Schedules and I, we don’t get along. Never have. I enjoy nothing more detailed than: wake up, drink coffee, work my way through the day, check a few things off the “to do” list, and go to bed.
Anyone else? Am I all alone?
I have friends who seem to plan out every single minute of the day. (An exaggeration, I know. Maybe.) And accomplish all goals! And stick to their schedule! I really admire these people. I also know people who have more or less told me I need to stick to a schedule; that a schedule will solve the chaos and make my life easier.
Sigh. More guilt.
Before I got married, I had huge scheduling plans. You know, like laundry on Monday? Only? Haha! I’d have a huge, stinky monster in my house if I let laundry pile up for a whole week. And I planned on keeping my house spotless by cleaning the livingroom on Monday, bedroom on Tuesday, kitchen on Wednesday, bathrooms on Thursday… and so on and so forth. Well! I forgot maybe I’d have kids too. And that I’d have to clean the bathroom more than once a week! And the kitchen — maybe three times a day?
I was dreading this first scheduled week of homeschooling. HOW am I going to do it? I thought. WILL I be able to do it? And the answer is “Yes.” I can. I did! It’s only one week, I know, but I’m rather proud of myself!
What did I do? I didn’t schedule! Now, I am not advocating laziness. Not at all! I consider myself a hard-worker. But I was trying to turn myself into a scheduled person, and it wasn’t working. For me. People can change, yes, and should change, yes, but this girl isn’t changing in the schedule category!
I’m not against routines, patterns, and order to the day. I’m just against the word “schedule” and the detailed, on-the-hour plans my mind associates with the word. I do un-scheduled schedules! Take this week:
- Wake up. No need to set an alarm. I can count on Cameron to wake me up by 6:45am.
- Doze on and off on the couch until everyone else wakes up.
- Drink coffee. This is non-negotiable.
- Feed kids breakfast while I drink a second cup of coffee.
- Dress Cameron and Megan, change diapers, remind Kirstyn and Cory to get dressed. (“No, you can’t wear a snowsuit.”)
- Set Kirstyn up at the kitchen table with a math page or two.
- Find coffee. Warm it up in microwave, sit next to Kirstyn to explain 1st grade math. (I can do this!)
- Shoo Megan and the boys out of the kitchen. Repeat often.
- Bring outside any hatched monarch butterflies. (Seven this week!)
- Feed everyone a snack. Forget about the “no eating in the livingroom” rule I was going to try.
- Start Kirstyn on a penmanship page.
- Switch laundry, check Facebook, dump clean laundry on the already existing laundry mountain.
- Sit on the couch with Kirstyn (and usually more eager children, excited that Mommy’s sitting down!) to read about Johnny Appleseed, the moon and stars, or animals ranging from hatchetfish to kiwi birds to anteaters to elephant seals.
- Look up the animals’ habitats on a world map
- Feed everyone lunch. Finish now-cold coffee.
- Ship all four kids to the backyard while I load the dishwasher and sweep the floor.
- Browse Facebook, eat some food — possibly for the first time that day.
- Go outside and push Cameron and Megan on the swings. Play hide-and-seek, tag, kick a ball around, or watch Cory climb trees.
- Tuck Cameron and Megan in bed for a nap. Wish I was napping!
- Listen to Kirstyn read, and read more science or history books together.
- Movie! I admit, I turn on the tube and let my big kids vegetate. Free time for me!
- Cook supper, kiss my honey, wash dishes, ignore the laundry mountain, play with my kids.
And that’s it! It’s working. Kirstyn is doing a lot of school every day, plus everything else is getting done too. Well, there may be a few extra spider webs in the corner. I just don’t look!
(Yes, all you smart people out there, you’re right — my laundry never does get finished!)