A Day in the Life: Four Child Edition

Note: This was about a month ago, before school started, so our daily schedule doesn’t really look quite the same now that the two older girls go to school. And, as always, keeping track of what you’re doing makes you behave better than you might otherwise. I should do this every day (except that it takes forever). 

5:45 a.m. I wake up briefly as Bart leaves to catch an early flight and then fall right back to sleep.

6:05 a.m. I wake up for real (this is very early for me, but we went to bed earlier than usual last night because Bart needed to get up early). I check my email and look at Instagram and read a few blog posts.

6:15 a.m. I hear Tally waking up in her room and go in to nurse her. While she eats, I read some of Every Wild Heart. It’s not as relaxing as I’d like it to be, because I’m waiting for the painters to arrive to paint our hallway and two-story stairwell, and I’m still in my pajamas, so I’m feeling a little antsy.

6:30 a.m. The painters are supposed to be here, but no sign of them yet, so I put Tally on my bed and run out to the mailbox to grab a box that arrived yesterday from thredUP. When I get back inside, I make a gamble and take the world’s fastest shower and get dressed.

6:40 a.m. No painters yet, so I try on my thredUP items (two shirts going back, keeping two of the three skirts) and start putting on my makeup.

6:50 a.m. The painters arrive, so I let them in, show them the hallway, and then go back to my room to finish up my makeup and do my hair while listening to some back episodes of the Happier podcast.

7:10 a.m. Everyone is still snoozing, so I paint my toenails, clean up my closet a bit, put a sleeping Tally back in her crib, and start making my bed.

7:20 a.m. Ella is awake and comes out of her room. After I’m done making the bed, she cuddles up on the bed, and we log her reading minutes on the library’s summer reading website, I add last night’s dinner to my Facebook page (I share what I made for dinner almost every morning there), and then I jot down some notes for this post.

7:35 a.m. I set Ella up with some cereal for breakfast and start unloading the dishwasher. I start cooking my breakfast (eggs, sausage, and vegetables) and let it cook while I finish unloading the dishwasher.

7:45 a.m. I go in my room to grab my phone and see a message from the garage door technician who was scheduled to come later in the morning to fix our wonky garage door. He asks if he can come now and I text back to tell him yes. Five minutes later, he knocks on the door and I show him the problems with the garage door.

8:00 a.m. My breakfast is done and Ella is done with her breakfast, so she asks to play some games on my computer while I eat breakfast. I tell her she can after I do her hair. After her hair is braided, she starts playing on the computer and the garage technician tells me everything is fixed and he goes on his way.

8:15 a.m. Ani wakes up and comes into the kitchen, where I get her some breakfast. After she’s done eating, she watches Ella play her games and then she plays a few too. I read a little more in Every Wild Heart while the girls finish up. The painters leave to pick up more supplies.

8:45 a.m. The girls finish their games and Ella asks if we can play some Speed. We play three or four rounds.

9:00 a.m. I read them a couple of chapters of Tumble and Blue on the couch.

9:30 a.m. I go to the bathroom and while I’m in there, Ani throws a little tantrum. I take her down to her room to cool down and then go upstairs where I hear Tally waking up.While I nurse her in her room and read a little more of my book, Ella does her daily Duolingo Spanish practice and soon Ani comes upstairs, feeling way more pleasant.

9:50 a.m. I’m done nursing and we all go downstairs to clean up Ani’s room and the playroom which have both gotten pretty messy over the last few days. While we’re picking up, I hear Star wake up and she joins us in the clean-up. I get  her diaper changed and dress her, then we read a couple of books together. The big girls hula hoop for a while and I hear the painters come back.

10:25 a.m. Star is starving, so we head back upstairs, get her some breakfast and suddenly the other girls decide they all need some yogurt and granola as well. I set them each up with a bowl and then answer some emails at the kitchen table while they eat.

10:40 a.m. When they’re finished, Ella and I play another five games of Speed while Star and Ani entertain the baby.

11:15 a.m. We started watching Moana a week ago for movie night but didn’t finish it and now it’s overdue at the library, so we go back downstairs to watch the last 30 minutes. While the girls watch, I nurse Tally, then take some more notes for this post.

11:50 a.m. The movie is over and it’s nearly time to go to swimming lessons. The painters are done with most of the paint job, but there was some confusion about the stairwell (I thought they were doing it today and they thought they were coming back tomorrow). We discuss and then they finish cleaning up while the girls get their swimsuits on and eat a quick snack so we can go to swimming lessons.

12:20 p.m. Everyone loaded in the car and we’ll have plenty of time to get to swimming lessons on time and ARGH! The garage door won’t close. It opened 30 seconds ago just fine, but now it absolutely will not shut. I try the button a dozen times, then hop out and try to get the inside button to work. No luck. I try the keypad. No luck. Finally, I put the ladder up and manually close it. Now it’s going to be tight to get to swim lessons on time. And since they are only ten minutes long, there is no room for lateness.

12:40 p.m. We make it with two minutes to spare and both of the girls have their last swim lesson. They do a great job, and I take a few little videos of them swimming and diving. I text the garage technician to let him know the door isn’t working at all and he says he’ll come back later today. Star wants to hang from the rings mounted on the patio and she swings back and forth and then on the last push, lets go and falls flat on her face. She sits on my lap and sobs for the last five minutes of swim lessons and then all the way out to the car.

1:15 p.m.We drive home, listening to The Wild Robot audiobook.

1:40 p.m. With the paint dry, the girls help me move a few things back into place, and then we read a picture book on the couch while I nurse the baby.

2:15 p.m. I heat up leftovers from last night and make the girls bagels with cream cheese for a late lunch. Ella and I play a game of Speed while I hold the baby (and she’s super impressed that I still beat her even though I’m mainly playing with only one hand).

2:30 p.m. I rock the baby in her room and the other girls all pile on the rocking chair so I can read them a book before quiet time, then when the baby needs more attention than I can give while reading aloud, Ella takes the other  girls downstairs to finish reading them the book.

2:40 p.m. Once Tally has drifted off, I go downstairs, read Star a book and put her down for a nap (these swim lessons have made for VERY late naps and quiet times for the past two weeks).

2:45 p.m. Time to get some work done. I plow through my emails which have been piling up over the past week, and then the garage guy comes back. After I let him in, the baby is awake and crying again, so I try to get her back to sleep. More work, work, work. The girls come in a few times to ask for suggestions of what they can do during quiet time. They take turns playing with the baby who is NOT interested in a nap.

4:15 p.m. The garage guy tells me he’s replaced the whole circuit board and he reprograms all our openers, including the built-in one for our minivan which I’ve never been able to figure out.

4:40 p.m Quiet time is done. I go into the nursery to get the baby who is starting to fuss. Ani works on a puzzle on the floor while I nurse the baby, and the older girls and I discuss what to do with the rest of the afternoon. We consider going to the pool, but we don’t have any diving toys, which is causing a great deal of unhappiness, and when I suggest going to the dollar store before the pool to grab some, Ella bursts into tears and says she just wants to stay home after a busy morning. Okay, then.

5:00 p.m. We make some popcorn for a snack and after we’ve finished eating it, I read a chapter of Redwall to the girls.

5:30 p.m. It’s getting so late that I go down to check on Star, who is still in her room napping. When I open the door, I can’t tell if I’ve woken her up or not, but either way, she’s up now and I get her out of bed. We read a few books on the couch downstairs, the girls show off their best hula hoop tricks, and then I suggest that they take baths.

6:00 p.m. The girls take a massive bubble bath and I give Tally a bath in the little plastic tub in the bathroom while the big girls play in the tub. Once she’s all clean and redressed, I sit on the toilet next to the tub and nurse the baby while the girls show me all their toys. Eventually, I realize the baby has dropped off to sleep while nursing, so the girls get out of the tub and dry off while I carefully deposit Tally in her crib.

6:45 p.m. Everyone is in their pajamas now, and I make some sandwiches for dinner and also toast up the last of the waffles from earlier in the week. As we’re finishing up, Tally starts crying in her crib, so I finish the dishes and go in to nurse her again. The girls come in while I’m feeding her and we read scriptures and have family prayers, then they leave and I snuggle Tally back in her crib.

7:15 p.m. When I come out of the nursery, the girls are playing happily downstairs and I start to go down to send them to bed then decide against it and go clean up the family room and living room, then put on my pajamas.

7:45 p.m. All the happy playing has come to a halt (we’re now to the tears part of playing together), so we go upstairs and brush everyone’s teeth, then I tell the big girls to go get in their beds, and I read Star a story before putting her in her crib. Then I read a book to Ani and tuck her in, then I read a chapter of Redwall to Ella. Okay! Everyone in bed.

8:15 p.m. I do a last little clean-up, then check my email, post on Instagram, do a little Marco Polo update in a blogger group and watch the other updates, and schedule my blog post for tomorrow. Ani comes up and wants to play with Ella, who does NOT want to play with Ani, and I take Ani back to her room and put her back in bed.

9:15 p.m. I back-up my hard drive, read some reviews of new books coming out later this year, pin some things on Pinterest, and read a few articles online. Both girls come in and ask me to tuck them in again (whyyyyyyy?!?!), so I tell them to go get back in bed and I’ll come tuck them in again.

9:45 p.m. Everyone tucked in, hopefully for the last time. Back to my laptop to finish working on this post.

10:25 p.m. I am SO tired from the early morning and I have a bad habit of staying up way too late when Bart’s not home, but I’m going to try to fight that tonight. Good night!

(P.S. Previous Day in the Life posts here)

Photos by Brandi Hansen

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  1. I love these posts — it’s so fun to see how other people spend their days! One of the things that jumped out to me is how all the girls get up a t different times. Not sure if that is a regular occurrence (especially during the school year), but it seems like it would have some real advantages, like getting to deal with one kid at a time, spend some special time with each child, not having to make four meals at once. (Okay, disadvantages, too… like never being done making breakfasts!)

    1. That’s so interesting! I’ve never really thought about that. Yes, they do mainly wake up at all different times (they all have their own rooms and sleep with sound machines) and it’s really pretty great to be able to focus on one child at a time. But amen to a thousand breakfasts . . . .

      1. What sound machine do you have? The only ones I can find last 45 minutes to an hour. Does your go all night? I’m constantly sneaking in and resetting the machine. ?

  2. Once school starts what time will you have to get all the girls up and out the door? Im struggling with waking my 3 year old up in the morning and out the door by 7:15.

  3. Wow, I simply can’t imagine parenting kids who sleep in, LOL. I’ve got 4 boys 8, 6, 4, and 2. They wake up at 5:45. Every. Single. Day. Only the 2 yo naps. Bedtime routine starts at 6:45 ish. They go to bed at 7:30 (usually fast asleep by 8) but even if they stay up late they still wake up. Summer, winter, doesn’t matter. We played at the park for SIX HOURS last week and the only thing that changed was that it only took two of them 15 minutes to fall asleep instead of 30. There’s no gentle waking up either. I’ve got them trained to at least stay in their room until 6:30, but as soon as their eyes open they’re wrestling, jumping, and just being their energetic selves. It’s pretty exhausting parenting them (yet totally awesome) and they’ve forced me into becoming a morning person. On the plus side, getting ready for school is a breeze. And my 8 yo will get breakfast for everyone.

  4. I’m impressed that your 9:15pm “Both girls come in and ask me to tuck them in again” doesn’t also have a “so I yelled at them that it was WAY past their bedtime and, sad for them, Mean Mom was on duty.” You are a good mom!

    We’ve listened to The Wild Robot and all my kids really liked it–how do your girls like it?

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