Schedules are Important

Without schedules and routines, everything becomes a high-priority emergency. Every small problem blooms into a full on chaotic disaster. A general pattern arises, but not one of peace and productive living. Rather the pattern is one of chronic low-grade tension and unease, with intermittent adrenalin spikes followed by crashes into long-standing depressive episodes.

Having said that, though, schedules and routines are important because when their form is correct, they can allow for room to let go and be a little loosey-goosey. You have to schedule quiet time. You have to schedule rest. Our Lord schedules REST. It is an assigned day, and with the Israelites, there were many other assigned times to set the daily work aside and rejoice/relax.

This is what’s left out when conservative Christian SAHMs bustle around trying to find the perfect schedule to solve their problems of overwork and exhaustion. An ordered understanding of what schedules are would entail not burdening women with the idea that schedules are just about more and more and more tasks and filling up every second. You use schedules to build a routine, you use the routine as a baseline, and then you have something to retreat to when everyone is sick for weeks or there’s a big family emergency, or business travel, etc, etc.

Schedules aren’t supposed to be so strict the least deviation destroys the day. Schedules that accounted for what people can actually physically do would be quite limited by the crazy standards of American Christian SAHMland, but they’d be achievable and given how even among a lot of women raised in the church SAHM skills have been lost in transmission, having achievable standards would be a superior situation for everyone. Women could then teach the kids to help out, could meal plan, could organize the house in a more pleasing manner, could go hang out with some other SAHMs at high tea…just not all in the same day!

Schedules also cannot belong solely to an individual. That is to say, being orderly and having a routine at all is not truly possible without support from the external community, not just one’s spouse. It’s a total package, everyone has to recognize that home is part of the world just like work and school and church and that coffee place down the street and the grocery store, with rules and structure and form specific to it.

I was going to go somewhere further with this, but I think the takeaway is that the hestia is a real place, part of life as completely as any other physical locations and realms and only when it is part of an integrated life can a society and its communities support schedules and routines that vary with the needs of individuals but hold fast to broad general standards and expectations.

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2 thoughts on “Schedules are Important

  1. YES OH YES YES YES !!!!!!!!

    This Christian SAHM feels odd bits of guilt for not being “productive’ and it’s *so easy* to slip into the mode of “I have to be busy every single moment of every single day or I’m wasting my life and how dare I sit down evil, why am I not canning banana bread right now?”

    You can be decent at most things, excellent in some – but you can’t do *everything*. If you’re going to be Mrs. Ingalls, you’d best not have a social life (and worrying about the grime on your stovepipe is out too – excepting twice a year). If your name is Martha Stewart, oops… where’s her family? Probably she doesn’t have to stop in the middle of painting things just so to rediaper a toddler.

    We have days in a week, and we have seasons in life.

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  2. Pingback: Screwtape gets around, and it’s not pretty | The Practical Conservative

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