Mommy Soup

How soup for 7 really works.

The Planner

on October 29, 2012

My friends with 2+ kids often say that the key to maintaining a “big” family is a schedule. They talk about chore schedules and day planning and organized events. When they call me, they ask what I have planned for later in the week and laugh when I say, “Nothing.”

I’m not a planner. There’s a rhythm to my family’s days, but its fluid. I can’t tell you when my kids nap or how many times a night the baby wakes up to eat. There isn’t a specific time frame for the sit-down aspects of homeschool.

I tried to schedule things for a week. By the end of the week, my kids were antsy and I felt like nothing got done. I’m amazed by my friends who have their days broken down by the hour. How can they do that? And what about when they’re kids do the kid thing and screw up the schedule? Do they have a cushion built into it for those days?

Maybe I’ll find comfort in planning as my kids get older. Maybe a weekly dinner menu will make my evenings easier. I mean, kids find comfort in routine, so it probably would be good for them. I just can’t seem to do it. I like flying by the seat of my pants. I like going on day trips when the mood strikes and not having to plan them a week in advance.

But maybe a schedule would make Calandra fall asleep at a better time. Maybe my kids would be less amped up at bedtime with fewer random nature hikes. Nah, I like random. And random is what I know best.

One of my favorite things to do with my mom and sister was random roadtrips. We’d pack an overnight bag, some snacks, and set off with a full tank of gas and a credit card. We’d pick a direction (north, south, east, or west) and head that way, picking a new direction at each intersection. The only limit was the presence of a road. When we got tired, we’d get a hotel room and figure out where we were the next morning. We did those trips all the way up until I was 20 and they are some of my favorite memories. It was always educational and fun, but also completely unplanned. I want my kids to have those same memories with me.

My life might look like chaos from the outside, but there’s joy in the madness. And my kids are just as random as me.

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