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Chi-Japanese Food, (Yum!! hahah)
Your words sound very encouraging, and I'm sure there are many mothers visiting that would love to hear of your schedule. I think you've hit the nail on the head with having a schedule. It really is key, otherwise, it can feel as though we're simply treading water....whether a mom or not! Creating a schedule that works and actually sticking to it can be tricky though, so the more ideas shared, the better the chances of someone finding something that works for them. smile

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Well, I must say that when I was younger, I did not like schedules. They reminded me of rules and school. But I do not mean you must have a rigid, set-in-stone schedule. In fact, moms have to be flexible because kids get sick or have a million other ways to force you to change your plans. So when you plan, don't drive yourself crazy with having to stick to time slots. But here are some ideas:

1. Establish a morning routine. It doesn't matter what time you begin your day, but teach the kids what to do--in order--when they first wake up. It should be automatic. This way, once they start school, it will be a breeze for them to get ready. Just show them by example and start from the time they can walk by themselves.
a. Wake up.
b. Make the bed. At least let them watch you make the bed and let them put on the pillow, etc. or whatever they are capable of, age-wise.
c. Hygiene. Brush teeth, wash face, comb hair.
d. Get dressed.
e. Feed and water pets.
f. Have breakfast.
g. Put dishes in dishwasher.

You can rearrange this, but simply move through these motions daily in the same order and soon, they will do it all by themselves because it is part of their daily routine. You won't even have to write it on a list or schedule.

2. Then, have an evening routine:
a. Take a bath/shower.
b. Brush and floss teeth.
c. Story and prayer.
d. Good night!

If you do only these routines--and it doesn't matter what time you start them--after a while, you can just say, "Ok, PM routine!" and the kids will just do it.

I also had an after school routine which was simple:

a. Backpacks in the hallway closet.
b. Wash hands.
c. Snack.
d. Homework at the table.

After that, they knew they had free time until dinner.

Consistency is the key so they will know what to expect. Sometimes, there were afterschool errands or rehearsals, but that didn't upset the routines at all. I guess when I said "schedule" it makes it sound as though everything was on the clock. But I never set a time slot for things because life was not that rigid. For example, we did not always eat at 6 pm.


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For little children who are not in school, just establish simple routines:

*AM routine
*morning activities
*lunch
*nap
*afternoon activities
*dinner
*PM routine

But then, do work in a few morning activities (help mom with chores, errands, snack, learning activity at the kitchen table, make a craft for grandma, etc.) and a few afternoon activities (nap time, park outing, snack time, outdoor play or whatever fits your family interests).

TV and videos should be educational. Let them watch a program while you have something you can do while sitting nearby. Do this in the afternoon when they tend to be tired. Don't waste their AM energy on sitting and doing something passive like watching a video.

But do let them get outdoors and run around to play before dinner. Physical exercise is vital for their brains and their bodies. Plus, they will behave better at the dinner table and be ready for a bath and bed.

Yes, sticking to a schedule is nearly impossible. I do NOT recommend you even try! But just establish a few simple routines (at least the AM and PM routine) and then work in fun activities along with your errands and chores.

Ii promise you that if you can do this, your life will be infinitely easier and more pleasant with your children. Children are growing and they crave learning about their world. They do so naturally. They only get into mischief when they are bored.

Learning activities don't have to be school-like. They are natural ways to play. Singing a song (any type of song), picking out letters on street signs, taking turns rhyming words or saying words that start with the same sound. Dance (helps with balance and coordination) with your child. Let him help you clean up, cook, garden, grocery shop. It's all great learning!

When kids are engaged in something fun with you, there is no time for trouble.

Motherhood is hard. It takes all of your energy, mind, body and spirit. Take time to rejuvenate yourself. There were times I put myself in "time out". LOL. You MUST take care of yourself because YOU are the one who is taking care of everyone else! Hope this helps!


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Chi,
That is awesome advice!! Reminds me a lot of FlyLady stuff. I think you're right about not sticking to "times," and I would think having everyone just know to do these basic things everyday would make a huge difference in how calm the household runs. Love the activity ideas too!! Great advice! Thanks for sharing your ideas! smile

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Thank you for letting me share! I learned by trial and error (many errors) how to raise the kids. My mother-in-law once said, "Once you get the hang of it and start doing it right, they're all grown up and you don't have kids to raise anymore!" That's probably why grandparents are so wise and wonderful. smile

One last piece of advice for young mother sanity and survival:

Forgive yourself for the not-so-great days. You are only human and learning a very tough lesson. Parenting is hard but in the process of molding a new little human being, you are developing into an amazing human youself. You are learning what unconditional love is all about and how to give it. Feel good about that. And don't forget to enjoy the process. If you missed the joy, you've missed it all. Every day won't be filled with joy, but most days should be!

Best wishes!


Last edited by Chi-Japanese Food; 05/06/10 12:24 PM.
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LOL about what your mother-in-law said! Sounds like a wise woman!! haha Thanks for sharing more great advice! I hope some hurting mothers (or any mothers!!) will come upon these words, as I know they will find them helpful! smile

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Last edited by PearlPJ; 06/25/10 10:00 AM.
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Hello, I felt a need to get my thoughts out there about being a mom to see if I was the only one. The major words that would come to mind is " I hate being a mom. For me, I have two children ages 5 and 3. So, it has been a major roller coaster ride with my emotions in reference to being a mom. I first thought how could I have made the decision of being a mom it just was never something I planned to be in my life it is just to much responsibility what if I cant provide ? to much decisions that i dont want to do ....I would have been perfectly happy with just me and my husband and my career and what ever else i chose to do. But like I have read here its too late for the what if's. My point though for writing here is that now after 5 years why do i still not feel happy about it or have found a balance of some sort? Most days I just deal with the day to day because I have to but never feel truly happy. parenting is not fun damn it......it sucks..the people who do enjoy it power to all of you I just dont see it and who knows how long it will take or if it ever does.

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It just hit me: there is something wrong with the title of this thread "I hate being a mom". Having children doesn't necessarily turn you into a "mom". You are still ___________ (please, fill in the gap with your name) a_____________ (please fill in the gap with your job, profession...) you are still the daughter, wife, girlfriend, friend or sister of somebody. For some women having children is such a great thing that overshadows all others. They do turn into moms. Others, well, we are not so vocational and the mother role is just a little part of what we are or what we feel, and not even the most rewarding, as many would lead you to believe. We just bought the myth that every woman is mother.

Last edited by Solalux; 08/02/10 08:15 AM.
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I googled "I hate being a parent" and found all of you who are going through the same things. My son is almost 4 years old, and although I'm not feeling quite as negative now as I did when he was a newborn, I still feel regret over deciding to have a child. He is a very curious strong-willed boy, and it just makes me wonder when I go to a store and see children calmly standing next to their parents--DS would run off and (carefully) dismantle a store display if I wasn't clutching his hand. I feel like nothing turned out as advertised. He did not sleep through the night once until he was 7 months old, and not consistently until he was 2 years old. I was a SAHM mom and the lack of sleep almost killed me. None of the parenting advice seems to work on him, and reading parenting books just makes me feel worse, as if there is something radically wrong with me or him. Having him wasn't a "lifestyle change", it was an atom bomb dropped on my existence. One thing I haven't seen discussed in this thread is the breastfeeding experience. Breastfeeding was the darkest time of all for me. Many health professionals give the impression that breastfeeding is of the utmost importance, and that moms should never, ever, under any circumstance, give up on breastfeeding lest they harm their child. This pressure made the first months with my son a living hell. DS fed every 2 hours like clockwork, round the clock, and never developed an extended period betwen feedings. It was impossible to draw out the feedings as he would scream for over an hour and throw up if he didn't get the breast. He finally went on a nursing strike when he didn't like my overactive letdown. He was a perfectionist about the position, flow rate etc (and still is a perfectionist about other things). Saw 3 LC's to no avail. I felt terrible about myself and about taking care of my infant, and it colors my view of motherhood to this day. I don't know what I would do if I got pregnant again. I want to have a tubal and stay on the pill just to be extra sure, but hubby is definitely against the tubal. We just learned that the only other only-child mom from my group of friends is expecting again, and now I have to deal with pressure from my husband to have another baby (no way). DS seems like a happy kid and is certainly quite bright, and I thank God for that. I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I guess I'm making the best of it and doing the best job I can, but it has never been an enjoyable job for me, even the smiley cute times that others seem to enjoy. I'm not cut out for this, but there is no going back. Glad to hear I am not alone in how I feel.

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