Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

When I had my first child, I figured we would wing things. We would just eat and sleep when it seemed right. We would live in the moment. While that sounds like a nice, relaxing idea, the reality of it meant that I often had days that 7 PM rolled around and I realized I hadn’t yet brushed my teeth that day. There was no predictability to our lives. Making an appointment for something was super stressful because I didn’t know, at all, if my baby would want to eat right when it was time to walk out the door or right in the middle of the appointment. I felt completely out of control of my life.

I lasted all of four weeks like that before I started seeking out ways to add some predictability to life. We started out with a routine and moved toward schedule. I have not looked back since, and with all four of my children, we have stuck with having a schedule. Here are six reasons why I love it and won’t ever go back. 

1-I like predictability (and my kids do too)

Schedules aren’t necessarily for everyone. They are definitely for me, and whether by nature or nurture, they are for my children, also. Whenever I have gotten lax on our daily schedule, I find I have grumpy, sassy, emotional, and disobedient children. My children thrive in an environment of predictability day in and day out. This is true enough for all children that the CDC has an entire section on their website about how to create structure in your home. Children feel secure and confident when they know what to expect each day.

Some parents worry that if they have a daily routine, their child will not be flexible nor able to go fun places. They envision days on end stuck in the house. There is some merit to that concern. My children certainly never napped as well on the go as they did at home. However, most of my time was spent home, anyway, so I was happy to have most of my days with good solid naps in the crib and the days that were exceptions to have the sleep that was not as good. 

We have plenty of days that are off schedule. We do a lot of fun things as a family. We take extended vacations. We go to an amusement park for the day. We go on short trips. We go have fun on the weekend. These experiences have all been positive. When you are flexible, it means you able to bend easily without breaking (The New Oxford American Dictionary, “flexible”). This insinuates you have a starting point, a state of normal, that you bend from. We have our normal and are able to be flexible when needed. We don’t break. Then we move back to our original state of normal and rest there before our next moment of flexibility arises. 

2-I am able to make plans

I have always been able to schedule dance classes, piano lessons, etc. and have it fit within our daily routine. I have been able to shift our daily routine to work around these outside activities. These plans and activities are possible for us because of our schedule. I know when the children can function well. I know that I can have them at their activities without some massive blow-up preventing me from getting there. 

When we travel and do fun things, I can plan our days to work with our schedule needs so everyone is happy and well-rested. I can plan around aspects of our schedule so the activities we participate in are positive experiences. 

3-I am able to commit and be reliable

When I say I can help in my child’s class, the only thing that will keep me away is a sickness. If I tell a friend I will meet her for lunch, she knows I will be there. I won’t be late or be cancelling because my child finally fell asleep for a nap for the first time in five days. 

Yes, things happen at times. They happen to all of us. But most days are very predictable for me. I was able to start up and direct a musical at the elementary school when I had four children, including a 3 and 1-year-old at home. I was able to schedule out rehearsals and never miss a day because I knew what my children needed when. The schedule we have allows me to be reliable and serviceable. I have served on the school PTO board, including president for two years. I have served in my church. I have coached sports teams. I am able to give time to my community because I have a schedule I can work around. 

4-I have time without kids each day

I love my children. I love being a mother. It is the most rewarding job I could have. I also love people. I am an extrovert by nature and thrive off of interactions with others. Despite all of that, I need time each day without my precious children. I need time to talk with adults. I need time to go to the bathroom in peace. I need time to relax in the way I like to, whether that is binge-watching a television series or reading a book. I need time to complete a sentence in my head as I talk to myself. Those times come when the children are occupied. Scheduling things out so all of the children take a nap or rest time at the same moment means I have some time, time I not only want, but need. This time allows me to give my full self to my children when they are with me. 

5-My children and I have fewer power struggles

When we have predictability to our day, my children just don’t argue or fight what is coming up. If we practice piano every single day before school, then there is no debate to be had as to when the piano will be practiced. If my preschooler doesn’t ever watch a show until after nap time, then she won’t fight to do so before nap time. My children know exactly what to expect and are more cooperative when we have a consistent schedule going on in life. We all sleep better, and we get enough sleep each night, which means we have fewer meltdowns and power struggles during the day. 

6-I am able to set my children up for success

In this world, we run on schedules. We make appointments to see the doctor. School starts at a certain time. Work starts at a certain time. Story time has a start time, as does dance class. All of these things we want and need to participate in run on schedules. Our family is capable of working with those schedules. I am able to ensure my children are set up for success to fit in those schedules. If I know we can’t make something work, we don’t participate. If my children need to wake up at 7 AM so they have time to get ready for school, we have no problem going to bed at a reasonable hour the night before because for literally their entire lives, we have had a bedtime. Because we are participating in a world with schedules, having a schedule at home allows us to have success fitting into that scheduled world. 

A schedule isn’t always easy to implement. It does take sacrifice and planning. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, but I find these six reasons are powerful enough benefits that any sacrifices and effort we have to make to have a schedule are more than worth it. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

When Your Kids Ask, “Where Is God?”

In: Faith, Kids
Child looking at sunset

How do I know if the voice I’m hearing is God’s voice? When I was in high school, I found myself asking this question. My dad was a pastor, and I was feeling called to ministry. I didn’t know if I was just hearing my dad’s wish or the call of God. I was worried I was confusing the two. It turns out, I did know. I knew because I was raised to recognize the presence of God all around me. Once I knew what God’s presence felt like, I also knew what God’s voice sounded like. There is a...

Keep Reading

Go Easy On the Parents Who Refuse to Skip Naps

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two little boys and their sister walking down a gravel road, color photo

Greetings from a mom who is done with napping children. It’s great to have the flexibility during the day for longer activities, meeting friends for playdates, or day trips to faraway places. It’s a new life . . . the life without naps. The freedom to make plans and keep them. But not that long ago, I was something very different than the flexible, plan-keeping, up-for-it woman I am today. I used to be the mom who refused to skip my child’s nap. Yep, that one. Here’s the thing, for a lot of parents, It’s so much more than just a...

Keep Reading

My Heart Isn’t Ready for You to Stop Believing in Santa

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy standing in front of lit christmas tree

“My friend doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, Mom,” my son said out of the blue the other day. We were driving in the car, and when I met his gaze in the rear-view mirror his eyes searched mine. Immediately, my heart sank.  This sweet boy, he’s our first. Thoughtful and smart and eight years old. A quick Google search tells me that’s the average age kids stop believing in Santa, but as his mom, I’m not ready for that—not even a little bit.  I can still hear his barely 2-year-old voice going on about reindeer as we lay together on...

Keep Reading

Motherhood is a Million Little Letting Gos and Fresh Hellos

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother sitting with child on her lap by the setting sun and water

I missed my grocery-shopping buddy the other day. Mondays are usually the days my littlest and I knock out our grocery list. In the past, we’ve dropped the kids at school and then headed to the store. I grab a latte, and she chooses a hot chocolate. But that day, they were all in school. That day, she sat in her kindergarten class, and I went to the grocery store. Alone. A new rhythm. A changed routine. A different season. I listened to a podcast on the drive. My podcast. Then I grabbed a drink. Just one. I got the...

Keep Reading

Dear Kids, This Is My Wish for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother hugs three kids

To my kids, The world you’re stepping into is unlike anything I experienced at your age. It’s fast-paced, interconnected, and sometimes overwhelming. But within this chaos lie countless opportunities for growth and joy. My wish for you is that you find the perfect balance between embracing the modern world and staying true to yourselves. Change is one thing you can always count on. Embrace it because it’s often the motivation for growth. Embracing change doesn’t mean letting go of who you are; rather, it’s about evolving into the best version of yourself. Remember, you don’t need to have all the...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Stay Wild

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter on beach, color photo

I can’t really put my finger on it. Or manage to find all the words. But there’s just something about that girl. Maybe it’s the way her hair sits tangled. Curled up at the end. The way she moves. Dances. As if everyone was watching. Or no one at all. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine It could be the way she smiles. With her heart. The way only she can. The way she cares, loves. For everyone. For herself. You see, she is beautiful in the way only wild things are. The way they...

Keep Reading

You’re Becoming a Big Sister, But You’ll Always Be My Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Pregnant woman with young daughter, color photo

The anticipation of welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous time for our family. From the moment we found out we were expecting to just about every day since, the love and excitement only continue to grow. However, amidst all the preparations for the new addition, I cannot help but have mixed emotions as I look back at old videos and pictures of my firstborn, my first princess, my Phoebe—for she will always hold a special place in my heart. As the anticipation grows, my heart swells with a mix of emotions knowing we are...

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading

Let Them Wear the Costumes Whenever They Want

In: Kids
Kids in costumes walking around living room

I have five children. My oldest is 18, and my youngest is 8. Over the years, I have bought quite a few Halloween costumes. It always starts in late summer—the kids start getting excited about dressing up and want to start looking online for costumes because they want to make sure they’re delivered on time. As the kids have gotten older, a couple of them have even planned out costumes a few years in advance. It’s always fun watching their excitement, and it’s always fun “sharing” the candy with them. One of the things I’ve always done is allow them...

Keep Reading