Does it feel sometimes that you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off? Do you wish you were an 8-armed octopus, just so you could keep up with the many and varied demands on your time and help? You know what? Me too,
sometimes. There are, however, ways to keep yourself and your family more organized.
“Mommy,” pleaded 10 year old Allison, “can I please, please, please have Sara spend the night tonight?”
“Yo Mom,” called 16-year old Buck from his bedroom, “is my green shirt washed yet? I’m taking Cloe to dinner tonight.”
“Sweetheart,” called Nick as he left for work, “don’t forget we’re meeting my boss and his wife for dinner tonight.”
Whew! What a whirlwind of activity in the Lawson household. Mom, Mary Lawson, has her hands full, if she lets her brood get away with it. She wouldn’t have all of these demands on her if she were more organized, if she delegated, and if she revised house rules.
First, a good rule for families with young and teen children is that every request for entertainment requires at least 3 days’ notice. Sleepovers, going to the movies, car keys for dates, all fall into the entertainment category. This not only gives you planning time, but also teaches your child responsibility and consideration as to how their requests affect others around them.
Second, as soon as your kids can do for themselves, teach them and let them. Buck’s green shirt? His job. His responsibility, not yours. If he complains and cajoles, active listen his frustration and encourage a plan B that he can undertake (another clean shirt, maybe?)
Third, a habit of weekly family planning meetings and a family calendar placed in the common area of the home, say the kitchen or family room or hallway, covers a multitude of logistical problems. Mary can and should be ready for the work dinner with the boss if it’s been on the family calendar.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but being all things to all people at every moment is not an option. There are ways to keep yourself and your family organized.