Having lots of kids at different ages and a husband who’s career is firefighting means that our schedule is always changing. However, we seem to be in a pretty predictable rhythm these days and it’s such a good feeling. Since I know one day I’ll wonder what life was like way back in 2017 and because I’m always so curious what other people’s routines are I thought I would follow up this day in the (summer) life post with a winter edition!

As I mentioned, our schedules are kinda all over the place depending on the kids’ activities and commitments and Johan’s work, but for the most part our mornings are the same so I’ll start there.

Oh, but before I do, if you are pregnant or have a newborn, ignore my morning routine — it looked so much more haphazard during the baby growing and nursing seasons in my life. My advice for those of you that are in it? Do whatever you need to feel human. That might look like getting extra sleep, making it to the gym, taking a shower, planning date nights or working on a business. You will never regret taking care of yourself so you can give the best to your little (and big!) ones. Just one of the things I’ve learned the hard way.

MORNING ROUTINE | My goal is to be up at 5 for a garage workout with Johan (on mornings he is home) or to catch up/get ahead of work as well as a good 20 minutes or so of quiet time and a shower before the kids are up. Even as a non-morning person, this is my favorite and most productive time of day due to the lack of distraction and totally worth the early wakeup call. However, there are nights when kids are up sick or with bad dreams or Johan and I decide to catch up on a show, in which case,  getting an extra hour of sleep is way more valuable. When that happens, I’m up sometime between 6 and 6:30, hop in the shower and meet Ozzie downstairs for breakfast. The older he get’s, the fuller his calendar gets with homework, sports and friends so I cherish this time so much.

After he leaves around 7, I pour another cup of coffee and start round 2 with the other kids! I slowly wake them up and help pick out clothes, remind them to make their beds, etc., etc…. It’s usually a good time to throw in a load of laundry and maybe fold or put away a few things too, while they moan and groan, lol. Eventually we head downstairs for breakfast. They all eat and Espen and Tilly finish up their morning routine while I make lunches, empty the dishwasher and wipe spills and faces. Then around 8 it’s off to school for Espen and Tilly. Once they are gone Griffin, Poppy and I (but mostly I) tidy up the downstairs and kitchen… no matter how clean it is when we wake it’s always amazing to me how messy it gets by this time. Then I turn on a kid show for Griffin and Poppy while I do my hair and makeup. Somedays it holds their attention, other days they follow me into the bathroom to hang on me/rummage through bathroom drawers/drive me bonkers. #momlife

If Johan is getting off shift, then he arrives sometime around 8:30. We chat, hug and debrief about our last 24+ hours while Griffin and Poppy either climb all over us or get into mischief since mom + dad are preoccupied.

This is where things get less predictable, but for the most part our late morning and afternoons can be broken down into 3 parts — M+F, W, + TU+TH.

M +F | Griffin has Pre-K these mornings (and Wednesdays too). If Johan is home he usually takes drop-off duty while I squeeze in an hour of work. After that we either head out for an outing, run errands or work around the house until nap time.

W | Is a little crazy but also my absolute favorite. The three oldest kids have late start which means they get an extra hour and half before school starts. These mornings are more laid-back and conducive for a pancake breakfast. The kids do their normal routines and then we ALL :) leave the house around 9, drop Oz off first, then take Griffin to Pre-K, and finally zip through the Starbuck’s drive-thru on our way to drop Espen + Tilly off. It’s like a school carpool dream come true for me. I wish everyday was late start and what’s funny is I’m one of the only school age mom I know that likes Wednesdays… might have something to do with working from home instead of an office. Or maybe I just have a thing for lazier mornings.

T + TH | Are right up there with Wednesdays because Griffin is home! After the three big kids head off to school Griffin, Poppy and I (and Johan too when we are lucky!) find something fun to do until nap time. Sometimes we tryout a new coffee shop, or park. Other times we do something a little more familiar like meet up with friends, visit the children’s museum or wander around Target. Once Poppy is down, I tidy up again and then spend time with Griffin. It’s his last year home before starting Kindergarten (which is full-time here) so these days feel almost sacred and I do my best to keep this time work-free.  Every once in awhile tho, I spend an hour or less answering emails or taking pictures for a post while he plays legos.

Wow, that all feels like a lot of information and our afternoons are even more random so maybe I’ll stop there and cover our afternoon, evening and bedtime schedule in another post!? Let me know if you have any questions that I didn’t answer in this post about our mornings or anything you would like to know in a follow up post.

Oh, and two things that are worth mentioning…

1.) Once a week our totally amazing family friend comes and cleans our home. It was something Johan and I decided to splurge on during the end of my pregnancy with Poppy and only intended on continuing for the first few months after she was born but couldn’t bring ourselves to give-up! It’s seriously life changing and allows me to focus on other things like the laundry, inviting people over, and of course the kids!

2.) One morning a week while Johan is on shift and Griffin is at school, I have hired a friend’s daughter who is homeschooled to come play with Poppy for a couple hours while I work in my office. She’s only come 3 or 4 times so far but Poppy loves the big kid attention and adding an extra 2 hours to my 12 hour workweek has been such a relief. It’s a win-win!

Obviously most days don’t run quite as smoothly as it might look on “paper”. Negotiations, tantrums, spills and scavenger hunts for lost shoes/homework/library books are also a part of our mornings. What keeps me sane in a house full of kids though is not doing it all, all the time and remembering that a little bit of help might not solve all my problems but it does go a long way.

So, now I’m curious… If you could get help on a daily or weekly basis would you hire a nanny, cook, chauffeur, or house cleaner?

Can’t wait to read your answers!

XO, Rae


  1. erin March 8, 2017 at #

    I enjoy the cooking but would LOVE some help with the cleaning ;)

    • rae March 8, 2017 at #

      Help cleaning is always nice! I remember hiring someone to come clean our bathrooms every other week when I was pregnant… every little thing helps! xo

  2. Sarah March 8, 2017 at #

    Hi Rae!
    Try to read all of your posts, sometimes it is harder because this role as a mom and a wife gives me surprises everyday that I have to take care of.
    Today, I was reading your post and resembling my life to yours somehow, not in the kids number because I only have two kids but I can relate to many of your routines.
    I still need to learn to ask for help, even though I have hired a lady who cleans my house every two weeks, I haven’t been able to hire a nanny yet because I am afraid of trusting my kids to someone else I know if I take care of myself and my husband first, that is also going to help my relationship with my kids, but t is just something that I don’t know how to do yet.
    I must say that I really admire you, don’t know how you look always nice having five kids, try to do my best but many times just throw a sweat shirt on me and go out.

    • rae March 8, 2017 at #

      Oh gosh, I get it and two kids is a lot of work!!! Getting dressed was one of the things I promised myself I would do after having Poppy and it’s pretty much a habit at this point… But trust me, I have no problem throwing on leggings and a sweatshirt and ball cap. Especially if I know we’re hanging out at home most of the day. There is no shame in my mom game and no need to be perfect. Love your mama heart Sarah! xoxo

  3. Christie March 9, 2017 at #

    I love reading about other people’s schedules, how they manage things daily! I really like that idea of having a big kid over to play with one of the little ones. How fun for the little one to have someone different to play with, rather than a sibling that she sees often! I have 2 girls, ages 11 and 4. My 11 year old is in 5th grade, and the 4 year old is in preschool. I also work part-time teaching college english at a local college. I think I might be incorporating that extra play time thing for the little one. It seems like a win-win for both of us… she would get extra play time, and I would get a few more papers graded! Thanks for the post!

  4. Summer March 9, 2017 at #

    Well, since we already have a housekeeper,& also have a homeschooled high schooler come over one afternoon/week I would say a chef! I enjoy cooking, but often after homeschooling with 4 kiddos, I am wiped by 5pm. Having someone else come in and whip up a delicious meal once a week for us would be amazing!

    • rae March 10, 2017 at #

      sounds dreamy after a day of homeschooling!!!! xo

  5. Lauren March 9, 2017 at #

    Loved reading this. You exude so much joy when you talk about your everyday life. It’s just great. What is it IKEA say? “The wonderful everyday” It’s where my joy is too.

    If I could, I would get a house cleaner. Cleaning just gets in the way of everything else I want/need to be doing. I don’t have a cleaning schedule because seriously…zzzzzzz! But while my house is clean enough, it’s not regularly up to the standard I would like in order to be able to invite people over. So this means I often choose not to. Something I’d like to get my head round, but haven’t found a simple fix yet.

    • rae March 10, 2017 at #

      I think so many people can relate to that! I bet you’ll think of something :) My mom follows flylady.net and it seems to work for her. Might be worth checking out! xoxoxo

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