Every day looks different in our house. Every week looks different. We have many, many appointments each week.
I have daily guidelines that help with those who need routine and yet works with our insanity...
1. I must get up, consume coffee and God's word, before any kids get up. (with much lost sleep lately, this has been hard)
2. I must plan to have atleast 15 mins of hanging out (reading, playing, talking, goofing) in the living room with the kids before we move into our day. (this has proved to be incredibly crucial to my relationship with my kids)
3. I have a schedule on the fridge for breakfast. The kids favorite are Wednesday when we have baked oatmeal made by Fayth and Saturdays when we have pancakes made by Lee.
4. Hot breakfast is important. By giving the kids a good solid start to the day, they can manage their behaviors better. No sugar high/crash here!
6. The 3 oldest kiddoes feed the animals every morning while I cook breakfast. The fresh air and the hike up and down to the barn, really does wonders for them. . This has been a huge blessing.
Fayth helps me with Nesiah's morning routines and getting breakfast ready.
7. Each child has one a job they must do after every meal. (that will be another post)
8. I usually serve cereal or have "find your own" lunch. School is usually done and its often a crazy time of day.
9. Until about 9 months ago, we had nap or quiet time every afternoon. This has changed to allow the kids more play time, if they play nicely. If we are home days on end, then we do quiet time, which usually involves listening to audio books. A woman needs her quiet time! lol
10. Animals always need fed at 4:30.
11. Evenings tend to be chaotic, as we have one who fusses much at that time of day. I try, "try" being key word, to have crockpot meals or casseroles for dinner, so there is little prep or clean up.
12. We clean up toys/books etc before lunch and before bedtime. I have this need to have counters and floors clean in order to relax.
13. 6:15 to 7 is kids radio time. We generally are done with dinner and they listen as we clean up.
14. 7:15 is time for bedtime routines. (another post on life changing routines)
15. I try to be in bed by 9:45 as I am often up several times a night.
I find that this season in my life to be very hectic and exhausting. I have the older kids who have more emotional needs rather then physical needs, then I have the littles with more physical needs. Trying to balance everything has been a challenge. I find that organizing and detailing my life helps me to feel less out of control. But then when I have to constantly change things up, I still have days where chaos reigns!
My children have from day 1, needed consistent routines. I need routines. I am a much calmer, happier mom when I have a "plan" and a goal for each day. The kids do better with a "plan" and a goal. Yes, I do ask them frequently to think about their daily goals/plans. I am raising future adults. ;)
Sometimes abrupt changes in plans are handled well, other days abrupt changes bring a frustrated mom and upset kids...
Some of my kids thrive on the chaos, others need calm.
This season of our life has been stretching, challenging and chaotic. Its has stretched me more then I could ever imagine. Living at the beck and call of the caseworkers, birth parents, therapists, court hearings, and worst of all needing to "work" while loving, nurturing, guiding and teaching 6 kids, has def brought me into the most challenging time ever.
However, I have seen years of hard work and training paying off. My kids are incredible strong and responsible. They are also very good at adapting to strange and unusual circumstances. Which is very important in our lives.
I have been blessed with an incredible support system, more then I have ever had before. Neighbors who can babysit at the drop of a hat, and church friends who walk alongside us, mentoring, supporting, babysitting.
In this season, I have a constant flow of people through my house. Professionals and friends... Its is exhausting, but an oppurtunity to show God's love and share His many miracles in my life.
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways, acknowledge Him,
And He will direct your paths.”