One of the biggest topics I get asked about, and coincidentally one of the biggest topics for which my close friends pick on me, is the routine I have with the kids. I have one. It’s a detailed one. Like really detailed. And some of my kids are obsessed with it, which means they may grow up to be like their mama. Oh boy.
Schedules can be great. They add order, help everyone understand what’s coming next, show you how much time you actually have, help you accomplish your to-do list.
Schedules can be terrible. They can add stress, rule you so you forget what’s really important, take away flexibility and spontaneity, cause dependency issues like one has to crack.
I have struggled with schedules and routines for many years. Early on, I understood God had gifted me in time management. I am super blessed to have a mother who is a rock star at this stuff, and many of those genes were passed down. I have applied those giftings since the day Liam (firstborn and so far only man-child) was born. I can put anybody’s day in an excel spreadsheet and make sure all priorities are in order.
EXCEPT, almost always schedules become a savior to me, and that’s just dumb because there’s only one Savior, and it seems moronic to try to substitute him with anything, especially a Microsoft product. Nonetheless, when I feel down or stressed, I don’t reach for a Hershey’s bar. I reach for the computer so I can brainstorm. Here’s my line of thinking: “Things aren’t going well right now. The kids and I are really jacked up. It feels like constant chaos. I know if we were more focused on Jesus things would be better. Oooo! I know! I’ll rework our schedule. I’ll make sure to add more order and more Jesus. Then all will be well!”
It seems to go well for a few days. Then we’re back to the same jacked-upness.
As Bill has been talking about in his last posts, we want to parent by faith in Jesus and nothing else. Schedules are fine and can work as great tools for our family, but only if they spring from an admiration for Christ, not as a means to force that admiration or to produce joy.
Over the next few days, we’re going to be talking about the blessings and dangers of schedules, why our family uses them, give you some pointers on how you can go about making one for your family if it seems to be a good fit for you, and eventually show you our current schedule. That way you can join with my close friends in their snickers…