How do you manage your family’s social calendar?
I don’t know what’s gotten in to me at the moment, but I can’t seem to stay on top of the family’s social calendar. I don’t work as an executive PA in the real world for a reason, I suck at it.
Tell me, what more can I do than have reminders on my phone, plus a calendar on the wall that has a column for each of us?
Lately, even though I know one of the kids has to be somewhere at a certain time, I’ve still managed to mess up. Take for instance my middle daughter’s drama rehearsal last weekend. I knew it was happening. I had the times written clearly on the calendar and whilst we were up in town that day enjoying a lazy Sunday mooching around, I even double checked the email. It said 1-3.30.
So why did I deliver her there at 1.30 and wonder why they had already started? In we sauntered without a care in the world thinking perhaps they’d just jumped straight in to the first number in an effort to be prompt and get on with the practice. It wasn’t until I got home that the penny dropped and I realised what I’d done.
This weekend, same daughter was up in town with my husband when I remembered she had a party at 4pm. It was 3.30 and so she just had time to come home, get changed, write the cards (because of course I wasn’t organised enough to get them done earlier) and go back out again. We made it there on time at least.
And at least we made it at all. I actually forgot to take my son to a party once. It didn’t occur to me until much later in the day, when I had one of those awful realisation moments. Much grovelling and apologising was done, following that blunder.
This keeps happening and I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve lost the plot. I need to do something drastic to help me keep on top of the game. If this was an actual paid job I was doing, I would have been sacked by now for sure. They can’t sack me can they?
The children have more of a social life than I do
In my defence, the calendar is chock full, literally. I blame the calendar. It was a bad choice this year and even though we all have space on it, it’s not quite enough and when it’s chock full, like it generally is, you can’t see much more than a jumble of letters and words. This is after I scaled down the activities, in an attempt to free up time during the week. How do people whose children do numerous activities outside school cope?
Perhaps I shouldn’t be admitting this in public. I’m no super mum. There, I said it. I’m trying to manage the lives and social calendars of our family of five and making a regular hash of it. One thing these recent blunders have taught me though is that perhaps I shouldn’t have to manage all this on my own. Perhaps the responsibility of getting everybody to the right place at the right time shouldn’t rest solely on my shoulders. The children are getting older, they should start to learn about being responsible for themselves, developing their own time managements skills, helping me out a little.
Teaching children about responsibility and time management
I can’t do everything for them forever can I? At some point they will have to learn to stand on their own two feet and what better way to start that process than encouraging them to think about how they organise their free time versus doing their homework, remembering they have an after school club that day and perhaps getting out anything they might need in advance. It’s not too much to ask is it?
The children are seven, nine and twelve. Fair enough that the youngest might need a little more help than the others, but you pitch your requests for the age group you’re aiming at don’t you, asking of them what you know is achievable. My eldest is pretty good, in all fairness. She has to be organised now she’s at secondary school, but I swear, if she gives me the ingredients list for her food tech class the day before they are due to do the practical ONE MORE TIME, I will go ballistic.
I have a lot going on in my head and contrary to what the kids might think, it doesn’t just involve them. There are work projects, articles and story ideas and concerns about how I can fit everything in to the day. There are elements of parenting older children that are much easier than dealing with babies and toddlers, but at the same time, the demands are still there, they’re just different. It’s not unusual to have to wait until 9pm to finally sit down to some peace and quiet after dealing with the many demands. I go to bed at 10, so it’s not much downtime really.
The plan is to have a daily schedule up on the fridge that everyone can see. I’m going to encourage them all to look at it and make a note in their own heads about what is going on that’s relevant to them. It will also help me to have each day broken down in to a schedule, as ridiculous as that sounds, given that it’s yet another thing that sets out the order of the day. But hey, if my phone and family calendar isn’t working for me right now, I’m willing to try anything. And given my love of all things stationery, what a wonderful excuse to buy something as pretty as this:
Sharing this for What I’m Writing.