Man, if you really took a moment to think about how MUCH we REALLY do to run our homes, kids, job and personal life we would stand a little taller with pride (and then collapse from exhaustion). Keeping everything running is amazing but how we get it all done can often be tiring, frustrating and wasteful with our time and energy.
Planning ahead, scheduling in our calendars, post-it notes on the fridge, writing stuff down on some random piece of paper in our purse, apps, writing it down on our palm (c’mon you know you still do that)…how do you keep track of it all?
As I coach my moms through their maternity leave and beyond, time management becomes the number one thing they need as their lives start to get wicked busy and fast-paced. They need help finding ways to make a quick healthy meal, keep track of all the to-dos and appointments and how the heck does one get out of the house on time?! Being in Project Management in my career for many year, lists, lead times and deadlines ooze out of my pores. I seriously love planning stuff. So helping you with planning it all seems like a natural fit.
The goal is to get stuff done without feeling like you are DONE in the process.
How about we try a new way of scheduling for our families… I’m calling it Free-scheduling. Free-scheduling is a balance between getting the important stuff booked on the calendar while leaving enough room to be spontaneous. This freeing way of managing your busy household and life is NOT about scheduling everything… that is a joy vampire. And it’s NOT flying by the seat of your pants; never writing down an appointment. It’s about knowing when to say “yes” when to say “no”.
So here are some guidelines so you can start free-scheduling to your heart’s content.
What to schedule:
The following should always get on your shared google calendar with your partner.
- Family events
- Date nights
- Extended family events (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations) TIP: be selective here, decide with your partner in advance which ones you will commit to attending and clearly communicate to your fam
- Work obligations
- Fun with friends
- Kid events (again, be clear what you will commit to, only on kid birthday part a month, how many play dates will you attend?)
The following should not be scheduled but rather build in free time for these:
- Whoopie time with your husband….don’t kill the mojo with a meeting invitation for it. Unless you are into that kind of thing 🙂
- Play time with kids. We could all use more quality time but this is a big reminder that every moment with your child is quality if you are distraction-free. Putting the dishes away can be a game so be thankful for each moment!
How to Free-schedule:
Like everything in parenting, it’s all about communication, a bit of intuition and aligning priorities. So the first part of free-scheduling is making sure you are on the same page with your man.
- Talk with your partner about what you will and won’t do. For example, we only have one family or social obligation a weekend. That means that we will have to say NO to some good friend and family. Uncomfortable, but necessary for your family to have a calmness and balance.
- Check in before you go out. Are you bickering on the way to a “fun” event? Getting to the event, out the door and on time often becomes the biggest pain of the weekend. If we check in with how we are feeling, in other words, really trust the signs our bodies are sending before leaving the house, we would know that it’s not the right time to go to that family obligation.
- Build in down time. Our work weeks are crazy enough. So why do we jam pack our weekends? Yes we have to go to Costco, target, and Trader Joes, but why do we agree to three other things? Our minds and spirits need rest. And there is no rest with a child. So here and now, declare that you will make time on half of a weekend day to chill and recharge!!! You will thank yourself. Developing your intuition can help you know when to say no and when to say yes.
- Would you tell your child to live the way you do? If we really look at how we spend our days, would you tell your baby to “grow up and stress at a job and scroll through Facebook in your down time.” Just because we are parents doesn’t mean we forfeit on our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. So let me ask you. Have you built exercise, fun with friends, “me time” and spiritual time into every week? No? Until I did that I can tell you that I didn’t feel happy and I resented my kids. How can we model how to be a well-rounded woman to our children if we don’t live it ourselves, right now, every day?! The time has come to put yourself as priority (as well as being a wonderful mom) and show the next generation what it really means to thrive!
- Pull up your big girl panties and say no. This is like working out. You gotta work those muscles to make them stronger. You have to tear the muscle fiber in order for your muscle to grow bigger so you gotta go through a little pain to get better. Practice saying no, it’s so empowering.
- Make connection, not more time, a priority. We gotta avoid over-scheduling our kids and our life. Dr. Bhargave ,warned that “if your only quality time with your kids in the car, you are over-scheduled.” Take a second and think about when you are connected with your child. Like really connected, not like while-folding-laundry-and-facebooking type. But true connection instead, the kind that makes your heart smile.
With all this scheduling talk I had to let you know about a cool event so you can schedule it in!
Well I’m so pumped to let you know about a free workshop on this Monday in San Diego that will help you feel in control of your household from meals, savvy time management skills and even sleep! Did I mention the workshop is free? I see a theme here…
Leave a comment with about how you can start to use Free-scheduling in your family!