When I was younger I always had a schedule or plan. As a junior high and high school student, I would always figure out how to work ahead so as to finish the semester as soon as possible (one of the perks of being taught at home…). I enjoyed the challenge of doing a little extra to accomplish my goals. As it turned out, this was a pivotal point in my education because it gave me time during my senior year to discover Spanish and my ability with languages .
I thrive on having a schedule, long term goals, and a clear outline of things to do throughout the day. I think that’s part of why I loved school so much and why I have struggled to get into a groove in my stay at home life. Up until recently, it’s been difficult for me to plan anything effectively because Ranger’s sleeping schedule has varied so much.
Especially in the beginning we would have crazy awake nights, early mornings, unpredictable naps and the everything in-between making it really hard to plan on doing anything. Added to just being outright tired all the time…
So I got in the habit of sloughing everything off.
That’s what everyone tells you to do after all. They say you can’t do it all, you shouldn’t try, don’t feel bad if your house isn’t clean, blahblahblah. We’re told as women we’re overachievers, perfectionists, and victims of peer pressure as we try to have the Pinterest worthy house/body/life/child/career. It’s how it goes.
Often it’s true, we should give ourselves a break.
However sometimes listening to the culture around us gives us the excuse needed not to try much at all.
In my case, that influence from the culture — combined with being completely disorganized due to the lack of a clearly outlined schedule or routine, a teeny tiny house full of a lot of stuff and not enough clearcut purpose — led to a routinely messy house, a frazzled wife who thinks she’s trying, and a disgruntled husband who would like to end his day in a peaceful home.
But of course this was a gradual accumulation of knowledge. Not something I knowingly did. So it’s all good.
Ranger finally has a pretty defined nap and bedtime schedule and has been sleeping pretty well at night (usually only waking up a time or two). And he’s in his own crib the entire time.
I’m not sure what inspired me, (Might have something to do with some books I’ve been reading… :) I guess I’ll have to share those later) buuut…
I wrote out a schedule for us to go by to help me accomplish the necessary and desired during the day and to help Ranger get a little more specific learning and love through play and time with me.
It’s something that just lines up with my (until recently unrealized) goal of intentional living.
So here it is.
– up, put contacts in, dress, hair. (Basically what I would do if going out of the house and going to a ‘real’ job or to school.)
– read a chapter of the Bible, pray for the day, and eat breakfast.
– make Israel’s lunch and morning coffee, plan days activities, outings, to-do and figure out dinner.
8AM (ish): Ranger up (most days sometime between 7:30 and 8:15), diaper changed, breakfast, straighten kitchen. Write something or read some blogs/facebook/email.
9AM – start Ranger with an interesting toy or activity, turn on music, straighten bedrooms, make beds, gather laundry – start a load if necessary.
9:30AM – yard or garden work while Ranger plays outside.
10AM – something fun for Ranger with me (stories, play, quick trip to park, art..something) and a snack.
10:45AM – run (or not, depending on the day), Ranger generally falls asleep in the stroller or on me with his bottle (a story for another day) and transfers to his crib for the rest of his nap.
11AM – 1PM ish- NAP-TIME! I read an actual book, shower, take a nap, or blog as I would like. No random scrolling of the interwebz for two hours, please.
1:30 – Lunch and straighten kitchen.
2PM – outside play
3PM – unusual indoor activity (for example: weekly/biweekly/monthly cleaning, unpacking/organizing/decorating) and snack for Ranger.
4PM – play it by ear.
5PM – start dinner and cleanup.
6PM – dinner.
7PM – fun Ranger activities (bedtime readying).
8PM – Bedtime for ranger. Blog, read, snack, whatever.
10ish – Bed.
Notes on how I decided what to put in:
—Over the last few weeks I’ve found that in this point in my pregnancy it is best for me to have alternating up-working/sitting-relaxing/screenless times throughout the day. I also need specific tasks and the mindset of “this is my job and I’m going to go to work”.
—It’s best for Ranger to have good amounts of time with me interspersed between his times of independent play. He likes music, needs to go somewhere everyday, and he could use regular snacks to regulate his mood.
—Israel needs the kitchen to be clean (Ranger’s mess doesn’t matter as much to him), a lunch most days, coffee, food, and a peaceful environment for mornings and evenings. And I’m sure he won’t mind if I am dressed with my hair done before he goes to work most days…
We did this yesterday and it was quite the success as far as I can tell. We’ll see how it continues on. I’ll weigh in again in a week or two to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.. :)