Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Final Resolution

My third and final resolution (so I don't overload myself) is to become more balanced with my family and personal life.
Here's the thing, when I was in school, I had a few hours every day that was my time and despite how much I hated being in school while I had two kids at home, it was a much needed break. After I graduated, I found myself struggling to find Hobie--watching TV and going shopping don't count in my book. Now don't get me wrong, I totally believe that raising my children well is the most important thing I can do; however if I lose who I am while I'm raising them, am I doing them a favor?
Solution: I'm going to implement a relaxed schedule to ensure that I give my kids the quality time they need in addition to having my own quality time.
The schedule (which I started today): we wake up whenever (usually by 8:30, but I'm not going to be banging any gongs), eat breakfast, then we have preschool time where Alex (18 months) colors and Gabby (4) and I work on getting her ready for kindergarten next fall. Today we went until about 11:30 AM at which time Alex went down for a nap. Nap time means it's my time and quiet time for Gabby (she can play in her room, watch a movie or read books).
So Now What do I do? During My Time, I can blog (which I'm really loving), read (which is why I started the book club), catch up the photo albums, sing or do whatever--the point is that I'm taking time out each day so I don't go crazy and one day wake up and realize I haven't a clue who I am.
When Alex Wakes Up: we have some physical activity (which can include shopping if need be, when you bring your kids it can become quite physical). Generally, I'd like the physical activity to include: going for a walk, going to the park, playing outside . . . anything to wear my precious children out.
When the Kids are Exhausted: let them play on their own or set up a craft to work on. Around 4 PM I'll start the preparations for dinner (i.e. thaw chicken, cut vegetables, etc.)
When Noah Gets Home: He watches the kids and I go for a 2 mile jog around the neighborhood. When my jog is done, I finish dinner and we eat together as a family.
After Dinner: we clean up the kitchen (as a family), the kids take a bath and get ready for bed. When the kids are ready for bed, we read together and they go to sleep (by 7:30 PM).
A Quiet House: When the kids are out, I get time with Noah (Boggle and such), then he works on his master's degree while I enjoy the peace and quiet by reading or going out on the town.
Note: I'm no stickler and if something comes up, I'm not going to pass it up just because it doesn't fit in the schedule.


Design Mom said...

Schedules are so great. I rarely stick to mine, but they provide such lovely direction and get me back on track if my day is drifting.

Factotum said...

I'm hoping I can stick to it (organization isn't really my thing) but I think the kids and I will both benefit.

older singer said...

Here's what works:
1) Have children who are naturally inclined to follow a schedule. Marry somebody who borders on being compulsively clean and orderly so that the children don't even need to be taught how to mate and put away their socks; they do it instinctively from the time they start crawling.
2) Hire an illegal alien (preferably from a close planet which has mastered robotics) to do any other cleaning.
3) Have children who are naturally inclined to take long naps. Do this by marrying someone who falls asleep during every activity, including meals. (A man who drops his sleeping head onto his spaghetti is a real find, as he will almost certainly produce nap-inclined children.)
4) Hire an illegal alien as a clown to entertain the children if they don't want to color. That robot from _The Day the Earth Stood Still_ could be a real motivator with that lazer thing, and would also look adorable holding balloons. Be sure the children know how to say "Klatu barada nikto."
I found that as I did these things, my house was immaculate and I was never tense or irritated. I found that my children behaved pretty darn near perfectly, and truly desired world peace. I also found that eventually, I woke up.
Factotum, your goals are wonderful. Best of luck with them. Just know that you come from a long goal of goal makers. But "A woman's reach must exceed her grasp, else what's a heaven for?"
In other words, eventually we die and go to Heaven, so don't sweat the small stuff.

Factotum said...

I can really see your point. Today, here's how the schedule went: We woke up (didn't do any cleaning), Gabby went to gymnastics and then to a friends house (I did some drooling at downeast home and then relaxed while Alex took a nap), after picking up Gabby, we went to Noah's cousin's house for dinner, stayed there until midnight, we're now home and the kids are in bed at 12:27 AM and I'm blogging.

The schedule is more of a guidline and I know it was made to be broken but I like having it there as a suggestion, just in case . . .

Henry Parents said...

Yeah, scheduling can be rough. I feel like Henry switches the game on me every few weeks (at the moment he is on a regular rotation of angel sleep baby and goblin night baby) so I figure I have no real power in the situation until he is a little older. At this point I just set small daily goals - like vacuuming, world peace, etc. If I get that one goal done, then I praise the skies above and feel like a good person.

The hardest thing is carving in time to run/jog, I just need thirty minutes or so (and we have a treadmill) but I have only used it twice in the last three months. I usually do yoga once a week and that has been really nice. Let me know how the whole running thing goes for you.

Factotum said...

So far the whole running thing is pretty pathetic--if wasn't so damn cold!