If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you’ll know my life is very busy.
Both my husband and I work outside the home, I am the sole proprietor of this here blog, I write for a local media outlet and my girls take eight hours of dance classes each week. (I also take an hour of dance, but luckily it overlaps with the girls, so at least that works out!)
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Now that my oldest daughter is 10 I feel like I have a few tips to share to help you stay on top of things in your busy life.
Communication is KEY!
Every morning my husband and I spend 5 minutes talking about who is doing what at the end of the workday. Once or twice a week it’s my responsibility to get the kids from after school care. The rest of the days are his. (Two of my workdays go past the end of our care day.)
We also talk about who stays at the dance school, and who takes Rose home to bed (on the nights Emma dances longer.) There is also conversation about homework, what we’re eating once everyone is home together, and sometimes reminders for me that he has to go back out to work once we’re all home.
I’m going to be honest here and say I often forget what my husband has told me about his working schedule, and he has to tell me over and over. I try to avoid the reverse problem by putting our appointments etc. in my Outlook calendar and then “inviting” my husband. It usually works.
Get the kids involved
By sharing what you expect with your children, you are including them in the regular running of a household. My hope is that it will give them an appreciation for everything we do as adults that they will have to do for themselves when they are grown.
Simple things like not washing clothes if they haven’t made it into the hamper is an easy way to show kids that what they do (or don’t do) directly impacts their home lives.
My girls help with dishes, and cooking. They also clean up their messes, make their own lunches, and put away clean laundry. Some days they need more coaching than others, but having them a part of the regular household routine helps me not feel so overwhelmed with all the tasks!
(As soon as they can manage using the front load stacked washer and dryer, they’ll be learning all the laundry ropes as well.)
Related: Why we don’t Reward Chores
Ask for help
Life gets chaotic – am I right? Sometimes everybody needs to be everywhere and you literally can’t make it happen on your own. It’s so perfectly okay to ask for help!
On nights that Patrick needs to work late we can ask his mom or sister and they can usually help us out. Often it’s just picking up the girls, getting some food into them, and dropping them at the dance school. But every single time we have to ask we feel like we’re taking advantage of the people we’re leaning on.
I was astounded last week by an offer from a fellow dance parent who volunteered to have my girls for a PA day that neither Patrick or I could get off. (We are just nicely back from vacation when this PA day falls, so neither of us feel we could justify another day out of the office!) Our kids are fabulous friends, but the offer still really moved me. Plus the kids will have an amazing time together!
Related: Blogging and Working Mom – A Few Years In
Asking for help is not a weakness. It’s an perfectly acceptable way to keep yourself from falling into the dreaded overwhelm. I am excellent at over-scheduling myself, so reaching out for help is something I’m still working on.
Life is unpredictable. We all know that. But keeping an open mind, and staying flexible with your schedule, is the best way to avoid that over-busy feeling.
Kids get sick, things get double booked, and sometimes just staying home is the best choice. The world won’t end if you miss a dance class, or cancel an appointment you just can’t make.
Just be sure to pick your kids up before the end of their care day – you don’t want to end up paying those extra fees!
Tell me how you manage your busy family schedule!
How do you stay on top of the thousand things going on in your life? Any tips to share? I’d love to hear them! Leave them below and inspire others to stay on top of their family schedule.