Family Schedules

Bismillah,

GOOD MORNING FROM JAKARTA!

(yes, I am on mudik mode now, so please excuse a might-be-too-friendly cheery greeting lol)

Anyway, no. Not going to talk about our traveling experience (yet) because it was nothing but tiring. So there — it should sum it up nicely. Let me just write about something that has been sitting in my drafts for God knows how long.

I was struggling to find a good title and decided to just heck it and used whatever title came to my mind first — apologize for a very uninspiring one.

So ever since we settled on our routine after our youngest is done with his Eingewohnung in the KiTa, life has been going on pretty much as per usual. We have a schedule that works with us for most of the day, and we thought it will be beneficial to share!

Morning routine

Our KiTa closes pretty early in the afternoon, unlike others. On Mondays, it closes around 3.30 pm, while on other days, it’s 4.30 pm. Since one of us needs to pick up the kids, we need to work on our working schedule, e.g coming to the office earlier so we can leave earlier as well. It used to be me that took the morning shift but I was struggling with this arrangement since I ended up leaving not so early due to another morning schedules – hence I ended up with extra working time in the evening which didn’t help with my mental state at all. After a few weeks of it, we decided that it’s better if Husband takes the morning shift in the office and pick up the kids in the afternoon.

So, this is what our morning looking like:

  • Husband has breakfast, prepares his lunch, and leaves the house to be able to reach his office at 7 am.
  • I wake the kids up at 7 am, serve their breakfast and change their clothes.
  • We leave the house at 8 am and cycle to the KiTa.

After I drop the kids off at the KiTa, I am off to the office.

Office routine

When I reach office, it’s usually already 9-9.30 am. I will check my emails and any other pending tasks from yesterday before move on to the next tasks on my list. Lunchtime is usually at 12 pm, so I will have my lunch box ready by then. Since I don’t need a full hour to have my lunch, I usually take the extra 30 mins to update my journal and read some news. After lunchtime, it will be another 10 mins break since I need to do Zuhur. And after that, work as per usual.

Since Husband starts work early, he will pick up the kids by 3.30 or 4.30 pm depends on the day. We are maximizing the time the kids spend at the KiTa so we can finish our work in the office and leave it there. The kids will have some afternoon snack while cycling home and it is usually enough until I am home and it’s dinner time.

Afternoon and night routine

Once the kids are home, they will have a 1-2 hour break and some play time before taking a bath and preparing to have dinner. I usually reach home by 6.30 pm and by then, the kids are already in their pajamas and ready to have dinner together.

We will have our dinner together – and after dinner, it will be Isya or Maghrib for the boys at home or at the mosque (depends on the season). Soon after, it’s bedtime for the kids. Z is still sleeping with Husband and they will read some books before succumbs to sleep. Meanwhile, M who still nurses to sleep will be glued to me.

After the kids are asleep, if we still have house chores to do, then we will do them. I will also cook for tomorrow’s menu if I am not too tired.

***

Our daily schedule has been working great so far with some exceptions when one of us is sick or when the KiTa needs to close early. We figure out some tricks to help with this when we hit rough patches.

  • Always, always take note of important dates that require you to adjust your schedules. Put them somewhere online and share them with your husband/wife. In our case, we use Google Calendar.
  • Plan your work meetings accordingly. Due to my nature of work, sometimes I will have an on-duty schedule or a catch up with my colleagues who live in a different time zone with me. Hence I try my best to have them after the kids are asleep or even before we start our morning schedule.
  • Don’t bring the work home. Unless it’s really, really necessary, try to finish your work in the office and do not ever bring them home. Your family needs quality time with you.
  • Stock on multivitamin and probiotics.
  • Manage the expectations with your managers. As parents, there will be a time when you will be needed to work from home due to anything less than ideal. It’s better to be upfront with what’s expected from you.
  • Don’t forget the time for yourself. Before you are a parent, a worker and a husband/wife, you used to have your own interests and life. Keep the sparks and creativity alive. Read books. Write a journal. Anything that can keep you happy.
  • Make time for a family holiday. This will sound cliche, but please, please have a holiday at least once every 3 months. It doesn’t need to be a long one. A weekend gateway (+1-2 days) will suffice. Break away from the schedule. Plug off your work laptop. Make memories 🙂

By having schedule and coordination, we manage to survive Berlin life for almost 2 years now. This routine will change again once Z enters primary school, but for now, it works well thankfully.

Hope this will be useful for everyone else!

 

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