The every changing schedule of a stay at home military mom. Being flexible and always finding family time whenever you can. How us moms make it work.
We’ve seen our fair share of night shift being in the military. Swings, mids, 12s, and finally days. The holy grail of shifts. If you’re lucky enough they have some sort of rotation in place. 4 or 6 months on then switch.
But that’s not always the case, and the last time I checked they weren’t looking for suggestions. So you fall in to your new routine and we all do the best we can.
Just last week my hubby had to cover a different shift, only for a week, but it was a lot of loud whispering of “shhhh! Your father is sleeping!” The master bedroom is off the living room. Oh ya…it’s a one story. But you’ve been there right?
Kids are loud. Dishes are loud. Pots and pans are loud. Vacuuming is loud. Dogs are loud. Its amazing they get any sleep at all.
The life of a stay at home military mom- Schedule
On mids you have a small window in the morning where you can make noise. You get up with the kids and unless you’re naturally an early riser, you bring all of your makeup into the kids bathroom because you are not ready to put lipstick on at 6:30am.
Once your husband goes to bed you are not going into the master closet or bathroom. So its just easier to set up shop with a makeshift closet in the laundry room and your daily makeup in the kids bathroom.
- 6:30-7:30am-Get everyone dressed and ready for the day
- 7:35am- Time for school. Ask the kids why its so hard to keep their shoes in the same place…. Found them
- 8:00am-Start all the loud chores-Vacuum/start laundry
- 8:30am-Daddy’s home! The littlest one and dogs all rush to daddy.
- 8:40am-Make him a breakfast dinner and catch up with how work went. (spoiler alert- “it was a total *something show”)
- 9:00am-Start the dishes and they are off to bed.
- 9:00-3:00- If you haven’t already, put on makeup then off to do all the errands and cleaning before school lets out. Walk the dog, nap time and playtime for your littlest. Daniel tiger, the never ending laundry, floors, yard work
- 3:00pm-School kids come home.
- 4:00pm-Send them outside because they are being to loud and dad is sleeping!
- 5:00pm-Homework/cook dinner.
- 6:00pm-Daddy is awake! Either from cleaning up from dinner or someone forgot to be quiet.
- 6:15pm-He’s had some coffee and is almost human again.
- 6:15-7pm-Playtime with daddy but it goes by to fast. 45 minuets just isn’t enough.
- 7:00pm-Pajama time
- 7:20pm-Story time
- 7:35pm-Lights out littlest
- 8:00pm-Lights out oldest
- 8:15pm-Question why I even bothered to put on makeup.
- 8:30pm-Remove makeup/ find pajamas
- 9:00pm-Pack him a lunch to take for his 2am lunch hour
- Later he heads to work but not before you ask him the same 3 questions you ask every day for the past 10 years. Do you have your keys? Phone? ID?
- 2am- Let the dang dog outside cuz now he’s an old man and can’t hold his bladder
If you’re lucky it works out that you have two short windows to make noise before either daddy goes to sleep in the morning, or your kids go to sleep at night. Either way that’s when you vacuum and plan all of your loud things.
You go to the park to get their energy out and do your grocery shopping and errands so you’re not making extra noise at home. Hopefully you tire the little ones out enough that when you get back they will take a nap.
But kids are kids. They laugh, squeal and cry. You put a white noise machine in the master bedroom or an extra fan to block it out. But we’re adults with young kids! No one is sleeping well!
Swing shift is hardest on school aged children. It’s the shift they don’t get to see their dad during the week. He comes home in the early morning hours, winds down in his office, and comes to bed around 2am.
It’s another shift that you either have to get up and get ready for the day before the kids are awake, or turn part of the laundry room into your closet. You bring all your essential makeup to the kids bathroom and are grateful you have two sinks.
- 2:30am- Spouse comes to bed
- 6:30-7:30am-Get ready for school
- 7:35am-Lost the shoes. Swear that this is the day you find a better shoe system… off to school
- 8:00am-Walk the dogs
- 8:30-11:30am-Errands, blog, Daniel tiger, second breakfast for the littlest, laundry, 2nd bathroom, dust, sweep, mop, yard work, forget about shoe organization.
- 11:30am-Start making lunch and dinner because your husband need to bring dinner to work with him.
- 12:00pm-He’s awake but not human
- 12:15pm-Coffee and signs of humanity
- 12:15-1:00pm-Catch up about each others days
- 1:15pm-He gets ready for work
- 1:30pm-Ask the 3 same question… keys, phone, ID
- 1:30-3:00pm-Play with the littlest and clean as much as possible so you can have quality time when your oldest comes home.
- 4:00pm-Playtime, catch up
- 5:30pm-Leftover dinner you made at lunchtime
- 6:00pm-Dishes/mow the lawn while the kids play outback
- 7:00pm-Bath, teeth, pajamas
- 7:20pm-Story time
- 7:40pm-Lights out littlest
- 7:45pm-Hang out with oldest. Says she misses her dad. Remind her that the weekend is only 3 days away and we’ll all go do something fun for family time.
- 8:00pm-Lights out oldest
- 8:00-10:30pm-Get some more work done or binge watch survivor
- 2:00am- Husbands home- lets the dang dog out cuz he’s an old man and cant hold his bladder.
This shift isn’t terrible in the sense that you don’t have to be quiet all day. Its tough for school aged kids because they go 5 days at a time without seeing their dad but knowing he’s just on the other side of the bedroom door.
You try to do all the yard work, mowing the lawn, weed whacking, during the week so that when the weekend comes you really can do all the fun family things that you promised your oldest.
DAY SHIFT (the holy grail of shifts)
Who knew that day shift would be such a hot commodity! Before all of this I had envisioned a 9-5 Monday-Friday, weekends off, holidays off, life. Silly girl. I know there are many other professions with crazy hours, and we all roll with the punches.
We’re disappointed at times, and try to do it all to make the weekends family time. But weekends aren’t always weekends! You could be looking at panama schedule. Two days on, two days off. Three days on, Three days off. You’re Mondays and Tuesdays become Saturdays and Sundays.
I’m so very thankful that I was able to stay home with my children while they were little. We were able to use Monday and Tuesday as the weekend. Well, unless he was on nights while on panama, but that’s a whole different story.
I’m not going to do a schedule for this shift. I think we all know how we make this one work, but I will tell you…
2:00am- I get the dang dog, cuz now he’s an old man, can’t hold his bladder and hubby has to sleep because he needs to be his best at work.
Change is normal
The routine is constantly changing. Whether its your spouses schedule or the kids have after school activities. Or maybe your children are not school age yet. With each season that passes new things come up.
New challenges are met and in new ways you will all grow. As long as you take the time to grow together, you can take on whatever this new season brings you.