Creative Parents.Com

  Music and Motivation
  Creative Parents' Credo
  Finding Time
  Parenting Challenges
  Profiles in Creativity
  Inspiration For Artists
  Classroom Shyness
  Peers & Fears
  My Childhood and Theirs
  Notes from the Library
  Who Are Creative Parents


About Us
Contact Us

by Denise Moore


I once laughed at the family member whose home was speckled with annoying, sticky yellow notes.They were on the refrigerator, the door, the bathroom mirror - facing her teenage sons everywhere they turned. I used to poke fun at my "day planner" friend who collapsed into a pile of useless goo when her calendar was misplaced. "Anal!" I screamed at obsessive list-writers. "Just live! Let it happen! Go with the flow! " those are my fading mantras.

So how did this creative wanna-be-flower-child become a "day planner" mom? The tick-tick and beep-beep of daily life demands were burying me. I wanted to pursue my passions - writing, quilting, reading (the list goes on and on, I am passionate about a LOT - including my children!) I couldn't find the time to balance my life. I was lost under piles of laundry, pet food wrappers, ballet bags, books, you name it.

The difference between now and my "go with the flow past" is that now I have children. Little people, (vertically challenged individuals!) with creative interests. Hanna, my eight-year old breathes to dance - at home, in the dance studio, even at church. Walking no more, she jumps and twirls to her destination. Della, my five-year old lives to live - exploring everything along her way. All our lives are complicated and enriched by our many pets - dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, and a tarantula named Rosie.

So now, I make lists. I write them out before I go to bed. My daughters have a wipe-off board on their bedroom door, so they awaken to daily hints -- reminders such as "ballet today, pack tights" or "water the hamster" assure proper attire for class and ward off rodent dehydration followed by a teary flower garden burial. However, I still refuse to purchase or use anything resembling yellow sticky notes!

Besides making lists, I've also surrendered to some R-O-U-T-I-N-E-S that keep everyone alive, fed, watered, happy and within state health codes. On school mornings, Hanna feeds the cats and dogs and sometimes takes our newest rescue, Buddy, for a short walk. Della sorts a load of laundry and puts it in the wash -- with minimal help. She now knows what colors and water temperatures go together. She also feeds her fish, checks on Rosie, and lends her sister a hand with the bigger critters when she's done.

How did all this organization come about? Last year I knew we needed to do something differently. Finally, both girls were in school and I wanted to pursue my long-postponed passions. So my daughters and I sat down to discuss a plan. The girls chose their morning chores from a list I'd made. They wanted to change at the end of a month.. The first month came and went and they kept their chores. Amazingly, laundry piles grew smaller and schedule-fed pets appeared happier.

I still struggle with all this. I never thought I'd have such a chore-ful home. I hate to admit it, but it does work for us most of the time, though some mornings have glitches. Once in a while, I feed a four-legged family member to make a child's morning go more smoothly or to allow her a few extra minutes of sleep.

Life is still a juggling act. I try to quilt. I take classes. I drive Hanna back and forth to the dance studio. Sometimes I even get a project done. There are times when I find myself lying on the floor, within a moment of zen, watching Rosie the tarantula trap a cricket or make a web. And at those times I know that I will never be as organized as some of my friends; that underneath it all I'm still the go-with- the -flow procrastinator who most relishes the moments in life that can't be planned.

Do you also resist routines? How have your feelings about routines changed since having kids? Let us know -- contact us.

Back to Top


Articles  Interviews  Reviews  Activities  Resources  Surveys  About Us  Contact Us
Copyright © 1999 Dr. Istar Schwager. Site design by ArtMar, Inc.