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Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

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    Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

    I have two questions as I ponder next year and I think the answers might help others as well so I made a separate post.

    First, I am decent at *planning* rough schedules for our day, but I struggle to keep consistent with following it during the day. I know logically that all children benefit from structure and especially my child with special needs. But then I get tired or the baby or toddler interrupt our flow and everything gets away from me. So, any tips on actually KEEPING to a regular daily routine? I'm okay if things are more free-form after school but I truly need to be more structured from 9am-1pm so we can really get the bulk of our schooling done.

    Second, how do you schedule in or find respite time? DD is pretty well-behaved, but she requires my full attention much of the time. Not because she's incapable, her life skills are actually quite good and she operates like an 11 year old in that respect. She can even be trusted to stay home alone for short periods when I run to the store, but cannot babysit yet as I don't trust her judgement enough with younger kids.

    Generally she follows me around, bosses the littler kids if given an ounce of freedom, and is extremely nosy. I had to work hard to teach her not to peek in our bedroom first thing in the morning. These are behaviors that were documented by her schools too. In school she ignored her peers and followed the teacher around and relied on the teacher to tell her what to do and how to do it all day long. Not so bad when you go home at 3pm, but I am home when she's doing these things, lol! How do I find respite time for short periods during the day where I don't have to deal with those things? And for occasional longer periods other times?

    #2
    Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

    Imagine, this sounds like Burnout first, logistics second.

    You're a very "smart cookie," even becoming O-G trained to help Ana. You just sound weary.

    If your husband can help by keeping the kids for a few days, it would be worth getting away. As someone who feels immensely refreshed after just Wed-Sat at Sodalitas, I would say first get away doing something you really reall with people you really enjoy.

    If not your husband, maybe grandparents, other extended family, a church family, or find/train/hire a sitter for current and planned respite. In our state, Personal Assistant programs exist whereby you can hire your own caregiver(s). This is a top priority for me when I return home. Even a dinner out with your husband -- doing something truly fun -- works wonders here.

    I'll let others chime in with logistics suggestions for now.


    Praying for all of us that we would receive refreshment, a little bit each day, in one way or another. This is so needed.


    Thanks for sharing. I'm quite sure you are not alone on this one!

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

      I sure know how to make schedules, but sticking to them is a different story. 🙂 I don't know what to say except we just keep trying! For respite, we have a silent reading time in the afternoon while the baby naps, and although kids may be in the same room as me but on different couches, they aren't allowed to talk to me outside of emergencies. Afternoon snack is dependent on them cooperating.

      I try to take a walk alone every evening after dinner. I have some regular commitments with other ladies so that I have to get out of the house alone. My husband and I go on dates whenever grandparents come to town. I get burned out anyway sometimes though...I'm sure we've all been there...

      I hope you can carve out some time for rest!
      Catherine

      2019-20
      DS16, 10th with MPOA
      DS14, 7th
      DS13, 6th
      DD13, 6th
      DS7, MP1 with Barton Reading & Spelling
      DD4, JrK
      DS 23 mos

      Homeschooling 4 with MP
      2 in classical school

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

        Just a thought: I read sometime ago about a very large family with many adopted children, special needs included. They had an elderly woman (I think she was a retired school teacher) coming to their home to help with some of the schooling. Is there a retired school teacher or a grandmother in your church or area who would come in one to five mornings a week, for example at your chosen start time, to help you be on track and to help out as needed for an hour or so? I don't know if the woman I mentioned above was a volunteer or if they paid her.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

          It looks like you are getting some scheduling help, but I think you were also asking about some quiet time. "A basket and a timer" was the suggestion at Sodalitas! You may only get 5 min in the beginning, but you can work up to it, but the idea is that you give her a basket of something and then say "for the next 5 min, you can do this". The "basket" could be books, legos, coloring activities, etc. You could rotate and have a "Monday" basket, "Tuesday" basket, et. In the beginning, you may need to be in the same room as her (but as least she is talking your ear off (I know how THAT goes!)), but hopefully, over time as she learns to entertain herself she can move to her own room. Then, you might be able to work up to "it's quiet time, you can choose A,B,C or D today.....

          I agree with what Catherine says up above. I was shooting for everyone in their room, but at the moment that isn't exactly possibly with my 3.5 year old. I found I really just need a few minutes of "head" space where I am not meeting demands or answering endless questions all.day.long!
          Christine

          (2019/2020)
          DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
          DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
          DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

          Previous Years
          DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
          DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
          DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

            Ever since our fourth baby was born seven weeks ago, the boys come into our bedroom every morning between 530-615 to see her. So I have to be up and dressed pretty early. And my day doesn't stop for another 14 hours. We also have no family here, so there are no grandparents or aunties to relieve us. A few things I do to help deal with multiple arms, legs, voices and tempers all day long are as follows, pick any that might help. Some of these might sound unrelated to keeping a schedule and getting respite, but hang with me:

            *program the coffee maker the night before -- I do this in the afternoon or mid morning sometimes, just to make sure it gets done. There's nothing like smelling that coffee wafting up from downstairs to make me happy in the morning. It's like someone did something nice for me and quietly said "Good morning, sweetheart; wake up, I made you some coffee, just the way you like it..." I don't have many moments like that in a given day, so it's a nice wake-up -- especially since by the time I get downstairs I already have a baby strapped to my chest, two boys as my shadow, a hungry husband who needs to be out the door by 630, and a daughter who is not a morning person
            * clean the kitchen and run the dishwasher every night before bed, no matter what. If the dishes back up, my whole house just goes to hell -- ditto kitty litter
            * the hour after breakfast is my time to answer emails, fold laundry, nurse the baby, watch the news, prep for school -- whatever. Set a timer. An hour is never as long as I think it is. When the timer goes off, move on to the next part of your day.
            * school starts at 8AM -- period. We aren't late for doctor's appointments or Taekwondo, we're not late for school
            * the first 30 minutes to an hour of school are the hardest. Keep going. The kids will fall in line.
            * take a short snack break, and an hour for lunch. This is the only time I'm allowed to check email or texts.
            *do something physical as a family every day -- we walk the dog around our neighborhood, usually before school. It gets lots of energy out before its time to sit and concentrate
            * after lunch, resume school; finish school and have QUIET TIME (my favorite time of day!) Everyone goes to their respective rooms and either rests, reads or plays quietly. I honestly don't care what they do -- HA! -- as long as it's not destructive and they stay in their rooms. This gives me time to lie down with the baby, do housework, answer emails, attend to paperwork, prep dinner, or just sit, drink tea and watch Investigation Discovery. It's MY respite from being MOM. I can just be Anita for an hour or two (though I have to do it with a baby now, but this season will pass).
            * cut out FaceBook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc etc etc. They take up so much time... It's unreal. Literally and figuratively.
            * when Quiet Time is over, give them something constructive and fun to do -- outside time, a craft, a bath (my kids still love the tub), errands, a sports or art class, etc.
            * early dinner, early bedtime -- dinner is between 530-630 (on Taekwondo nights it can't be helped that dinner is a bit later) bedtime is no later than 730. This gives my husband and me time to finish up our work, clean up, decompress, spend time together and get to bed early. It's not exciting, but it keeps things running.
            *pick a chapter of Scripture and read, meditate and pray over it for five minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening. This is a non-negotiable
            * go to the half price sale at Yankee Candles and buy a few big ones. Burn one in the kitchen during the day. Very relaxing
            * paper plates and plastic cutlery for lunch
            * eMeals meal planning system -- they deliver meal plans for your family to you along with a shopping list for $10 a month. Saves a TON of planning time. We are on the dinner only, crock-pot, clean eating, family plan. I don't have to think about what to cook. I just buy it and cook it. They have all kinds of plans to fit your preferences.
            * when the kids are at class and the only child I have is the newborn, I do something relaxing for myself. Last week I got a spa pedicure at the nail salon in the same shopping center as the Taekwondo studio. It was fabulous. (Even if I did have to nurse in the chair!)
            * for special date nights, we stay in. I'll cook a special meal for my husband and he picks the movie. Not fancy, but with special needs kids, it works.
            * my husband takes the older children and gives me a few hours of silence in my own home -- I honestly use this time to just do my normal routine things. But it's QUIET. That, to me, is better than an hour long massage. What's your happy thing? Go do it while someone else watches the kids
            * parish book club once per month -- it's full of other moms who are nursing while we talk, are pregnant or have been in both situations. We meet at a different home every month. We chat about the book of the month, eat nibbles, drink wine and laugh. It's awesome. Find this. Go out of your way to find this. Or make it if it doesn't exist. You deserve it.
            * do some personal exercise every day. Lock your door if you have to. Set the timer and get it done -- push ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, whatever. Make sure you take time to stretch. It's great for nerves and relaxation.
            * write down your wins every day. It's EASY to get overwhelmed and negative. If you keep track of what you are proud about and thankful for every day, you can see where the silver lining is. You can also write down barriers to your progress and what you can do to prepare for and tackle tomorrow. THANK GOD every night for your blessings -- even the hard ones.
            * if it's not possible to get away for an extended period, get away when you can. Even short breaks are helpful.
            * if you get out of whack, pick up where you should be in the schedule and start again. You will be surprised at how well you can do this and redeem a day that did not seem like it would work
            * "Success is going from failure to failure with undiminished enthusiasm." ~ Winston Churchill
            Don't let this season get you down. Keep getting up, like the Chinese proverb says. Focus your energy on believing you can succeed and don't let your failures define you. Self-respect, self-care, gratitude, being present in the moment, thinking of your life as "now" not "someday" are all strategies you can employ to WIN and REST, knowing you are working towards your goal and God is providing sweetness.
            Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
            Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
            Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
            Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

            “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
            ~Pope St John Paul II

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

              Anita, I loved your list of things that help you maintain routine and prevent burnout. Many of them were things I really value myself (early dinner and bedtime, and my "Well Read Mom" bookclub especially). We are about to (next week) go back to our absolute start time of 8am (term 3 for us here in Australia) and it's going to mean me getting up earlier than I have - I was so inspired by your coffee already ready in the morning idea that I found one second hand online and was able to pick it up this afternoon! That is going to make getting up and moving just a little easier, thanks for the tip .
              Last edited by sarahandrew; 07-12-2016, 05:16 AM.
              Sarah

              Aussies from Sydney, Australia
              Miriam 10yo
              Jonathan 7yo
              Elissa 4yo
              Thomas nearly 2yo
              Baby due 1st July 2020

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

                Originally posted by sarahandrew View Post
                Anita, I loved your list of things that help you maintain routine and prevent burnout. Many of them were things I really value myself (early dinner and bedtime, and my "Well Read Mom" bookclub especially). We are about to (next week) go back to our absolute start time of 8am (term 3 for us here in Australia) and it's going to mean me getting up earlier than I have - I was so inspired by your coffee already ready in the morning idea that I found one second hand online and was able to pick it up this afternoon! That is going to make getting up and moving just a little easier, thanks for the tip.
                You are so welcome I know these are pretty basic, common-sense kind of things, but really -- when the my mind and body run well, school runs well. To take the dish analogy: I cannot think if the dishes are piled up in the sink. And when I cannot think, I cannot teach. And then tempers flare and the whole day just goes down in flames. Then I start berating myself for failing and it makes things worse and worse (eating poorly, giving up on goals, all-or-nothing thinking). I have to be proactive and set myself up for victory. I have to do things that will make my job easier, not harder, while keeping my core values in mind. Back to the dish example: life would be easier in the short term with a sink full of dirty dishes (because you don't have to stop to do them and you can focus on other things) but in the long term, it makes things harder (meal prep takes twice as long because you have to stop and do a hundred dishes, or you have no clean silverware to eat with). So in that vein, I look at how I can be prepared. (This can backfire, too, if you're so involved in "preparation" that you never execute).

                Homeschooling takes COURAGE. You have to be willing to fail. And you have to accept that, some days, failure in inevitable. But you can't be afraid of that. You can't let that stop your progress. You have to keep getting up and doing it. My chapter for today's reflection is Isaiah 40, which, in part, reads:

                9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
                from its farthest corners I called you.
                I said, ‘You are my servant’;
                I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
                10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
                do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
                I will strengthen you and help you;
                I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
                11 “All who rage against you
                will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
                those who oppose you
                will be as nothing and perish.
                12 Though you search for your enemies,
                you will not find them.
                Those who wage war against you
                will be as nothing at all.
                13 For I am the Lord your God
                who takes hold of your right hand
                and says to you, Do not fear;
                I will help you.

                All those who wage war against us are our spiritual enemies who whisper discouragement and dismay in our ears. They have been trained since The Fall to know how to attack our hearts, minds and resolve so that we will lose heart and forget that we have overcome "the world". We cannot forget who we really are, no matter how hard they press us. And we have to do things that ensure that remembrance. Small things, almost to a greater extent than big things, are integral to that.

                Exiting my soapbox now! Have a stellar day, everyone XOXOXOXO
                Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                ~Pope St John Paul II

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

                  I loved your list too, Anita! It should go viral for special needs moms!
                  Catherine

                  2019-20
                  DS16, 10th with MPOA
                  DS14, 7th
                  DS13, 6th
                  DD13, 6th
                  DS7, MP1 with Barton Reading & Spelling
                  DD4, JrK
                  DS 23 mos

                  Homeschooling 4 with MP
                  2 in classical school

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

                    Anita! THANK YOU! More later....but, oh gosh, this is soooo helpful and hitting close, close, close to home here with my challenges. My burnout. My sluggishness. My issues. I'm so determined to make this year better, different, both with practical suggestions you posted here in this thread and the switch over to MP.

                    Susan P

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

                      Hi imagine . smile.

                      My phone may not have loaded all the comments but , we have that here too. Burnout is where I am right now too.

                      I, though the teenage girl is not available right now, have used and use a teenage girl go come stay when things get like this and they do get like this for all of us , I have (ask) girls from church to come over. Esp. If my boys are familiar enough with them. The girl(s) play with the boys , feed them , and keeps chaos reigned in so I can go have time to myself in my room. I have to do this. And I think I'm going to make it part of my schedule next year , as much as I can. I'm going into this year tired so I'm thinking maybe an indication if things to come.

                      I try to have one if their older siblings , or you could use a different teen or grandparent to watch them in the evenings. And, let me explain why I do this in that way.
                      1. Teen is full of energy, and patience, and fresh, that's a perfect fit for daytime stuff because....then we get them back for the rest of the daytime/waking hours. And usually they are a little more tired than before and you, are more refreshed haha .

                      Then, fir us the day goes better. I have the teen ( 19 yo I trust completely) start dinner I have in the freezer. Lasagna and garlic bread and salad. Something like this. So I cime out after resting, kids are worn out and happy they got to play with their friends lol, I have dinner almost done. Oh, and teen makes sure they all pick up and organize before I get home. Or out if my room what have you. Alot of teens here have to have community service hours for HS. Of course if that's the sole motivator I wouldn't use that teen. These are 2 girls we and they know well and love.

                      2. Have grandma have them for the evening because, im a grandma and..I'm tired lol. Its time grandparent or grandparent firm church cime over. Thy dote on the kids, love in them then get to put them to bed so they can sleep. Makes it not as tiring firrhe grandparent and they kids love grandma tucking them in.

                      That is our date nite. I try to keep thatscheduled in too.
                      And did I mention? The grandmas not so tired haha . sorry. Lil GMA humor

                      I honestly think you're in the boat I'm in. Tired and feeling a little burnout.

                      Use the teens and grandma. Works wonders for us.

                      Then you can asses anything else thata been in your radar . at that point, may have stopped happening or it doesn't seem like such an issue anymore .
                      Hugs and prayers

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

                        We have 'daddy night'. I go out to eat all by myself. No one throws fits, spills their drinks, or falls out of their chair ; atleast not at my table. Haha. When we lived in the city I would go to a bookstore or maybe get a pedicure. Just relax all by myself.

                        This leaves daddy to wrangle kids for the night. He's in charge of feeding them, bathing them, and putting them to bed. The kids love it. They know he will make fish sticks and fries for supper. They get to eat in the living room and watch a movie. All of this excitement is topped off with a camp out in the living room. Kids drag out their blankets and pillows, daddy sleeps on the couch.

                        Now this is not all serene. I'm left with overly tired kids the next day and a living room that resembles a war zone. But my husband has a deeper appreciation for those days when Im a total mess, I get some time without children climbing on me, and the kids get special memories with dad.

                        Even just a few hours of quiet helps to tamp down burnout and rejuvenate me.
                        Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

                        DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
                        DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
                        DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

                        We've completed:
                        Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
                        Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Keeping a Daily Routine AND Burnout

                          I love the daddy night.

                          We've don't that some too.
                          One of the biggest benefits for me I think, is dad sees what it's like lol

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