February 8, 2016

How Moms Can Benefit from Keeping a Schedule

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I have always been a planner. I look back on my years in high school and college, and my planners were filled from dawn to dusk. I loved being busy and always having a plan. Now that I am a mom, I don’t have quite so many things going on in the day. Not that I have a lot of down time or don’t do anything during the day, just that a lot of the things I do every day are not things that need to be written down (make breakfast, pack diaper, get kids ready, do the dishes, the obvious things). As I have mentioned in previous posts, this past year has been a bit of a roller coaster for our family. In September of 2014 we sold our first house (I loved that cute, little house!). I was pregnant with baby #2. We lived in my husband’s grandparent’s basement for about 6 weeks before we were kicked out due to the basement flooding. Then we lived with Mike’s parents for about 2 months thinking that our new house we were building would be complete by then. Well, it wasn’t. So, we moved into our nasty apartment and lived there until our home was finally completed in August. (Oh, and now we are thinking of moving AGAIN! More on this later ;)). We completely lacked structure, I was adjusting to two kids, and we basically lived out of our suitcases for most of this time.  Once we finally got into our house and got everything unpacked and settled, I was desperate for some stability.

Right after I had Ari, I was browsing Pinterest and saw this post that was titled something along the lines of, “20 Things I Do in the Morning to Have a Better Day.” I read through it and I thought there was going to be a punch line at the end! It said things like read a book, light a few candles, exercise, get ready for the day, clean the house, the list goes on. I was like, “Really? Who has time to do all of that in the morning?!” I am not going to make a detailed list of my schedule for this reason because your priorities are going to be completely different than mine, just like mine were completely different from this other blogger’s. The things that I try to fit in everyday: have a clean home, exercise and make a healthy dinner, have alone time, and have one-on-one time with my husband and kids. I have found a schedule that works for my family that allows all of those things to be done each day. Make a list of things that are important to you, and plan a schedule that will allow you to fulfill all of those.

First things first, motherhood is a full time job. Let’s face it, we are working around the clock. Sometimes we might have a whole list of things  to do in a day, but they don’t always happen. A baby gets sick and keeps you up all night, a toddler decides to play in his diaper, or you just decide to give up on it all! Motherhood isn’t something that you can just “put on your schedule,” however, having a schedule can help things go a lot smoother in the unpredictable life of motherhood.

The reason that planning is helpful as a busy mom, is because you can focus on one task at a time. Before I had a schedule, I still had an idea of what I wanted done each day. One of those was to have a clean house. I would focus on this so much that I would constantly be cleaning up after my kids all day, instead of spending time with them and allowing them to play. When I am playing with my kids, I want to play with them instead of thinking of all the other things I think I need to do. I don’t want to be looking at my phone because I want to get away from the world for a minute. I schedule my time so that I can focus on my kids when they need me, and still have alone time for myself.

This leads to another reason that planning is beneficial as a mother. It allows you to set aside time for yourself. When you set aside time for yourself, you are happier. Sometimes, as moms, we push ourselves to be the best moms possible by ALWAYS being with our kids and doing what they want, but let’s be honest, that can make you go crazy really fast. It is important to give yourself time to meditate, exercise, write in your journal, whatever it is that makes you feel better. Do the things that are going to make you the happiest mom. Take time to yourself so that you can give your kids your all.

Kids benefit from schedules too! I am a huge believer in starting my babies off on good sleeping and eating schedules. When babies and children have a sense of predictability, it helps them to be less fussy. They don’t have to worry when they are going to be able to eat or sleep next, because it almost always happens at the same time each day. It helps them build a trusting relationship and a sense of security. There are many good articles that explain this in more detail-here is one for example.

Lastly, have real expectations. If you are a mom with young kids, you just need to accept that your house is not going to be perfect all the time. There might be a time when your house will always be clean, but right now is not that time. Some people have babies who still sleep unpredictably, which makes it hard to schedule things. Just do the best you can with what you have!

Love, Jaisha

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