Friday, February 3, 2012

To Schedule or Not to Schedule.....

Schedules had always been a huge part of my life.

If you have followed me here, you know that my day has always been dictated by a schedule- a rather rigid schedule.

And when you only have one child, it is easy to maintain that schedule.

Until Baby #2 arrives.

And that is when you have to weigh the importance of a rigid schedule vs. a flexible routine.

Soon after Ian was born, my goal was to get him on a schedule so that I could fit the rest of my life into a well laid format.

Eat breakfast at this time.
School time at that time.
Playtime fits here.
Laundry fits there.

Funny thing is, potty breaks can't be scheduled.
Explosive diapers always take more time to change than just wet ones.
And proactive parenting- well, we just don't want to put time limits on that.

And as I was running around trying to take care of all of the extras that popped up that were not on the schedule, I would get frustrated because we lost 5 minutes from this activity or 7 minutes from this one- but we needed that seven minutes so we'll have to take seven minutes from the next part of our schedule to accomodate because, unlike the government which can just create more money to make up for the funds they are lacking, we cannot create more time.

Then in Sunday school (Life Group) two weeks ago, I had a light bulb moment. Actually, it was such a convicting moment that I felt as if God had smacked me upside the head.

"When we are patient, we acknowledge that relationships are more important than schedules. The surprise is that when we put relationships first and exercise patience at home and in the workplace, our productivity and quality of work actually increases."

I immediately decided to forgo the printed out schedule for our day that was hanging on the fridge (in fact, I crumpled it up and threw it out) and to change my outlook on how our day was run.

Yes, there is still  a schedule in place. It is called "Ian's Feeding Schedule and Addie's Nap and Bedtime Schedule."  It begins at 7:30 a.m. and continues at designated times through out the day. As for the rest of it, it is becoming a flexible routine.

Addie has her morning jobs- make her bed, brush her teeth, and get dressed.

I have mine- get everything Brian needs for work together, feed the kids, get a load of laundry going, clean up from breakfast (Addie puts her own dishes in the sink), and have school time with Addie.

I have begun making a list at the beginning of the week of all of the things I would like to accomplish for the week and choosing 2 or 3 items to work on each day..... if I have time. 

Last week, Ian was sick- his first cold. Holding him and keeping him comfortable was more imortant to me than crossing the items off of my list.

Brian stayed home on Tuesday due to lack of sleep because it was hard to sleep when all you could hear was the congested breathing of a 4 month old. Spending time with him, making him a great lunch, and making sure he had time to rest was at the top of my list of things to do that day, so there was no blog post on Wednesday.

There are seasons in our lives. Some things we do at one point work beautifully until that season passes. We need to be willing to change with those seasons. Right now, my season of rigid schedules has passed, and I am in the season of flexible routines. In the course of time, this season of routine will pass, and we, as a family, will need to change with that season in order for our home to run smoothly and to ensure that my children have me and my time.

I'll leave you with this quote that a friend pinned on Pintrest:

I hope my children look back on today
And see a mother who had time to play.
There will be years for cleaning and cooking.....
For children grow up when we're not looking.


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