I am having a crazy summer. My son is now three, my daughter 8. They need lots and lots of daily stimulation. This past May (right before my daughter got out of school for summer break), I made a list of things that I wanted to do with them. This list included the water park, the zoo, SunSplash, South Lake Tahoe, the beach, the bookstore, my favorite yarn store, Apple Hill, parks and playgrounds. I didn't plan our weeks out (I never do). I am starting to wonder if I should next summer...
My days usually go like this: I wake up, think of activities that I think my children and I could do that day and then consider if I want to take the dogs with us. If I want to take the dogs with us, I don't worry about taking the dogs for their morning walks. If I want to go somewhere where it would be difficult to take the dogs (like the beach, where dogs are usually not allowed), then I make plans to take them out before my husband went to work, to beat the morning heat. Once I made this critical decision, I would get up, drink my coffee or tea (depending on how much caffeine I needed for the activity - ha!), get everyone groomed and dressed, make lunch for the husband (leftovers, usually, because he doesn't like sandwiches), eat breakfast, make the kids' breakfast - all this in no particular order.
Sometime we would meet some friends that day - at the mall for Kids' Day, or Free Movie days, or the Explorit museum. Most days, though, it's at the park with the dogs, my yarn store for Mommy-knit time, the Discovery Museum (we are members), or one of the malls that offer play areas for children. Never the same place twice in a row, or even the same day every week. Heck, some days, I plan an activitiy then something happens that steers us into a totally different direction (literally). As long as my children are fed and hydrated and comfortable (that is to say, not too tired or hot to continue on our "adventure") then we go with the flow, so to speak. This crazy "keeping 'em busy" pace ensures that my daughter never says that "we never do anything and that they both are tired in the evening so my husband and I have some quiet time.
The way I see it, children's school days are structured enough. My children are thriving just fine. I structure what is important. I don't think that the details of the days should be ordered, as long as the days themselves are. My children know that there are three parts to our days: 1) Getting ready for the day 2) Have the day's activities 3) Getting ready for the end of the day. The events for the first and last parts of the day stay the same. The middle part of the day is the part that is flexible, like my unknit yarn.
No, I am not organized and my house will never get awards for orderliness; at times, I feel compelled to stay home just so I can clean the kitchen and bathrooms, make the beds, and feel like a "good housewife". However, I try this once in a while and I only get so far to get the dishes clean. After that, the kids start arguing about the toys, or TV shows that they are watching (or want to watch). Then I start to ask myself, "Do I want a clean house or a sane mind?" What do you think?