Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Daily Routine

Another thing that has been on our mind is the schedule! I have realized there is a significant difference between Jonathan and myself. Jonathan could play Legos for hours growing up. He would get lost in his room and build magnificent structures. He has thousands of Legos. When Jonathan is at home he can spend so much time sitting on the boys' floor putting together their Geo Trax train or building a castle with their blocks.

And then there is me. I would probably have been labeled with ADD if not ADHD as a child because unless I was sitting down reading or watching tv I had to be on the go. I would be at the grocery store with my mom as a small child and she would say can't you stand still for at least a few seconds? I am someone who likes to go! And as a parent of small children you would think I would be entertained by running around after them. It isn't that I'm not it's just I'm not entertained by building a train or putting Legos together. And I think maybe entertained isn't the right word. I feel like I don't have that piece Jonathan has where he can visualize this whole creation and then do it. He loves to buy more and more tracks to the Geotrax because Jonathan can build it bigger and bigger. When I start to build it, I always end up with the track not meeting up or my eldest son telling me I'm not doing it right.

Lately as we're trying to reduce our grocery budget and get a better handle on life, spirituality, budgeting, health, etc. I've realized that if we don't have a playdate or something then in the morning the boys tend to be in front of the tv and me in front of the computer. I am trying so hard to be more active outside BUT (and I find this amazing) if I don't get us out on a walk then I take us all to a store because of a need to get out of the house. And really it is so much easier to go on a walk, I mean who wants to drag 3 kids into a store? That is a recipe for annoyance and disaster but instead of getting my boys on their bikes and my daughter into the stroller I drag them across town to Target to buy those 2 things I forgot but then end up adding 8 more things to the cart and before you know it I've spent too much and have kids who are whining and annoyed.

I'm finding that getting into a good regimented routine is not an easy task when you're a stay at home parent. When the kids get up at 6:30 or 7, it's easy to just turn on the TV so that I can do e-mail, make breakfast, shower. Then I realize it's 9 or so and they've been parked in front of the TV for two hours. So I'm looking for recommendations on what non-TV watching parents do with their kids. How they keep them entertained in the AM.

I am hoping to have my days work like this:

Get up - maybe have the TV on for 1 or 2 Disney AM shows while I wake up, make them breakfast and shower but I want to reduce my waking up time so that it is 8ish when I'm ready to go!

Then go out for a walk, I feel unless it is raining or we have somewhere to be we need to be out taking advantage of our CA sunshine for at least an hour or 2. We moved to this big community that has 2 parks within walking distance. We can get in a good 2 mile bike ride/walk and play at one of the parks.

Come home and some days try to have some pre-planned thing for the boys to do either an art project, coloring, drawing etc and then on the other days even though I feel like I'm next to useless at it, help them put together their train or help them build a Lego structure.

Then lunch....

Then nap/quiet time so I can have a little bit of me time.

The later afternoons are hard because my eldest doesn't nap but my middle son and daughter do. So my eldest is by that point getting pretty tired/cranky and my middle son is rearing to go! I need again to figure out something that burns some of middle son's steam without feeling like I'm over exhausting my eldest. I would love ideas! We don't have a backyard at the moment but we have a nice organized garage so I will move the car out so the boys can ride their bikes or kick around a soccer ball in there.

Whoever thinks parenting and being a stay at home parent is easy or just a cake job has obviously never done it!

I know if I want to even consider any sort of homeschooling program I have to be on the ball more. I have plenty of excuses to why I'm not, I do have a 5 month old who thinks waking up every 2 or so hours at night is exciting so I'm sleep deprived and it's easy to use that as a crutch. But if I want my life to really head in the direction I see, I need to get over it! Easier said then done but mind over matter right?


  1. Great post Nancy!
    It's fun to read your thoughts and see that they are almost exactly like mine! I've been dealing with James wanting to watch his Disney movies over and over again and I've noticed that the more movies he watches- the more he becomes impatient and less able to play alone= those are not attributes I want for him to develop!
    It happens in a similar way for me, he wakes me up around 7 and I start breakfast, which is too late because he is already starving. So I put on a movie and move as fast as possible, or if he has a premade waffle with fruit, as soon as he's done eating and I'm ready to eat with DJ, he wants to watch a movie and then I have to shower and get dressed, so that has turned into more movie time... we've averaged 1 or 2 hours a day since vacation. I hate it! Last week, I tried a new idea out, to basically wake up and spend the morning in jammies playing, eating breakfast, (no movies) and doing crafty stuff and I would just shower during nap time. That did not work for long term, I felt so grungy and it made it easy to stay at home all day every day that way- yuck!
    So I have decided (today actually) that I am going to wake up around 6ish (sacrificing that last hour of snuggle time with DJ, but there will be time for that when JJ is out of the house, right?), shower, make my coffee, read a book/blogs/news/email, pray/devotions, plan the day and then close my laptop until nap time (as in, I can check the weather, but nothing that is not necessary). I want to enjoy this time with James and stimulate his growing mind in as many fun ways as I can. I I think SAHM's have the hardest job in the world, but also the most rewarding. All of my other jobs were a walk in the park compared to this! I wouldn't trade it for the world.

  2. PS. Maybe while I and A are napping, you could work on some preschool activities with J? He would probably bask in some undivided attention and it could be fun for you too!

  3. I am thinking about that too working with J although I is showing a lot of interest so I'll probably split it up. I need some quiet time for me and until A is sleeping through the night some of that will need to be during nap time! :) It's amazing how quickly the schedule and routine can turn into TV time, it's too easy of a "babysitter" and I know so many moms who fight the urge to turn it on!