24 September 2012

Our School Routine + CF

Not too long ago, a CF Mom asked a question to a CF forum on Facebook about how other families deal with Cystic Fibrosis treatments and school.  I thought I would share a bit about our routine and how we have learned to handle the additional stress of caring for CF while also being on time for school.  I would love ideas from other families - of ways to make the morning go more efficiently!  

Here's what we do...
In the morning, clothes go on first.
Our rule is you must get dressed before you eat.  We have found that hunger is a very good motivator in the mornings.  So, we ask that both boys have their clothes on before breakfast.  (This also allows for us to run out of the door and eat breakfast in the car should our morning turn out to be a rough one.)

The boys share a bedroom.  So, I hung little hooks on the boys doors where I will place their school clothes each night.  That way, dressing for the day is much easier for them as well as for Dad who helps dress them.  I will often do this on the weekend as well.  It cuts down on battles on what to wear because the decision has already been made then night before.

I hang their clothes on a single hanger (looping their shorts/pants through the hanger) and stuff their socks and underwear in their shirt.  They have a basket where they keep their shoes so those are easy to find as well.  From my experience, locating items for school is half the battle so we've learned how to counteract that.

Breakfast is fast.
I probably won't win the "best mom" award in the breakfast area as we allow the boys to eat poptarts, donuts, cereal and cinnamon rolls.  But the morning time is limited so we prefer quick breakfasts.  The nice thing is most of the items we eat in the morning, the children can get themselves.  So, this saves time.

Lunch is made the night before.This is a hard routine for us to get in to.  But we have tried to be consistent with making sure backpacks are filled and lunches are packed the night before.  (Bennett has a bottle of enzymes and a small pouch of apple sauce that stays at school on the teacher's desk.  This prevents us from forgetting them in the morning.  The teacher administers the medication at snack and lunch.)

Treatment must start 30-45 minutes before time to walk out of the door.
Brian is a rock star at this one.  Each morning, while I am still getting ready for the day, Brian sits with Bennett to watch morning TV while he does his breathing treatments and percussion therapy.  We try to make sure Bennett has begun his therapy at least 30 minutes before we walk out of the door so that we provide plenty of time for crying, whining and an overall need to coax him in to treatments.  Fortunately, he's usually compliant.  

Shoes go on during treatment time.
Oliver enjoys getting to watch TV with Bennett in the morning.  During the last 5 minutes, we put shoes on.  Once treatments are done, we're ready to walk out of the door.

Ultimately, treatments come before school, even if that means we're late.
Since both boys are in preschool, we can prioritize treatments over school.  So, we know that should treatments take longer than expected, we will be late to school.  But, our goal, as a family, is to use these preschool years to "practice" juggling CF treatments and

Daily medications are given at night, if possible. 
Whatever we can not do in the morning, we don't.  Morning time is limited and we'd prefer to use any extra time to sleep.  So, daily medications are given at night.

We do the same thing. every. day.
This is the thing I feel like I have learned about the importance of caring for a Cystic Fibrosis child, if I don't do the same thing every day, I forget.  We have many times forgotten to do treatments on a Saturday as we'll tend to want to sleep in and get out of our schedule.  So, I feel like the best way to care for my CF child is to do the same thing, every day.  Routine is vital.

Homework is done immediately after school and on the day it comes home.
Oliver has a weekly assignment that comes home on Monday and is to be returned on Wednesday.  To prevent things from piling up, we tackle it right after school on Monday and send back the next day.  This prevents the last minute "oh my gosh, homework!" morning freak-out.  (Don't even ask me about my opinion about homework in Pre-K - that's a whole nother blog post! :))

Bedtime is 8PM.
To help the boys feel good and energized at school - and to help us have good mornings - Brian and I are very consistent with the boys' bedtime.  We insist they are in bed by 8PM.  Sometimes, depending on how long they've had a nap at school the night before, it might take another hour for them to fall asleep.  But even on the weekends, we are consistent with the 8PM bedtime.  Their being in good moods in the morning is just too important for us!  (Plus, we treasure the 2-3 hours we have after they are in bed!)


  1. Our morning goes very similar. Our mornings are a rush, but we have our routine down pat so everyone knows exactly what they are supposed to do. All clothes are picked out the night before and lunches are packed the night before. We get Bryce up first on the mornings I drive carpool. He gets up and goes straight to the vest. This has always been the first thing he has done in the morning so it's a habit for him now. Then I wake the girls up and get them going and fix their hair. While Bryce is on the vest I put on the bottom half of his clothes including shoes and once he is finished we put on the top half. Next we head to the kitchen to take our morning meds. Then we grab "to-go" breakfast for the car. Bryce also grabs poptarts, donuts, muffins, etc for the car ride along with his morning milk concoction in a "to-go" cup. We have to leave our house on the mornings I drive at 7:00 so it is a mad rush fitting everything in. By the time we get home from dropping the girls off he is finished with his breakfast. We then do a nasal rinse followed by Flonase before we head out to get Bryce to school. Oh and in-between dropping the girls off and taking Bryce to school by 9:00 I get my work out in too. Whew! The busy and crazy keep me young right? ;)

    1. This is great, Jenny! Knowing ya'll have a similar schedule makes me feel even better about ours. I am glad to hear Bryce gets on his vest first thing in the morning. We tried that this morning and Bennett did great. We even got done early. Glad to know Bryce eats in the car. Good idea! Thanks for sharing! This is so helpful!!


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