Now, any mother who has ever tried to do anything with children knows that planning ahead is the difference between chaotic insanity and something productive actually happening. I am a huge fan of Flylady, and have adapted many of her principles to my daily schedule. It basically boils down to loving yourself. It is hard as a mother to even think or function without having a basic grasp on who you are and what your worth is. Now this may sound like a funny way to start a blog post on daily schedules, but bear with me, it will all be clear in a moment. 🙂 A mother’s job is multi-faceted. It doesn’t JUST cover filling the sock drawer, cooking nutritious meals, teaching children phonics, or _________. And I don’t know about you, but as a mother sometimes I seriously struggle with feeling up for even one facet of this job. Some days it’s a battle just to get up out of bed and eat anything some mornings, let alone something nutritionally dense, inexpensive, and well thought out. The biggest thing that has been pressed upon me as a mother is to have a proper view of WHO I AM and what the ultimate goal of my life is…. to praise and love God with my heart, and to love my husband, myself, and my children. Everything else comes below that. Because of this, I’ve had to realize at different times in my life there will be different amounts of “super mom” things that I will be able to do. There is no judgement here. Right now, we are beginning to homeschool 2 children, are in the midst of remodeling our home (we bought a foreclosure that needed serious fixing), and I’m battling to keep my priorities in order. So remembering that I am God’s child, and that He loves me no matter if I’m able to fix a three course breakfast or we run to Wendy’s for burgers for breakfast before grocery shopping at 11:30 is huge. This gives me proper perspective to begin my day.
So now that we have that established, let’s dive in to the logistics of how we get from bed to the school table. Remember, no “formula” works with kids. Every so often I sit down and reflect over what I’m struggling to accomplish and what needs to change to make it happen, or if I just need to let go of it and forget ever accomplishing it. 😉 Ok, here we go:
-We are night owls, so my day usually starts between 7:30-8:30AM when baby wakes up to nurse. After nursing her, I get up and make my bed right away. This is a Flylady idea, and I LOVE IT. The rest of my room might be trashed, but that large flat surface called my bed is neat and tidy. Makes the rest of the room look not as bad. 😉
-Simple Breakfast! We usually keep it simple- cold cereal and milk, yogurt and almonds, or my favorite easy hot breakfast…. rice cooker oatmeal! Fill it up the night before, set the delay timer, and you have hot oatmeal no matter what time you wake up. I am trying to develop the habit that during breakfast we listen to audio Bible or some praise music to start our day with a proper focus.
-Laundry going… I usually start laundry now before the day gets too far along and have wet clothes in the washer at bedtime. I try to “reboot” the laundry around lunch or nap time so it’s dry before dinner, now I just have to figure out how to fold it and put it away before bedtime. 😉
-School time! We have a little table with shelves above it to keep school supplies close by, yet out of little’s reach. I’m still thinking of different time arrangements for how to do school work… our first day we did it all in one chunk. I have also tried doing it in 15-30 minute chunks through out the day, or a larger chunk of time with a few smaller segments. It really depends on what kind of day we are having what method works best.
-Lunch time happens either before, after, or in the midst of school. Flexibility is a mother’s middle name. 😉 We keep it simple as well-leftovers, lunch meat or pb and j sandwiches, or quesadillas are usual fare around here.
-Rest time is my favorite time of day. This is usually around 2-3PM, and it’s an hour where the girls either nap or read quietly in their beds or on the couch. If
they I don’t get this time, the evening usually is much harder to push through. Sometimes we do the read aloud books during this time if my 3 year old doesn’t need to nap. Serious sanity saver, for sure!
-Dinner time is something super simple these days, either a crock pot meal, pasta, a pot of soup, or something frozen I throw in the oven. My kitchen is just getting to the point where I can use it to cook skillet meals or casseroles. I’m very happy about this. There are only so many frozen pizzas and veggie burgers one can take.
-Bedtime routine. Now Flylady also talks about how important this is. It sets the stage for the next day, and gives a nice clean conclusion for the day. Kids also thrive on a certain amount of routine, and this helps get them in bed without pulling out your hair. Pick out your clothes for the next day, find your shoes and keys now if you’re going to be going somewhere in the AM, and think about food for the next day. It sets your mind at ease in the morning, that all these things have already been thought about. Something we also do is a “Toy blitz”. We go around the house and pick up all the toys. It takes 5-10 minutes, and makes the house so much safer and nicer. No legos to step on during your 2AM trip to pick up baby, and a clean slate in the morning to wake up to. Helps my morning mood so much. We read a chapter of Bible on most nights and pray with the girls, sometimes JE will tell them a story, and then they are into bed by 10:30-Midnight.
Tomorrow I’ll go over my approach to toddlers and teaching… and how things have worked for me so far. 🙂