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A day in the life of a work-at-home, homeschooling, introverted mom

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It’s that time of year when Simple Homeschool invites bloggers to share their day-in-a-life posts, and now that our new routine is in place, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what a “typical” (whatever that means!) day looks like in our home:

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

This day started out special because Sean sent me to sleep in the guest room the night before. These charts from my Fitbit show a normal night (top, with restless Jackson) compared to my night in the guest room (bottom).

4:45am—As a natural morning person, I wake up easily in the early morning hours on the nights when I’ve had enough sleep. This morning I wake up suddenly and completely at 4:45am on the nose, amazed to have slept straight through without being disturbed. I head to the bathroom, grab a drink of water and check social media on my phone while my computer’s starting up. (I know they say you shouldn’t do that, but I’ve found it’s a good way to use those half-asleep brain cells and then I can buckle down and get to work.)

5:00am—Because I’m sticking to work hours, I’m doing my best to use them wisely, so at 5 o’clock I focus my attention on the things I need to be doing—writing emails, scheduling posts, etc. I work steadily and without interruption for two hours, and this is definitely my favorite part of the workday.

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

7:00am—With a little bit of work behind me, I turn my attention to my Bible study. At about the same time, our almost-9-year-old (and my fellow early bird) comes out of her room, where she’s been laying in bed counting the minutes until 7 o’clock…and starts rearranging furniture. I don’t even know.

7:30am—When I finish my Bible study, I turn my attention to a few other “personal development” tasks. Sometimes I’ll read a newsletter or an ezine, work through a prompt or exercise, etc. On this day, I take a few minutes to add an index to my journal and install fonts from a big package I purchased. Our 5-year-old wakes up and climbs on my lap, and the school computer isn’t working for the big girls, so there’s little hope of getting any serious work done at this point.

7:45am—Everybody’s awake, so we start Bible a little earlier than usual. We’re reading through Luke 22-24 right now (to go with the play the girls are working on with our church), so we read a passage and SOAP it (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer).

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

8:10am—When we’re done, we head downstairs for breakfast. We have piano lessons this morning, so we decide on cereal, and the almost-9-year-old gets everything out and to the table while I work on straightening the kitchen and family room.

8:22am—Sean and Jack were still sleeping, but Jack soon comes to join us. I never get tired of seeing his sleepy face and crazy bed head walk around the corner first thing in the morning!

8:40am—When we finish breakfast, we start on chores. I’m surprised that our piano teacher hasn’t arrived yet. She’s supposed to be here at 8:30am, but she has a habit of showing up 20-30 minutes early. She’s almost never been late, and I start to wonder if I’ve mixed up the days {again!}. The 5-year-old and I put away the load of rags in the laundry room, and just as we finish, the big girls shout, “She’s here!” Sean takes the dog outside to help her work off some of her excitement that someone has come to visit her!

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

8:45am—We do piano lessons in order from youngest to oldest, and I work on keeping everybody else on track with school while chasing the toddler and doing chores. Sean uses this time for house projects and exercising. Today he’s working on installing a new water softener and shower door. I fold laundry, bark out orders for the girls to clean up the disaster that is their bedroom, grab a bandaid for a booboo, remove a splinter, rescue the lid to the olive oil bottle from Jackson (???), work on language arts with our 1st grader, read a few books with Jack, help the 5-year-old with her school, change a diaper, help our oldest analyze sentences…and finally put on earphones to listen to an audiobook for 20 minutes while I do the dishes in order to prevent my head from exploding.

10:30am—When that’s all done, I make myself a cup of Yogi Perfect Vanilla Energy tea and review the papers that my Essentials class wrote while the little girls play and our oldest does her piano lesson. When I finish the papers, I remember that I need to start on lunch because I’m leaving early to take Jackson for a well visit. I pull everything out for strombolis.

11:15am—Before I have time to actually start making them, it’s time for my piano lesson. Our oldest takes the baby for me, giving him a snack and keeping him occupied during my lesson, which works surprisingly well considering how close to nap time we are!

11:40am—After my lesson, I use canned pizza dough to make a pizza for the girl and a stromboli for Sean, Jackson and I.

12:00pm—Once that’s in the oven, Sean is at a stopping point and able to help me give Jackson a shower before hopping in myself. We decide that I’ll take our almost-9-year-old to spend the last of her Christmas money as well, but I probably don’t rush as much as I should because it’s warm and quiet in the shower! Sean gets everybody fed and dressed while I get ready and then I scarf down my stromboli on the way out the door.

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

12:40pm—We’re later than we should be getting out of the house, and I debate whether we’ll have time to stop at a store. At the last minute we decide we do, and she wants to go to Target. After spending 20 minutes debating craft supplies, we finally have everything and head to checkout…where I realize I left my wallet, with my keys attached, in the bathroom. Heart pounding, I race to the bathroom (not there) and then to customer service, where the relieved cashier hands me my wallet and tells me she didn’t want to have to enter it into the lost-and-found system anyway. I’m glad I saved her that trouble.

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

2:00pm—Jack’s appointment is at 2 o’clock and we arrive just in time. We’re called back quickly but end up waiting quite a while in the exam room. I’m disappointed that he weighs the exact same that he did three months ago (but a pound more than he did after he got sick and lost weight in December), so I spend that time texting Sean and my mom despite the “no cell phones” sign in the room.

3:10pm—We’re finally in the car and heading home. As we pull off the main road, we get stuck behind a school bus dropping kids off every block or so. Then, we watch a little girl, no older than 5 or 6, get off the bus and stand in the middle of a driveway looking lost. We continue on behind the bus, but Dylan turns around to watch just as the girl walks down closer to the main road. I decide to turn around and check on her. Thankfully, her mom pulls up just as I get there, as dumbfounded as I am that the bus driver let her off without a parent in sight!

4pm—We finally make it home at 4 o’clock. I’m so tired, and I still have so much to do, so I make some tea before heading up to my office to work. At this point, I’m scattered and having trouble focusing, so I bounce around answering emails, munching on snacks and writing snippets of posts.

6:15pm—With a lot of little tasks checked of my list, it’s time to buckle down and get to work. Although I really want to curl up and read, I settle for listening to an audiobook for a while.

6:45pm—After they eat a dinner of sandwiches and fruit, I remind the big girls to work on their history (Story of the World). By this point I have a headache, which means I’m still not making progress on my to-do list.

7:00pm—Rather than tackling the big project I have in front of me, I decide to work on our February budget, which includes making a list of all of our medical deductions and any business expenses paid out of our personal account in January (I’ve almost got our 2014 taxes done, but I’m hoping this extra step each month will make next year’s even easier).

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

7:15pm—As I’m contemplating just going to bed, I decide that I should at least work more on my lesson plan for the Essentials (language arts & writing) class I teach on Fridays. Then, I tell myself, I can go to bed.

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

7:30pm—At 7:30pm, the girls brush their teeth and come upstairs to go to bed. We stop mid-routine to watch the Snow Moon rise over the mountain in our neighborhood.

8:00pm—By 8 o’clock, I am stick-a-fork-in-me-DONE, so I tuck the girls and head downstairs to bed.

A day in the life with 5 kids: 10, 9, 7, 5, 1

8:15pm—Of course, Jack wants to cuddle, and who am I to resist that, so we snuggle down on the couch, where he quickly falls asleep. I savor the feeling for a little bit while Sean gets ready for bed before handing him off for a bottle.

8:40pm—Finally, I crawl into bed, read for less than 20 minutes and fall asleep. (It’s worth noting that Jack slept straight through this night, so I ended up with two full night’s sleep in a row…a February miracle!)

The next morning I’m up at 5:00am…ready to do it all again!