I am not a ‘plan ahead’ kind of girl naturally. Our lifestyle is very ‘shoot from the hip’ most of the time. So, I have had to do a lot of changing to find sanity in motherhood. I have found that if I take a bit of time on Saturday or Sunday (during nap time or whenever I can carve out time in my schedule to be alone) and make a plan for the week, our moral is way more upbeat! Meal planning, visits to the Library, work schedule, appointments and special occasions are among many elements I must balance weekly. If you know all the options and have a plan, at least you have a starting point. So, here are a few things I do to keep us on track for the week.
1. Dry-Erase Calendar: I make this up every 4 weeks. It’s not a monthly schedule but a 4-week schedule for my husband and I to both see what we have on our plate for the week. Whatever we are required to do each week (events, birthdays, special weekends, vacations, appointments, kids classes, etc.) goes on the calendar.
2. To Do list: I have a little 5X7 notebook that I keep with me at all times. Starting from the back, I make an overall list for the week. As I accomplish these items, I mark them off. When I get it them done or change weeks, I transfer all the things I did not accomplish that day/week and write it on the next page. Then I rip out the old page and throw it away.
3. Idea Journal: Starting from the front of the same 5X7 notebook, I keep an ideas journal. I list fun things to do with the girls straight down the page then on to the next. When I am short on ideas for play time and craft time, I have a terrific resource with me at all times. I also keep a few pages in the middle to keep notes on the girls. Funny things they say, things I notice about them, whatever I want to remember I jot them down in the middle and transfer them into a journal in my spare time. You might also find songs I’m working on or some encouraging scripture scattered throughout the other pages.
4. Be flexible: After my schedule, meal plan, lesson plans and to do lists are done for the week, I know I have a place to start. Rain always trips me up, but I try to keep craft supplies in stock ready to do something indoors. I am more relaxed around my girls and have way more fun!
5. Be Spontaneous: Kids love surprises! Having a few tricks up your sleeve keeps daily life really fun for them. Get ice cream once in a while, just because! These are your children. Do with them what you want and have fun!
6. Remember to plan for the next week: I have to admit, planning, preparing and playing is hard. Sometimes I’ll have one great week then bomb on the next. But, that’s just how it goes sometimes. If you get a plan together one week, then forget or just don’t the next, you will quickly realize how much easier life flows when you have a blueprint to go by.
Well, that’s the system I try to stay with. Feel free to send me your ideas or leave a comment for others to read.