Being many years beyond life with little children, it is easy for me to lose sight of the key factors that contribute to a peaceful and productive home life. Now that we are daily spending hours helping Christopher with his five young children so he can work and be daddy while his wife is having chemo treatments 2,000 miles away, we are once again aware of those components.
Last month we evaluated the benefits of a bedtime and wake up time for Mom that allows her to get the sleep she needs to function well all day, plus have time with the Lord and exercise in the morning. Those pieces are the beginning of a peaceful and productive family.
What do you know you need to accomplish each day and what are the weak areas concerning that? I believe if you were to write those down, then pray and think, you could come up with a schedule to solve those problems.
For example, homeschool moms must do school. If they schedule school time, they make steady progress on their school work, likely finishing by the end of the year when they want to finish. However, haphazard, hit and miss school is a frustration. The end result is that schoolwork falls behind and Mom feels guilty.
Perhaps you long for quiet time to do work at your computer. That could happen if you scheduled it and scheduled the children to do activities that don’t require your attention. That might mean preschoolers and babies are napping while older children are doing independent school work.
Speaking of computer time, one key to a successful schedule is stopping when the schedule says to stop. Computer time has a way of engulfing the next scheduled activities so quit at the time you have scheduled. If you don’t, whatever you have scheduled next doesn’t happen, and that presents a whole new set of problems.
That same scheduling principle applies to whatever your priorities are—put them on the schedule. Start with the needs and after they are filled in on the schedule, then add wants.
Make It a Habit
When you have a schedule up and running, it becomes habit. Habit makes life simple. You aren’t in perpetual decision-making mode as to what to do and when to do it. You don’t have to keep chasing after your children to round them up for what they need to do. (Although when you start a schedule there will be a training phase for everyone involved.)
My heart’s desire is to see young moms enjoying this season of their lives. More often, though, they seem run-ragged, frustrated, and burned out. I wonder if they have tried making and using a schedule. The schedule is a powerful tool for time efficiency and productivity and from that flows energy, contentment, a peaceful heart.
When I recently wrote on scheduling I had a response I think will encourage you and motivate you with scheduling:
As an old home-educating mom with much hindsight, I would like to add another benefit of scheduling—joyful anticipation—based on wonderful results of homeschool scheduling. Florida homeschool laws required us to turn in annual assessments of our children (to show progress, measured by wonderful licensed teachers) and I anticipated, planned, and prayed for wonderful growth and success. And successful, calm, and happy we were. It’s FUN to schedule, anticipate, and accomplish great homeschool goals! It is like achieving any huge goal—a college degree, new home, a huge family celebration—only its happier and better because it’s your children. What an accomplishment. What a blessing. And it’s renewable with each and every homeschool day well done.
Now is the time to start. It isn’t hard. If you need help, Managers of Their Homes is a solid, proven, down-to-earth resource.