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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scheduling the chaos to find the joy in the jungle

Before I had kids I would watch Super Nanny in utter disgust. 

"My children will never be like those kids.  My children will obey and be respectful always - because I will be the best parent ever."

Then I had kids.

And my kids are good.  And they do obey.  And they are respectful.  Just not always.

See, the funny thing about my kids that I didn't factor into the equation before I had children, is that they are in fact kids.

Crazy, huh?

And the other thing I did not factor into the equation before I had children, is that I have no clue what I am doing and quite honestly am just trying my best, but am no where near being the best parent ever.

Bummer.

Anyway, so Super Nanny has all of these really great suggestions.  One of which she gives to moms who are at home all day with their children, is a schedule.

So, I have a handy dandy little schedule that I have posted on my dining room wall.

And it's been there for almost two years.

And I have followed it for a total of, maybe, four days.

I don't know why I'm not more consistent about it...well, ok, I'm lazy.

Well, not really lazy, but following a schedule is hard.  Following a schedule takes planning and forethought and determination and a plan.  Following a schedule does not allow for me to sit at the computer aimlessly while my children play "survival of the fittest."

But, unfortunately, Super Nanny is right.  When I follow a schedule, my children are actually human.  They play nicer, they speak kinder, they engage longer.  My children, when following a schedule, are more like the imaginary children that I envisioned before I had them (although, those children were always clean and never spoke in an ungodly decibel.)

So, it's been crazy here especially with Christmas and Lily's birthday and just the general mood of our home (for goodness sake, this blog is called THE JOYFUL JUNGLE) and I have been just winging it more than usual.  And it seems that since I have been winging it, my house is more jungle-y that normal, and not as joyful as usual.  So yesterday, I determined that I would do the schedule as my last attempt at any glimpse of sanity.

It worked.

My children were great...mostly.

I didn't raise my voice...hardly.

My kid didn't fight...much.

We played pretend, they played board games, we ate for a designated time instead of all day, and the joy returned.

Praise the Lord!!!!!!!

I mean it makes sense...really, it does.  When you are working at a "real" job (you know, the kind you get paid for) when you have a plan for your day you are more productive.  When there are goals and time frames and deadlines you must meet, you get more done.  If you want to get paid, you produce.

For some reason, I don't often look at being a stay at home mom with the same outlook as I did when I had a job.  I mean possibly, quite possibly, if I approached my day hoping to achieve something other than just survival - our days would be greater, more productive, happier.  And although I don't get paid (seriously, can't the government figure out a way to pay stay at home moms) I do get better behavior out of it and a happier home.

Do you look at your role as a mom as a job or do you approach it with the "fly by the seat of your pants" mentality?  Does your family have a schedule - do you actually follow it or is it more of a decoration like mine generally is? 


So after nap time, it's lunch - and then go somewhere time (ya, that's totally and completely for my benefit and mental sanity) however, today it is a blizzard outside so we may just have to pretend to go somewhere...maybe Hawaii?

14 comments:

@jencull (jen)

Interesting point. I fly by the seat of my pants within a reasonable structure. Now, figure that one out lol.

I too used to say 'my children will never.......' I now laugh at my innocence. I still like to watch Supernanny though :D

Jen

Char

Your words make me smile because I have seen you at this mommyhood and you are doing a fantastic job that I do wish we could figure out a way for you to be paid. As an educator, I applaud you and all of the stay at home moms because when your kids come to my classroom I know immediately that they had the blessing of a stay at home mom. They are more confident, more secure, and rooted.

Gia

I REALLY loved this post! Just the opening...I thought the same thing: that my kids would be perfect. Now I snicker when other young people say the same things when my children are acting up. Not only does it make me mad that they think that a tiny bit of "acting up" is REALLY bad, but that they think their children will be better. LOL

I homeschool, so that seems to help my kids during the day. But I'm not rigid with a tight schedule. Maybe I should start.

Tracy

I LOVE that picture!

Bobbi

Love the pic, it's hilarious!

Sarah @ Picture Window

I am SUCH a big fan of structure and schedules for kids (within reason- stuff happens). People always ask how my daughter is so happy and easy going, and it's because she has a consistent schedule that she knows and makes her feel secure. I think having structure to the day makes things so much easier!

ghostwritermummy

What a great post and a fab picture! As a teacher, I am hopelessly unorganised but last summer my daughter and I drew up a schedule with fun things to do while the baby was napping and it worked so well. The kids in my class respond so well when their day is written out in the morning for them. But like you say, you have to be organised in the first place! Great blog!
XxX

Nancy

Organization is something I still struggle with having 3 teenagers!
Visiting from the blog hop.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas and have the best 2011 ever.
Nancy
http://discoverdirectselling.blogspot.com/

Nama Halacy's Comfy Cottage

Thank you for following me I am following back I love the picture of the kids in the cabinets how fun!!

Carols blogs

I am like the first comment an fly by the seat of my pants within a reasonable structure. I too use to say "My kids would never...." oh yes they will and did. Parenting is hard and no matter how many books you read or programs you watch you have to find out what works for you and your family.

ghostwritermummy

What a great post and a fab picture! As a teacher, I am hopelessly unorganised but last summer my daughter and I drew up a schedule with fun things to do while the baby was napping and it worked so well. The kids in my class respond so well when their day is written out in the morning for them. But like you say, you have to be organised in the first place! Great blog!
XxX

Bobbi

Love the pic, it's hilarious!

Gia

I REALLY loved this post! Just the opening...I thought the same thing: that my kids would be perfect. Now I snicker when other young people say the same things when my children are acting up. Not only does it make me mad that they think that a tiny bit of "acting up" is REALLY bad, but that they think their children will be better. LOL

I homeschool, so that seems to help my kids during the day. But I'm not rigid with a tight schedule. Maybe I should start.

Char

Your words make me smile because I have seen you at this mommyhood and you are doing a fantastic job that I do wish we could figure out a way for you to be paid. As an educator, I applaud you and all of the stay at home moms because when your kids come to my classroom I know immediately that they had the blessing of a stay at home mom. They are more confident, more secure, and rooted.

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