Saturday, May 14, 2011
To Schedule or Not To Schedule, That Is My Question
You'd never guess it from the weather in these parts, but May is here. I check out mentally every May, and I'm pretty sure it dates back to my teaching days. Everyone is dying for a break in May. Teachers are ready, students are ready, parents are ready. Heck, I even remember the lunch ladies doing half a job at this point. I've been a stay-at-homer now for about 3 years, but still May hits and all I can think of is sunscreen, pools, vacations, and frozen treats (or maybe that's what I think about all the time?).
So, while I only have one kid in half day preschool three days per week, I am ready for her to be home all the time.
Or am I?
Last summer we did dance twice per week. Nothing against dance classes, but for some reason during the summer this just seemed like a huge bummer. We'd be running through sprinklers, sitting in the shade, sipping our lemonade, and WHAM...I'd look at the clock and realize we had somewhere to be. "Come on kids. Let's stop all the lovely weather fun we've been having. We have to change clothes, shower, and go somewhere that none of us really want to be." So this year we did dance in the winter and soccer in the spring (ends next week).
I have purposefully left summer pretty open. But now I'm worried a bit. What are we going to do all day? What if I am too pregnant and HOT (temperature-wise) to want to be out in the summer sun all day like last year?
Also dating back to my teaching days is a compulsive need to schedule. I never really considered myself to be a scheduled-type until I realized that with 26 little ones, a scene from Lord of the Flies was inevitable unless I had every moment of the day scheduled and prepared for. I lived and died by that schedule.
So when I became a stay-at-homer, I thought that a schedule was exactly the answer to every problem. How do I keep my home clean?...make a schedule. How do I make sure my kids get the nutrition they need?...make a schedule. How can bedtime become easy?...make a schedule. How can I figure out dinner every night and only go to the store once per week?...make a schedule. How can I be sure my kids don't become T.V. heads?...make a schedule.
But here's the thing I've learned the last three years...when dealing with only two kids 24/7 and not answering to anyone (the husband is rather relaxed), I don't live or die by my schedules. In fact, I've learned they can be avoided quite nicely, and sometimes when we're not hampered by the schedule, things are much more pleasant.
So here's my question to all of you that have read this very long thought train of mine, should I set up a "Summer Family Fun Schedule" to keep us active, and not bored in the summer? This would involve outings, school reviews, scheduled play dates, and mini vacations. Or should I just avoid scheduling now because in a few years, whether I like it or not, my kids lives will be our schedule, and it will be one I can't avoid and do have to answer for? You know, when they decide their own activities, have camps, and I become a 20 hour per week cab driver.
Is summer more enjoyable (and frankly, just as meaningful) if we just go with the flow?
Here's where you tell me what to do. Or at least what you would do.