Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our Routine

So in a an attempt to calm down the kids (who officially joined the ranks of completely out of control monsters about a month ago)...we developed a schedule for the day.  I brainstormed with the kids last week and came up with a collaborative list of things we wanted to do during the day.

I took the list of things the kids suggested, tweaked it a little bit and made a nice color coded schedule that is about to be hanging in the dining room.  We started using it last week - almost everyday and this week we followed it almost exactly on Monday and Tuesday.  I noticed a couple of really interesting things....

1.  Alex was about 80% happier (right like I can quantify the 80%...you get what I mean though!) and more joyful during the days we followed the routine.  Yes...yes...I know we knew before we brought our girls home that we needed more routine.  The girls didn't freak out or breakdown from our somewhat unregimented lifestyle so there was never any immediacy to making our routine.   But I could kick myself now for not starting something this regimented years ago!

2.  When I am focussed on following our schedule and getting the educational/fun activities going - I really lose most of my get everything done freak-out ness that I am so famous for in certain circles (ummmm meaning with my husband!). 

Today, our babysitter came and I took a nap when I got home (I am working nights this week),  then Keith and I went out to lunch and ran some errands so we dropped the ball on the schedule.  Alex asked about the activities she missed today....no art time or geography.  Ben was very concerned about missing morning snack.  I think it is pretty sad that it is our biologic son that has a dysfunctional relationship with food!

I am going to head to bed tonight as early as possible so I can get back on the schedule for tomorrow.  It is really, really working out good.  I am so excited to start our full on homeschooling in August! 

This schedule thing works so much better than I thought it would!  Amazingly it has helped me too.  I have more patience with the kids when the kids know what is next and they move on to it with less chaos.  I am able to let go a lot more of the millions of chores I just can't get to in a day.  Historically, I can overlook undone mom chores for a couple of days but it makes me anxious to see the pile of clean laundry I have to put away or the books sitting on the floor that need to be put up.  I get anxious when my house is messy...I just do and with the schedule I can handle it a lot better.  I don't feel that constant underlying anxiety of chores undone.

I know I can't get to everything I have to do in a day....all my chores, all of the things I want to do with my kids.  In the past, without a schedule I think I did more chores and let go of the plans I had of things to do with my kids because it is easier to quantify a chore being done.  I can see that there are no clean clothes sitting on the couch waiting to be put away.  You can't see the hour you missed out on watching you tube videos of the national anthems of the African countries whose flags your kids just drew and colored.  Having a schedule where the intangible is made tangible has really changed my life.   I feel like a better mom!  LOVE the schedule!

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