Our Healthy Routine with Kids

Published on 25 August 2020 at 11:45

I love being a parent more than I ever thought I would, but parenting is definitely not easy.  For a long time, it felt like there simply were not enough hours in the day. Let’s be honest, we still feel that way quite often; but we used to feel that way constantly.  I was (and still am) at  home with the kids all day every day except for a few weekend days each month when I went to work while my husband stayed with the kids. My husband left for work around 7:30 each morning and got home between 6:00 and 6:30 in the evening. Then, we were in a frenzy of playing with the kids while I finished up dinner and got it on the table, eating, then bath time, then divide and conquer with my husband putting our son to sleep while I took care of our daughter. Living a healthy lifestyle and finding time for exercise was really important to us, and after much trial and error, we have settled into a routine that is working well for our current situation.


Before school started, my son was my alarm clock. But of course, now that school has started, he magically sleeps in more, so my real alarm clock goes off at 6:00 AM. I don’t always get out of bed at that time, and often I have migrated into my daughter’s room during the night to soothe her cries and fallen asleep there. After I get up, I make sure my husband is waking up because he is not as much of a morning person as I am. His exercise starts at this time. He gets on the bike trainer for about half an hour and then gets into the shower while I quickly get myself ready for the day. Then, I wake up the kids if they aren't awake already, and get my son started on his morning routine. I get my daughter dressed and change her diaper, then I get breakfast together and on the table. We all usually have different things for breakfast. My husband has a smoothie, my son usually has scrambled eggs, greek yogurt, or oatmeal. My daughter eats half a banana and some dry granola. I grab some fruit, some sourdough bread, or sometimes just wait to eat until later because I am not usually hungry at this time. While we’re eating at the table, I read some type of devotional to everyone.


After breakfast, my husband leaves for work and I load the kids in the car (my dog usually jumps in too) to take my son to school. After I drop him off, we head back home where I make myself hot tea and munch on something, do some laundry, make the bed, work on this blog, and do some activities with my daughter. My son only goes to school half day right now, which flies by. I blink, then it’s time to go pick him up. I load my daughter back in the car, the dog hops in, and off we go back to school.


The afternoons are pretty unstructured. The four of us get back home, we all eat something, then sometimes my daughter will take a nap and sometimes not. She is reaching the age where the afternoon nap is starting to fade, but she usually can’t make it all the way until bedtime. It’s the height of summer heat in Florida right now, so it is usually too hot to play outside in the afternoon. Sometimes, I will fill up the kiddie pool in the shade, but more often, I help the kids entertain themselves inside and try to watch as little TV as possible. (TV is reserved for the weekend.) We also avoid screens with the kids. Now that my son is 4, we allow him to use a few educational apps for half an hour a few times a week at the most. I may get a little more housework done and then it’s time to start dinner. While I’m doing this, if the kids are busy playing, I put one of my wireless earbuds in and listen to an audio book while listening to the kids with the other ear. Parenting certainly creates new levels of multitasking.



Because my husband doesn’t get home from work until after 6:00, I make sure that I have dinner on the table when he walks in the door. Sometimes my 4 year old even sets the table. Dinner is usually over by 6:45. The kids play with with my husband for a few minutes, then it’s bath time. While I am giving the kids their bath, my husband listens to a podcast or some music while he takes care of the dishes and cleans the kitchen. I get the kids out of the bath and into their pajamas, brush their teeth, and put them in the double stroller. My husband changes into his workout clothes and at about 7:30, takes the kids for walk. I close the door behind him and do a little happy dance. I usually get about an hour with the whole house to myself. Well, myself and the dog. I put on my workout clothes, put something good on tv, and hop on our bike trainer. I usually only ride for half an hour because I want to have time to take a shower after, and maybe even just relax for a few minutes before everyone gets back. My husband says that his nightly walk helps him to decompress his mind in addition to the exercise of handling that 100 pound, loaded stroller for 3 miles.


When the stroller arrives back in the driveway, I help unload it and tuck the sweet, sleeping children into their beds. Then, my husband and I have a little time to hang out together. We like to pick out a show that we only watch when we’re together, and watch a couple of episodes before we go to bed. That is our daily routine for now, while I’m staying home during the week. It’s working very well as long as it doesn’t rain on our evening walks; that’s a whole other story!


How do you squeeze time for exercise into your day, especially if you have small kids?

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