a new routine for the work at home family
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Our New Routine: A Daily Rhythm for the Work at Home Family

a new routine for the work at home family
My family thrives on routine and rhythms. Before my husband quit his job, I had a daily schedule and routine that worked for me. It incorporated all that needed to take place each day like house cleaning, intentional toddler time, blogging, etc.

My days had a rhythm and a normalcy; albeit a normalcy I wasn’t fond of with a husband gone two-thirds of the year.

Now that we’ve been a work at home family for more than a month now, we’ve started to get into a new rhythm and routine. Our days are falling into a new normal, and we’re learning how to work together as a family to accomplish the necessary tasks each day.

One of the biggest challenges of being a work at home family is communication. We have to communicate, and communicate often.

If one of us is having a bad day, it affects the whole family. If one of us is overwhelmed, it affects the whole family.

So communication, and lots of it, is key to making this venture work for our family.

Also, a simple routine that we can adhere to has helped cut down on stress and allowed us the freedom to work within agreed upon boundaries.

We didn’t just fall into this rhythm though. It took a few weeks of just working and doing life in order to see what patterns and needs would emerge.

Then, together we sat down and put on paper a family routine that gives us a skeleton to our days, but provides the flexibility we need to move with life’s adventures and circumstances.

Now that my husband and I both work from home, we had to find the best method for getting food on the table, caring for our children, getting our work down, and enjoying family time.

The truth is that no two days look the same in our home. And quite frankly, we rarely, if ever experience our ideal day. But this routine is in place to help us get back on track when things start spiraling out of control. It’s our compass. Our baseline.

Our new routine as a work at home family!

Early Time: I got this idea from my friend, Beth at Red and Honey. She shared her family’s routine a few weeks ago, and her “early time” idea really stood out to me.

I immediately shared this idea with my husband, and we both nearly danced in the kitchen.

You see, breakfast is something we both hate making, but both consider a major priority for our family. We do family devotions at breakfast time, and so it’s important that we have a breakfast on the table each morning.

But neither of us enjoy making breakfast. Actually we each despise it!

Plus we love getting up early, but one or both kids usually has his “early riser radar” turned on.

By assigning early time duties to one of us, it ensures that each of us will get a few mornings of peace and quiet and a break from breakfast duty. Life saver!

Early time is assigned from 6am to 8:30am with the goal of having breakfast no later than 8am, but it’s completely flexible!

The other person is free to use his or her early time in any way he or she chooses. It can be for Bible reading, early coffee meetings, work, etc. It’s theirs to use as they see fit!

Morning routine: After family devotions, we move into our morning routine as a family.

The person who is heading off to work for the morning is responsible for clearing the breakfast dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Then, they head off to work.

The other person heads upstairs with the children and gets everyone dressed for the day. Then, they complete our family cleaning routine. The only exception is that when my husband is in charge of the cleaning routine, he doesn’t do a daily cleaning chore. I’m faster at these, so I do them.

Snack & Preschool: We homeschool our toddler (almost preschooler). So after morning chores, the one who isn’t working for the morning does intentional learning time with our oldest son. This is also when our youngest usually takes his morning nap.

Lunch: The person who was on duty for the morning is in charge of getting lunch on the table, and the morning work person comes home to eat! We eat lunch as a family before heading into our afternoon routine.

Afternoon routine: The person who is up for afternoon work time heads out, and the other person does the following afternoon routine.

  • Clear lunch dishes and clean kitchen
  • Switch a load of laundry
  • Rest {5-15 minute breather!}

Our new family routine as a work at home family!

Reading: During the afternoon breather, the one who isn’t working sits down and reads to our children. Reading, and lots of it, is a priority for our family. So we curl up with some storybooks and read together.

Quiet Time: Our youngest is usually down for his afternoon nap during this time. So this quiet time is for our oldest. It’s also an hour of time the one who is not “working” can have to get some more work done. We set our oldest up with a quiet time box and let him have some alone time for an hour or so each day.

Snack: This is self explanatory, but this is an important part of our day – snacks. Our toddler loves to snack, and it cuts down on temper tantrums if we make sure he has plenty of food throughout the day.

Play Room/Outside: This is for independent play, and another of our family’s priorities – daily outside time. If it’s pretty, we get outside!

Workout: At 4pm, we work out as a family. It can be a family bike ride, a workout video, or just a walk around the neighborhood. But at 4pm we stop everything and just be a family.

From 4pm until our children are asleep (about 7:30pm), it’s family time. We turn off our computers, cell phones, etc., and just be present with one another.

Dinner: We eat dinner at 5:30pm because our children need to be in bed by 7pm. We prepare, eat, and clean up dinner together as often as we can.

Our new family routine as a work at home family!

Kids’ Bedtime Routine: After dinner, we head into our bedtime routine for our children.

The kids’ bedtime routine consists of the following:

  • Family clean up
  • Bath time
  • I take our baby to nurse and put down for the night
  • My husband takes our oldest for stories and songs

Ideally, both children are asleep by 7:30pm. This is pretty easy to accomplish with our oldest. Our youngest? Yea, he’s not into doing what the rest of the family is doing just yet. I’m hopeful he will catch on eventually. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Free: We keep our evenings free throughout the week. We don’t have something set in stone each night that we do each week.

The only nights we have firm plans for are Saturday and Sunday nights. We spend Saturdays for Family Night (pizza and a movie, games, etc), and Sundays are devoted to getting ready for the following week.

During the Sunday planning times, we plan the next week’s evenings.

What we make sure is on the calendar each week:

  • Date night
  • 2ย  opportunities for hospitality/fellowship

This leaves two nights totally free to use however we want.

We try not to use our evenings as work times. Our goal is to be totally done with work each day by 4pm. However, if we need an hour or so a couple of nights a week, we know we have time slotted for it.

Evening Routine: This is the most important routine of the day. I share why in my 10-day eCourse. We start our evening routine at least one hour before bedtime.

Sleep: Self-explanatory!

My husband and I are loving our new routine. Having it on paper has been a huge help. I printed it and hung it on our refrigerator. It gives us a baseline to work from and like all routines, it flexes with our every day life.

What about you? Does your family have a routine?

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  1. Thank you so much for this! Currently my husband is home 4 days/gone 3 days but soon will be home everyday so this will be a great help to us!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been thinking that I need to come up with a routine for my weekdays. I have a 2.5 year old and a 5 month old and now that I’m coming out of the newborn haze I’ve been feeling a little lost during the day. I’m curious — where do errands like grocery shopping fit in? Do you do those kind of things on the weekend?

    1. Alison, I remember coming out of newborn days. I think I still am. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Errands and grocery shopping just fit in somewhere for now. Sometimes the weekend. Sometimes we consider it “preschool.” This is something I’m working on figuring out! But since we live in such a small town, it’s easy to just “squeeze it in” here and there!