Since the first week of Lil E's life, I have been saying that the boy is soothed by a schedule. And he is. He likes to know the plan. Loves to fill up our monthly dry-erase calendar. Is a creature of habit.
As much as the regularity of most of our days is for him -- wake at 7:30, out the door by 8:15, play for 5 minutes before the school bell, school, homework, some screen time, Tae Kwon Do, dinner, bath, reading, bed by 8 -- I have known long before that schedule was set that the sweet monotony was also soothing for me.
A few months into motherhood, I realized something in me was calmer than before, despite the constant nursing and sleep deprivation and same old velour yoga pants hanging off of me. It was the schedule, predictable, lovely and boring.
Our lives can get chaotic, my work schedule can be unpredictable, and we certainly take the time to embrace spontaneous opportunities (hello, ice cream dinners), so the schedule is not ever iron-clad. Some months, we have to work our way out of the madness back to the routine. But the bones of it are there, always there waiting for us patiently.
That's what I think of every time school starts: Thank God for the schedule. Oh, how I miss the schedule. Wow, I can't wait for the schedule.
It happened again this Labor Day weekend, as I waxed over the lazy, wonderful, busy, traveling times we had together this summer, at the end of the sentence was a moment of prayerful thanksgiving for the summer. And thankfulness to get back to our thing when school started.
But this fall, I'm adding a little something to my schedule: more time for myself.
And to make sure that self-care really, truly becomes a daily habit, my friend Meagan Francis of The Happiest Mom and I have launched Back to You, a project for moms who want to be healthier, happier, more organized and fabulous.
We've purposely launched it in the chaos that back-to-school season can bring because it is so easy to worry so much about the school supply list and after-school activities and lunch preparation that we lose ourselves in that schedule. We want the schedule to soothe, and to Meagan and I, that means taking time to clear some clutter in our brains and kitchen cabinets, turn off our phones and fast-forward brains, turn on our hot bods and big ideas.
Not only will you feel better at the end of the project, you will be rewarded for your participation. Oh, yes. Giveaways.
The first one is up at The Happiest Mom now, and it is so good. The challenge is to rethink your morning routine and the giveaway will make it super simple. Go now to read it.
Keep coming back for more Back to You challenges and be sure to comment for entry into our glorious giveaways.
I will stick to my schedule. And I hope your new schedule will include a bit more of YOU.