Memories and Wake-Up Calls

The week has been incredibly busy already. It is report card time at work, so evenings are even more jam-packed once the boys are in bed than usual. Homework is cranking up, and I am sure the stores are getting further away from my house every time I need something I forgot to get during the weekly shop. Yet, even though I am rushed off my feet, I stopped to take in something; this was something I had not taken the time to think about for a while, seeing it again stopped me in my tracks. You see, I was going through old files on my portable hard drive and I found memories….many wonderful, meaningful memories from my children’s early days.

Seeing pictures of my sons as babies is fairly common in my house; I have several framed baby pictures scattered around. It was the pictures of my children as toddlers and pre-schoolers that just whisked me back to days of wonderment and awe, imagination and discovery, and schedules!

Yep! I had rediscovered how scheduled I had been in my past life. I worked, the children went to nursery school and then pre-school, but my life was more orderly (for the most part) and I enjoyed more time with my children. (Did the days get shorter as they got older?) Of course, I had a teacher style schedule set up for the summer, but it was fun and ensured I did not waste the days planning for something and not actually getting round to doing it. Here is my summer fun schedule for my pre-school aged sons:

Summer Schedule

7:00-9:00 Breakfast, brush teeth, clean up, free play

9:00-10:00 Fine motor skills: including writing numbers and letters, tying shoes, cutting, gluing, etc.

10:00-10:45 Independent playtime

10:45-11:45 Outside play (weather permitting) or inside activities

11:45-12:15 Lunch

12:15-12:30 Brush teeth, clean up

12:30-2:30 Nap/rest time: Quiet activities such as board games, puzzles, and computer programs

2:30-3:00 Afternoon snack

3:00-3:45 Outside play (weather permitting) or inside activities

3:45-5:00 Painting, crafts, theme week activities, projects, etc.

5:00-5:30 Late snack

5:30-6:30 Clean-up, plan for the next day, story time, dinner

My kids were very happy during this period. They knew what to expect and felt comforted by a routine. I remember how Button would question my changes: he was okay with them once I explained we were doing a full day activity together (or something along those lines), but always relying on the schedule to know what to expect and when. I made sure to let the children know about changes the day before so they could prepare.

My trip down memory lane has served a great purpose. It has reminded me of what worked in my life before Button got sick and everything went out the window. I realized today that we are rebuilding our lives and that we are finding ourselves as a family once more. We are almost three years beyond the schedule above. My kids have homework, activities, PT, play dates and interests that don’t involve Mommy or Daddy.

Our family needs a schedule that works for us now. One that gives each of us time to do what we need to, yet allows us all to come together frequently. I cannot go by my old teacher-led instincts for this schedule. It needs to be shaped according the Z family.

My next post will discuss the importance of schedules and how to create one. I will be revisiting some old techniques I used which were successful, including lists of chores for various age groups. We are getting the Z family into order, just by using the knowledge and experience I already have. I also welcome your ideas and suggestions. Every family is different but we can take what works for ourselves in our own, unique and wonderful situations.

12 comments on “Memories and Wake-Up Calls

    • Such great advice, and something I used to use back when life was civilized ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course I am at a new stage in the boys’ lives so need to rethink my ‘sticker chart’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. This is totally wonderful, that you made a schedule and adhered to it 99% of the time. As you said, it is a known fact that children are comforted by “schedules” familiar routines on a day to day basis adds structure and stability to their lives. When my 2 youngest children were pre-schoolers, due to unique circumstances, my husband stayed home with the children while I worked outside of the home. Hubbie is a creature of habit so the children’s time was structured. On the other hand, by the time they reached school age I had taken on a Restaurant Managers position, at nights no less, and it threw the whole family a curve ball, that looking around now I realize…we have never quite recovered from…and that was over 3 years ago. You reminded me that even though the children are getting older we need to schedule and put more structure back into our family lives. Thank You for the proverbial “Wake up Call!”

    • We had a curve ball that threw us off track too. I have no idea how you managed working at night and keeping the family going….I congratulate you on that achievement!

  2. I am eagerly awaiting your next post on schedules since I am already looking forward to how to fill up our summer in an organized way. With Cody being so behind with his fine motor in school, I feel I should fit in some “school type” activities for both boys so they don’t completely forget everything school related over the summer. I find my boys enjoy schedules as much as I do and I think it will make the summer months more relaxing if we make one and stick to it.

    • It is being worked on right now! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have had two very unscheduled summers and we really wasted them. The trick is not to become so tied to the schedule that it stresses you out.

  3. This is good! My kids are still little, so I haven’t had to worry too much about scheduling yet. Love the insights from a more experienced mom! Found this on the Green Alexa hop!

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