Having A Schedule

Being a Stay At Home Mom, one might think that you'd have all the time in the world. Plenty of hours in the day to attend to all the things that need to be done, everything running like clockwork, right? Wrong.

Being home all day doesn't necessarily guarantee a smooth-as-silk operation within your household. It's all too easy for everything to go haywire! A glass of spilled milk on the freshly mopped floor.....an unexpected visit from a neighbor right during the time you planned to finish dinner...a puppy who throws up his kibble and subsequent trip to the vet...the possibilities for minor but time-consuming disaster are endless. Each one can throw a monkey wrench into your plans for the day and wreak havoc with your peace of mind as you frantically struggle to catch up and get back on track.

This is where having a schedule comes in handy. Not so much a schedule for you, but a schedule for the children. You might be wondering how having a schedule for your kids could possibly help you if some unexpected development throws you off course during the day.

It's simple: If something unforeseen does rear its head, and your plans for the day were interrupted or otherwise blown to pieces, it will be much easier to get back on course if your children are on a schedule. Why? Because the last thing you need is a whiny, demanding child tugging at your pants leg, irritable because he missed his nap, for instance, or his lunch. Not his fault. Children fare much better when they're on a set schedule with a certain pre-specified and routine time to do things.

Allowing them to get up in the morning whenever they feel like it, snack randomly, eat lunch when the spirit moves them, (or not) skip nap time altogether or conk out late in the afternoon so that they aren't sleepy at bedtime, not setting a regular bedtime but letting them stay up ad lib until they're staggering around in a state of exhaustion and extreme crankiness....all the above is a recipe for disaster.

By not keeping your kids on a schedule, you're virtually insuring that they'll be more difficult to deal with. If a child sleeps too late and skips breakfast, for example, he won't feel well because his blood sugar will drop. Besides that, he'll be hungry and irritable. Then, if you finally give him a snack too close to lunch time, he won't be hungry for lunch and an hour or two later, the same vicious cycle will begin all over again. If he isn't put down for a nap after lunch, he'll be over-tired and more irritable as the afternoon progresses. Dinner time rolls around and he's not hungry again because to compensate for missing lunch, he had another snack. So, once again, he's missed a healthy meal and his disposition will suffer for it.

Finally, evening moves into night. But instead of putting him to bed for a good nights sleep, you let him stay up as late as he wants to until he's staggering around in tears, maybe even having tantrums, too tired to understand that what he needs is sleep and fighting it for all he's worth.

The entire day was a mess from start to finish. He was unhappy. You were unhappy. If one little unplanned for emergency had cropped up, you'd have really been done in because not only would you have the mini-crisis to deal with, you'd also have a hungry, tired and miserable child to handle, too.

If he had been on a schedule, the disaster du jour...sick puppy, unexpected visitor, whatever...would have occurred anyway. But at least your child would have been on an even keel, making it many times easier for you to deal with whatever happened and get through it with a minimum of fuss and bother.

Think about it. Schedules are a good thing!