Wondering What "A Day in the Life" of Other Families Is Like.......

Updated on January 06, 2011
S.J. asks from Cypress, TX
11 answers

I'm a 35 yr old SAHM, married to my husband for 10 years, with a daughter in 3rd grade and a son in Kindergarten. I would just LOVE to hear how others describe their daily family life with similar aged children. My husband and I are feeling so lost lately, so hopefully we can find inspiration and ideas as to how we can balance our daily lives. From the childrens academics and extra curricular activities, to family time, adult time, events and issues. We love our children so much, but feel like our household has gotten so out of control that all we can think about is when we will get the next break from them! I know it sounds terrible but it's the truth. I think this is my first post by the way, so please be gentle. If not, it's been a very long time. Thanks to all in advance! :)

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answers from Chicago on

A typical day here is fairly boring. My husband leaves for work at about 5:30am and then I'm up at 7am to get my daughter ready for school. She gets on the bus at 8:10 and then I clean up the kitchen and bathroom from the morning rush of getting ready. Then I usually do whatever housework needs to be done (once in a while I'll go back to bed for an hour) and then take a shower. I try to squeeze some homework in (I'm a full time student too) and then get my daughter off the bus at 11:30. We come in, talk about her day at school and then eat lunch. Then we clean up from that and she goes into her room to play while I study. My husband is home around 3pm and after talking to us for a bit he goes and takes a nap. Then he gets up and if it's a school night for me he'll hang out with our daughter while I get ready for school and then they eat dinner and play while I'm in class. I come home and my daughter is in bed. I go in and kiss her and then sit down with my computer and check email/ Facebook/ etc. I'll eat and go over school stuff from that night. Then my husband and I watch some tv together before bed. If I don't have school the we will all hang out together after my husband's nap and then I make dinner and we eat and then will watch a movie or play Wii or do something together before my daughter's shower and bedtime routine. Then we put her to bed together and then do our watch tv thing and go to bed.
Sometimes life can get hectic here, esp. when my husband has to work overtime or (like this semester) where I have class 4 nights a week and we don't have much time together and I get stressed. I've had plenty of days where I think "God I can't wait for this house to empty out and I get a break!". It's normal to feel that way. The key is to do whatever it takes to have some me time. Even if it's just 15 minutes in the bathroom with the door locked. Just time so you can breathe and have peace and quiet- you gotta make time for a break or you will break. Parenting is the craziest, hardest, most stressful job. Then add onto that running a household, holding a job, and all the other stuff that comes with being an adult- whew!
Good luck to you and I hope you get some time to decompress.

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answers from Houston on

I know you wanted to know our schedule, but I think at the heart of it, you want to know what WORKS to find balance!!! Let me just say that YOU need to find that for your family!! :)

My husband traveled ALLOT when the kids were younger so he needed time alone with ME (and me with him). I'd hire a babysitter (one here in the neighborhood) and have her take them for a walk for about an hour so we could have uninterupted s*x in our own bedroom!!! Once or twice a month we'd have a date night (it all depended on the kid's scheduled activities too, but usually Saturday night worked out best). I did the housework when he was gone, I did allot with the PTA at schools (and went into read to the class, work in the library, roommom, parties, etc) and I was in at least 1 Bible Study to satisfy my need/hunger for God and to connect with other women during the week. Go to lunch at least once a week with a FRIEND.

I also found other moms with kids my kids' ages and tried to foster friendships that we could swap playtime after school so if I wanted to make a trip into Houston or a long day of shopping, (or even special projects at home that I didn't want "help" with). Having a friend over for the kids certainly takes their attention off ME!!! And it's just as easy to watch 4 as 2. My kids were only allowed 1 sports activity at a time so I didn't feel like I was doing nothing but running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Simplicity is best!!!

Make sure you make what's important to you a priority. Kids are only young and impressionable for a short time. Don't spend your time with them angry, frustrated or anxious. Relax and enjoy whatever you're doing. And even at their age, you can make some of the housework FUN. I was always amazed at how my son wanted to vacuum and how the "glove" worked at dusting!! Just make certain you tell them what the objective is and how to do it properly, but don't worry if it isn't PERFECTly the way you'd do it - let them have their own "style"!! Upbeat music always helped us do tedious chores and the kids knew that when 5 songs were over we'd stop for awhile!! I did always make sure they only worked for about 15 minutes at a time - afterall, they are kids and even my attention span isn't THAT long!!!

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answers from Seattle on

"Wondering what "a day in the life" of other families is like..." ....Our schedule changes very much by the season. We're currently on break (we take all of december off to make room for holiday schtuff) and school year round. (homeschool).

FALL & SPRING here's day in the life with our 8yo...

Kiddo tends to get up around 730ish and makes himself breakfast, takes a shower, does his chores, and hops on the xBox or computer until school starts at around 10am.

I get up about an hour after kiddo at 830ish and struggle to find a reason for living (I am NOT a morning person, I CAN get up early, but I prefer not to). Once I decide to live another day I tend to be quite happy... but that first half an hour or so is an exercise in stubbornly clinging to life against overwhelming odds. I take my laptop or a book with me and go sit on the porch drinking coke or espresso and half pay attention to what I'm reading/writing and half just enjoy the colors of the morning (if it's not doing the seattle drizzle... seriously... who enjoys drizzle? Fish maybe). Then it's showering, dressing, makeup, my chores. Then I make brunch and kiddo and I start school. We take a break about an hour later to get out of the house. We'll go swimming, or take the dog to the beach (cold, windy, seattle beach) or go for a hike, hit up the bookstore by way of a climbing wall... etc. Something at least halfway active. We come home to a hot lunch and a school movie (pick a documentary, any documentary... and BOY oh BOY are the "new" ones better than blockbusters from when I was a kid), or do storytime around bites of food. After lunch we finish up school by around 2pm and then kiddo and I studiously avoid each other for about half an hour. Afternoons are for playing, studying, meeting up with friends for playdates (HS friends... awayschool friends don't get out of school until 4pm so we usually don't see them except during activities or on weekends). Afternoons give way to evening classes (sports, art, music, etc.). After evening class/activities we come home and have dinner and curl up with a movie or book or game. Dad is sometimes home for dinner, sometimes not. About 50/50. Bathtime, bedtime.

Winter and spring are dictated by snowboarding and swimming. We get up super early (gag, 5am is just indecent, especially as it doesn't even become "dawn" in our area until 730/8am) in the winter and head up the mountain 4 or 5 days a week. We just bring our books and do school during hot chocolate breaks. I use winter quarter as my 1 quarter I can miss from university and not have it effect my standing (most take summer quarter).

Summer is swimming and sailing. Lessons in the morning half day of school with lunch and swimming and playing all afternoon and evening until around 10pm (sunset). Lots of BBQs.

All year

My son spends 1 afternoon a week with his Nana. We average about 1 playdate a week tops (we'd do more, but I just don't keep my house clean enough). We meet up with friends for dinner about once a week. Once every 2 weeks we have "parents night out" through kiddo's gymnastics place, and once a month he spends the night at nana's house...so 3 times a month we have date night. During public school breaks we enroll kiddo up for camps (right now he's in drama camp putting on "Lightening Thieves" adapted from Rick Riodan's book, last break it was "The Wizard of Oz", break before that was a Gymnastics Camp... and I use that as my personal time or time for lesson planning.

In as far as activites we do a LOT more than most families, because we have a LOT more time... and we get HS discounts... typically we pay about half or less of what "after school" lessons cost. Here's my rule of thumb: If I don't want to go on a consistant basis... we drop the activity. I've found that my OWN balance means needing 3 nights a week where I'm "home". Where we don't have to go anywhere in the afternoon/evening. ALSO that I have certain days I'm willing to drive a lot, and certain days I'm not. Ditto there are certain TIMES of day I'm willing to drive, and certain times I'm not. (rush hour and I do not meet up regularly).

The hardest thing for me is that there are SO MANY amazing, wonderful things to DO. We just can't do them all. Not at once. I need "sanity time" and "sanity checks". I need lazy afternoons and do nothing mornings on a regular basis. At least 3 afternoons a week and at least 1 morning. I REALLY look forward to school break camps (so does kiddo), but I also love having him home. For me... it's all about finding the right balance so that being at home isn't boring and leaving home is exciting (instead of "oh gawd... do we HAVE to leave?).

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answers from New York on

We are homeschoolers, so it may be a little different than what your life looks like, but I'll share anyway. :)

8:00am wake up. We all cuddle in bed in the morning for a little while. We have breakfast and then start our lesson for the day. In between helping the kids, I try to get some yoga in. (TRY being the key word) I'll leave my husband home with the kids, if I need to run errands. Or, we all go as a family.
We have a big lunch together as a family. Finish up whatever lesson we are working on. Hubs works 2nd shift, so he leaves for work around 2:30. After our lesson is done, the kids are allowed to "plug-in" for a little while. My 6 year old loves his Wii. My daughter will watch a movie. We limit the amount of screen time. I encourage them to play in their play room.
I make a quick dinner, seeing as hubs is at work, its always kid friendly. We eat together, always, every meal.
After dinner we clean up the house, and the kids go to bed. I get the lessons ready for the next day, and then I go to bed.

We limit the kids activities to one per child, per season. My 6 year old does Gymnastics. My 4 year old does dance and the baby and I go to a Mommy and Me class. And we have assorted play dates through the week.

Every Fri we have "Friday Family Fun day." Its hubs day off, so we always let the kids decide on something fun to do. We have a membership to the local museum, so its usually something we can do for free or low cost.

We look forward to his nights off, putting the kids to bed, popping open a bottle of wine and ordering Chinese. I think we cherish it more b/c it only happens 2X a week.

Life is short, so we try and enjoy as much of it as we can.
Best Wishes!!

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answers from Las Vegas on

Our day is pretty full of 5 year old stuff. Hubby and I go to concerts to get away together.

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answers from Sherman on

Don't feel bad, I'm 43 and a SAHM, been married for 20 years to my husband and my son is 18 and will be graduating from high school this year, yet my daughter is in the 4th grade. My husband travels quite a bit for business here lately, so I am the one that has to do all of the shuffling with my youngest. We know how you feel about when do we get the next break away from them when it seems like your world evolves around them constantly and you don't have enough time for each other. You have to set aside time for that. We are lucky that our parents live close by and that our kids like to go and spend the night with them. So we have occasional date nights that we can spend with each other. And we sometimes take weekends away and do something special just the two of us. Now we also, take our kids with us, just to get away from the busy everyday happenings that are going on around us also. Sometimes the kids need a break of what is going on around them also. Especially when their attitudes are flying, let them have a change of scenery, go somewhere fun and relaxing, then everyone will be much happier. I hope this helps you out some.



answers from Austin on

Remember to schedule in what is important. You not only need time to yourself (including a girls night out, or a guys night out for your husband) once in a while but you need to have time for just the two of you.

When our kids were that age, we didn't have the money to get a babysitter so we swapped babysitting with our kids' friends' parents. Our kids loved hanging out with their friends.

Also, our kids had an early bedtime. Mostly because our daughter was one who needed sleep, but it also gave us time together every night. We rented a lot of movies! Now with Redbox, it's even cheaper. It was like a mini date a couple nights a week in our bedroom.

Nights and weekends were not the time for most household chores. I did them during the week as I was a SAHM. Our kids did some chores but it was mostly revolving around meal time (setting and clearing off the table, doing dishes, etc.). Our pantry was where we kept the dishes so my kids could reach the shelves to unload the dishwasher. I kept food where most people keep dishes, cups, etc.

My kids learned early on how to sort laundry. (It didn't have to be perfect as I could switch things later.) I have standing laundry sorters so they had to bring their dirty clothes and put them in the right bins according to color. I would just announce that it was time to bring their dirty clothes before dinner on the days that I figured their hampers were getting full. I also taught them to put all clothes right side out. If they weren't right side out, they didn't get washed and I left them on the laundry room floor until they came home next to put them right side out and put back in the right bin.

Another thing that was exhausting was always having to tell the kids to hurry. I finally realized that it was my fault that we were on such a tight schedule. Once I started the day a little earlier and started allowing more time to get places, I was less stressed. Breakfast didn't have to be so rushed. We also set things out the night before. It allowed for a more cheerful goodbye in the morning instead of a "Hurry and run to class! You've got one minute!"

Hope you can find the stressors in your life and start to find solutions. Just pick one or two to begin with and you will find that small alterations to your lifestyle will bring more peace in your life!



answers from Austin on

I am right there with you. My husband and I both work full time so time is precious. My husband and I keep talking about how much we love our kids and want to stay on top of everything with the house but just need a break. I've started looking for ways I could cut out chores, maybe not completely but enough to give us more time. There is a new Washateria near our house where they will wash, dry and fold your clothes. I'm trying it out for the first time today but laundry is something in our house that seems never-ending and sometimes overwhelming. Plus I dont' really like the whole process. I'm usually one to try to help the environment as well but sometimes we do paper plates and plastic cups or even disposable cooking trays so that we don't have to wash dishes. We chose not to do any sports through the winter months but will be starting back up here pretty soon so may get hectic again. I've even talked about putting meals together on Sunday and freezing so all I have to do during the week is heat them up. We absolutely sit down at the table for dinner so we get at least a little family time in but working towards other options to add to family time. For you and hubby find a family member or friend you could drop the kids off for the night one night and yall go out. We have been talking about that as well although my parents aren't in good health and ILs in Dallas. Your kids are def old enough to spend the weekend with grandma & grandpa or aunt & uncle. BTW our kids are 3rd grade and 21 mths old. I'll be keeping up with these posts to see everyone elses suggestions as well.



answers from San Francisco on

It's hard to answer without some idea of what your daily life entails. Too many sports and activities, maybe?



answers from Houston on

I thought I'd throw in the single mom perspective. I've also got a daughter in 3rd grade. My day starts about 5:40 when I get up and get myself around before starting to wake her up about 6:15 (she's NOT a morning person!). After getting her around and getting her breakfast, it's off to school at 7:12 and I'm off to work. After school she rides the bus to grandma's, where I pick her up about 6 pm. From there it's usally either Girl Scouts or Tae Kwon Do (which we do together), after which it's dinner, homework and bedtime. I've limited her to 2 after school activities (GS and TKD for right now). Should she decide she wants to try something now, she'll have to drop one of the things we do now. Otherwise, we'd be doing nothing but running, running, running. As it is, Thursday nights are the only nights she and I have where nothing's schedule and we can kind of settle down and have a quiet night.

Wednesday nights she's with her dad, and those are nights I've come to cherish. I can schedule as much or as little as I want. After he and I first split, I tried to fill all my away time with as much activity as possible. More recently, I've loved being able to just curl up with a good book in a quiet house and not have to worry about anything. I've discovered I NEED that quiet time for myself and I'm really resentful when I have to give it up for something. I have a feeling you and your husband are probably feeling the same way. I'm lucky in that I have a good relationship with the ex-in-laws, and my daughter is free to spent as much time with them as need be, or I've got a good babysitter as backup, just in case. I'd highly suggest making some free time for just yourself, and for you and your husband together. It's absolutely essential so that you don't start feeling absolutely frustrated and hate life. Your kids will enjoy spending time away from y'all (believe it or not) and you'll be able to reset and come back to things calmer and with a new perspective. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there! I am a SAHM too, and I love it:) Don't feel lost, being a Mom is a hard job, but it is so rewarding. I have a blog that I journal in pretty much daily about my daily life~~If you want to check it out, it gives insight to my day to day to life being a wife and mother~~~> http://juliean-mylife.blogspot.com/

Hang in there!


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