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Summer is ending, and it is time for the kids to go back to school.
Back to School Routines
Schedules and routine are on everyone’s mind, as my stepdaughter prepares to return to school.
A daily schedule is necessary, to allow children the best chance for school year success.
My stepdaughter will have a set bedtime and wake up time, homework time, and chore time. The family chore chart is updated and ready to go, so that everyone knows what their daily chore will be.
But, in the midst of all this back to school scheduling, I realize that my schedule is severely lacking.
As a SAHM of 2 under 2, it is time to admit that I’ve lived in “survival mode” for longer than necessary.
What is Survival Mode
Survival mode is when your focus is simply making it through the day (imagine those first few months with a newborn) and you are less concerned with the particulars. You care that your baby is fed and changed, and hopefully sleeping somewhat well. But you aren’t following a set schedule, and your day is dictated by your baby’s needs more than your own.
As my kids get older,(in a few short months I will no longer have 2 under 2), I realize the necessity of having a set schedule.
Why it is Easy to Fall into the Survival Mode Trap
There are times when survival mode is necessary and times when it is not. When my daughter was born and my son was only 11 months old, you better believe survival mode was a way of life for me. My days passed in a haze of sleepless nights, breastfeeding, countless diaper changes, and constantly tending to the needs of two babies.
But, at some point, that newborn became a 10 month old, taking her first stumbling steps towards toddlerhood. Not to mention, my 11 month old is now nearly 2 years old, and is ready to begin potty training.
Life has gotten easier, as it does when babies grow older. But instead of stepping up my game as a SAHM, I have continued the bad habits of survival mode.
What Needs to Change
One of the hardest things in the world for a mother to acknowledge is her own failings.
It is time for me to stop using the excuse of having 2 under 2 to not be a better mother.
Is it hard to get out and about with 2 under 2? Sure, it can be. Do I often get comments like, “you have your hands full.” Of course I do.
But is it impossible? Definitely not.
Some Actionable Steps:
A Note About Blogging
This blog began as a hobby, and it will always come in second behind my family and children.
I’m not going to lie. The more I learn about blogging, the more I want to improve and grow my blog. But I cannot do that at the expense of my family.
I cannot let myself get sucked into the world of social media and blogging if it means that I am neglecting or ignoring my kids.
Have their been times when I have not given my kids the full attention they deserve because I was too busy drafting my latest post? Or creating pinnable images? Or following other bloggers so that they would follow me? 100% guilty.
My solution is that I will do the majority of my blog writing at night, when the kids are asleep.
A Sample Schedule
What does a daily schedule for a SAHM (of 2 under 2 and a 9 year old) look like? For me, it is something like this:
7:30-8-Get dressed and get kids dressed, diapers changed, feed the dog and cats
7:45-Wake stepdaughter up
8:25-9:20-Take stepdaughter to school (nearly an 1 roundtrip)
9:30-10:30-Appen work from home job
10:30-11-Educational play/activities with kids
11-11:45-Exercise video or walk around the neighborhood
11:45-11:50-Follow up task for Appen job
12:30-1-Play, educational activity with kids
2-3:15-Errands with kids, special outing, bath time, etc.
3:20-4:30-Pick stepdaughter up from school
4:30-5-Bring in mail, help stepdaughter with her homework, dinner prep, feed cats
6:30-7-Yardwork, kids playing in yard
7:30-8-Downtime, TV shows with hubby
8-Start getting my 2 under 2 to bed
8:15-9-TV shows with hubby
9-9:30-Bedtime prep, bedtime for stepdaughter
10-10:30-Bedtime for hubby and I
*I did not add in naptimes because I expect my kiddos to nap in the car when I am taking stepdaughter to and from school. If, by some miracle, I could get them to nap during the day as well, I would work on my blog/social media during their naptime.
Realistically, I know that I won’t follow the schedule 100%. Life happens. But it is a good starting point.
The 1st step towards change is admitting you need to change.
Survival mode was a way of life, but now that way of life is no more.
Readers: Have you moved from survival mode to schedule mode? How did it go? Can you offer any tips on the transition?