A Day in the Life (With Three Kids Under Five)

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So I realized that the last Day in the Life post I shared was over a year ago, so I thought it was time for another one: with a 4-year-old, an almost 2-year-old, and a baby. The day I decided to do it ended up being pretty typical for days we spend at home (about half of the time we go on outings and half of the time we chill at home.) Although, there weren’t as many meltdowns from Benjamin as usual. I apologize for the excruciating detail and I hope it’s not super duper boring!


5:45am (Gwen wakes up to nurse for the 4th time) We typically co-sleep for the first 6 months, so I just snuggle her up and feed her for a few minutes. She doesn’t fall back asleep like she usually does at this time of the morning, so I go ahead and get up, throw my favorite grey leggings and long blue shirt on, brush my teeth, and tell Daniel that I’m gonna go up to Panera to work on our ebook*** and that he can climb into bed with Baby Gwen (he sleeps on our pull out couch until the baby is sleeping well at night so that he can get some sleep and comfort Lucy or Benjamin if they wake in the night so that I only have to think about the baby. It’s not because we don’t like each other. Promise.)

***Yes! We’re writing an ebook! I’ll tell you all about it soon but the short version is that it’s a real food/simple living cookbook that follows the Christian Year.

6:10am I arrive at Panera and get a cup of coffee and a pumpkin muffin even though I’m trying not to eat gluten these days. It was like a beacon of Fall staring at me from the bakery section!


6:15am I check email, schedule some FB posts, and write a quick post. I consider responding to comments but I’m way behind and get overwhelmed, so I start working on the book. (p.s. sorry I’m so bad at responding to comments these days! I love you all, I do!)

7:30am I head back home to find a happy baby Gwen in the exersaucer, and Benjamin and Lucy eating steel cut oats, peanut butter and almonds with Daddy.

7:45am I feed Baby Gwen while the kids finish up, change her diaper, and change Lucy’s diaper and toss them into the diaper pail (I just stripped all the diapers last week so they’re not stinky anymore, yay!)

8:10am Daniel leaves for work on his bike so we can have the car. The kids take turns yelling “I LOOOVE YOU! I NEED ANOTHER KISS!” until he’s out of sight.

8:20am The big kids and I start reading picture books about the ocean and Mr. Popper’s Penguins on the couch while Gwen watches in the Bumbo. After one chapter of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Gwen isn’t having it anymore. I tell Benjamin and Lucy that I need to nurse her to sleep in my bedroom and they need to be quiet so she can nap and I can come out and finish reading to them.

8:30am After about 30 seconds of nursing, Benjamin starting opening and slamming the door. He ignores my command to stop distracting Gwen and I lock the door to have 2 minutes of peace to get her asleep. He commences banging against the door with all his might. I have to unlatch Gwen again, take him to time out and come back to finish nursing her. After 3 more minutes she is done nursing but isn’t asleep. I set her in the cosleeper to see if she can take a morning nap. (Lucy has been flipping through books in her room for this whole episode because she is my super chill gal.)

8:37am I go in to Benjamin’s room and he is furious that I put him in time out. He takes a stuffed animal snake and hits me in the face with it. I throw the snake in the trash can after explaining (again) that we do not use our toys to hit people. He sobs and screams and runs around like a mad man. When he calms himself enough to sit on the couch and talk about it, we decide to compromise by putting the snake in time out in the laundry room for a week.

8:45am We get back into reading books and get through several more chapters of Mr. Popper’s Penguins without anyone getting hit in the face. Success!

9:15am Gwen is still sleeping and Lucy is entertaining herself with crayons so I do one lesson in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with Benjamin while he snacks on a banana. He is very proud of himself for learning to read the words “me” “see” and “we.” (I absolutely love this book. It’s phonics-based and it’s helping Benjamin make so much progress toward reading.)

9:30am I bribe him to do the writing part of the lesson (his least favorite) with the promise of one of the healthy almond joy cookies I made for my goddaughter’s baptismal reception. He takes his outside and starts playing in the dirt and waving sticks around.

9:40am Lucy and I walk back to check on Baby Gwen who is cooing in the cosleeper. We get her out and Lucy tries to sit on her potty that looks like a frog while I open the laptop and start this post so I don’t forget everything.

9:50am Benjamin comes inside (short attention span) and asks to watch a movie. I tell him that we won’t do screen time until after naptime (a little tip I learned listening to the Simple Mom podcast that I’ve found to be totally true for my kids–if they watch anything before they get up from naptime, it’s game over: whining for the rest of the day). He whines for awhile, but then decides an art project might be fun.


(this is what things look like when we do art projects)

10am I put a diaper back on Lucy and feed Gwen again. I’m trying to hold fast to my new resolve to not look at my phone while I nurse and just bond with her. Totally worth it for the sweet baby smiles. Benjamin gets started with an art project while I check in with Daniel on gchat and read an email from our ebook cover designer. Then I realize Lucy is putting glue all over our homeschool curriculum. Oops.

10:15am Gwen is pretty happy in the Bumbo and the kids are playing with art supplies at the dining room table, so I start cleaning up from breakfast and getting the counters cleared off so I can start some beans and rice in the crock pot.

11am Almost an hour later I haven’t even started the beans. I’ve cleaned off one counter, convinced Benjamin to take out the compost, tried to keep Lucy from getting glue everywhere, and gotten a snack of ham and cheese for both kids. Then Gwen started fussing and I realized she’d pooped everywhere. While cleaning her off, I let Lucy play with the spray bottle of water and cloth wipes. There’s water all over the floor but hey, it kept a toddler occupied for more than 2 second so, win. Gwen is still fussy and I think she’s getting tired again. Another attempt to put beans and water in the crock pot commences.

11:06am I take Gwen to my bedroom to nurse her (she gets distracted these days if she’s around the “big kids”) and she falls asleep. I’m surprised at how quiet the kids are. Benjamin is playing in his room when I come out and then I see why Lucy was so quiet. She got out the paints from the art cabinet and they are all over the wood floor and the dining room table and her clothes. Whoops. I clean up most of the damage and get back to cleaning the counters on the other side of the kitchen….I kind of clean up all day and it’s always a semi-disaster everywhere. Is that normal?

11:45am: I make quesadillas for the big kids and we eat some lunch.

12:10pm Change Lucy’s diaper and tuck her in while Benjamin gets in bed for nap. Then I hear Gwen wake up, so I nurse her back to sleep and lay down thinking that MAYBE Benjamin will actually sleep and I can get a nap. Just after getting Gwen to sleep, Benjamin comes in to ask for a cookie. (I don’t give him one.) I get him back in bed, lay down, and he comes in again to say he needs help with his Narnia audiobook. Ugh. Gwen wakes up. I nurse her back to sleep and decide to just get up and have a cup of coffee and answer emails that I’m way behind on.

1pm Benjamin comes out to get some LEGOs. I get him back in bed. Gwen wakes up crying. I nurse her back to sleep (this time of day is cluster feeding time). And I watch some of the newish Masterpiece Theatre version of Great Expectations that’s streaming on Netflix. I’ve never liked that story, but it’s growing on me. Maybe my distaste for it stems from reading it freshman year of high school with a terrible English teacher.

1:30pm Gwen is asleep again and it’s quiet in Benjamin and Lucy’s rooms. But I’ve already made coffee so I just get set up on the couch with my laptop and start working on the ebook.

1:50pm Lucy wakes up, but Gwen and Benjamin are still sleeping. I drink my coffee and sit at the table with her while she colors and chats with me. We don’t usually have special time just the two of us, so we both eat it up.

2:10pm: Since she’s coloring happily, I start chopping up onions, garlic, and peppers to go in the slow cooker with the black beans.

2:20pm: I finish making a new batch of laundry detergent because I ran out and now it feels like there’s dirty laundry growing in every corner and crevice of the house (it’s seriously finding its way into every room, overflowing the baskets, taking over). I use Sarah O’s recipe. So cheap, so great.

2:40pm: Gwen wakes up. I change both the girls’ diapers. Then I check FB and say hi to Daniel on gchat. I miss him tons during the day–which I guess is good because it means I like him…and it’s nice to really like your husband.

2:50pm: Benjamin must have sensed that I opened my laptop….it’s like he has a computer radar and runs into the room when I think, “hey! I can sneak in a minute on the internet while everyone’s occupied.” Not so! He wakes up and obviously feels great after actually taking a nap. (We’re struggling with getting him to sleep enough. He rarely naps but isn’t sleeping any longer at night 9pm-6am is not enough sleep for a 4-year-old! To put it in perspective, Lucy usually takes a two hour nap and sleeps from 7pm to 7am so she sleeps 5 hours longer than he does. Suggestions? I feel like we’ve tried everything.)

3:00pm: After snuggling on the couch for a few minutes with Benjamin (he needs lots of snuggles these days) the kids are begging for a snack. I cave into their demands for the granola bars we got on super sale (usually we don’t buy stuff like that.) Then I nurse a hungry Gwen. While I’m busy nursing, my instructions for them to sit at the table while their eating crunchy granola bars are disregarded. Everyone is running around and granola bar bits are all over the floor. Oh, well. At least I got to nurse in peace, right?

3:15pm: Lucy really wants to watch an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I get it set up in my bedroom (we don’t have a TV in the living room, so we just watch Netflix on my bed) and try to finish chopping up peppers from Daniel’s garden to go in the beans.

3:40pm: Benjamin asks if he can watch the Emperor’s New Groove and I agree. I don’t like them to watch more than an hour of TV a day but I really want to tidy up before we have dinner…

4:00pm Lucy saunters out to keep me company. Gwen has fallen asleep on a blanket on the floor. I chop up some of the giant stock of peppers we have from the garden, do the dishes, sweep the kitchen and dining room and Lucy sprays the table with vinegar-water and tries to wipe it off (mostly she just sprays water everywhere.)

4:30pm Gwen wakes up and I put her in the bouncer in the bathroom. I take a quick bath while the “big kids” finish the movie. Then–get this–I actually have 5 minutes to put on makeup while all three kids are miraculously occupied. Yay! I start the rice cooking and call the “big kids” in for bath time. I’m mildly shocked that Benjamin doesn’t throw a giant fit because it’s bath time and I’m turning off the movie.

5:00pm Kids are out of the tub and running around mostly naked. Some dance partying ensues while we wait for Daddy. They get super wound up and Lucy starts her earsplitting squealing because Benjamin is roaring at her like a dinosaur. I check the beans in the crock pot and they’re not as tender as one would like. Oops. Should have started them earlier.

5:15 pm It’s Gwen’s witching hour and she’s getting fussy. The big kids are fantastic at keeping her happy if I have my hands full with something else.

5:25pm She’s still not happy and I realize she has a massive diaper explosion. I consider pretending I didn’t realize since Daniel is almost home…..but, I do the grown-up thing and get her cleaned up. And then I act extra mature and just throw away her onesie that’s now dripping with poop.

5:45pm Dad is home!!!!! I start putting beans and rice in bowls and we try to talk about our days over the tiny voices all shouting for Daddy’s attention.

6pm We sit down to dinner. Benjamin is warned that he will not get any of the gummies his uncle brought over unless he finishes his tiny bowl of beans and rice. He decides it’s not worth it and only eats half and then is ready for books, asthma medicine, teeth brushing, and snuggles.

6:30pm We get Lucy into jammies and Daniel gets both the “big kids” in bed while I change Gwen, swaddle her, and nurse her to sleep on my bed. I scoot her over to the co-sleeper once she’s out and come out to chat for a few minutes with Daniel.

7:20pm My friend Jeni picks me up and we have a very rare girls’ night. I order a cocktail and she gets sweet tea and we catch up after weeks of not seeing each other. Only the second time I’ve got out without Gwen in tow and I feel footloose and fancy free!

9:15pm We remember that our kids get up at 6am and head home.

9:30pm I get in bed and nurse Gwen again while she’s halfway sleeping. I check my email, FB, and instagram and then put my headphones in and listen to Harry Potter audiobooks (I have a hard time falling asleep and it really helps.)

10:15pm: Asleep!

11pm: Gwen starts crying, I feed her.

12:15am: Same story

12:30am: Again

2am: And again

3:15am: You guessed it.

4:30am Ahhhhhhh!

6am: Yes, that’s the SEVENTH time she’s woken up and I take her out to the living room to hand with Daniel while I try to sleep for a little longer. (p.s. She used to only wake up twice a night until a couple of weeks ago. Why is this happening? I really hate doing CIO and I know it won’t last forever but..I really can’t live like this much longer.)


(not a good sleeper these days, but oh my word, so precious and sweet!)

7:10am Kids are up and Daniel has made them breakfast. I get up and we start the day (with an extra cup of coffee)!

Did you hang in there until the bitter end of the excruciatingly long post? I’m impressed!

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  1. says

    Oh I hung in there and I am exhausted just from reading it! It’s crazy how the days just get away from us isn’t it? I applaud you for having the will power to get up and out the door so early. It would take an insane amount of effort from me to do that. 😉

  2. says

    The Hair! I admit it, I skimmed: but in my defense, I’m under-caffeinated and headachy and nursing an 11-month-old four-five times a night. And I’m still getting more rest than you are! Whoa, Mama!

  3. says

    I hung in there 🙂 Thanks for sharing! I’ve only got one, but I can relate in the tiniest bit how exhausting it is. I don’t know how you got up that early…I crash without my sleep.

  4. says

    Love it! “I kind of clean up all day and it’s always a semi-disaster everywhere. Is that normal?” Yes, absolutely positively! I have three kiddos on earth–3, 2, and 1 month, and this is normal in our house. Keep it up, Mama!

  5. says

    Our daughter slept great until about 6 months old, then she was teething, growing, and dealing with new separation anxiety all at once. It was miserable! I’m really glad we stuck it out with her, though, and didn’t resort to CIO.

    • Haley says

      Lucy did the same thing! a friend of mine who’s a child psychologist was telling me that there’s a big development in memory that causes that increased waking thing around 6 months. We moved Lucy to her own crib around that time and she started sleeping better (was she smelling my milk before? who knows). But I’m not sure I’m ready for Gwen to not be sleeping next to me, so I hope this passes soon!

  6. luisa says

    God bless you girl!!!!!!! I unite myself to your suffering. Have you seen the trailer to Mary of Nazareth? I wish they had shown her putting Jesus in time out, or him throwing a tantrum, but otherwise it was really moving to see Our Lady sharing her time with her child, just like we do. I wonder if he did do time-out merited behavior? Or if she ever felt tired and drained from his toddlerhood? I guess it is interesting that those baby and toddler years are not one of her seven sorrows.

    I hope you felt strength at the end of your day and not discouragement from the crazy night? I will pray for you!

  7. Emilie says

    Thank you so much for that post, Haley! I am expecting baby number 3 in 7 weeks and I have 2 boys aged 3.5 and almost 2 so I’m expecting this to be my life soon! Good to hear that chaos is normal too 🙂 Thanks again!

  8. says

    I hope the semi-disaster is normal, because it’s absolutely my life. Was it you that recommended the book, What Mothers Do (Especially When It Looks Like Nothing)? Must not have been, because I’ve just started the chapter on being exhausted all the time because the baby isn’t sleeping, and it was super helpful – can I recommend it to you? It’s really very good. Not in a “this is how to fix it” way, but in a “this is how to have a different perspective that makes it easier to live with” way. I especially love it because it is a book that recognizes the value of what mothers do, without making me feel super angry that society as a whole values us so little. So I come away with a much better perspective.

  9. says

    Thank you for sharing. There is something about the constant clean-up that makes me get upset (just about right before dinner) when husband (if not gone for work) is about to come home. I’ve 5 kiddos ages 7, 5, 3, 1.5, and I’m 18 weeks pregnant. So much fun, so many tantrums from the older ones, so cute when play…so would not change anything!
    Love the extra bed in the girls’ room to nurse Baby and try to sleep. It seems that the older all my babies got, the more they nursed, waking a out the same amount as your little one. Thank goodness for coffee and being able to stay at home.

    • Haley says

      “Thank goodness for coffee and being able to stay at home.”
      Ain’t that the truth! I remember working full-time when Benjamin was a baby and wouldn’t sleep. So much harder than being home with three! Moms who work amaze me. I was terrible at it!

      • says

        (I really should start checking the “notify of follow-up comments” button on blogs…)
        My little ones started sleeping better around 4.5 to 5 months. I’d say it probably took me about 6 months to start really feeling comfortable having three little ones (and I’ve only just in the last few months started taking all three out by myself, it’s still not something I really look forward too…). Hang in there, it does get better and easier!

    • Haley says

      Haha. Well the day was way more productive than usual, promise! But as I was writing it down, I realized that every day is probably more productive than I realize. Make a list of what you do just taking care of Dax. You’ll probably be super impressed with yourself.

  10. Alicia says

    My kids are 17 months (today!), 3-come-December, and just-turned-5. . .I understand every. single. thing. you wrote, honestly–especially the cleaning-all-day-and-it’s-still-a-disaster-area. Guess what, though–today, we spent 2-and-a-half hours playing and picnic-lunching in the back yard, and for part of that time (between pushing swings, chasing teeballs, and serving up lunch) I was able to just SIT in the breezy sunshine (with, of course, the obligatory seven-course sand-table meal to consume every few minutes). I’m counting on those moments increasing when my littlest guy stops trying to eat spiderwebs and stagnant rainwater from the last month. 🙂

  11. says

    I have thrown at least a dozen onesies away that I just couldn’t muster up the courage to clean (guess that’s okay over the course of four little ones, right?)

    Also, I always find that those crazy, sleepless spurts only last a week at most. So, I have learned to remind myself as much when I am in the midst of it.

    Also, gabe dropped his nap early (right at three, if in recall correctly) but if I ever needed him to nap (like when I was pregnant with Titus), I learned that I could lay with him and drape my arm over him, and only then could he shut his body down enough to fall asleep. H is not a big sleeper either, though, and didn’t nap at all at four.

    • Haley says

      Only a dozen over FOUR boys?! I’m impressed, mama.

      The sleeping has gotten a teensy bit better. I’m kind of wondering if there’s a stealth ear infection or something going on. She has her 4 mo check up tomorrow so I guess we’ll find out then. The napping beside Benjamin does work sometimes! I should remember that now that Gwen can sleep in the co-sleeper during nap pretty well.

      B LOVED his postcard from Gabe today 🙂 I really want to take the kids to St. Augustine to see the pirate museum and the Our Lady of La Leche shrine. Then the boys could hang out and be hilarious together!

  12. says

    Love reading these peek-into-life type posts. I only have one baby (she’s 7 months old) but it’s rare for her to sleep longer than a two hour stretch. She wakes 10 times a night! Co-sleeping, the flexibility of staying at home, and coffee are essential! Go you for keeping your older littles so well occupied 🙂

    p.s. what’d you think about that version of Great Expectations?? I really liked it, but I’ve pretty much always loved the story.

    • Haley says

      That was Lucy! She was a great sleeper at first and then things went downhill. By the time I was pregnant again when she was 10 mo she started only waking twice a night and I was soooo grateful. And you are so right. It’s such a blessing to get to stay home. When I was working full-time when Benjamin was a baby it was so much harder.

      I thought GE was really good, too! I’ve never liked the story much but I think seeing this version helped me understand it better and see some themes I didn’t grasp when I read it. And Gillian Anderson was such a good Miss Havisham!

      • says

        So good to hear there’s hope for our sleepless wonder! And I totally agree that Gillian made a stellar Havashim. Sure, she’s way young. True, the show took liberties. She received a lot of flack from diehard Dickens fans, but I for one enjoyed it. Apparently Helena Bonham Carter is playing Havashim in an upcoming rendition, which I’m nerdily stoked for 🙂

  13. says

    There are lots of things to comment on, but the one thing that jumped out at me is HOW MUCH YOUR GWEN SLEEPS. Oh, in my wildest dreams would my daughter sleep for 14 hours in one 24-hour period! My daughter is only a couple of months older than yours (she just turned two), and I am LUCKY if she sleeps 12 hours total — I usually have to settle with 11. (9ish at night, 2 during the day). It’s been this way for months and months already. I have tried EVERYTHING to get her to sleep more, to no avail. But the thing is, she doesn’t seem to be deprived. So I’ve resigned myself to the fact that she just doesn’t need as much sleep as other kids. Maybe Benjamin is the same? I am absolutely certain my daughter won’t be napping by four.

    I only have one kid, and I’m generally just as tired (she still wakes up 2-4 times a night) and much less productive. Sounds like you’re doing amazing!

    • Haley says

      We have seriously been so lucky with Lucy’s awesome sleeping. I mean…it’s not perfect. She cries out usually twice in the night (doesn’t always need us to go in there, but loud enough to wake us up.) But she falls asleep easily and always has. I think I wouldn’t be so concerned about Benjamin’s sleeping if he seemed rested, but most of the time he really seems TIRED. And there’s such a difference in behavior when he actually sleeps until 7am or if he gets a nap and the horrible meltdowns that occur when he doesn’t. Eventually he’ll be a teenager and I’ll have to wake him up in the morning, right? 🙂 And I’m loving your blog these days, btw!

    • Haley says

      Haha, I should have clarified. Lucy falls asleep around 7:30. Benjamin is usually still awake until after 9pm. He has the hardest time falling asleep!

  14. Renee.S says

    My son is a day younger than Gwen and he’s pulling the same nonsense at night. He went from sleeping through the night to up all night. Just started it this week. I think it has to do with teething. I feel you…

  15. says

    Baaaahahaha – consider pretending not to notice the dirty diaper because hubby’s almost home. Guilty! Sometimes it IS right when he gets home, so he’s the lucky one, but mostly I mature up like you did here. Laughed at the onesie touch =). Great idea to chronicle everything – I think my family would love this from me!

  16. says

    I read this and oh so totally had flashbacks to my own 3 under 5 days (which weren’t so long ago). Whenever people ask how we survived those days, I know it is because we had the “wisdom” (ha ha!) to have an older kiddo 😉 Seriously, if it weren’t for a doting older sister (who is almost five years older than my next one in line) to hand a baby to or help make a sandwich or escort a younger sibling to the potty … well, my days would have been much more hectic.

    Which is my long rambling way of saying I’m SO glad that you got a couple of hours out with your friend, because I know that is the kind of things that helps a busy mama stay a happy mama 🙂 You’re rocking this 3 under 5 thing – you totally are!

    Loved reading this! Thanks for taking the time to write it all out!

    • Haley says

      You are so sweet, Kara! I know I couldn’t do it without having family in town so that we can have a weekly date night and not lose our minds 🙂 And you are super wise for having that amazing oldest daughter! I long for the day that Benjamin can babysit and change diapers, haha. He does do a great job of keeping his sisters happy when they’re fussy, though, and I’m ever so grateful.

  17. Leigh says

    Thanks. I did this last week with my three kids (4, 2, 6 weeks) having not done it since I was pregnant with #2.
    Sleep. My four year old will snuggle down to sleep watching my TV for a nap, which gets our snuggles in (which he also needs) and my TV watching all in one go. But the other two need to be chill and out of the way and that is hard. We have also been doing “snuggling the baby to sleep” to get him still long enough to fall asleep, both for nap and bedtime.
    I love the no screen until after nap.

    • Haley says

      The no screen til after nap is magical. Now that I’m not pregnant and feel more confident about taking all three kids out and about, running them ragged at the park or the museum in the morning, home for lunch and nap/quiet time, and then a little bit of screen time while I tidy up/prep dinner/blog is really working out as a routine. If I start the day with a movie, it’s game over and whining for the rest of the day!

      So fun that our kids’ ages are so similar!

  18. April says

    1. Can’t wait for the ebook!
    2. Re: 11:06, I sure hope that’s normal. That’s certainly my everyday.
    3. My 4 year old (well, 4 next week) has almost the same sleeping schedule as Benjamin. It’s so frustrating! We can’t make them sleep, even though we KNOW they need it. He’ll crash for naps a couple of times a week, but it’s so hard to see him so tired. Please let us know if you find a solution!

    • Haley says

      I will definitely let you know if I discover the magical solution to the sleep thing! He took a nap today and was just a joy to be around. It makes all the difference in the world for him.

  19. Racheal says

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now (recommended by several friends of mine), and I just want to say that I’ve been so encouraged by your writing! My husband and I are expecting our first baby in a few months and it’s so refreshing to hear about motherhood in such a frank and joyful manner. Thanks for sharing and giving me the courage to raise my own little sweetie!

  20. says

    5:25pm She’s still not happy and I realize she has a massive diaper explosion. I consider pretending I didn’t realize since Daniel is almost home…..but, I do the grown-up thing and get her cleaned up. And then I act extra mature and just throw away her onesie that’s now dripping with poop.

    hahaha this has happened here more than once. Good call.

    Also, I have no clue why I never thought of it before but reading about sneaking out of the house for coffee before everyone starts the day was like a revelation!

    • Haley says

      It’s really nice on the days I can do that. Only happens maybe once a week but I feel a lot more engaged with the kids when I can start out with a deep breath 🙂

  21. LPatter says

    This was fun, I appreciated the snake episode, and I have the same limit on tv. I also have a sweet boy who has a fightin streak (5 now but 3-4 were atrocious – we’re getting better after some really really tough incidents) – it’s like he’s 97% heart and 3% stubborn-dig-heels-in-hell-bent-on-his-way-or-the-highway. Sigh. It’s so hard to remember how awesome his personality is when so much energy is expended on the incidents.

    I love reading about Gwen, and for someone who does have baby fever (and has for awhile – mine comes around walking time!), it was good perspective to remember how physically limiting that early baby phase can be as well (although I am thoroughly impressed with your balance of presence to your kids and productivity at household things).

    Thanks for sharing this snipet!

    • Haley says

      Ah, I’m glad you understand! Sometimes I just sigh to Daniel, “He made the day so hard for himself when it could have been so fun!” Four has certainly been easier than three (for the most part) and I have high hopes for five 🙂

  22. says

    You asked for sleeping advice for the four year old. I stopped having all my children (5) stop taking naps between three and four years old. Once they couldn’t go to sleep until 8:30 or later after a nap, that was it! We needed our adult time. My just turned three year old no longer takes naps. She goes to be at 6:30 and wakes up at 7:30. We will gradually extend the bedtime until at 41/2 she will go to bed at 7:30 and it will stay that way until she’s 10. My 41/2 year old has trouble going to sleep. Our routine is story in bed with a flashlight to get the melatonin going. There are shutters and blackout drapes on the window. Then I put instrumental lullaby music on the ipad and rub her tummy slowly for about 15 minutes. I then say time to sleep and I lay in the bed until she does. Normally, it takes about 5 more minutes. We have tried EVERYTHING with her. Many things worked for a few days, but this seems to be the ONLY thing that works consistently. Bedtime used to be a nightmare!

    • Haley says

      Maybe a more extensive bedtime routine would be helpful. Because even if we put him to bed at 6:30, he’s not asleep until 9. His nighttime sleeping hours always stay the same whether he takes a nap or not ; /

  23. says

    I loved reading this! I feel it’s a glimpse into the Middaugh’s future. But oh good heavens, I need a nap after reading it. I love how intentional you are with raising those sweet little ones!

    • Haley says

      Thank you so much, Summer! After I posted it, I thought…I hope that wasn’t too much of a downer. Did I ever mention that it was really fun hanging out with them? haha

  24. Chrissy says

    I remember those days and they went by way too fast. Now my 7-yr-old is quietly doing math problems at the kitchen table (“Don’t watch me do them, mommy. I need privacy.”) and my 3-yr-old is at playschool for a couple of hours. It seems way too quiet.

    Oh, and my house is still a filthy, filthy mess. XD

    • Haley says

      I really need to remember that wisdom that the days will go by fast and that Benjamin will not always be calling me in for extra snuggles at bedtime 🙂

  25. says

    “I kind of clean up all day and it’s always a semi-disaster everywhere. Is that normal?”

    Yes, yes, yes!!! 2.5 yr old, 14 mth old and 11 weeks pregnant. It is constant motion of clean and dirty, dirty, dirty, and clean! and dirty, dirty, dirty.

    P.S. “Ya’ll” is all I know… “you guys” makes me wiggle in my skin and I feel like…I just don’t even know…like I can’t carry a conversation because, please, just say: ya’ll. 🙂 Did I mention I’m born, raised, and rooted in Louisiana? Yep. ‘Splains it all!

  26. says

    P.S. x2
    Wait, and how many times every day do I tell my husband I miss him…oh the text messages are outrageous. How the man gets work done while his endearing (but pesky) wife reaches for attention, I will never know. But, Lawd!, his work days are too long. *sigh*

  27. Regina says

    Wow! Way to go mama. I only have two a three year old and 18 month old. It’s opposite my daughter is all demanding and my son is so chill. It make me worry about when to have a third. My daughter started sleeping in her room and crib at 6 weeks. She just wanted some space and quiet away from her not yet 2 brother. I nursed until she was 1 but she just wasn’t sleeping and boy did that change things! Also once I figured she wanted to be in bed by 6:45 pm helped a lot. I was so terrified she would want to have a party but she slept until 5 am. I think that is where having more than one child makes figuring things out harder because we compare to what we did with the other. (At least I did). So now my 3 year old has to wake up and go potty 2-3 times a night. I’m just to the conclusion parents don’t sleep until their kids are married ;). Good luck ad love your blog

    • Haley says

      I think I’m resigned to the no sleep thing now 🙂 Haha. And I don’t know if this would work for your little one, but friends of mine kept a little kids potty in their child’s room for them to use in the middle of the night instead of leaving their room. We never did that with Benjamin because he didn’t wake up in the middle of the night very much after age 2 and I had a horrible mental image of him spilling potty contents everywhere and waking me to clean it up, haha.

  28. Jessica says

    I loved this post! Our families are somewhat similar kid-wise, I have a very spirited 5 year old daughter, an almost 3 year old son, and a sweet baby girl that just tuned 4 months (who also just started waking up to nurse more frequently). Your day sounded very familiar!
    I just started reading your blog and love it. 🙂

  29. says

    Love the “day in the life” concept. So often we discuss our days in generalities or little snipits here and there, and I really enjoyed seeing how another mom handles things (in detail). I could totally relate to Benjamin not taking the instruction to be quiet so you can nurse well. Nothing seems to inspire loud and obnoxious behavior in my 3 year old like asking him to play quietly for a few minutes so I can settle his baby brother down. Glad I’m not the only one. Regarding Gwen (who by the way is ridiculously adorable) not sleeping well at night, my 6 month old just had a bout of waking a lot at night, and then we discovered he had an ear infection. I believe your family was sick recently, so I was wondering if it might be the same thing for Gwen. Anyway, thanks for another great post. Keep up the great work mama!

    • Haley says

      I’m glad you mentioned the ear infection thing! She has her 4mo check up tomorrow and I’m gonna have them check out those ears!

  30. Ashley says

    I love your blog and your positive approach to family life. I was wondering whether you ever have read the website “aha parenting” or the book Playful Parenting? They offer lots of resources for getting to the bottom of tantrums and challenging behavior in a way that preserves or enhances the parent-child bond. Aha Parenting also has non-CIO sleep advice, if you are interested in that (I haven’t tried it, as going with the nighttime flow is what works for me). From what I have seen of your blog, it seems that these approaches might be somewhat of a fit for you. Best wishes!

  31. Ashley says

    Ps–those resource suggestions were not at all intended as a criticism of anything you are currently doing. I just wanted to pass along some info that has been helpful to me and that I thought might interest you as well.

  32. Danielle says

    Hello and thank you for this post! I just found out today I’m pregnant with #3 and feeling slightly overwhelmed. I have a 3 amd 1.5 yr old boys who are already a handful. I’m curious what home school curriculum you use as I am going to be doing that myself and not really quite sure where to start.

  33. Nicole says

    I know this is three years old. But I found it today when I was searching for validation in the throes of my isolated insane day. Thank you. I needed post. It dusted me off and sent me back to my tasks. I have a 4y, 2yr, newborn. And just moved from AZ to WA three weeks ago. Kids are homeschooled cloth diapered no technology and fed home cooked food. Thank you for sharing your day post it made me feel like ok other ppl are doing this and are alive. I can too. 🙂

    • Danielle Zelke says

      Same here!! 4 yrs old, 2 yrs old and 6 month old.. all boys! We are homeschooling and eat organic, home cooked meals.. soon to be home grown meals too since we just purchased a home with 1.5 acres and plan to have goats, chickens, fruit trees, vegetable garden etc. Some days are tough, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! Just wish I could find more families like ours in our area 🙂

    • Haley says

      I’m glad it was helpful, Nicole! Life is a LOT easier now that I have a 3yo, a 4yo, and a 7yo! You can do it 😉

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