Friday, February 22, 2008

Schedules are Awesome

After being a pretty AP mom (which in many ways I still am), priding myself on "going with the flow" and having my child "lead" me, we are now on a schedule. And guess what? We're loving it! It's working. Hannah is thriving, and James doesn't seem to mind at all. And I find myself to be slinging him more now, which I think is just great for babies. And we've had no tv during the day. I've just broken my habit of watching the news in the morning, which was usually followed by a kid show. While there are specific times for things, it's not always dead-on and somethings are guesstimated.

Here is what a normal day at home is like:

Morning Routine
6:30 am - we're awake!
*we roll out of bed and PRAY so it gets done and we start our day on the right foot.
*make coffee and breakfast
*eat together and sing songs like ABCs and Days of the Week
*we take our dishes to the sink
*Hannah gets her story Bible and we read and talk about it together. She adores doing this. So do I!
*Time to make beds.
*We all get dressed.
9am - We are DRESSED and READY for the day. No more jammies until noon, even if we are not going anywhere. I feel so much better about doing anything simply by having this done. I also try to have my hair and make up situated by this time. If something comes up we are ready!
*If we are staying home for the day, we do chores together and/or Hannah and James can play. James is usually napping by this time of day so I can get some laundry done, clean up the kitchen or whatever needs to be done.
10am - Snack time.
10:30ish - We go for a little "nature walk" and then do a craft when we get home. Yesterday we looked for rainbow colors outside and then when we got home made a water color rainbow picture. Hannah is big on crafts and I find I like to do them once I've gotten all the supplies ready and we get started. I bought a cool art book for kids that's full of great, inexpensive ideas for stuff that's around the house. No special, expensive supplies necessary unless you really want to. Fun!
If we finish early, we just play with blocks or whatever
12pm - Make lunch. Hannah likes to help or just play nearby with James. We eat and then clean up together.
1pm - Do some baking. More free play time.
1:30 - Do some workbook pages. Hannah loves these, working on basic skills like matching, rhyming, ABCs and 123s. I had to remind myself to relax at one point though, because we both got a little frustrated writing the letter B.
*little snack
2:00 - Time for tidying the front room. Hannah likes to vacuum. I dust.
2:30 - Quiet time! Hannah doesn't really nap much anymore, so I have her go play quietly in her room. We close the door. I keep James with me. Sometimes he naps, sometimes he plays with me or something, or he just nurses for a while. I get to read or be on the computer. Yay! Hannah gets to make a big mess. It's win-win. I remind her that whatever she takes out she must put away. (Right now both kids are napping thanks to a car ride home!)
*Snack time
*Clean up Hannah's room. Hang out and play with her a little, or read together.
4pm Daddy will be home soon! Get dinner started.
And that's pretty much it!

I feel like a million bucks and I wish I would have implemented this sooner. Hannah's behavior is 99% better. There is a lot less sassin' and whining. I think we had some problems before because she was just bored and we both were just wandering about our day aimlessly. What a difference, thank God! While I'm sure this will be adjusted continuously, it's been a fine start.

I leave you with St. Theophan the Recluse as I've just finished THIS book:
"A child has many desires. Everything catches his attention, attracts him, and gives birth to desires. Being unable to distinguish good from evil, he desires everything, and he is ready to do everything he desires. A child left to himself becomes untamable and self-willed. Therefore, parents must strictly watch this sprout of the soul's activity."


Blogger Amy said...

Everyone has jumped onto the schedule bandwagon lately. :P
I'm so glad to here it's working so well for you guys! I wish I was so organized. lol

9:02 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

woohoo!! it's so wonderful when it all comes together, isn't it? Pavlos put himself on a schedule from birth. but that's just who he is. Petros was the epitome of an AP baby... always wanted me to "wear" him, sleep with me, erratic sleep patterns, etc. Now, we are on our forced schedule because Pavlos is in school full time. I definitely accomplish more when we are on a schedule. and petros, being 2 now, doesn't seem to mind:)

8:29 AM  
Blogger Rebeca said...

I find having some schedule, or rhythm as I like to call it, really helps us too. I wrote a post about it- you can read it here if you're interested:
I always enjoy catching up on your blog!

2:29 PM  
Blogger Lauren S. said...

Thanks for the link, Rebeca, nice post there!

9:04 AM  
Blogger Bluecanopy said...

:) well done mama

11:54 AM  
Blogger Xenia Kathryn said...

Yes, we have a bit of a schedule now too. It's not super-strict or anything, more of a "routine" I'd say. It's at least something, and I can tell that V. thrives on it. I benefit from it, too!

I never understood why "schedules" were so important, since my baby seemed so erratic. But after a while, it all worked out and just had to happen... otherwise we'd sleep in 'til 11 everyday and basically miss out on life with all the other kids and moms who ARE on schedules :)

1:21 AM  
Blogger Bea said...

I think that is so great, I found that if I paid attention to Robby, he has his own rhythm he gets into, and I definitely think that the no pajamas till noon is great too, we are so much more productive, and I end up holding Robby in the sling or back carrier way more while we go about our day!

6:30 PM  

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