Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Many hearts. Much love--The Routine

I have had more requests than I can count on how do I get it all done?  Well, the truth is, some days I don't.  But most days I do, masha allah.  This is my ordinary weekday rountine:

I am a big fan of "early to bed, early to rise".  I start my days early by American standards, I wake up between 4:30 and 5:15, depending on when I went to sleep the night before.  I pray my morning (fajr) prayer before sunrise and don't go to bed afterwards.  I supervise breakfast, get my children's work and school meals ready, get a load of laundry on, wash my face and apply any creams, my morning exercises (more on those later), nurse the baby, start on lunch (I still feed my kids a hot lunch after school) all before 8:00.  

When the last of the little feet are out the door, I nurse the baby again (though maybe its a thinly veiled excuse to take a short break--I'll never tell!) and do any paper/computer work for a short 15 minute or so period.   Then I start on the heavy stuff.  First things first, I try to work on a priority basis.  I do my morning exercises if things were hectic and I missed them earlier.  I get lunch going.  We rely heavily on soups and stews around here.  Things that I can get simmering early and turn off and on all day, ready to feed at a moment's notice to anyone who is hungry.  Once lunch is going, I turn to the most important daily cleaning tasks: cleaning the kitchen, tidying up, cleaning the bathrooms, and cleaning the floors.  Which I choose to do first may change, depending on any unusual circumstances that let things get behind, but when things are normal around here I do them in the order I mentioned.  When the first load of laundry is finished, I pop another one in.

When my daily work is finished, its usually about about 10:00.  Time for another break, whether you're hungry or not, baby!  Seriously, I shamelessly take short breaks when I need them--though I do try my best to hold out til the baby's next feeding.  If not, I try to do something productive like internet shopping, banking,  menu planning, brainstorming, but if that is more than I can handle I admit I turn to facebook, my favorite forum or my blog.

After my break, I turn to any deep cleaning tasks.  These rotate and I will follow with a post on deep cleaning on how I manage to keep the house truly clean as well as neat.  At 12:30 I stop, (almost) no matter what I'm doing.  I need time to stay fit (and sane)!

I feed the baby and drink a cup of tea.   Then I take about 60 minutes to exercise.  I eat (or drink) some protein and them start serving the kids' lunch so its ready for them when they get home

My children arrive from school at 1:30 and as they are small, still need reminders and supervision to change their clothes, put away their shoes and unpack their waterbottles and lunchboxes in an orderly manner.   They eat lunch and then we clean up the kitchen.  After lunch, the little ones retire to their room for some R&R and the school boys pray and do their homework.  I take this time to fold clothes, do paperwork, or do seated kitchen work (like popping green beans or stuffing vegetables).

We try to get all of the homework done by 3:00 so the kids can have some good playtime before sunset.  When they are done with their homework, they are responsible for checking their school supplies and packing their own backpacks.  After they make sure they are prepared for school the next day, they can go outside to play.

I use the time when they are outside to do any afternoon housework that needs to be done, add a load of clothes to the washer, take some time for myself (aka "get purdy"), lay out the clothes for after the kid' baths and for school the next day.  If there are any chores that have to be done during daylight hours this is also the time we do them--I bring them in one by one to work and chat with me.  Before sunset (which is about 5:00 nowadays),  I bring everyone inside, feed them their dinner (if we have leftovers from lunch) or a hearty snack (if we have no leftovers) and get them to their baths.

After the baths we pray the sunset prayer and do our evening chores.  When everyone has finished their chores, they can play quietly  in the playroom.  When the house is tidy we pray, read Qur'an and read books and if everyone has finished their responsibilities pleasantly, we might play a game on the computer or watch tv.

I try to get the kids to sleep at about 7:30 or 8:00.  This gives me time to tie up any loose ends, run the dishwasher, spend time with my husband, dance or do some stretching or yoga to unwind, take a shower if I haven't already, and....yup, you guessed it, get a load of laundry on.   I try to get myself in bed between 8:30 and 9:30.

Now, this routine does of course vary a bit from season to season, day to day.  In the summer we go to bed later, but take a nice nap in the afternoon.  After an initial burst of cleaning and cooking on Friday morning (which is our nicest meal of the week), I try to pare cleaning and cooking down to the bare necessities on the weekends so I can enjoy time with my family.  Obviously, life goes on, even on the weekends, so I do little things like save Friday's clean laundry to fold over a leisurely cup of coffee with my husband on Saturday morning.  Additionally, I try to do all of my errands on one day. I don't have a car, so I count pushing the well laden stroller around town as my exercise for that day.  I also don't do any deep cleaning the days I go out and make simple meals to save time.


  1. I have to say very impressive. I should post my daily routine back sometime but it is very similar minus the bedtime hours. I am late to bed and later to rise. My personal time at night is a must. The bus comes at 8:30 so we have more sleep in time. Best of luck to you.

  2. ma'shaAllah! Wow. You have my admiration, ma'shaAllah!

    I love the pictures you chose to put! They're so cute =D

  3. wow...talk about a never ending job! Your sooooo well organized...mashallah, but sis dont you ever get bored or tired of the never ending cleaning? How is your body and skin holding up? I know the 2 years I was at home it was hell for me, the everything rote routine of cooking and cleaning was just too dulling for me to get into, infact it made me really-really-really depressed, I hated waking up in the morning cuz I knew I had to cook, clean, cook and clean some more...yuck. I hated it. How do you handle that sort of life? do you ever get fed up and tired from the routine? How do you stay mentally alert? Do you look forward to each day?

    wow...i am in awe thought...i guess your a born housewife...I for one, am definetly not. LOL. I hope your family appreciates their superwoman mom and wife!


  4. Um Ibraheem, you raise a lot of very valid points and I think you gave me an idea for my next blog post :)

  5. This was really fabulous blog, thank you for sharing it with me! I think it may be that I'm expecting to have more "down" time than I should... And I'd really like to get more sleep and take you up on the early to bed, early to rise... probably that would help with my 21 days of goals. Thanks a ton! Loved the post... may Allah reward you for all your hardwork, inshallah :) HS