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Household Schedule
 
I’ve got a five-part And That’s Why series planned though this is only segment two and I honestly have no idea when the other three will come to life.  I’d make a horrible for-real writer because I simply don’t make it a priority.  I’m more of a “when the spirit moves” kind of girl which ties nicely in with this particular post…
 
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For years I stressed myself silly over being the perfect housewife.  I was sure I needed a schedule and a strategy for executing that schedule.  I was determined to fit my young and growing family into a very nice, tidy mold that made me feel good about myself and the job I was doing.

The trouble was it created absolute chaos.

If 9:00am was supposed to be morning devotions as a family, at 8:55am the dishwasher would begin spewing out bubbles {don’t even ask how many times a child-in-training has put dish soap, rather than dishwasher detergent, into that little compartment} and the baby would decide it was the perfect moment to have a panic attack.

Naturally, the need to tend the task at hand would throw us off schedule and I’d feel my hackles rising.  The very thing that was to be a tool to create a peaceful environment was absolutely thrashing any dream of peace my family may have had.

I’d find myself pushing through and scrambling to regain my footing.  Perhaps by lunchtime we’d be on track.  Unlikely, but possible.  However, with lunch scheduled for 12:30 sharp, I’d find myself shrugging off the hugs of little people vying for my attention.  For pity’s sake, child…don’t you understand we must eat on time?  Give Mama some space so I can serve you well! 

And I’m ashamed to admit how many evenings during those tender years I rushed through the bedtime ritual, missing the opportunity for quiet moments beside their sleepy bodies because I had a list of things I was determined to get done in order to be ready for the next day.  Is this not one of the saddest stories you’ve ever read?

In my own defense, I was trying for all I was worth to get it right.  My heart yearned to be the wife and mother He wanted me to be.  And I need to offer myself grace even as I look back on my struggle.  But I was missing the point completely.

Life isn’t about schedules, though being prompt and efficient are certainly excellent qualities.  Life is about little moments that flavor eternity.  It’s about tossing the notion that morning chores must be done by quarter after the hour or that school must commence at the pre-determined time, without delay.  If all that happens, terrific.  Gold star for mama.  But most of the time it won’t.  And oftentimes it shouldn’t.

She’s a heretic, you might be thinking.  Listen to her stomp all over my pretty little scheduled life.  I’ve worked hard to establish this pattern to my days and it’s working great for my family.  If that’s the case, go for it!  Keep up the amazing work.  And definitely pay no attention to the pinch of green-eyed envy you see when you glance my way.  I simply wasn’t wired as you are.

For me, I tend to be all in or all out.  And while I truly enjoy calmness and predictability, I find I rush past way too many moments in my hurry to be “predictable”.

If my toddler implores me with dewey eyes and an “I hold you, Mama?” I don’t want to be scurrying off to the next thing.  I want to breathe in the moment, forgetting all about what’s next for a spell.

If my daughter wants help with her crochet project, I don’t want to brush her off leaving her to think the laundry is more pressing.  I want to sit down and find a Youtube video that explains it to both our novice minds.

If my teenager gets that look in his eye that says everything his words just can’t, I don’t want to even think about what’s for supper.  It can wait.  Most likely my boy can’t.

If my husband looks weary and clearly needs a few minutes with me, sitting still, I want to be still for him.  Surely that should trump whatever is supposed to be happening at that moment instead.

So you see, it isn’t the schedule I have a bone with.  It’s the idea that the schedule is the rule rather than a guide.  It’s the deception that a successful day is one in which it was adhered to closely even when life tried to get in the way.

I say honestly, I believe it’s far better to let life go ahead and get in the way.  Far, far better.

What do you say?