I watch the reality show Supernanny every now and then… and as much as I hate to admit it, Jo has some pretty darn good ideas on childrearing and running a household.
Creating a daily schedule for the family and hanging it on their refrigerator is one of the first things Supernanny ALWAYS does when she enters a house filled with chaos, unruly children, and frazzled parents.
I’ve been working from home for over seven years now… six of those with child(ren) running amok. It’s safe to say that any semblance of routine, order, or organization flew out my window a looooooong time ago.
Every day, we pretty much “wing it” around here. Avery and I usually stay in our jammies 24/7 because we don’t get out much. The only routine we have is putting Damon on the bus at 8:25am and getting him off the bus at 3:45pm. Everything in between is just a free for all.
What this usually means is that I spend the majority of the day on this computer, supposedly “working.” But anyone who knows me at all knows that I spend the majority of THAT time chatting with my friends, posting on my Mom’s Group forum, emailing family members, and just generally wasting my life on the Internet… which is not at all hard to do!
This means that Avery spends a lot of time with Dora, Diego, The Backyardigans, and The Wonderpets—“Lenny, Tuck, and Ming Ming, too.” She’s not a TOTAL couch potato… she also runs around single-handedly destroying the house and getting into things that she shouldn’t… this is how three year olds entertain themselves when Mom is too busy in front of the computer.
And, yes, this makes Mom feel incredibly guilty and basically like a waste of space because she lacks any motivation on a daily basis.
Sooooo… last night, I had the brilliant idea to take a tip from Jo Frost, aka Supernanny.
I sat down with pen and paper and wrote up a daily schedule for us. It was incredibly easy to do. I only had to make one draft, even. It just worked that perfectly when I made a time slot for everything I’d like to do in a day’s time.
I now have hours set aside to WORK and work only, every day. I have time in the afternoon for Avery/Mommy playtime, and another block of time in the evening for Damon/Avery/Mommy playtime. There’s even time to straighten the house, do a little laundry, and cook dinner for all of us to enjoy together before Nick leaves for work every evening. And yes, I scheduled little blocks of time throughout the day for my useless Internet/mental health breaks (I wasn’t COMPLETELY unrealistic, lol).
My new schedule looked fabulous on paper! I was very excited about it as I drifted off to dreamland last night.
Today was my first attempt at following the schedule. And I’m beyond thrilled to report that it was a HUGE success. This has probably been one of my “best days” in a very long time. I was actually able to stick to the schedule all day. And I felt so productive and not guilty at all for not working or not playing with the kids or not cleaning my house… because I had a little bit of time throughout my day for ALL of that. I even had time left over!!
It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a huge difference in one’s day.
And on that note, it’s now 11:50pm… I’ve got 10 more minutes until my bedtime, according to the new schedule. So I’m going to check in with my beloved Mom’s Group one last time and head to bed, feeling satisfied with my day for a change.