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FACING YOUR FEARS – 31 STORIES FROM M.O.M.
I look at my watch. 6:30 PM.
Sigh. I don’t have dinner started, L needs to do eye therapy, E needs to study spelling words, and J needs a bath. And bedtime is supposed to be 8 PM.
I felt like my mind was spinning out of control. My shoulders tensed, my heart rate doubled, and the inner voice started.
Why can’t you get yourself together?
Other moms homeschool and have dinner on the table at 5:00 PM.
You will never get this mothering thing right.
You are a terrible wife.
I knew I had to make changes. I have always had a loose schedule. Mostly around when to feed the kids, when to wake the kids, and when to get the kids in bed. Food and sleep – the two most important things to keep harmony in the home.
However I often chaffed at scheduling activities. Mostly because my type-A personality gets up in my grill when I don’t check the all the items off on the schedule every day. Instead of trying again next time, I just stop.
Yet I knew something would have to change. I needed structure if my family and I were going to be productive, eat healthy meals, and get enough sleep. So I found this book – Managers of Their Homes: A Practical Guide to Daily Scheduling for Christian Homeschool Families by Steven and Teri Maxwell of Titus2.. Now before you folks who don’t homeschool run away shrieking, I don’t homeschool either. But this book has helped me tremendously.
In their book the Maxwells encourage you to:
- Pray over the activities you and each of your children need to accomplish each day, each week, and each month. Ask God to direct what things you need to do and write them down. If your list of daily activities including sleeping and eating require more than 24 hours, perhaps you are too busy.
- Using your list of activities begin shaping when you need to wake up, when you need to start dinner, and when you need to be in bed. Remember you need at least 7 hours of sleep a night according to my husband who is a doctor.
- Start scheduling activities in 30-minute time slots. You will have a schedule for yourself and each child. There are a variety of activities to include. Always include time to spend with God. For your children include time for your children to play together, separately, individually with you, or even with a particular sibling. Include time for homework, or your homeschool schedule. Schedule chores and schedule in rest times. These increments help you stay focused and get a task done without getting distracted.
- Finally they encourage you to give yourself and your children grace. The schedule is a guide or tool not a tyrant. It helps you structure your days, but should never be made an idol. Also it is important to build margin in your schedule. Times when you are free to call a friend or hang out on Pinterest or be available for a God-ordained appointment. For more information about margin see this book titled Margin.
I have never once met my goal of a perfectly scheduled day. However having the framework for the day and allowing for grace to seep in, I have discovered that scheduling makes sure I get the essential things done each day without neglecting the most important things.
What is your experience with scheduling? Has it helped? What tips can you share?