Yesterday I read a book "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode" by Crystal Paine at the moneysavingmom.com. I wrote down a lot of good tips and pointers.
A few of my favorite takeaways were things I've been wanting to do, but I felt she helped me be motivated to start & to get organized.
One thing I've been wanting to implement into my family's life is a daily routine - a flexible schedule. I thrive on schedules and knowing what's next and I have seen that my children do too. But for some reason I've ran from the word schedule. It's too uptight for me. I like having the freedom that comes with staying at home, not punching a clock, and no one telling us where to be. But too many times I end up treating everyday like a Saturday or Summer. No plan, jammies all day, and a couple movies. Before I know it the day has gone by and we've accomplished nothing that I wanted to or planned to for that day.
After reading the chapters about creating a daily routine I got out a pencil and paper and made an ideal daily routine for my children and me. It didn't take me long to know how I thought I wanted our days to look like.
Our plan for when days are "normal," but most days aren't normal. Some days we have places to be and some evenings we might want to stay up late and catch fireflies. I have my idea of what I want our days to look like written down and now I'm going to spend this week trying to implement it.
My plan is for me to wake up at 7 am. Today day #1 of living by our daily routine I slept in until 9. (I haven't slept well for the past couple months with my pregnacy belly and bladder and I seem to get my best sleep from 6-9.) Hmmm... Well, I could've said oh well forget about it. But I had an idea. What if I wrote down how our day looks as we go for a few days and then make adjustments to the written down routine of what actually works for us?
Which leads into Crystal's suggestion to make a best list. To know what my priorities are. If we do nothing else in a day what are the top couple of things I want to accomplish to have a successful day.
And for my family our priorities are: Bible time, homeschool & reading, naps, and dinner. I'm really aiming to cut out any excess screen time for all of us, be consistent with our homeschool days, meal plan, and have time to read (myself and to the kids).
So today, my day didn't start as early as I planned and we didn't follow the "schedule" in order at all, but were able to still cross things off of the list. I had some quiet time to read my Bible, journal and drink coffee. We cleaned the whole house (the girls were a huge help) instead of doing school first thing and instead did school after lunch. The laundry is finished. The kids are napping. And I'm enjoying my quiet, clean, peaceful home.
And who knows what exactly tomorrow will look like, but as long as we stick to our priorities and enjoy each other I think it'll be one awesome day.
At the end of the week I plan to look at our actual days and then form a new schedule from that. Why force a plan into place when what really works is something completely different?
Also, I'm going to refuse to feel guilty if my days are completely different than what's normal. If I wake up at 8 instead of 7 or if my kids stay up until 9 instead of 8. It's all really what works for each of us individually, we don't have to operate in a cookie cutter mold!
I'm interested to see how implementing a daily routine into our family's life works. I know every season will look different and I'm willing to adapt and change with what works best, but I do think with a routine in place we will function better as a family unit.