Digital Nomad Life: Family Routine
While travelling the world in a campervan with a toddler and a puppy, constantly crossing time zones, visiting new places and working on our new businesses, is every day a chaotic mess of, whatever happens, happens?... Actually, no.
While the wild days of adventure might seem cool, a hungry toddler, hyper puppy, and a stressed-out mummy do not work in a small space, especially while poor Chris is coding 3D geometry in the corner.
Essentially, because we have no childcare when out in the van, our routine revolves around who needs to work. I do 2 days a week and Chris works 3-4, then we get a sightseeing day altogether. When daddy is working, our daughter Freya has a mummy day and vice versa. This ensures the person working gets solid sets of time to work and doesn't have to worry about dipping in and out of household tasks during their 'work time'.
On a typical day when we're not sightseeing, the average family side of the routine looks like this:
Wake up 7am
Freya usually wakes up around 7am. If it's earlier and we can’t convince her to go back to sleep, then she gets to play in her room until the ‘Sun’ is awake. The ‘Sun’ being a digital star/sun app on a phone we place next to her door, which we set to our own timer. This means that wherever we are in the world and no matter the time zone we are in, we can consistently ‘set’ the ‘sunrise’ (when we get up for the day) to what we want it to be. This also helps us slowly adjust all our body clocks as we cross new time zones.
Outside time 9am – 11am
A long morning walk with puppy or get the bikes out and ride to the local town. Freya gets cabin fever without going out for 1 or 2 walks a day, so whatever the weather, we're out in the morning!
Lunch 11.30am - 12pm
We all eat lunch together. No phones allowed! Sometimes we go to a local picnic spot or take food to a close viewpoint. One of the main advantages of choosing the hours we work.
Nap/Quiet time - 12pm to 1pm
Freya is just dropping her nap, so has quiet time here instead, where the parent gets to chill out too!
Playtime 1pm – 4pm
Here we do more outdoor time or quiet crafts/games inside, weather depending.
TV time 4pm - 5pm
Here Freya usually gets an hour of TV time while the parent cooks and cleans. I love watching cooking shows while cooking, so it's time for the parent to chill again too, but sometimes she joins in if it's something easy she can help with.
Dinner 5pm – 6pm
All eat together again, inside or out.
Quiet playtime 6pm – 7pm
Bedtime & stop work time 7pm
To stop ourselves working till the early hours, we created a hard rule on stopping work at 7pm and now alternate who gets to put Freya to bed vs walking the dog and washing the pots from dinner as we wind down at night.
Adult time! 7pm – 9pm
Now we get to do all those things we can’t do while Freya is awake! Like have an uninterrupted conversation and play video games!
This is our bedtime, if we want a decent 8-hour sleep, but it's more of an optimistic goal… still working on that one...
When out and about, this routine still works great even if the times are more flexible. Plus, now Freya is older, we don’t need to worry about midday nap times anymore, which means we can go on full day-trips and see much more of the places we visit. Yay!
Funnily enough, our puppy Eva has happily fallen in line with this routine really well. Happy accident!
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