Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When it's OK to change the schedule

I'll admit it, I like schedules.  I like them a lot.  I might even go so as far as to say, I LUV schedules.  When my kids were babies, we lived by a schedule - feed them at 8, 12, 4 and 8; nap from 10-12 and 2-4.  It worked great for me us.  Now that my kids are older, we still operate on a schedule - up at 7, leave for school at 7:45.  They do the same things in the same order everyday before school because routine helps them remember what they are supposed to do.  Weekends are more relaxed, but there is still a schedule involved - sleep in, get breakfast, do chores, lunch at 12, etc.  I LIVE by schedules.

So when is it OK to break the schedule?

When it helps us spend more time together as a family. 
When it helps us connect.
When it reminds our kids that we love them.
When it means that the kids won't fight for a little while :).

A couple weeks ago we had just that experience.  It was Saturday, which as we tell our kids, is "sleep in day", i.e. don't come in and wake up Mommy and Daddy early.  LET US SLEEP!!!

They did great with that.  We woke up late and I fixed us a nice big breakfast.  ...OK, so my husband helped too.  I made the eggs; he did the bacon; Julie toasted the bread.  Working together, we had fixed a HUGE breakfast - much bigger than normal - and it was late, around 9:30.

I had had recent surgery so I wasn't up to doing much.  That gave Julie the bright idea to play a board game all together.  She had received the electronic version of Monopoly (much more realistic property values, but no paper money involved) for Christmas and really wanted to play it.  So we set it up.

And we played...and played...and played.  Noon came and went.  No one was hungry so we didn't stop our game.  Around two I made everyone take a lunch break.

TWO!!!!  Who eats lunch at two??!!  We certainly never do.  But we did that day. 

The kids had to eat at the bar so we wouldn't mess up the game board on the table.  We NEVER let them eat at the bar.  But we did that day.

Want to know what we were all wearing?  Our pajamas!  Yup, that's right.  I didn't even make anyone get dressed.  I ALWAYS make my kids get dressed.  But I didn't that day.

After our super-late lunch, we finished our Monopoly game - Julie creamed us all - and we had a late dinner on the deck.  Was it nice enough to eat outside?  Not really.  It was still pretty chilly.  But the kids suggested it and we let them.  And we had a great time.

Did we fix wonderful food that day?  Um, not exceptional.
Did we spend a lot of money on an excursion?  No, definitely not.
Did we let the kids veg in front of screens all day?  Nope.

So why did we all love that day?

Because we were a family.  We spent time as a family.  We enjoyed each other as a family.  And even though we played a cut-throat game like Monopoly, we still laughed. We still were nice and gracious and granted each other free rides on our airplanes (yes, the new version has airports instead of railroads). 

In short, we just showed each other how much we loved them.  And that made it a great day. 

Great days make my family happy.  And that makes ME happy.

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1 comment:

  1. Love it! Oh, this makes me realize somethings that I need to work on. :) I LOVE my schedule a little too much. Thanks for the great post and sharing! :)

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