Along with motherhood brings a new type of organization. One that forces you to not only arrange but manage your family's appointments, classes, and after-school extra-curricular activities. Whether you and your partner split these tasks to ensure one another is well balanced or this responsibility lays heavily on only one parent, organizing your family's busy schedules can be quite difficult. So to make this easier on you, we have compiled 10 tips to organize your entire family's schedule well without unnecessary stresses. Read ahead for some inspiration and insight as we've come together to help you make scheduling easier on all of you.
10 A COLLECTIVE CALENDAR
Whether you decide to use a shared Google Calendar or have a tangible one hanging up on your kitchen wall, it's incredibly important to share a schedule with your family to ensure everyone is on the right track. Consider you have to make an appointment for your daughter. Check the shared calendar to see if she's added to that time. As the children grow, your lives may get busier. It's important to know what's going on which day for scheduling your family's life easier.
9 COMBINE APPOINTMENTS
This may sound like a no-brainer, but often receptionists at Doctor and Dentist offices do not offer shared appointments unless they're asked for. So, next time you need to schedule a check-up with all 3 children, ask the receptionist to do them back-to-back. That way you're not pulling each kid out of school or skipping work at different times. Ensuring you can get all kids taken care of at once is a great way to make scheduling easier for the entire family.
8 SET REMINDERS
The beautiful access we have to technology and how much easier it makes our lives! With that said, sometimes a shared calendar is not enough to keep you on track. Setting alarms on your phone may be a great option if you're someone who needs a little reminder before the day or time arrives.
It's as easy as setting a timer as if you were baking bread. You can also often combine your online calendar with your phone to make sure it's synced and even more organized for you and your family.
7 BE CONSISTENT
Consistency is key. Your family will thank you if you are organized and not 'all over the place'. While preparing your family's schedules, make sure it's as consistent as possible. Whether you've blocked out time to get to the gym yourself, make sure it's the same time each week so the kids can get used to the time when Mom's away. If you make dentist appointments for the entire family, perhaps consider making it on a weekend morning, that way you can escape on a family adventure as soon as you're done.
6 ASSIGN AN ASSISTANT
If you can not afford to hire a nanny or house-cleaner, why not ask for the help? We mean, you have help all around you! Even if the evening's dish washer is only 12 years old. Assigning an assistant will teach your children some valuable life lessons while allowing them to appreciate how much work goes into your day.
It will be easier for you to have some non-intrusive scheduling time if you have your little ones separate their laundry. It's ok to assign tasks to your children, no matter their age. There's always a chore to get done. And hey- you can add it to their calendar to keep on track!
5 BLOCK OUT AN HOUR A DAY/WEEK
We understand that parenthood means being flexible in nearly every way possible. So if you have to escape randomly during your mornings to make a phone call, by all means. Yes, it's nice to have screen-free time, but as a parent to children, you often need to arrange things when you least expect it. But when you're in charge of scheduling your entire family's schedule, it can efficient to block out a certain amount of time for you to arrange your upcoming week.
Just as we spoke about the importance of keeping a shared schedule, making sure you're often speaking about it can be very vital. In order to make sure that everyone is on the same page, communicating your schedules is very important. It can make forming the future schedules easier on you in your future. If you have an errand to run, tell your family where you'll be. If your daughter has a class to attend, warn them before the class arrives. Communication is key. Especially when you're organizing everyone's schedule.
3 ASK FOR INSIGHT
Including your children in your decision making can be helpful and encouraging. Not only will they appreciate that you're asking for their feedback, but you'll learn more about how your children, young or old, mentally and emotionally handle their own schedules.
The more you speak with them and ask for their input, the more you'll learn about them. Perhaps making a dentist appointment at night triggers their anxiety too much. Perhaps they would rather go get their fillings first thing in the morning. You won't know until you ask.
2 DON'T OVER-BOOK
It can be difficult not to overbook if you're trying to manage everyone's schedule including your own. The worst thing is having to be at two places at once. To make sure you do not over-book, use the tips as shown above. You can also cut down your schedules when you need to. To relieve some added stress for the entire family, why not schedule one day a week where everyone is home? This way you don't feel overwhelmed with your schedule and you get some downtime.
1 DECLINE CERTAIN INVITES
It's ok to say "no" when things get busy. Yes, you will likely want to attend your cousin's wedding. Yes, you may want to go to that baby's shower before they're born. But life gets hectic and it's ok to be overwhelmed. It's important you check in to ensure you're not feeling too stressed out with your family's schedule. If you are, you'll have to say "no" to certain invites. And that is perfectly ok.