What gets in the way of the schedule.
My schedule is how I get things done. If my kids stayed out of the way, it was a guarantee that I’d get my “list” done in short order. However, my kids didn’t always stay out of my way.
The first day of school when I’d planned to go to my sister-in-law’s to can applesauce all day long, my youngest decided to wait in the grass for the bus. Unfortunately, he sat in a tick nest. By the time he got to school, the ticks were taking over his body! Instead of going to homeroom, he went to the nurses office. There, she used masking tape to remove as many ticks as possible, and called me. Yep, there went the first hour of cutting apples. I streamlined things by grabbing clothes for him on my way out the door. At his aunt’s house, I pulled the remaining ninety-nine ticks off his body, tied his clothes into a bag, and then returned him to school. There went the second hour.
I could hardly blame the kid. In all the years waiting for the school bus, every one of my kids sat on that bank waiting for the bus some time or another and none were ever involved a tick nest. It wasn’t his fault, but it sure put a crimp in my day.
Other times, the extra time needed to rectify a problem was often the fault of the kid. A clumsy spill on the floor when a kid was distracted, failure to do a chore assigned to him, settling an argument or dealing out consequences for misbehavior just when I was finally picking up my Bible to spend time with Jesus are ways kids get in the way of my schedule.
There was the bee sting that had to be dealt with when I was in the middle of measuring ingredients, and the napper who awakened while I was stirring pudding on the stove. All these could have been viewed as inconveniences or they could have been viewed as opportunities. As the Mom, we get to choose.
Change the schedule, not the kid
Housekeeper or mom? Cook or comforter? As moms, we can be both – but it takes a mindset that’s offbeat from that of many other parents.
We only get to do this once. We make mistakes. Sometimes, we fail completely, like the cake that flops in the oven when it seemed perfect going in.
Our children* will interrupt, fuss, whine, spill things, fight and argue, and barter. Sure, we can work on teaching them to deal with life in a better way, but the fact remains that this is what kids do. The trained toddler forgets to go to the bathroom; the school-age kid just can’t complete a task by herself; and the teenager slams doors and stomps outside, refusing to do what is asked. None of those things are on “the schedule” and they circumvent the to-do list from completion “on schedule.”
Scheduling time for kids helps change the kids
Perhaps if we’d schedule “interruptions” in our list of to-dos for the day, we’d feel more accomplished at the end of the day. Maybe if we’d view the interruptions as what they truly are: an opportunity to teach and train, and to give and experience grace, we’d be more willing to change our schedule instead of our kids.
*I recognize that we are responsible to help our kids change from their selfish sin nature to growing up into mature adults. In this post, I’m not negating the necessity of this. Our kids know if they are a blessing or a bother, and whether schedules are more important than relationships.