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Old 10-08-2009, 03:39 PM   #11
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Re: Structure - how much is enough??

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Originally Posted by diaperangel View Post
Hmm, very interesting! It sounds like you are very good at inspiring intrinsic learning, lucky kids!! Thanks mama, I will think about this more. Do you have a time schedule, like wake, eat, outing, eat?? Or is everything more random?

Thanks!
Everything is very very random, but I indulge in that possiblity because of our life situations right now. DH is a cop who's shift changes every 4 months (he's on swing shift right now (2:30pm-10:30pm) but we just changed over from graveyards (10:30pm-6:30am)), I am self-employed and work either at home during naps/down time or at my mom's (and the kids love playing at grandma's!), plus we homeschool. So aside from DH's work we are not tied to a schedule in any way, and we change our hours around DH's hours so as to spend the most time with him.

We go to bed when we're tired. That includes the kids. If they're sleepy before I am they are more than welcome to crawl into bed or crash on the floor or (most common) ask to be put to bed. That rarely happens, though. They're more than happy to hang with us until all hours of the morning. (It was around midnight-ish last night.)

We wake up when we're rested. For DH, DS, and I, this was around 11am this morning. DD slept until 1. This will have to change when DH starts a day shift and has to be up at 5am, but in that case our schedule will work around to going to bed much earlier.

We eat when we're hungry. It's not uncommon to hear my two year old say, "I'm hungry. You hungry, too, Mama?" because I'm always asking the kids that. Some days we snack constantly, some days we have two meals because we're otherwise busy and can't be bothered. Just depends.

We run errands or do fun things as required or available. Luckily, we live just around the corner from the museum, library, park, and Dairy Queen (with a play center inside) so walking out the door on a whim is common. DD will say, "We haven't been to the museum lately." and off we'll go. Shopping is a fun thing to do and we all look forward to it. (My friends think I'm insane (for many reasons) but also for enjoying shopping with kids. They're always saying, "I'll watch them for you!" No, thanks! I want 'em with me!) We get popcorn chicken and water when we first get there, then walk around munching, singing, reading packages, talking about sizes and colors, debating the merrits of this cereal vs that one, etc. Then we walk around and look at clothes or toys for a long time (usually while the icrecream melts... oops.). Shopping trips (without DH) usually last 3-4 hours.

So, to make a long story even longer, no, we don't have a schedule, even a rough one. My work gets done when it gets done. If I'm up against a deadline, then I will get up after everyone is asleep and finish things up then. I love the flexibility and spontenaity and I am greatful every moment that I'm in a situation where this is possible because I know it's not for many (most) people.

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Old 10-08-2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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Re: Structure - how much is enough??

I'm so glad you replied to this Rebeldream! I saw your name on the last post and just HAD to come back in. I LOVE the way you live. We live even more randomly in the summer out-of-school months than we do the other months of the year. Like you guys do, wake up when we wake up, go to sleep when we get tired. I do cook and serve a couple meals a day, we have five kids all day during the day in the summer; one is a constant eater (my son) and one is a diabetic who needs to eat regularly and she also eats a LOT (as in she needs more than a bowl of cereal). During the summer because of the number of children we do a "chore chart" every day; it gives the kids focus, they are proud because they accomplished something, and I'm not futilely trying to clean up after five people all day long. They have to have something to do or else they start swarming and being extremely rowdy and making all kinds of racket and I can't deal with it LOL.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:26 PM   #13
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Re: Structure - how much is enough??

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Everything is very very random, but I indulge in that possiblity because of our life situations right now. DH is a cop who's shift changes every 4 months (he's on swing shift right now (2:30pm-10:30pm) but we just changed over from graveyards (10:30pm-6:30am)), I am self-employed and work either at home during naps/down time or at my mom's (and the kids love playing at grandma's!), plus we homeschool. So aside from DH's work we are not tied to a schedule in any way, and we change our hours around DH's hours so as to spend the most time with him.

We go to bed when we're tired. That includes the kids. If they're sleepy before I am they are more than welcome to crawl into bed or crash on the floor or (most common) ask to be put to bed. That rarely happens, though. They're more than happy to hang with us until all hours of the morning. (It was around midnight-ish last night.)

We wake up when we're rested. For DH, DS, and I, this was around 11am this morning. DD slept until 1. This will have to change when DH starts a day shift and has to be up at 5am, but in that case our schedule will work around to going to bed much earlier.

We eat when we're hungry. It's not uncommon to hear my two year old say, "I'm hungry. You hungry, too, Mama?" because I'm always asking the kids that. Some days we snack constantly, some days we have two meals because we're otherwise busy and can't be bothered. Just depends.

We run errands or do fun things as required or available. Luckily, we live just around the corner from the museum, library, park, and Dairy Queen (with a play center inside) so walking out the door on a whim is common. DD will say, "We haven't been to the museum lately." and off we'll go. Shopping is a fun thing to do and we all look forward to it. (My friends think I'm insane (for many reasons) but also for enjoying shopping with kids. They're always saying, "I'll watch them for you!" No, thanks! I want 'em with me!) We get popcorn chicken and water when we first get there, then walk around munching, singing, reading packages, talking about sizes and colors, debating the merrits of this cereal vs that one, etc. Then we walk around and look at clothes or toys for a long time (usually while the icrecream melts... oops.). Shopping trips (without DH) usually last 3-4 hours.

So, to make a long story even longer, no, we don't have a schedule, even a rough one. My work gets done when it gets done. If I'm up against a deadline, then I will get up after everyone is asleep and finish things up then. I love the flexibility and spontenaity and I am greatful every moment that I'm in a situation where this is possible because I know it's not for many (most) people.
This has given me a lot to think about. My friends, in general, are very structured, "clean" domestic...my husband and I tend to be less conventional, but I often give way to pressure (ie I SHOULD do things this way, I SHOULD have a schedule) I coach, and my husband works full time and is doing his masters...our schedule is really busy, but if we focus less on structure at home (cleaning, meal times etc) , it feels like we have more time and less arguing...and really, the only reason I try to be structured is because I have always been taught that it is better to be structured/productive/ and I feel that I need to keep up with everyone else.

I'm not the type to worry about what people think about anything else, which is why it's strange...like clothes, cars, house, religion - I speak my mind and often am the loner...but for home stuff, I have a real fear about messing my kids up...so I guess I just feel more anxious if I happen to be "wrong" KWIM??

THANK YOU for your answers!!!!
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:34 PM   #14
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Re: Structure - how much is enough??

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I'm so glad you replied to this Rebeldream! I saw your name on the last post and just HAD to come back in. I LOVE the way you live.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by diaperangel View Post
This has given me a lot to think about. My friends, in general, are very structured, "clean" domestic...my husband and I tend to be less conventional, but I often give way to pressure (ie I SHOULD do things this way, I SHOULD have a schedule) I coach, and my husband works full time and is doing his masters...our schedule is really busy, but if we focus less on structure at home (cleaning, meal times etc) , it feels like we have more time and less arguing...and really, the only reason I try to be structured is because I have always been taught that it is better to be structured/productive/ and I feel that I need to keep up with everyone else.

I'm not the type to worry about what people think about anything else, which is why it's strange...like clothes, cars, house, religion - I speak my mind and often am the loner...but for home stuff, I have a real fear about messing my kids up...so I guess I just feel more anxious if I happen to be "wrong" KWIM??

THANK YOU for your answers!!!!
The first bold is my whole focus. If I can find a way to NOT argue with my kids, then I feel successful. But this isn't to say that they get away with things, either. We have respectful expectations of them just as we would of each other or anyone else we shared a home with. We work together to do the things that "must" be done, but I always keep in mind that, as the adult, these "musts" are nothing more than choices I make and that I am therefore responsible for. More time and less arguing are wonderful goals. Our children are getting older by the second and knowing that they won't be the same people tomorrow that they were today helps me to remember that I want to love and live with them NOW, not in an hour when the dishes are done.

And to the second bolded... You WILL mess your kids up. It's inevitable. I'll mess mine up in some way shape or form, my parents messed me up, their parents messed them up; that's just the way it works. No child comes out of childhood completely unscathed. Do your best to NOT mess them up, obviously, but don't stress about it, either. Hug them too much, kiss them too much, tell them you love them and you're glad you have them and they make you happy, and just hope it'll make up for the mess. ^_^
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