As a detail oriented school teacher, I probably schedule more than your average mom. My husband and I took a class that focused on time management class in undergrad, and we both earned an “A.” (Yes, really.)
Every family has a different system for communicating schedules, and many people use google calendars or some app to help remind parents about where and when they’re supposed to be.We keep a whiteboard calendar in our bedroom. For some reason, it works better for us than a google calendar or app- but if its not on the calendar, there’s a pretty good chance that its not going to happen.
This schedule keeping isn’t what makes me think that we might be schedule Nazis. (That’s a real thing- I checked urban dictionary!) In our house, we don’t just schedule our after work commitments. We schedule every day in 15 minute blocks… just like we did in those lessons on time management all of those years ago.
Our daily routine and schedule is vigilantly adhered to. Our kid is up between 6:15 and 6:45. If he doesn’t wake up on his own, we wake him up, to ensure that the schedule isn’t thrown off. Nap time and bed time are scheduled and followed with extreme dedication. No more than 15 minutes of flexibility are allowed at any point.
This unflagging commitment to routine isn’t earning us any popularity points, but that isn’t going to deter us.
Our kid knows what to expect. Meal times happen within the same time each day; we schedule trips and outings around his need for sleep (and our need for a break from chasing a toddler around.) If there’s something exciting going on that Patrick and I want to participate in that our schedule won’t allow, we try to find a sitter for our kid so that he can still follow the regularly scheduled program, and suffer as little disruption as possible.
Not everyone understands why we’re so maniacal about our schedule. Why not just let the kid sleep for 30 minutes in the stroller while we’re out? He can stay up an hour late… just this once, right? Its ok if there’s a wait at the restaurant…7:30 isn’t that late for dinner!
Not in our house.
Any time that we’ve made these exceptions in the routine, the result is some serious tantrums; sometimes more than one. (From Jasper, Patrick and/or me.) Its just not worth it. Instead, we follow the exact same schedule, every single day, and everyone is happy.
One thing is for sure; our kid is totally going to get an “A” in time management class.