Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Schedule

Let me preface this post by stating that what I am about to say is basically for chronicling life as I know it and for mommies out there that are wondering what would be good for their families. What I do with my children and my family is not for everyone, but this has been so beneficial for me I wanted to share it.

All my loyal followers either have recently met me or have known me for quite some time. All of you know that I have two little ones under two. Most of you know that I work 10 hours a week for Chick-fil-A (six of those at home) and probably spend anywhere from 15 to 30 hours a week on my stationery line. Not to mention the household that has to be run. I am like most of you - very busy.

We all have our ways of dealing with things, making our lives run smoothly. We have our rules - the things are children will do and not do, we have the things we wish we didn't allow them to do and the things we are proud of. We all have our own way of doing things and there is no right or wrong way of being a good mother (except for the list that we all know qualifies you for child services).

One thing that we do in our house - and have done from the beginning - is a schedule. Honestly, this has been our saving grace. Yes, there are pros and cons to this kind of structure and depending on your stage in life with your brood, scheduling effectively is not always possible.

Some of you did not choose this avenue for your family or children and I do not condemn you. So... please do not feel that this post is judging you. This just really works for us.

In order to have my day run, to get all the "work from home" tasks done, to have time to rest, for me to be patient, loving, and emotionally available for my children, I need a schedule. I am a task oriented, structured type of person and having established times for things helps the English house run smoothly. We deviate from "the schedule" but most days we do the same things.

For those interested here are the things that I love about it.
1. I know most of the time why my children are fussy depending on what time of day it is - if it is nap time, they are sleepy; if it is around 11:30/12:00 they are hungry. There are times I don't get it right, but even with a little bitty one, I usually have an idea.
2. My kids sleep in their own beds. If you like yours sleeping with you more power to you. I am not knocking you, but I don't like sleeping with my kids. I don't sleep well when they are with me and when I don't get enough rest I am not at my best as their mommy.
3. They normally go down for naps/bedtimes without a fuss.
4. Both kids pretty much slept through the night by 3 months (we still have nights where this is not the case, but the schedule helped establish night sleeping patterns).
5. I feel discipline has been easier because of the boundaries a schedule sets.
6. I get time in the afternoon to myself and at least two hours in the evening to spend time working on projects, relaxing, or spending time with my wonderful hubby.
I honestly could list more but I won't bore you. With a set of Irish twins and all the "extra" work I have to accomplish, our gracious Father and the English Family Schedule have been my saving grace - not to mention a husband who goes out of his way to be a HUGE help. :)

So, again, no judgement if this isn't the thing for your family. Just know that if you have knocked it in the past, it is working for at least this family. :)


The Kimmels said...

Those are great points. Its so hard to say what will happen to me when I have kids but I'm DEFINITELY a schedule oriented person right now so I imagine I will like a good schedule when I have little ones. I also liked the idea of the kids sleeping in their own beds. I know that it may be tough at first but will be worth it in the long run. I may need some pointers on that one when the time comes. I will email you about meeting up!

Courtney said...

Great post! I really appreciate your encouragement of the benefits of a schedule. I've been working on getting there with Henry since day 1, and I'm just now feeling like we are getting there! It has been tough at times because he is constantly changing, but I can tell that being consistent with a routine is already paying off. Especially his set helps me to know that I have a little time for myself at the end of the night. I also agree that a routine helps you to know why they are fussy. I can always tell when Henry is ready for a nap, and I don't have to question if he is hungry or bored or needs a diaper change.

Janice said...

I'm right there with you!! I started working very early to get my babies on a schedule. It just made life easier for me. . :)