Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Routine

I must confess that I have not been all that excited about summer...stressed would be more accurate. The summer has brought the end to all our commitments and structured activities, which is freeing, but totally overwhelming. I can remember a time (just a few years ago) when I created our entire sense of structure and we didn't really have to be anywhere. It went something like this... wake up - eat breakfast - get dressed - watch cartoons for 30 minutes - structured play time in room - structured playtime outside - free play time - eat lunch - take nap (everyone, mom included) - have snack - watch video, read a book, or play - cook dinner - eat dinner - bath - play - bed. It was really pretty simple.

Then came school and activities and places to go. Now, I have come to rely on activities to get us through the day. So the end of activities and a blank schedule felt overwhelming to me. Also, the fact that I have 3 kids with very different abilities and privilleges makes it hard. How do I fit in naps, and baby appropriate play, while still trying to play kitchen, ride bikes, and go swimming? Plus it would be nice if I could get, say 5 minutes every so often without a request being made and when I can actually get something done. On top of that Aidan has gotten to be good friends with the kids in the neighborhood which is a whole new world. I regularly have 2 extra kids at my house playing which can get a bit overwhelming at times...and in the summer with all the down time I thought this might get out of control. This is when I have to remember that I am the parent and set some boundaries, but I just couldn't get a firm grip on what our days would look like so today while the smaller ones were napping and Aidan was watching a movie I snuck off to soak in the tub and think and pray about our summer and our routine. This is what we ended up with...

This is a flexible, tentative schedule. I am NOT a schedule person, but when I just go with the flow I tend to still be in my pjs at 12:00 simply wasting the day away and trying to figure out when I am going to get everything done. I set this up with chunks of time. I have something I would like to accomplish in every time block but I did not break my day up into 30 minute time slots...I just can't exist in that kind of structure. This also allows some time for the things I really want to do with the kids this summer, like practice writing letters, drawing pictures, and working in some type of bible time.

Yes, I did hang that outside my door. It says stop, kids can't play. That way the neighborhood kids do not even have to ask. If they see red they keep going. I am so excited about this and I am praying it works!

And this is what it looks like when it would be ok to stop and ask the kids to play. It says please knock so that any other random person who comes by will knock rather than ringing the doorbell and waking the baby. I think I love this idea...again we will see if it works.
This is just a picture of what summer looks like when you are one and mommy doesn't want to sit in the pool with you.

He doesn't seem to mind does he?

I will let you know how my routine goes. This is huge for me. I am not structured by nature, but I really do enjoy the way my life goes when I can force myself to give it some type of effort. The summer is looking brighter already (talk to me in a month).

1 comment:

Hannah E. said...

I so get what you are saying. That is me. I'm not structured by nature, but I've learned that I just MUST implement some of those practices if I am to be productive at all, or some days, if I am to survive! But I've slacked so much on that in previous months, so you're inspiring me. I think it all sounds like a great plan! Let me know how it goes.

Hope I can see you before you leave!! I'm excited about involving Jonah in daily prayers for you guys while you're in Mexico.