Weekly Routines

One of the "strategies" recommended for adults with ADD is to establish routines. Coincidentally, this is also recommended for small children. So I can help myself and be a better parent at the same time.

Since I decided to eliminate all organized activities for the kids at the start of the cold & flu season, I've discovered that my life is more relaxed, and the kids seem to be none the worse for it. Rather than fill our days with baby yoga and other stuff, I came up with a personalized family schedule.

Monday is laundry day. W inexplicably loves this. He likes to run around to all the rooms gathering any clothes that didn't make it into the hamper. He loves to help me sort the clothes by color. He chimes in, "add the detergent now, mama!" once the washer is full. He moves the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, and then puts the clothes in the correct person's basket once dry (I have five baskets for clean clothes, labeled with each of our names, plus one for "other"). M mostly just gets in the way, but sometimes we have fun putting him in the baskets.

Tuesday we shop at The SAMs club. It's mostly for groceries, but also good for cat food, cleaning supplies, and miscellaneous stuff. Theoretically Tuesday is also for finishing
putting the clean clothes away, but I'm not so good at that, often I send everyone to just pick clothes out of the laundry room baskets once they are clean. Baby steps.

Wednesday was supposed to be arts & crafts day, when I'd set up some project for W to create. It has actually worked out to be the day I use to work on my own projects, and the kids are allowed to watch. Two weeks ago I put a fresh coat of paint on the dining table, and this past week I primed a chair frame I plan to make a rope seat for and deploy outside. I invited W to help me with that, but he said he'd rather just watch than
change into painting clothes, so I wasn't going to argue with that. Maybe when I run out of things that I need to get done, I'll focus more on the kids. We'll see.

Thursday is for any other errands and non-SAMs club shopping. If we don't have any pressing needs, sometimes I'll take the kids to Pen Park or somewhere else in town, or go for a 4-mile walk if the weather is nice. The Tuesday and Thursday schedules can easily be swapped if something comes up.

Fridays are free. We can go out, we can stay home, whatever.

I've also started putting personal maintenance items on a schedule. I use a facial mask on Sundays and Wednesdays. I take off old nail polish on Saturday and file my nails. I'll treat my cuticles and apply new polish on Sundays. Now that it's sandal weather again, I think I'll aim for giving myself am pedicure every two weeks. I think this is more realistic than trying to make it to the salon that often. I have yet to assign days to the steps involved.

I think the next step will be managing the days more closely. So I can find a way to fit in washing the dishes every day, for example. Most people manage this without a specific plan of action, but most people also have functional frontal lobes. I think I will try to get mine working through neurofeedback once M is a year old and can take regular milk by bottle. Just in case the brain changes mess up my milk supply. I was able to nurse W through the treatment in 2010, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I intend to nurse M until he's 18 months old (same as W), but I'm willing to take a chance on stopping only after a full year.