I have been learning the hard way that I forgot how busy a baby keeps you, especially when there are other kids in the house. I have been trying my best to keep up on my own, but to no avail. I finally sat down one day a month or so ago and made this little beauty:
My Daily Schedule
5:30 am: get up, get dressed, exercise, shower, pump
6:55 am: breakfast prep, Flylady, feed/train Tucker (Wes walks him in the morning), feed kittens and chickens
7:30 am: boys up, breakfast, family prayers and scriptures*
8:00 am: boys get dressed and do morning chores
8:30 am: leave or free time
12:00 pm: home, lunch, dinner prep
1:00 pm: boys' naps, Flylady, brush Tucker, free time
3:00 pm: snack, free time for boys, massage Jonah, baths for boys, fix dinner
5:30 pm: dinner
6:00 pm: evening jobs, playtime, walk Tucker
7:30 pm: feed Tucker and kitties, bedtime - stories, prayer, Happies and Sads, etc.
8:00 pm: lights out for bog boys, Jonah's bath and bedtime
8:30 pm: laundry and cleanup, pack lunches for following day
9:00 pm: clean M.O.M. inbox, free time
9:30 pm: get ready for bed
*night shifts for Wes, do scriptures at breakfast, day shifts for Wes, do scriptures at dinner
And also this beauty:
My Weekly Schedule
Monday: Joyschool for boys (I teach every other week), me errands or housework, Wes drives boys every other Monday
Tuesday: Carmen cleans - run errands or take the boys somewhere fun, FHE, MonaVie meetings or conference call, volleyball night for Wes (the last three things are after kids are in bed)
Wednesday: Joyschool - cuddle time at the library with Jonah, office work day
Thursday: MOPS every other week, on off week Wes takes the boys out for the morning, volleyball night for me
Friday: swap with mom (the person who teaches Joyschool that week gets three hours of free babysitting each Friday morning to run errands without kids), Family Fun Day (the boys and I do something fun on Fridays, and we have a movie/pizza picnic night on the Fridays Wes works late. We always try to do something fun together as a family also.)
Saturday: chores, Sunday prep, bathe/clean all pets, date night :)
Sunday: church, Sunday Sessions, family conference, goals, spiritual sharing, interviews, monthly testimony meeting, Sunday Saw Sharpening (we plan the week ahead - each taking time to ourselves to prepare for the upcoming week.)
This makes me laugh because it seems so impossible to me. Maybe because I am currently getting up four to five times a night nursing a baby. Maybe because Wes works eight straight days and then has four days off the following week. When Wes is off, I have a hard time having the discipline to follow the schedule. I want to snuggle him in bed, I want to finish undone projects, he has business meetings, we want to make sure we have extra family time, etc. It's amazing to me that when I put it down on paper, I am amazed at how much I really do get done during the day and that I ever fit in any extra fun things.
But I also see how possible this is. I see that if I can have the discipline (and flexibility when need be), I can take care of my health and our health, spiritually, physically, and mentally, have both scheduled and non-scheduled quality time together, and I can really prioritize my time. I have always resisted organization my whole life, but as I get older I have seen how freeing it really can be. I have been learning, thanks to Mind Organization for Moms, when I can let things go and when I need to stay focused (or course you can never completely have control because that life, especially life with kids), and when and what I can commit myself to. I see my weaknesses and strengths easier. Following a loosely rigid schedule I can actually relax and not try to be so hyper-productive. I am better able to enjoy the good things in life.
I noticed something a little while back when the Relief Society went to the Bishops' Storehouse to volunteer: the church is extremely, extremely, organized. It is a well-oiled machine that is able to give so much. So much time, energy, money, focus, and most importantly, LOVE. God organized this earth and everything in it. I'm starting to see that organizing beyond the basic "to do" list is not just essential, it's a godlike quality. It enables you to do and have so much more.
I do not believe in being overly rigid. But I do believe in trying to have a consistent routine in life with kids...well, family life in general. In my experience, it makes for much more peace and love and joy in the home. It helps with the inevitable in life: change, which happens all day every day. Trying to stay as consistent as possible helps bring the family security and reduce stress so that when change happens, it doesn't turn your world so upside down. I only wish I had learned this sooner. (And I wish right now I could drag my tush out of bed early enough to really have time to pump. But I'm valuing my "sleeping in" a little too much right now. And I don't feel the least bit guilty about it.)
I have been skipping naptime quite a bit lately, as well as pushing back bedtime more and more. I can't even begin to describe the amount of stress and fatigue and the lack of productivity this has caused everyone in our family. I am exhausted enough without dealing with exhausted kids also. I am recommitting myself to do my best to stick to this schedule for a good two weeks, allowing for the flexibility when need be, but not spontaneously throwing it aside for something more fun. I am definitely a "yellow/blue" personality, and my "yellow" comes out a lot when an opportunity for something fun presents itself. Spontaneity is NOT my problem, so I think I will be just fine trying to be a little more rigid than normal. I'm hopeing it willhelp me gear up better for the holidays...have less stress and more time for meaningful things.
Wish me luck on my endeavor. I will be tweaking my schedule once a week. Maybe after a few weeks I will be able to see if there's anything I need to eliminate or delegate. I am excited to get control back, be working on things more meaningful to me, and have a good rhythm going in our family life throughout the holidays. What a gift that would be for everyone!