Sunday, May 11, 2014

Motherhood: The Sacrament Schedule of Success

Last week and today we had very successful sacrament meetings. It had to do with a few things: I had a specific schedule for the hour, I had treat bags, and angels helped the kids feel content.

I came to the conclusion that facing sacrament meeting basically as an hour of free time for my kids was overwhelming and showed me exactly why I am exhausted after that "free time"/sacrament meeting.

So I made a "schedule" or a general plan for the hour. AlthoughI I felt like I had just taken another step towards an over-organized-crazy-person, the second the meeting started I felt positive and in control because I had a plan! This immediately made me feel more organized mentally. This is how it looked:

This is how it went down:

11:50-12:00 (before the Sacrament):
Trevin on the bench, playing with the 
bench in front, or waving to dad. Sometimes it feel busy (keeping him from pulling the girls hair in front of us), but it still wasnt a big deal because it was part of my plan and I also knew there would be an end shortly. 
Brynlie during this time totally participated in the meeting. Singing songs and praying and generally laughing at Trevin. (Precious!)

12:00-12:15 (During the Sacrament): Trevin had his treats and books. During this time I answered Brynlie's concerned question about her treats with "when the boys passing the sacrament sit down."

12:15-1:00 (the talks):
Treat bag! This was Brynlie's main area of success. (But other weeks without this "schedule" she is not the exhausting "problem" of sacrament) I handed her a whole baggie full of snacks (mostly healthy things like raisins) and she loved the free reign to choose which treats she wanted and when. This kept her occupied for almost 20 minutes!!
Trevin, too, loved it and played with his books during this time.

With only 20 minutes left I pulled out Brynlie's purse of toys mostly because she saw it. (If she hadn't seen it she would have been content without it)

I debated whether to even bring out trevins eggs (quiet time activity with easter eggs and an egg carton) because he was pretty content. Then he had a small out burst with 5 minutes left so I whipped them out and we flowed easily through until the end of the closing prayer!!

Today it went like this:
11:50-12:00 (before the Sacrament):
Trevin played on the bench and Brynlie participate like last week.

12:00-12:15 (during the Sacrament):
Trevin had a few treats and played with a few books. This wasn't perfectly ideal because of all the resources I had to use, but we made it. Brynlie during this time was very eager but equally patient to wait for her treat bag.

12:15-1:00 (the talks):
For the next 20 minutes Brynlie enjoyed her treat bag (another successful activty for her). This was also the climax of Trevin's neediness. I'm not incredibly sure but I believe Trevin and I survived by trying (again) all the books and I treats I had. 

He finally became content when I pulled out the tin box of crayons. He spent 20 minutes tipping over the box and putting all the crayons back in. Brynlie wanted to color during this time and was very kind to not demand all the crayons be in her possession. Instead she'd lean over and grab the crayon she wanted and let him have the rest! So sweet. Angels helped these too be patient with each other and relax and be content.

Another thing I've done is have one diaper only for Sunday that has everything (diapers, wipes, toys and books) already packed except the treats. It makes packing up and getting ready for church the night before so much more doable. (It's not really an exciting joy to pack up the diaper bag full each week at 10pm, so just worrying about the treats helps). Plus this keeps the novality of the toys to "Sunday only" toys which should help for a little. I already have switched toys out to help as well. :)

Having a smoother Sacrament meeting effects the rest of the day somehow. I've been a lot less exhausted/overwhelmed and have a lot more positive energy at the end of the meeting which is priceless!

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