I have realized in the last few years (since having kids and not out of the home working) that I DEFINITELY need to be on a schedule. If you have young children - you definitely know how hard it is to be on a schedule around your kids' schedules. But finally, my boys are old enough that I don't have to be home enforcing naps which has freed up my schedule to make a schedule for all of us...;-) Are you following me? I have DREADED the winter months since having children. The "being stuck in the house" routine has just about put me over the edge on several occasions. I hate being stuck in the house with two boys who definitely need activities to keep them busy! But finding activities for both kids has been tough. Most activities are for older children (3+) or cost money which isn't always the best option financially.
So, a few months ago I started planning and making a schedule for me and the boys so that I wouldn't go crazy this winter but also would allow the boys to have learning opportunities. I even made my own calendar for the refrigerator - crafty huh?
Carter was old enough to start preschool along with Evan. I had to first decide whether to send both of them Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday. I wanted to send them on the same days so that I could get a break for myself - selfish? Sorta! I knew Evan would thrive with either schedule and I didn't want to put Carter in for too many days. They have 12 years to go to school every day - in my opinion. So I decided to keep the Tuesday/Thursday for both kids after discussing it with friends, family and Evan's school teachers. Evan's school teachers actually followed him up to Pre-K and assured me that he wouldn't miss out on anything important if he didn't go 4 to 5 days a week. Besides he has a mom for a teacher, so I am not too concerned about him being behind ;-)! Many of my friends urged me to do 3 days a week, for my sanity. But I just didn't feel comfortable having them away from me that much.
Because I chose the preschool option of 2 days a week, I had to find some "extracurriculars" for the other days. I still want the boys being exposed to other learning experiences different from their classrooms. After researching and researching and agonizing, I found that the YMCA had the best options for the price! So I have enrolled both boys into an exercise class and swimming class on Mondays and Wednesdays. This is awesome for me too, since now I have NO excuse not to exercise while we are there - I do get 2 hours of free child care a day! A big thanks to my parents and Jeremy's parents for helping out financially to allow the boys to take extra classes!
And I will be planning on "field trips" with the boys also throughout the cold months. This week, we went to the zoo. Jeremy took the day off for a family field trip! The boys had a blast and since we pretty much had the zoo to ourselves, we were able to do a little bit more educating while we were there. I love having a Museum pass - it makes for great, cheap educational trips to local museums and zoos!
There you have it! I am SUPER excited to be on a schedule! I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted and my life is getting a little bit more controllable. I am fully aware that come May, I will be yearning for a schedule free summer of playgrounds, play dates and swimming. But right now, bring on the consistency, schedule and a little "me" time as an extra bonus.
What do you do to stay sane with your kids during the cold, snowy months of winter? I would love to know so that I can add them to my arsenal :-)?