Organising the family along with ones individual tasks, activities, jobs, chores, outings, sport days, excursions, swimming lessons, football/soccer/netball training, appointments to the dentist, hairdresser, doctor, optometrist etc is something the mother often does. It is almost like running a business and being the personal secretary for the children (and the husband too) !
Categorising events, making lists, and/or keeping a diary or large calendar (or using your mobile phone to track events) can help with planning out the week or months ahead; family life can become rather hectic, therefore having a simple planning system in your home, can make life a little easier and may even keep the household in order too.
What ever system works for you; try to keep things simple. Have all appointments in the same place and for all the family to see. Here is an example of our family calendar organiser. Below on the calendar, RED = events & appointments. BLUE = Menu or Meal Plan for the following evening.
Meal planning is also a great way to be organised and helps immensely if it is prepared or organised in advance. Having the evenings meal written down and on view can also encourage the older children to help with the preparation too (if you are making it up of an evening).
A School Routine Planner is another example of how to organise those weekly occurrences throughout school, whether you have a couple of children or a larger family, something like this can be adapted in any home.
Organising and creating family charts above IS definately a fantastic way to become organised; however what about a chart or something for mum too? Mothers tend to think of everyone else and forget about tending to their own needs as well. With all the above schedules and varied appointments; surely mum needs a chart or timetable too?
Therefore, sit down and work out a planner for yourself. Create a weekly calendar either by hand or creating a table via a “WORD” document with all the tasks that the mother needs to do;
- choose days to do those particular chores and jobs (ironing, mending etc)
- write down your regular appointments and times
- colour code items to make things clearer at a glance
- have it in view for your husband to see ~ perhaps you won’t get the usual “so….did you DO ANYTHING AT ALL TODAY”?
Since all my children are at school, over the last few years, I’ve taken more timeout for myself and although my life is even more hectic now that it ever was, I’ve created a weekly timetable just for myself too:
- The BLUE = BOOTCAMP I’ve been attending for over 3yrs now – you can read about my journey here.
- Planning and preparing the evening meals; I try to organise the night before either by getting out the meat and placing in the fridge (to defrost slowly) or making up the salad and side dishes (if suitable and depending on what I am serving the following day). Otherwise, I try to prep my dinner after my boot camp sessions and always before midday.
- Chores of course are now much easier these days with older kids (as they have been trained to help out with running this busy household and we all share the load), however I am still constantly washing and tend to always put loads on before bed and/or as soon as I get up of a morning. If there is also enough time, I will hang a load or two before taking the kids to school, then hang more after I get home from school drop off and of course continue this task throughout the day.
- The timetable above is also missing a few more after school activities (as they haven’t been set yet) as well as the tedious afternoons, where I am now driving kids too and from their various work shifts.
- Grocery shopping doesn’t happen every day (as listed above), however, I try to do this if I am already out and about, hence after boot camp.
- The weekends are free at the moment until the winter sporting season starts again!
So there you have it, all mothers are extremely busy; yet I am sure if we all sat down and did our own personal schedules, there just might be small space of free time somewhere.
It is now your turn; take the opportunity to find a little time for yourself and be YOUR own secretary for a change. Find that moment, the small piece of solitude ~ that space in time where YOU CAN put your feet up or enjoy something for you!