Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Unleashing Creativity

I am slowly learning that the "fly by the seat of your pants"-type attitude I have been taking over the past five years with respect to the general passing of time in our home, is, quite simply, not cutting it anymore. Staying home full-time with three young children (who have all been home for the majority of the day up until now) is challenging and trying, on the best of days. I guess with no yearly bonus coming my way, I figured one way to reward myself would be to allow myself the flexibility of doing whatever we felt like doing, whenever we wanted to do it.

But this fall the Things and I are being forced into setting out for ourselves some type of an actual schedule.

With the boys arriving home from school just after 11:00 a.m. each morning (yes, I know . . . I know, that just doesn't seem right, does it?) that still leaves me with a large chunk of the day to wrestle with all 3 Things.

After a few days of directionless chaos, this mommy decided to join the esteemed ranks of the organized parents all over the world and schedule some of her offspring's time.

Fridays, as of roughly a month ago, are now Fun Fridays at our house. Thing 3 goes to visit her grandmother, affording me some alone time after school with Things 1 and 2. So far we have done lunch dates and visited several of the spectacular museums the nation's capital has to offer. The boys love having a special day alone with their mom, and I love having the flexibility to be able to go out and take part in cultural and educational activities without being restrained by Thing 3's afternoon nap time.

One afternoon a week is designated as Craft Time. While I'm fortunate to have two very creative young lads in my midst, I hope to have some sort of organized craft for us all to work on together, at least once a week.

Finger-painting was met with huge success. I don't think we had taken the finger paints out since last spring when the weather was colder, so these two were like a couple of eager beavers building their first dam when I let them loose.





So it seems we're all adjusting to the new fall scheduling just fine. I realize that before I know it I will be back at work and this time I have with my children every single day will be drastically shorter, so I'm trying to stay a little more focused, and make every single moment count.

14 comments:

Loukia said...

Another post from you! Yay! And the fact that your boys finish school at 11... that is too early! Christos finishes kindergarten at 11:40... so it's working out good. Great that you're able to spend alone time with your boys on Fridays... very special! Sounds like are having fun, Shannon. Even though I know how tiring it can be!

Donna M said...

Finger painting looks like a lot of fun for the boys! It is great to see them enjoying it!

Knowing you, I am surprised that organizing every day hasn't happened sooner! :))

Chantal said...

I am sure when I go on mat leave it will be a free for all, for a while anyhow. My 4 year old will probably crave some structure eventually, once the free for all wears off. I am super anxious to have the summer off though. YAY

BeachMama said...

Oh you are so brave with your finger painting! I can only handle so much mess.

I hear you on the happy with the time you have now. One day they won't want to play anymore so I do want to soak it up as much as possible.

amanda said...

we just attempted some finger painting this week too - which then turned to "feet" painting! good times.

as for the weekly schedule - i soooo get it. i think it's the teacher in us! i keep fighting it, but i am pretty sure i am about to fold and print out a schedule for the fridge :)

thepreppyprincess said...

What fun the fingerpainying must have been, those pictures are too wonderful! And having a more regular schedule makes sense, I even think it's better for folks like us, we need our routines.
Love this post Miss Crafty Mom! :)
to

JoeGirl said...

Girl, you and I are so much alike. Always wanting to go with the flow, usually results in a couple of kids in front of the TV all day. When I take charge and plan an actual plan/schedule/activity/outing, creativity runs high, moods are more manageable and the day is way more enjoyable. Some days we just have to kick ourselves into high gear. No regrets, right? ;)

C! said...

I feel the same way - I only have one kid and still the fly by the seat of your pants thing does not work here either. In September after G was no longer in dayschool I sat down with a calendar & planned out from Sept to Dec with designated appointments for things on certain days - regulars being Children's Museum, Library, Craft Time, Field Trip/outing, etc. It is so much easier for me - I'm still flexible, in fact I revamped it all today to adjust for some changes, but it is so much better if I look at the calendar and know what comes next without having to think...humm, what should we do now or just letting time slip by with nothing going on and feeling like I didn't get anything important (for him) done. Thanks for sharing your story - it makes me feel less silly for being so "scheduled" as one mom said to me the other day...it isn't so much scheduled as it is "purposeful"!

dougnlarry said...

You're a great mommy. Your kids are lucky to have you. :)

Amber said...

Great photos! Now I want to do some fingerpainting. I swear it's been decades since I've smooshed paint between my fingers like that. Must try it again with my little ones. :)

Mommy said...

Good for you! And you're documenting the time you spend together. That way when you do go back you won't feel like you wasted it or missed it.

Keep the ideas coming. My thing 1 is almost ready for some scheduled activities. How soon can a little one finger paint without eating it anyways????

Did you go apple picking yet?

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

My kids love to finger paint. Well, any kind of paint, actually! And the messier the better :)

I love your Fun Fridays! What a great special time you have with your boys.

-Andrea

Anti-Supermom said...

I MUST get out the finger paints now, or at least go buy some, my poor kids ;)

Adorable photos, Shannon!

expatswede said...

Love fingerpainting! We did it just a couple of days ago and it was loads of fun!
We also make cards together, waterclor painting, cutting up shapes from paper, playing with (kiddie-friendly) glue, and such fun things! I love getting crafty with the kiddos! Well, the little one gets to sit beside us with her crayons most of the time, but still! :)

 
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