My kids’ laughter met my ears as I rushed into the living room. They sat around the carpeted floor surrounded by Lego blocks. Each of them had a project in various stages of completion. Smiles filled their faces.
I glanced at the clock and groaned. My throat tightened and an ache moved to my temples. I hated to interrupt them but … “Hurry, you need to put those blocks away. It’s time to do our morning chores and then we’re going to the library.”
“But Mom …” My son declared.
“Do we have to?” My daughter protested.
The youngest one didn’t comment but his sad eyes lowered as he tossed his Lego ship into the toy bucket.
My heart fell. I’d spent weeks working on a schedule for my family. I’d contemplated my goals and motivations as a mom. I figured out how to focus on important things—family dinners, reading time, chores—and more. Yet I’d become rigid in my planning.
It seems as moms we’re always in search of the perfect schedule. The scene that I mention above happened fifteen years ago. My older kids are now 22, 19, and 17. Since that time I’ve readjusted my schedule a hundred times, and with an 18-month-old baby I’ll readjust a hundred times more. I’ve learned a lot, and there are things I’d do differently. Looking back now, I regret Saturdays I spent cleaning instead of going on bike rides with the kids or evenings I folded laundry instead of playing board games. Can you relate?
The truth of the matter is there will be no perfect schedule. Yes, we can make guidelines. Yes, we can pray and choose priorities, but we also need to be flexible and open to change. We also need to allow God to lead us in directions we hadn’t planned in order to meet HIS goals for our day.
I still create a schedules, but I also take more time to play with my kids.
I still encourage my kids to do chores, but I give them blocks of time to complete them, instead of a minute-by-minute schedule.
I like to think through what I’d like to accomplish, but if God brings someone into my life I pause from my list and turn my attention to the person God has brought before me. Just today I took time to talk and pray with a dear woman who needed encouragement. I didn’t get a few things marked off my list, but I saw God work … and what can beat that?
Editor’s Note: A lot of us struggle with creating (and maintaining) a consistent schedule (including me!) We want to know… What schedules and routines work best for you and your family? Share your best tip in the comments!