Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So it turns out I'm a schedule person

So old news: sometimes I feel overwhelmed. Very old news: all moms do. I have been trying to figure out a way to to handle everything, and I thought back to a time in my life where I was crazy busy. It was my first two years of college. I was going to school full-time, five days a week, and working three part-time jobs. Not to toot my own horn, but I thrived. My grades were perfect, and I was always on time, never called in, never got sick!, and actually rarely felt stressed. I attribute all this to the fact that I was ridiculously organized and felt "put-together".

Being a stay-at-home mom, sometimes I just try to go with the flow and do whatever I can during the day. But almost always, I forget about important things and, as a result, find myself frustrated trying to make it until bedtime. I decided to test out an idea of putting myself back on a schedule. I just needed to become more organized.

So I thought long and hard about what would work best for us. I typed it in pretty colors, hung it on our wall where every one can see it, and I'm sharing it with you. Here is what our daily schedule looks like...and some notes below. 
Our Day

7-8:                  Breakfast, movie, bathroom
8-9:                  Changes, laundry, play
9-10:               Daily chore, Huck's nap, play
10-11:            Errands, visits
11-12:            Lunch
12-2:               Nap and quiet time
2-3:                   Snack, errands
3-4:                   Play time, Huck's nap
4-5:                   Make dinner and tidy
5-6:                   Dinner and clean-up
6-7:                   Wind down, get ready for bed
7:30:                Bedtime

Daily Chore:
Mon:          Kitchen
Tues:        Little Olive's room
Wed:         Bathroom
Thurs:      Our room
Fri:              Dining room
Sat:            Living room

Every day, no matter what:
Give lots of hugs and kisses

My thoughts:
1) We don't follow it to a T every single day. For example, sometimes we visit with friends and family longer in the morning, or we completely switch things up and go in the afternoon. Some days we have no errands to run at all, so we end up filling those slots with other things. And some days we start off following it, ignore it for a few hours, then get back on track later. It has just helped me break down the day into do-able sections. I know what needs to (or can) get done within a certain time-frame, and it puts my mind at ease.

2) Little Olive has been doing so, so well these past two weeks. That's when we started following this schedule. I honestly believe that children need not only limits, but also a schedule. It helps them get a handle on life instead of not knowing what comes next. That can be distressing. (Heck, if it's stressful to us, imagine what it does to their little minds.)

3) The schedule has seemed to help me be more patient and include Little Olive more. She knows that when it's time for our daily chore, she can help me. Together we work on the same room instead of me doing all the work and her "getting in the way" and frustrating me.

4) The reason I picked one room every day to clean is because I turn into a crazy person trying to keep my whole house clean, all day, every day. It's such a relief looking at the dining room today and thinking, "I'll do that Friday. Don't stress about it now. Focus on the bathroom."

5) This schedule has actually given me more time to spend with my kids. I write down things during the morning that I want to get done during naptime. This way, I'm not on my phone, computer, or Facebook allll day long. After lunch, Little Olive goes up to her room. She plays quietly or sleeps so I can do work-type stuff.

I'm sure it will need tweaking as the children grow and their needs change. But for now, this really works for us. If you feel drawn to try it out in your home, I highly recommend it.


LuAnn said...

I love schedules too, they're kind of like goals. Just like you've already seen, it can bring real harmony to your life. I always need to remind myself: I'm in charge of the schedule, it's not in charge of me! If I need to change it, I do. If I really need to hold to it or lose my mind, then I do! The great thing about your schedule is that it's YOUR schedule!

Amanda said...

We do something very similar with schedules for the kids and cleaning. We found Lena and I needed it and it works great. When we get "off track" is when it gets chaotic. Kids love boundaries and knowing what to expect...your doing your kids such a favor by following your heart!