cups filled with love is a good reminder.
    Right now we don’t have a routine or schedule. When things change or throw us off track it is very hard to start at square one all over again and I never seem to get “left alone” long enough for a habit or routine to really stick. There are some unusual variances that most moms don’t have to manage around too. One I would love to get rid of and never see again.(health problem) The other I don’t ever want to change, no matter how distracting it can be.(a husband who works at home but with no schedule of his own)
    God really worked me through letting go of being organized, super clean and company ready. I had let those things get to me and ruin my attitude and happiness. So really laid back and relaxed is where God has put me right now.

  23. Crystal January 27, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    I have a 5 year old, 3 year and 11 month. I find that having people over for dinner and such is a big challenge. How do you typically manage tending to your guests and children, meal prep, clean-up, etc., when entertaining? I would love to have people over more but find it so hard to do with such young children.
    Also, I’m attempting to homeschool and I have such a hard time teaching my 5 year old and figuring out something to do with the other two that allows me to teach. It’s such a struggle, so much so that I’m contemplating sending my 5 year old to kindergarten next year because I dont feel that I’m adequately giving enough time to her schooling. (they all nap together at the same time) Any thoughts that may help?

    • Sonia January 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

      Kindergarten really just needs to be minimal. She’ll learn her abcs, how to write her name, cutting, pasting. Most 5-year-olds really just need to do a lot of playing still. I have a 5, 3 and 14-month old and that little one is into EVERYTHING right now. Generally, we sit on the couch and read 5-year-old’s school books while the others play in the living room. But I’m frequently getting up to deal with the little one and her antics. Some of those days are just like that. And sending her to school wouldn’t be failure; just another option. Cut yourself some slack.

  24. Amy Walker January 27, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    Love this post!

    We read Jesus Bible Storybook at bedtime…already been through it almost 3 times even though my dd is just 15 months old! We love it!!!!

    Routine is something that has always been a challenge for me as I am not a “linear” thinker. I stressed so much striving to have routine until the Lord spoke to me about not trying to make myself linear when He made me “global.”

    It was SO freeing, and now there is peace in my home! Ironically, as I’ve laid down my striving for routine and schedule and a perfect balance, and instead just daily sought the Lord to lead me even in the menial tasks, suddenly routine has just HAPPENED. It’s not perfect or 100% which is the beauty of it because it’s OK if we have truly been focused on Him and what matters most! My mind has been stayed on Him and He’s totally transformed my life in this season. He’s even brought me together with some seeking Hispanic women and led me to start a Bible Study with them on Sunday mornings before church. At the same time my house has been neater than it’s ever been since having a baby *most* of the time (and when it hasn’t been I haven’t gotten bent out of shape over it like before). With my dear husband’s help I’ve been exercising 2 or 3 times a week and he and we have started doing “push-ups and prayer” together at night before we go to bed.

    I am SO amazed and thankful to the Lord and want to give Him glory for HIS FAITHFULNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He truly watches over His word to perform it!!!!! He WILL keep the mind in perfect peace that is stayed on Him and He will give peace that passes understanding when we choose to not be anxious about anything but in EVERYTHING with prayer and thanksgiving make our requests known to Him! All these things WILL be added to us when we seek first the kingdom of God. We CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

    The wonderful thing is that if we truly seek His guidance each day, He will never lead us to neglect our home and family. We can trust Him that whatever He leads us to do, it will not be at the cost of not caring for our home, husbands, and children. The stress of how I was going to balance everything-cooking, cleaning, relationship with God, family, and other friends was keeping me in a state of unrest and I could not hear the Lord’s voice or see beyond my little world. By giving it all to Him, I’ve been available to sense His guidance and hear His voice and my mind has been so fixed on greater things that the laundry and groceries and cleaning and cooking are not such a big deal anymore. He is so much greater, but He cares about all of those things and will enable us to get them done!

    He is so wonderful I just want to shout it from the rooftop! He CARES! Laundry matters to Him so we can trust Him to help us!

    And that being said I LOVE your washing towels and everything together idea. Absolutely genius! I hope to try that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I let my dd watch a video once a day in the morning after breakfast as well while I do some essential daily chores that she can’t help me with like spray out her overnight diaper =P, get her diapers in the wash, make the bed, and stuff like that. Glad I’m not the only one!

  25. Modupe (The Wannabe Mummy) January 27, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    I’ve really been struggling in this area, especially as I have a 2.5 year old who is jealous of her 2 month old brother. Both are very needy AND I’m trying to get things off the ground to be a WAHM so I don’t have to go back to work at the end of my maternity leave. How can I have a workable schedule? Each day, evening, night is different…..

    • Lindsay January 27, 2011 at 7:19 am #

      First of all, don’t be discouraged. There is a transition period when welcoming a new baby. I find it best to invest time with your 2.5 year old while your baby is sleeping. You can have a special time together without the distraction of the needs of the baby. Secondly, take one day at a time. You might need to step back and let some things go so you have consistency – so that most days look the same, not so many different activities at night, etc. This really helps little ones when they have a similar routine without so much change. They don’t seem to adapt well when we are constantly changing things or on the go too much. Children’s needs are really simple – lots of love, food in their bellies, and plenty of rest. Set those structures in first – quality time with each of them, consistent meal and snack times, and consistent naps times…and then let everything else fall around that. When the children are happy, it definitely makes it more easier to find time for other things. I find that a day goes much easier when I fill up their love tank first thing. Even just spending 30 minutes reading to your little one will fill her up. I hope that helps! Pray and trust the Lord for guidance as well. Seek help and advice from your hubby as well. Our men know a lot more than we often think and have great suggestions if we are willing to draw them out. Your man wants the best for you and your children.

  26. Elizabeth January 27, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    Wonderful post. I love organizing and cleaning–laundry, not so much.
    I think I would be scared if I did the “actual hour” thing. I just go through my day with my to-do lists and don’t focus on the clock ticking. I do pay close attention to the time near the dinner hour though so I have enough prep time.
    Peace ,
    Elizabeth

    • Jessica February 10, 2011 at 6:21 am #

      funny how we each have particular homemaking tasks that we like more than others. My favorites are cooking and laundry…but I really despise washing dishes :)

  27. Clair January 27, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    You only shower 3 times a week? I thought the rest of your schedule was great – just don’t think that is enough showering – but I live in a warm climate…

    • Lindsay January 27, 2011 at 7:12 am #

      My husband and I grew up in large families and we had schedules for who took showers when. It was a matter of cost as well – one of those means of raising a large family on a budget. When we were married, it was natural for us to take a shower every other day, because that was our routine before we were married. I appreciated it because it helped us conserve alot of water and electricity. We wanted to be good stewards as much as we could while cutting down on our expenses. We do live in a mild climate, so we find no need so shower more frequently.

      • Danielle B January 28, 2011 at 8:41 am #

        Hey, Lindsay.. maybe put you shower every other day instead of putting 3 x’s a week. 3 x’s a week doesn’t sound too good. :-)

        I just want to know how you feel “fresh” on those off days? I know I need to shower and my hubby needs to shower before any “needs” are met.

        • Ginger January 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

          We have dealt with the shower issue recently with stewardship and “needs” in mind and I would like to give you two things that we thought about
          1. think objectively about why you ‘need a shower’ vs. washing certain areas of your body only, washing your hair separately, etc. and also consider if you are worried about others opinion of you rather than living up to God’s standard
          2. This brings me to the next thing – there are more people on Earth that don’t shower 3 times a week *or ever* and God sees us all the same (with Jesus)

          • KGR's Mom January 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

            I have to agree. My kids (8, 6 & 2) only bathe 2x/week, and 1 time is just a quick water rinse. They don’t not smell and their hair is not greasy because their bodies are used to this.

            I on the other hand, prefer to take a super quick rinse of shower everyday, but again, only wash 1x/week. It works for us! :)

        • Jennifer February 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

          My two cents on feeling fresh on days you don’t shower:
          I bought some baby diaper wipe solution to go with my cloth wipes. Well, she’s basically potty trained now and there is still plenty of wipe solution left sitting on my bathroom counter.
          One day, I had the biggest epiphany: the stuff is made for washing bottoms! Hello! So, now I spray it on me (armpits too), wipe down with my cloth wipe (really, just any small square of hemmed fabric, or just a regular washcloth), toss the wipe in the laundry (ladies, it’s no dirtier than the panties you wore all day. Even if you never did cloth diapers, you can easily do cloth wipes. No special laundering necessary.) and I am fresh!
          Look for the wipe solutions on most cloth diaper websites. It’s generally sold in concentrate and you mix in witch hazel. Or I’m sure there are recipes out there to mix up your own.

          • Jessica February 10, 2011 at 6:27 am #

            Here’s my homemade cloth diaper wash recipe:
            1/3 cup water
            1 T. sesame, almond, or olive oil (moisturizing)
            1 T. witch hazel
            3-4 drops Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap (I use the baby mild)
            3-4 drops Tea Tree essential oil (antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal)
            3-4 drops Calendula tincture (soothing to your skin)

            Pour each ingredient into a 4-oz spray bottle. Shake well before each spray so the oil and water ingredients emulsify.

            Great idea about using it as a personal wash-down!!!

  28. Christina January 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing!!!! I love to see how other people get it done : )

  29. Autumn January 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    I love reading about your family schedule. Mine is very similar. I like your idea for having one day be a work day…for me, that would be Wednesday (today). It’s so nice to have one day to get everything done, and not have to worry about it the rest of the week.

    And I really love your idea of only 8 outfits per kid to make things simpler. I just pared down my boys’ clothes because they had too much, but I still think they have too much!

  30. Julie January 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Lindsay, thanks for writing this blog! It has blessed me.

    I just wanted to ask you about the activities you and your husband do during your one on one time. I feel like my husband and I often get trapped just surfing the web by ourselves and don’t really connect like we used to… Can you suggest some ideas that don’t include computer or TV?

    • Miriam January 26, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

      i would love to hear some ideas for one-on-one time, also! My husband and I rarely come up with anything other than movie watching. He isn’t into reading and such things, but I don’t know what other activities would be relaxing and enjoyable for both of us.

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

      We spend a lot of time simply talking. We discuss our days activities and really see how each other is doing. It is a time to open up and share our hearts, struggles, and dreams with each other. We also like to read together – currently going through Gospel Centered Families. It is a short and easy read – with short chapters – which is a must for us and limited time. It has provided wonderful discussion together. We try to limit our movie watching to once a week, but that doesn’t always happen, since this can definitely be a way for my husband to really relax after a stressful day, so it certainly has its place. We don’t have TV so that isn’t an issue for us, something that we decided to be intentional about before we were married. We often read independently during this time as well. My husband isn’t a big reader either, but I find that often times when I read, he will actually join me. This is some of my favorite times when we snuggle up and read. Occasionally, we have also played games together (card games and the like). And of course, most importantly, meeting his needs physically is high on the priority list. ;)

      You might consider simply asking your husband and discussing this together. What do you enjoy doing together? Or what does he enjoy that you could do with him? Even if you might not enjoy it now, your interest will grow as you do it together and your relationship is strengthened at the same time.

  31. Chelsey January 26, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this, Lindsay! It’s funny, I was planning to have one of my next posts be about my schedule/routine! The Lord knows what we need before we do; it was so encouraging to read about your day and to know that there are others out there who have an intentional routine! Thanks again!

  32. Angela January 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Great post! I’ve been thinking of starting a women’s Bible study but didn’t think I’d have time each week. A monthly get-together is a great idea. Could you suggest some studies that you have liked? How long do you meet each time and what all is included? Do you take the kids with? Maybe this would be a good post topic-or is there a post on it already?? Thanks and can’t wait to learn more.

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

      This time around we are actually studying the book of Ephesians together. It has been my favorite study of all! WE just take a portion of 10 verses or so per month and really meditate upon them, find cross references, and discuss all that we learn. It goes from 9-11am and we end with a prayer time for each other. The kids stay home with daddy so we can really have some discussion without the distraction. Very edifying to the soul. In the past we have used various books as the source of our study, but this time has been my favorite – really delving into Scripture together. Books we have studied in the past: Sacred Influence, Feminine Appeal, etc. All excellent but nothing is better than the Word.

  33. jessica hilliker January 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    Lindsay, thank you SO MUCH for your heartfelt ministry to moms in blogland!! I can not tell you how much your posts have impacted our home, especially the latest string of posts on scheduling, order, and mission statements.

    I have tried and tried scheduling but it has just discouraged me…but have never heard of lumping the schedule into morning/evening routines–that seems more doable for a frazzled mom with little ones!

    I appreciate your advice to help babies learn to play on their own. I am “with” my kids all day, but not always intentionally “with” them or “away” from them. I will work on that for sure! thanks!

  34. Jenny January 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Three cheers for early bedtimes for the kiddos! We’ve been doing bedtime between 6:30 and 7:00 pm for our daughter since two months, and it makes for a peaceful, relaxing, and productive evening. And a well-rested kiddo too!

  35. Natalie January 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Hi Lindsay, I was hoping you could elaborate some on what you mean by “accountability time” with your sister. I find this intriguing because I have a sister as well. Thank you!

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

      We are memorizing Scripture together, reading a book together and discussing it during our times together, and then simply asking how each other is doing and having a prayer time together. It is a sweet time to build our relationship and find one of my closest friends in my sister.

  36. Lisa January 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    I always like to read through other people’s schedules! I am always trying new things to see what works and what doesn’t.

    I was wondering if you have any suggestions for helping a child to stay in bed/be quiet and play/read if other family members are still asleep or supposed to be asleep. We have a small second floor that is basically 2 rooms separated by an accordion door and our family of 4 all sleep up there.

    My 3 year old son will frequently awake much too early (4 am sometimes) and want to get everyone else up (my 1.5 year old included). We’ve tried lots of different things, but I’d be curious to know if you have any suggestions.

    Thanks for you blog! It’s a lot of fun to read!

    • Lindsay January 27, 2011 at 7:23 am #

      Have you tried the Good Nite Light? We have used this along with many of our friends to help train the little ones that they can awake when the sun comes up on the night light.

  37. Lacey Wilcox January 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    So glad to hear I’m not the only one who has a day where they stay in their comfy clothes….I had always felt a little guilty…:)

  38. Angela January 26, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    @Lindsay – When do you hang out with your friends?

    @Amy – my children are bathed every other day. There are exceptions like in the summer time when they play outside more and get dirty.

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

      Most of the time, i hang out with friends through hospitality as I mentioned above. I’ll invite my mother friends over for play times, or have their family over for dinner. OR we go on a field trip together and fellowship there. So most of the time it is done as families. I do have the monthly bible study that is a wonderful time of fellowship and just hanging out together.

  39. Ann Dunagan January 26, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    For me, (with 7 kids, lots of teenagers around, dirty and muddy boys, towels and sheets, and frequent overnight company), I’ve found that it’s easier for me to stay caught up with my laundry if I do a little each day. I get a load going first thing in the morning (while I’m still waking up, and as I’m waiting for coffee), and I sometimes do a second load about 1/2 hour later. In our home, we do about 10-12 loads a week, about 2-3 per weekday. But our kids and teens (youngest is now 10) do all of their own laundry. That way, no one loses their stuff.

    I like you idea about thinning through your clothes, so there’s not as much to wash. My husband’s always thought this would be a good idea, although I think it may be more challenging to limit teenage girls to just a few outfits!

    Another thing is that a perfect family schedule may totally change, or need to be tweaked, as your kids get older. Oh, my! Just wait until you have a houseful of active big kids, busy teenagers, or several college kids home for the summer . . . along with all of their friends, and their activities, and their work schedules. Life with a big family can definitely be fun . . . and a bit crazy. I LOVE IT!!!

    • Jessica February 10, 2011 at 6:46 am #

      I can’t do my laundry in one day either! I live in Italy and the load my washer takes is about 1/3 the size of a normal American one (one set of sheets or 2 towels + 3 hand towels or one set of ABU’s {pants, shirt, jacket, socks}). Plus, the only choices for wash-lengths are a 30-minute quick-wash or a normal 2-hour wash. Plus, I don’t have a dryer and dry my clothes on the line, so it takes several hours for them to dry. So I generally do 2 loads per day during the week and one load on the weekend. One I put in when my hubby leaves for work at 5:30-6am (I get up to make his lunch and send him off), then I go back to sleep till 8, hang the laundry, put another load in, and then start my day. That way everything is on the line by 10-10:30am which is important for them to get sufficient sun in the winter to totally dry by the end of the day.

  40. Lauren January 26, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    I have been wanting to change my routine/schedule up a little and you have given me some great ideas. I’m trying to stay at home more and schedule my errands more efficiently. I love the ideas of grocery shopping after naps. We also attend storytime on Thursdays and I try to visit my family and run errands that day too.

    Our daughter is 2 and is already showing interest in “schooling.” I really need to become more diciplined in setting down with her at least 3 times a week for preschool activities. Did you buy books for Karis at this age (2)? Is Titus included in your school time? My little boy is 13 months and is not quite ready to join us yet. :-) Also, do you do any housework during that 9-11 time period?

    Laundry is something that I never seem to be caught up on. I try to do at least 1 load a day but I seem to fall behind to quickly. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      We did activity times and such at 2, but not anything real formal. We did lots of reading, and that’s what i would encourage you to do. IT is helpful to have a designated period of time for this. We certainly bought and borrowed lots of books since their infancy. Titus will participate half and half in our school time. When we read books together, he will read with us. When we actually do our workbooks, he will color in his own coloring books or play with other things. He definitely cannot sit too long. But I did find it helpful to start them young for reading time so they got used to sitting for extended periods of time – starting with 10 minutes and working up. Even if he’s playing in the same room, he is still benefiting from the reading and learning, so that makes me feel satisfied. Sometimes, i might pick up a bit during that 9-11 period, but the majority of pick up is done in the evening or morning after breakfast and all the deep cleaning is done on Monday. You may consider just starting a learning time now and have fun with it. I recommend Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready as a great resource with lots of ideas for learning with toddlers.

  41. Sami January 26, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Love your blog!!! Just wondering, how does this work with a baby? I feel like I’ll just be getting something done and then the baby needs to be fed, or a nap, or something.

    And thanks for the end… I struggle with thinking of days spent on the floor (playing, snuggling) as “productive” but they are!!!!

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      Yes, things will certainly adjust and change somewhat when our next baby arrives, but I like to schedule their naps and feedings around what is already happening. That is why it is also pretty flexible. When our next baby comes, there will certainly be an adjustment period, but then I will get the baby on schedule to take a nap during our morning school time and then again during the kids afternoon naps, so we all are resting together. Getting on a nap schedule is essential for any schedule to get into place. It takes a little adapting, but it worked when our second baby came. Just have to wake the baby up by a certain time so they have enough wake time before getting tired again and going down for a nap.

  42. Natalie January 26, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Wait, 4-5 loads of laundy a day, or a week? Early in the post you say mondy only, but later you say 4-5 per day. Wow, that’s a lot of laundry for only have a week or so of clothes per person! :) Great post, I think so many people can benefit from a good routine, espcially the chronically disorganized such as myself!

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      Sorry…my error. We do 4-5 loads every Monday, and that covers us for the week. So yes, it is once a week laundry day on Monday.

  43. sherri January 26, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Wow! Crazy! That is almost exactly the way my schedule looks, with the exception of a daily devotion with my husband, which I should definitely add! This schedule works so well for us, we have tweaked it for about a year and it definitely works well!

  44. WAPharmGirl January 26, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    This is another great post. I am recently back to being able to stay at home. When I worked our routine was-well it wasn’t. I am trying to get some sort of schedule going, and every day that goes by, I feel guilty. I really want to homeschool my little ones (4,2) but I am afraid I won’t be able to get it together. This Morning/Evening routine gives me hope. If you don’t mind I would like to borrow it and try it out. Thanks!

  45. Renee January 26, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    this was a good post, I still try to figure a schedule that will work for us, easy to make one for the girls and I but my husband is pretty unpredictable, see he can come back from work at 2 pm or 11 pm or whenever he feels like coming home, so having meal prepare when he comes home is a challenge (I try having meal ready in the crock pot for him) also we all stop what we are doing when he comes home to welcome him and spend time with him, so I’m still trying to figure it all out!

  46. heidi @ wonder woman wannabe January 26, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Great tips! As a professional organizer I also suggest doing a time budjet (many times in the form of a pie chart) when clients are not feeling as productive as they’d like. It’s eye opening to see where your time goes or in some cases *frittered away* when you really focus in on it.

    My daily routines sound pretty similar to yours – but I choose to spread my cleaning duties out during the week rather than all in one shot.

  47. Kate E. January 26, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    I just thought last night/this morning that I really need to make a schedule for my day. I’ve been too haphazard with things lately and I need to get back on it! Thanks for the inspiration this morning and a peek into your routine.

  48. Ashley January 26, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    Thank you for this! My one question is how you can have only 7 outfits and do laundry only once a week with a baby? I find that sometimes my 13 month old goes through 2 outfits a day and usually ends up with blueberry juice all over his sleeves, etc. that need to be taken care of immediately so they don’t stain. Right now I do laundry 2-3 times a week because of his clothes, but I would love to do it less if possible. Any suggestions? Or is this simply a stage where more loads will be required!

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      We will certainly probably have to add another load on Monday once baby arrives, because yes, they do go through a lot more laundry. But you can also keep in mind that baby clothes are a lot smaller, so they don’t take as much space in the washer as well. My kiddos are currently 2 & 4, so they usually do only one outfit a day. My two year old has an extra pair of pants or two to hold him over in case he leaks his diaper or gets especially dirty. One thing i have found essential is getting good bibs for meal time. I have IKEA ones that are like a full body bib that covers there arms and chest very well. This has saved many an outfit!! If you don’t have access to IKEA, try those kids painting/craft bibs. Same idea. Very worth the investment in cutting back on laundry and stains.

    • Miriam January 26, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      I’m with you, Ashley! I have a 2 yr, and 3 yr. old and there’s no way 7 outfits could last an entire week! My boy (2) needs a shirt change after nearly every meal (even with a bib), and during potty training they go thru training undies/pants/socks so fast— easily 6 changes of something in a day. Not to mention the extra towels or rags used to clean the potty messes. During the outdoor seasons, they get dirty and wet frequently from outside play.

      There have been stages where they only need 1 outfit per day, but more often than not, this hasn’t been the case with my babies/toddlers.

      Also, a laundry question:
      For those clothes that have yucky messes on them (toddler food or potty messes, or husband’s grimy work clothes) doesn’t it do more damage to them by letting them sit until laundry day? I’ve found that washing as soon as possible saves effort and water, but I’d like to hear the input of others on this.

      • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 10:45 am #

        That’s funny…maybe i am more willing to let my kids wear dirty clothes for the rest of the day rather than changing them so frequently. Even when they were younger though, I never recall changing them 6 times per day! The full body bibs do help though! I don’t see how they can get really dirty with these. Potty training is a different season, but then we do the naked method so don’t where many clothes during this time at all.

        • Miriam January 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

          Thanks for sharing– I do see how your method could work for some. Perhaps better bibs could help my little guy. I don’t mind a little dirt on their clothes, but I do prefer to change them if:
          1) it’s “gooey” messes, like yogurt, mud, sticky stuff. If the kids stay in those clothes, the mess just gets on everything else, making a lot more work for me than giving them a clean shirt!
          2) their clothes are dirty enough to give them an unkempt look. I’ve had bad experiences with families who have so many kids and responsibilities they don’t take the time to clean and groom their children, and I’ve sworn to always make sure I’m taking care of my kids! For me, this includes keeping them in reasonably clean attire.

          Also, I’ve attempted naked potty training. The drawback for me is that the accidents tend to get on things more difficult to clean than clothing. (Couches, carpets, chairs, etc.) Perhaps I’m not doing it the right way?

          I really respect your ability to do clothes/laundry the way you do. It just might not work for all lifestyles.

          • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

            I heartily agree. I would likely change their clothes in those circumstances. i do think the bibs make a huge difference because i used to have to change more frequently as well, because my son in particular is a very messy eater (way more messy than my daughter was), but the IKEA bibs rescue it all – 99% of the time. ;) We wait till summer time to do the naked potty training, that way all the messes are outside and just take a hose to clean them up. I have never attempted it indoors. We just spend an entire week outside during the day for and when they come inside we put panties and pants on. So there are definitely still some messes in the clothes, but not half as much as i expected. I liked the naked training because they really could feel it and it was easy to clean outside. We would just play in a little pool and have fun with it. we will be potty training Titus this summer! I totally understand that my methods don’t work for everyone. ;)

        • Christi January 27, 2011 at 11:48 am #

          That naked method (or maybe just wearing a diaper) works well while they are learning to eat too! This way all you have to wash, is the washcloth you wipe them up with which could also be used for the highchair/table so it’s nothing extra. If they are REALLY messy (spaghetti anyone?) pop them in the sink (warm water first) and just use your hand then there’s nothing; of course you still need to wipe the table with something :)

  49. Melissa January 26, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    Hi there Lindsay,
    I’ve been reading your blog for about 9 months and love it. It is filled with good perspective on homemaking all founded on solid biblical principals. This blog post is especially relevant to me as i just spent some of the morning working a new routine/schedule for the next season. Thanks for all the great tips. One question for you though about laundry – I’m about to have my first baby and plan to do cloth diapering (your cloth diaper posts have been sooo helpful!) How many diapers do you have that enables you to do laundry only once a week?
    Blessings, Melissa

    • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      I forgot to add that I do do a second load of cloth diapers later on in the week – usually on Thursdays or Fridays. We have about 24 diapers and that covers us for 3 days at least. When they are smaller they would go through them faster. But after the first year, they usually don’t need to be washed until every 3-4 days. For an infant, if you are using prefolds, i would recommend three dozen. This way you should only have to still wash every 3 days. We used prefolds and newborn covers for the first 8 weeks or so. And then they graduate to our set of 24 BumGenius pocket diapers.

      • Sarah January 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

        Lindsay, what newborn covers do you use? I have tried prefolds with my last baby and had awful leaking problems with the covers I used. I am looking for a way to use the prefolds with my next newborn but would like to avoid the leaks. Any suggestions? Thanks.

        • Lindsay January 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

          We used proraps and bummis covers for the last two babies and only very rarely had any real leaks. I recommend actually folding the prefold the other direction – horizontally into three sections. This helps fit more nicely around their bums and contains the leaks better.

  50. Amy January 26, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    OH I love that I am not the only one that only bathes our kids 3 nights a week! I have never mentioned this on my blog, as I don’t want to hear people tell me that’s not enough. We used to make sure the kids were bathed every night. But we have found that 3 nights a week is fine, unless they get especially dirty or sweaty, then there’s an extra thrown in for good measure :-) Also, we live in an extremely dry climate, so daily baths dries out our skin so badly. I, too, have taken to showering every other day (sometimes 3rd, ACK!) because of this. On days I don’t shower, I do “clean up” KWIM?

    Also, I do laundry once a week! My mother raised 8 kids (I’m the youngest) and only did laundry once a week. So I learned from her. I have gotten to where I wash towels and bedding on a separate day, since our schedule allows. I used to wash EVERYTHING in one day and it was just fine. Washing a load a day or two just plain stinks, in my opinion. I’ve got better things to do every day than worry about a load of laundry.

    • Sarah January 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      Wow! 8 kids and laundry once a week! How did she do that?! Sounds great!