When Mom Needs the Structure and Schedule More Than the Kids

My kids have been on a schedule from the beginning, essentially as soon as I could get them on one. Yeah, I am that mom. No apologies and no regrets, it is just what works for me and the family. The funny thing is that I was not really a big control freak structureuntil I had kids; it is just something that came with the territory. Probably because I had no idea what I was doing and a schedule gave us something to expect each day – a little bit of familiarity in unfamiliar territory. But essentially at this point in time (5 years later), my house and children can run themselves. 

Take the Children Out of the Equation and I Lose Everything…

What parent does not dream about a short break from their kids every once and a while? I know that I do. I think about all of the things I could get done if I could run errands solo, did not have to get the kids ready for school and bed each day, and did not have to keep them entertained 24/7. I would essentially be the most productive person in the world. WRONG.

I Get Absolutely Nothing Done 

Every summer, my parents take the kids for FIVE days. The kids get to go to the farm and essentially live their best lives with no rules and absolutely no schedule or structure. They swim all day everyday, eat whatever they want, rarely hear the word NO, and go to bed past 7:30 every night. They are essentially wild hyenas when they get home but the short break is still worth it for everyone involved. I have so many things I need to get done before August when this third baby gets here and W starts kindergarten at a new school, so a week without kids in July is just what I needed.

Things I accomplished while the kids were away:

  1. One trip to the grocery store to buy french bread and ice cream. All essentials… We ate leftovers or ate out every night. I cooked nothing fancy. And of course, I had brownies and ice cream every night. #noveggies
  2. Two loads of laundry. But technically I washed two loads of laundry and fluffed the first load in the dryer 20 times and left the second load in the washer. Details.
  3. Binge watched a new Amazon series every night after work with the husband. We got through three seasons of Bosch before the kids got back home.
  4. Prenatal massage. Need I say more?
  5. Slept late every morning, which means I got to work later each morning. That means I got done with work later each day; no time to cook or run errands. See # 1.
  6. Took a mid week trip to Natchez, MS on my one day off of work when I really could have gotten a lot done around the house. Happy 4th of July…
  7. Realized I am too pregnant to take long car rides. See # 6.
  8. We only ran the dishwasher once time, and it was to wash coffee cups and ice cream bowls. #paperplates
  9. Took a bath every night with no one watching me. 

So I essentially got absolutely nothing accomplished until the Saturday morning I met my mom to get the kids. I woke up early to finish the laundry and put everything away, made the kids beds and picked up their room, ran the dishwasher because I could not find a clean coffee cup, made myself breakfast, and meal planned for the upcoming week. I was more productive in those two hours than I had been all week. Maybe next time I will get some things done on my “to do” list, or maybe I will be more realistic about what I need at this stage in life … REST. 

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 by her husband of 11 years, Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Quality/Infection Prevention at a local hospital. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 7, Mary Kathryn 6, and Benjamine 2. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.


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