Schedule…It’s Never Too Late!

We have four children, you would think we have a good schedule in place or something to help manage our home well!  However, it’s been crazy the last few years.  Let’s do a quick recap:

April 2009 – Lenna-Grace was born
January 2010 – Move to NC
September 2010 – Zachary was born
September 2011 – Move to SC (not far from our home in NC, but it was a move)
March 2012 – Move to Florida
March 2012 – Dalton was born
September 2012 – Move houses in Florida

SO….it’s been crazy with changes and having babies!  Plus, John was on second shift until this past November.

As you know, I have been changing our family’s health little by little…beginning with cleaning products, trying to make more homemade foods, and then with adding good, healthy supplements to everyone’s diets.  Now….it was time to bring more structure to our home!

It’s funny because everyone would say “You must be so organized and structured with three little ones…”  Far from it!  This past week I made it a priority (and I am still working on it) to bring structure to our home.

Jamie has always had structure–he does not function well without it.  His routine does not change or you really throw him off balance.  We try to give him 3-4 weeks of doing something new in a routine to get it set in.  He is doing amazing this year with school and church.  We are very excited that he has grown so much since moving here!

Now…the three little ones.  This is where structure and a good schedule has been needed for some time.  I have either been alone in the evenings before or nursing or just exhausted that I did not want to fight any battles–kids slept where they wanted and fell asleep in anyway!  TV on, in my bed, on the couch, you name it!  So….here’s what I started doing last week and I am making it my personal commitment to stick to it!

1)  I moved the crib into Lenna-Grace and Zachary’s bedroom.  Now there’s a bunkbed (Lenna-Grace on top, Zachary on the bottom) and crib in there  All three in the same room….I am hoping this makes life easier!

2)  Bedtime routine.  I’ve tried several, but I never stick with them.  Now….no matter what…7:30, all the little ones and I head to their bedroom with milk, a small snack, and books…then close the door

3)  Read books–We read about 5-10 books–Yes that many!  I want them settled and calm.  This is a great way for us to read together and let them settle down on the floor while I read or they help me read.

4)  Lights Out….After reading and our snack (about 20-30 minutes), I turn out the lights.  Lenna-Grace and Zachary get in their beds.  I hold Dalton while I sing a few songs.  We sing “Jesus Loves Me” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”  (And they make me say EVERYONE…”Grammie and Papa in his hands..TT and DoDo in his hands…Blade and Ty….Wind and Rain….etc.).

5)  Lay Dalton down in the crib.

6) Snuggle with Zachary and say prayers with him.

7)  Snuggle with Lenna and say prayers with her.

8) Mommy leaves…

So far….So good!  Dalton is sleeping great.  Lenna-Grace is doing pretty good (waking up maybe 1-2 times).  Zachary gets up middle of the nihgt and comes to my bed.  Right now, I let him.  I’m not fighting too many battles at once.  After a couple of weeks of this routine, I will walk him back to his room.

Morning routine–I am also trying to start structuring our morning better.  However, Lenna-Grace is very hard to get up!  Right now, I try to have everyone up by 8  This is easy for the boys, but not Lenna-Grace.  I want to get her in the habit of getting up, having some relaxing time, and then eating breakfast.  This way, when we start officially homeschooling in the Fall, she will start “school” by 9.  I want that to be structured/scheduled time.

I’ll keep everyone updated.  But so far, I’m very happy with this routine.  It was tough a few nights ago–everyone kept waking up at different times and waking the other up!  However, so far 4 out of the 5 nights have been great.  That does not mean all three have slept through the night.  It means it is going well and I can hope it will continue to go well!

What type of structure do you have in your family?

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