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.
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.
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.
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?