Starting out-I thought this might be a couple paragraphs long...but then I really wanted readers to put themselves in my shoes and learn where I'm really coming from. Please take the time to read, and also to comment here with any suggestions you have. It's truly appreciated.
How does one organize their life? How do you do it? I know there are many people out there with much harder schedules to follow than my family, but I find it so hard on a daily basis without some sort of structure. Since my son was around 14 months old (mind you, he just turned 3 in June) I have been trying to get my family on a schedule. The hardest part, then, was that my husband was in the Army and his schedule was always different. No excuse, I know. As a military wife, you need to learn the ways of life without your spouse around and get on a schedule on your own, for it to work when hubby is there or gone.
Well now, when my son was born it was fairly easy. Husband was gone (deployment) and I lived with my parents still. For the most part, my son and I did not have a schedule. Most times getting a baby on a schedule is easy, but I was here and there & trying to do web chats with hubby (14 hr difference in time), so it was hard for me as Mama to get on a schedule for my little man. I didn't want to get him on one, then sleep in and screw it up for him. Well bounce forward til he is around 14 months old. By this time-husband is home from deployment and we had moved to his second duty station, my first. I had never lived out of state, so this was a big shocker for me. Anyway, hubby had finally went back to work-which was never a guarantee what the hours were going to be...and I tried to sit down with a notebook and make a schedule. I failed...and when I say I failed, I failed horribly. I failed so bad I practically gave up. I tried to list when Brandon (hubby) would be home, what we would do those hours-then also what Matt and I would do on our own time when Brandon was gone. It got to be too much and I gave up. It wasn't until almost a year later I started thinking again, that we really needed some sort of family schedule.
In May 2010 a ton of changes came to our family. My husband was done with his term in the Army and he was going back to civilian life. This alone was a huge change. Also, we had the challenge of moving as well-back to our hometown. What ended up happening, was a couple weeks before we had planned on me heading back home (a 14 hour trip) the vehicle I was supposed to drive back, broke down. My family ended coming to pick us (Matthew & I) and my vehicle up and making the long trip home. My son and I had settled back in to Nana & Papa's house after about 2 weeks. Then my husband made his trip up. I had to leave early because I was in the last month of my pregnancy with baby #2 and my husband had to stay back to finish up ETSing. Six days after he made his appearance back at home, I gave birth to our daughter. The next night (while I was still in the hospital) my husband started online classes. Hectic? Totally. Adding a child to school, unemployment, plus having just moved-it was stressful. Not to mention, about 2 weeks later we had moved out of my parents house to our own house.
After a few months at this place my husband quit school. Not exactly by choice...the school he was going through, Kaplan University, decided they were not going to wait for their money from the VA (which should have been close to free schooling for my husband) and they threatened to turn him into collections. Needless to say-we would NEVER recommend that school to anyone-they are nothing but money hungry. My husband eventually got a great paying job at a chemical plant, which required 6 months of training. During this time-I had sat down, once again and decided to make a schedule. It probably took me around 8 weeks or so, after kids were in bed (along with other things-Facebook/email/etc) to actually finish it, but it finally got done. The night I finished it, I was so proud of myself I made a promise to print it first thing in the morning when the kids were still in bed so that I could go by it all day. Well, that day I followed the schedule very close to what I had printed out and was very proud of myself. Things were starting to go great. Well, my husband's schedule for work was 2 weeks of days (3on, 4off, 4on 3off) and then 2 weeks of nights (same schedule), all 12 hour shifts. I had gone with this awesome schedule for oh...close to a week probably, but when it came time to print out the next weeks schedule, I'd slack off. The next week came, and I'd print it half way through the week. Well-there goes the 2 weeks of days and then we'd go onto the 2 weeks of nights. Those were killer. I pretty much didn't even think about the schedule then-I was too worried about just keeping the house together, while I practically seen my husband for an hour or so before work everyday. His days off were completely unplanned and we did whatever came to mind.
Around 6 months later (after the job), there was no job. They were a very deceptive company and things just didn't work out. After that it was a sales job for my husband, honestly I don't even want to talk about that one-there was NO time for a schedule there. Let's come a little closer to now. Sales job has ended and school has now started for my husband again. He is going to a local campus for Nursing, with hopes to go farther. :) I am very proud of him.
As of now we have home life, school and work for my husband-mixed in with a bunch of other things. I am trying to find some sort of structure/plan for daily life that will help out. Our main downfalls are meal planning and house cleaning. I need a certain day/time to do certain deeds. I know there are plenty of printables out there-trust me, I have half of them saved to my computer, but I can never find one certain one that works the right way. We have a normal(ish) routine most days, but I'm still not happy with it. Keep in mind-class for hubby M-TH work SU-W, off most weekends-but homework time mixed with kid/family time, etc. and the occasional day of relaxing.
What is your family routine/schedule? And please, some suggestions on how to achieve this goal. :)