For awhile now I've been feeling like my days at home with the kids were getting more and more unstructured. Rather then being the one in control it seemed like I was just following along with whatever they had planned for the day or putting video in for them for lack of a better plan.
Proverbs 21:5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
I was neither planning well or working hard (in the important areas) and I could feel it in my spirit! Dave and I talked through what I had been struggling with and he sat down with me one day and we together created a schedule of our day. It gave me a plan to follow and I knew without a doubt that I was raising our kids and investing in them in ways that were pleasing to Dave. It really helped to relieve some stress and anxiety I was dealing with!
(**at this point in our lives most days follow the exact same schedule. This will be adjusted as needed!)
7:30 Get kids up
7:45-8:30 Breakfast (this may seem like a long time, but most days our kids are really slow breakfast eaters! This works great for us, because it allows them time to visit together and for my daycare kids to arrive.)
8:30-9:00 Get kids dressed, hair combed, pj's cleaned up
9:00-9:45 Girls: Blanket time, Mom's quiet time
Babies: Nap until 10:15
9:45-10:15 Focused activity with the girls. I.E. Play-doh, board games, craft project, biking up and down the front walk, baking, sidewalk chalk, etc.
10:15-10:30 Babies up; snack time
10:30-10:45 Girls: Quiet box time**
Babies: Blanket time training
10:45-11:00 Music/Story time
11:00-11:30 Free play
11:30-12:00 Clean Up/Cartoons
12:30-2:30 Naps for Braelyn and younger, Eden: rest time and quiet play
2:30-3:30 Free play (outside if at all possible)
3:30-3:45 Afternoon snack and Daddy home!!
**A quiet box is something I created for the girls. I needed an activity for them to do independently so I could have some focused time with the babies. Their boxes include linking rings to make necklaces, coloring book, activity book, puzzle, notebook, markers, scissors, glue stick, stickers, etc. They LOVE them and it has worked great! I'll try and do another post soon explaining blanket time. That's a whole post in and of itself!
Aside from planning my day with the kids, I planned specific chores for myself to complete each day.
Monday: Laundry (clothes)
Tuesday: Laundry (towels and linens)
The biggest thing for me has been the laundry. I now get all my laundry done in two days (washed, folded and put away!!) I don't even have to think about laundry for 6 more days. I used to always feel as if it was piling up and that I was always behind. Now if the baskets are getting full I don't even give it a second thought because it will all get done on Monday!
We also created chores for our 18 year old. I was tired of nagging her to get stuff done. Now it is written down and if she doesn't complete it she gets a consequence because she can't claim she didn't know or forgot. Totally removed a struggle or nagging! Love it!
Tuesday: All garbages in the house emptied
Wednesday: Deep clean her bathroom
Thursday: Vacuum basement
Saturday: Light clean of her bathroom
Now, things do come up and I need to deviate from the schedule. I am OK with this! I tend to get a bit rigid and feel like a failure if I don't do exactly what is expected or planned, but this has been an excellent lesson in letting things go and seeing the whole picture rather then a few minute slot! It has also helped to keep the day from feeling like it is dragging on because we are changing activities every 15-30 minutes regardless of how much fun they are having. I love it!