I love schedules. I love making them, I love writing them, and I love checking things off of them. When you have a big family, things have to be written down to get done! I think it is because our active brain capacity is maxed out after the second child. Once you have to maintain more than four people’s schedules in your mind, hard copy works best. So with eight bodies at our house, I like schedules.
I just made our summer schedule, and it’s definitely different than during the school year. We like less rigidity in the summer, but there are still household chores and responsibilities like tending the garden, weeding, practicing piano, swimming lessons – you know the routine. Of course, there are all of the fun things we want to fit into our schedule like camping, friends, cousins, star watching, BBQs, the library, and vacations. Then there are the projects: house projects, art projects, organizing projects – all those things we wait to do until summer. As moms, we also wake up each day to face our own schedule of responsibilities. There are the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning, the errands, and the meals. However, we still mustn’t forget story time, nap time, quiet time, play time, as well as some teaching time.
Even though we know it can’t be, we want all these schedules to run perfectly. We want the house perfectly clean, the meals perfectly yummy, the children perfectly dressed, and the schedules perfectly followed. We do our best, and we do a good job, until we wake up to one of those days that completely throws off the schedule.
On Friday, I woke up to two piles of bedding–one fully soaked in pee, and the other fully soaked in throw up. My pregnant nose couldn’t deal with the throw up, so I threw that pile out on the deck to dry out a bit. The laundry was already backed up from the four days I spent at Cub Scout Day Camp, but that bedding needed to be a high priority. Or did we need clean underwear? Then there was the lawn that needed mowing, the garden the needed hoeing, and the children that needed feeding.
At 4:00 pm I started bleeding. My children didn’t know why I was stuck in the bathroom. A miscarriage was not in my schedule. Neither was a trip to the ER, but we made it through that day.
It’s now two days later, and I am holding my little ones as I sit in the sun. (And I’m finally washing that bedding!) My fridge is full of food from loving friends who are also moms. I’m doing well and we’re doing whatever we want to today. The house can wait to be cleaned, but the children can’t wait to be loved. I am finding that it is okay to have days that don’t fit the schedule. We have to flow with them – that’s part of life and it’s part of being a mom. Schedules do help our lives, but LIFE is not about schedules!
QUESTION: How rigidly do you keep to a schedule? Do you feel you need more or less structure to meet your family’s needs?
CHALLENGE: Schedule a time to just BE with your family.
Image by renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.