There is a lot of controversy these days about parents who do too much for their children and how we are making them too soft and lazy. You’ve also got the big stay at home mom or working mom issue (and now we can add the work from home moms) and that one will probably never fade. So how do you make your family and home life run efficiently when the media is constantly screaming about how we are doing everything wrong? Planning ahead is the key!
In our latest YouTube How To Organizing Video, we talked about Family Schedules and how important they are for organizing your whole household. The first, most important step is having a couples meeting between the parents or heads of the household. If you involve the kids at the first meeting, it tends to be too chaotic. So plan a night after the kids have gone to bed, bring your calendars, some snacks, and create a master schedule of all household activities.
During this adults only meeting, pencil in all holidays, all sports practices, all events from the school calendars, birthdays, vacations, and work events that affect the household for an entire year. You can even block off time for home projects, chores, and “me time.” If there are any arguments over the importance of any of the events, now is the time to do it when you are alone. Decide on all the major stuff without the kids input and then inform them of the set in stone activities during a family meeting later on. Only then, get their advice about the things they want to do and you can add in to the empty spots. They might also have some great ideas about how to structure things, but make sure the adults are on the same page first and present a united front.
You also need to make a choice about how to keep track of your family schedule. You can use a paper calendar, digital, or even a white board. The paper calendar is easy to add events to, and can be mounted on the wall in a central location for all to see, but is not very mobile. Digital calendars that everyone shares (like Google or Outlook or Cozi) are great for syncing up schedules and adding/deleting events easily, but are not very visual for little kids unless you print a paper copy and display it. White boards are easy to color coordinate and make changes to, but you can’t save older events to refer to later on if you erase it every month. Try out the one that appeals to you and see how it goes for a bit.
Now that the events for the year are determined, and you’ve decided on how to keep track of everything, you are ready to make your “presentation” to the kids. Pick a night after dinner or a lazy weekend for the big family meeting and emphasize how organizing the family activities will make it less stressful and more fun for everyone. Let the kids pick their favorite color to assign to their events. Show them how it’ll be easier for mom and dad to attend their school functions if ample notice is given. Make a point to emphasize how scheduling actually frees up more fun time for everyone if it isn’t wasted on last minute grocery shopping, presents to buy right before a party, or takeout dinners to grab because there is no time to cook. So do some parent prep work, get everyone to agree, make it fun, and simplify your life with family scheduling!
*You can see where to get (or make) all of the products shown above on our Pinterest Board Help For Busy Moms.