‘When I’m ‘on my game’, I pretty much live by the motto in my title.
What does that mean you say? To me, it is a series of daily/continual choices that lead to and intended result. Such as my current goal: “I desire to have well run school mornings full of joy, peace and life.” To get to that goal, I need to do some hard work- my whole family does actually, but we will ALL benefit.
I work diligently to keep my house in a state of non-chaos. With emergency placement and respite care foster children coming & going that can be a big enough task in & of itself. Add in the fact that my own 5 children span ages 5 years to 17 years and my husband is a teacher (which means he just went back to work and isn’t 100% home anymore!!!), and we now have Miss B as our special girl for the foreseeable future—–well it COULD be a recipe for disaster, but it doesn’t HAVE to be.
I’m going to share our family’s design for daily success—– not saying it always works, but it mostly does. I’m also not saying we have the ‘market’ on how to have a happy home, but I AM saying our home is happy—-so our system seems to be working for us for the past 20 years.
So HERE is what our family does- Hope it helps.
We begin where we want to end- Dave & I make a list of family goals- something individual for each of us and then our family corporate goals. For example, Ray is a senior so much of his have to do with future planning. As a family, we attempt to memorize one scripture a week (its on the chalkboard wall right by our dining room table), we attend worship together and serve others with generosity.
We live by the mission statement “As a family, we desire to make an impact on each other and the world by showing the love of Christ in everything we do, say & think.” Do we nail it 100% of the time? NO! We fail, we fall, but we pick ourselves up again- ask for forgiveness and start over. EVERY TIME.
Our ‘back to school’ process is pretty simple. We set boundaries, They help to keep us in ‘check’ and provide a plumb line for us to return to when we get off target.
This is our routine for school.
Bedtimes are established and held to….even if the kids aren’t ‘tired', they still go through the process and head to bed. Miss B & Lydia at 7pm &Josh at 7:30pm. Older kids ‘pretty much’ decide when they go to bed as long as it is a decent hour and they prove they can handle it. Dave & I get a few hours to ourselves before we turn in- we aim for 10/10:30pm so we aren’t the ones exhausted the next day—-disciplining ourselves to teach & train our children by example.
Kids backpacks are prepped (by them) and ready before bed. They either make their lunch or snack in the morning (I help the littles, but the big ones are on their own for that).
Mornings- Dave & I both get up before the kids. He starts with his bible study time & then either gets ready for the day or heads to workout (we share weekdays- he gets M/W/F, I get Tues/Thurs). Days I workout, I go right to the gym at 5:45am and then get ready for the day when I get home, doing my bible study both with the kids and then alone later on. Days I’m home, I get ready for the day (head to toe) and then head down for coffee/bible study. It works for us- gets us filled and prepared for the day well and no panic.
Ray & Dean have their own alarms & get themselves ready. Lillie shares a room with Lydia, so Dave or I wake her so Lydia can sleep another 45 minutes. They all get themselves ready- usually the boys make a huge egg based breakfast for themselves. I read a blessing over them from “Blessing Your Spirit”, I read Jesus Calling to them while they eat and they each take some time to read/study the bible on their own…..it is simply now part of our morning. Usually they wake 45 min-1 hour before they need to leave and have 10-15 minutes of ‘free time’ left over as a cushion. I say a simple blessing over all of my kids before they leave the house “I love you. I bless you. I’m glad you’re my son/daughter.”
We do much the same routine with Josh & Lydia. They awake, get dressed, come down for breakfast & I read a blessing over them, read Jesus Calling to them and we do a small bible study. That way they have filled their soul up before they head out. Josh & Lydia get up about an hour before they need to leave. They usually have about 15-20 minutes to free play too. That is great for us.
I get Miss B up while Josh & Lydia are getting dressed. That way she can eat with them and have some play time with them after breakfast. Depending on the day, I either get her ready right away or after the kids have gone to school- both work.
I’m one of those parents that doesn’t run ‘things’ up to the school if forgotten (unless I am actually going there, or it was a weird event that led to being forgotten). I find they don’t forget things if I don’t take their responsibility. It’s worked well the past 13 years of school aged kids.
I’m sure I forgot things, but that’s our routine. It works for us and mornings are pretty darn easy around here. I pray you find a plan that works well for you.