Summertime for most of us stay-at-home moms means we get the opportunity to throw the schedule out the window! We cheer at the very thought of being free to sleep in a bit longer, or take more than five minutes to enjoy that cup of coffee before starting school or the car pool. The thing I’ve noticed about schedule-free days, is that without some idea of what I want to do, the days seem to go by without much getting accomplished, and what’s worse, there’s an amount of guilt I feel after I’ve wasted six weeks of valuable time once school starts again!
Create a Daily Routine
I’ve found that the secret is not in scheduling, but rather in having a daily routine I can follow. Unlike the minute by minute schedule that we need to follow during the school year, a routine is just a list of things that I want to accomplish throughout the day. I know it may sound silly, because we all realize that laundry and tidying up the house is a daily routine. But what’s happened in the past, at least my past, is that I’ve enjoyed my free time so much, that I’ll get on Facebook or start reading a book that I’ve been wanting to read for six months, and before I know it, it’s lunch time…the kids are still in their PJ’s…I’m still in my PJ’s… and all the things I wanted to accomplish for the morning are nowhere close to being started.
(Ephesians 5:16-17) Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Now, if you’re great at time management, this article may not be for you! But, if you’re like me, and need a little help at managing all the aspects of the day, then maybe this will help. This idea of a daily routine has also saved my sanity when it comes to my kids and their own chores / responsibilities. Having something in writing has helped my son with autism know that there are things he needs to do and that when this list is done, he can have his free time. For concrete thinkers, like him, this idea has really lessened the meltdowns.
Here’s an idea of my morning routine:
Get up / Coffee / Devotional or Bible
Shower / get dressed
Take meds / vitamins
Start laundry / fold or hang clothes in dryer / put away
Straighten up house
My day is divided up into three; Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. As you can see, there is plenty of time to have that desired downtime for reading, swimming, playing on the computer or watching Dr. Oz…whatever it is you like to do. I even like to have theme days to look forward to. So Wednesday may be, “Bake Cookies” day. Friday may be “Go Somewhere Fun” day. It will give the kids, as well as you, something to look forward to!
Enjoy your summer! Have fun, relax, and do the stuff that you’ve put aside all this year, in hopes of accomplishing these next six weeks. A little organization will help you have time for all of it!
Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributing writer/blogger to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She has been a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville,TN. Follow her personal blog posts on Talking Like A Girl.