So, I love schedules. It is just one of those things for me. I have to know what is coming next. But, much to my sadness, we all know we can’t know what is coming next for all aspects of our lives. SO, I try and at least know what is coming next in my day to day life. The problem is I can’t always stick to a schedule…
I have tried everything. I have done cleaning schedules that only lasted for a few weeks. I have tried meal planning (which I consider to pretty much just be a schedule). And then there are the routines I have tried to establish with my daughter. There was the morning routine, the bedtime routine, the after school routine…You get the picture.
Now, I am not saying that none of these have worked. I mean I have been able to get my daughter to bed at the same time ALMOST every school night. AND, my 6 week old has almost the same routine every night. See, the problem for me and I would guess a lot of you, is that we aren’t hermits. We do have things to do at night that will either mean our kids won’t be in bed by 8 or that the baby falls asleep in the carseat on the way home instead of swaddled up after a nice warm bath. I mean really, how are we ever going to make our routines and schedules perfect when life is ever changing.
I guess the reality is all we can strive for as mothers and wives, working women and stay at home moms is a little something called consistency.
I mean after all it is this consistency that helps us stay sane. So, I have decided to make a list of not my top six ways to keep a schedule or a routine, but instead my top ten ways to stay consistent in our daily lives. Because let’s be honest. No matter how many times we hear people saying that their schedule is this or their schedule is that, they aren’t perfect. And, if they do keep their schedule to the T every day of their lives, they one, don’t have a life and two, don’t enjoy the excitement that a little spontaneity brings to our lives.
- Write down a schedule/routine So I am aware that I just said that it is truly impossible to really stick to a schedule, but its hard to have consistency if we don’t have something to at least be consistent with. So, if you feel like you life is a little more chaotic than you would like, take some time and think about if you lived in a perfect world where every thing was predictable, what would your routine be. For example, this is what my mornings would look like if every day were exactly the same:
5:30: Wake Up and take a shower
6:00: Wake up Declan and feed him
6:15: Change Declan
6:30: Wake up Madelyn
6:30-7:00: Eat Breakfast, make lunch and check budget
7:00-7:10: Get Dressed
7:10-7:20: TV Time
7:25: Out the Door and on the way to school
You would think with such a pretty schedule, our morning would be nice and peaceful. You would think the routine would be established and we would have no yelling or crying or “delays” but see my 6 week old understandably doesn’t always decide that 6 is when he wants to get up. More times than not, he wakes up before than which means no shower for me. And more times than not, my 6 year old doesn’t want to get out of bed or decides to take 45 minutes to eat a simple bowl of cereal because she wants to talk. And majority of the time, there is crying involved because either Madelyn doesn’t want to listen or be told what to do and Declan decides he didn’t eat enough at 6 and wants to be fed again at 7. So yes, it is very easy to see that this pretty little schedule is not perfect but children and adults for that matter, do better with consistency. So I write out the schedule so we all know at least the things that must get done so we can get out of the door on time. It allows us to at least be consistent with what we do in the morning.
2. Do the same activities no matter how out of order or out of wack
There is a saying that after doing something 7 times it becomes a habit. So, if you want to make sure that your daughter consistently brushes their teeth, just take a week to make sure every night they are brushing their teeth.
3.Don’t be too hard on yourself
There will be times when your life doesn’t feel orderly at all. A child will get sick, a family member will visit or life will just start to fall to pieces little by little. Even though we aren’t trying to even set a schedule, life will give you lemons and some times its just not that easy to make the lemonade. I know that my family consistently goes to church every Sunday. It isn’t even a question anymore for us. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some Sundays where we have sick kids and just can’t make it to church. It will feel like your Sunday is destroyed but because you have consistently made a point to go it won’t be hard to get back into next week.
4. Know Why you want to be consistent
Just like everything in life, if you don’t why you are doing it, you won’t do it. When I decide I want to start working out simply because everyone else is doing it, I never consistently do it. I guess for me “just because everyone else is doing it” doesn’t really tell me why I am doing it and so I just don’t do it.
5.Don’t Get Ahead of yourself
You can’t be consistent at saying your prayers every day if you haven’t even decided what prayers you are going to say. Go back to #1 and write out what it is you want to be consistent with.
6.Allow an off Day Every Now and Then
Again, we aren’t hermits and consistency will allow you to have off days and just be well, plain blah!
So there it is. Consistency is key to staying sane, not schedules! On those days when you just feel like you can’t do it anymore because none of your schedules are on time, just remember you consistently do it and it will all be ok!