This is week three of my SAHM Lifehack series, focusing on SAHM schedules! Fun, right? We won’t make a spreadsheet, promise.
Last week, we managed to decide on easy ways to achieve our goals by combining tasks. Working with kids requires multitasking, just like any important job. Once you have general goals and think of tasks that will help you achieve these goals, you probably want to make a schedule.
A schedule sounds great overall. A schedule will make your day easier, kids will thrive and you will feel positive about life. A schedule is not a bad thing.
What is a bad plan is making a schedule that does not work for your personality and family.
Some mothers are very strict with schedules – and you can find those plans all over the web. (Just search “SAHM schedules + printables” and you will find plenty. ClutterBug has awesome printable schedules). I have seen gorgeous spreadsheets. Some stay at home parents make schedules by the week (Mondays I vacuum, Tuesdays I wash sheets, etc.). Other parents schedule by the hour (7:00-8:00 is breakfast, 8:00-8:30 is puzzle time, 8:30-9:00 is coloring time, 9:00-9:15 is story time, and so on).
Those schedules are wonderful – but they don’t work for me. The second I think I have a rhythm, like that I do laundry every Tuesday and Saturday, Saturday comes and we don’t have enough laundry for the loads. Or Tuesday, a kid is sick and I don’t have time for laundry but then I need to wash extra because everyone’s been sick. Now I have to run him to the doctor and when do I get back on my schedule? Saturday comes again and we are out of clothes, so the next week I just do laundry on Wednesday. My schedule is messed up, and I’m behind on laundry again, which was the point of the dang schedule in the first place!
Strict schedules do not fit my family or personality. I can say that my kids need to be in bed by 8:15 at night, but I don’t want to strictly enforce that on Friday when we are catching popcorn in our mouths as a family. I won’t wake up a tired kid on Sunday morning at 7, especially if she had a ballgame the night before and needs that extra rest. The minute I say that I will unload my dishwasher only in the morning, we will have served a large dinner and I will need to run it twice.
My schedules need flexibility and when I make myself strict SAHM schedules (one for my kids, the house, errands) I fail. I need to simplify, and I do that with simple and medium schedules.
This is what we are doing this week: examining our personalities and family needs to decide on SAHM schedules that work. Every parent will be different, but a few situations to consider when deciding your type of schedule are:
*ages of kids (newborns are different than potty training kids)
* family activities (Girl Scouts? piano lessons? basketball?)
* desire for family time (game night – dinner together – reading at bedtime)
*help (grandparents – hired help)
*work schedules (your partner and if you work part-time or at home)
Examine what you need to get done, how they align with your tasks, and how the schedule will help you meet your goals.
Keep this in mind: my schedule changes as the year goes on. Almost two years ago, I had a newborn. My schedule rotated around nursing and keeping Za occupied. She watched more tv than I wanted her to see, but I couldn’t adjust right away. As baby C.J. grew, my schedule changed because a baby required less direct attention than a newborn. It changed again that first year because I started teaching a few classes at night.
A new baby is a BIG change in SAHM schedules, but I can promise you that smaller changes will happen throughout the year – a new activity or extra time spent on homework.
Some parents need concrete schedules – and they are out there! Sometimes I wish I could adhere to one of those hourly and weekly schedules, but it never works. If those concrete schedules work for you, great – and I bet you probably already have one. If you don’t, a loose or medium schedule may help.
By looking at your family needs and personalities, plus considering your big picture goals and tasks to accomplish those goals, you can decide if you need a simple or medium schedule. I can help with both of those types of SAHM schedules, as they both work for me in different areas.
Examine your factors and what schedule will honestly work for you (you probably cannot become a stickler overnight) and join me next week when we examine simple SAHM schedules.
Read the fourth post in the SAHM Lifehack Series.