Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Family Plans

   Since you know I'm deep into Large Family Logistics book, let me share a few things that we have done.

     First I should say a lot of her ideas go along with Flylady.  I've always loved Flylady but somehow it just didn't fit me totally.  I tried tweaking it here and there and it worked but it just didn't "flow" for us.  Well I think the problem for me at least was many children at many different ages and our days were always so different with my husband's work schedule.  Some of LFL organizing ideas were having each day have a theme or purpose; like Monday is laundry day, Tuesday is Kitchen day etc.  Flylady has that as well.  BUT the big thing that helped me was instead of making a Morning  Routine to check off once, I made one for each day.  On our laundry day I wanted to get up early and get a jump on laundry.  On the kitchen day I wanted to get cooking before the heat.  Having a different check list for each day has made me have to think a LOT less!  I know when, where and how I'm fitting in the most important things for that day.  I took it a step further and instead of 7 days I have 14, one for when Paul is home and one for when he is working.  This may sound ridiculous and over kill but I can't tell you how much less stressed I am!  He works a mirrored schedule so what we do one week is the exact opposite the next. With a plan I know when I'll play outside with my littles, and when baths fit in not only on a school day when Daddy is working but also when he is home and the days seem to fly by!

   Another tip I'm loving is I printed out 3 blank calendars.  The one I found actually has room for 6 weeks and I filled out one with all our favorite dinner meals, one with breakfast and one with lunch.  Then I print a blank one before shopping and fill out 2 weeks of dinners, lunches and breakfasts.  It's easy to remember our favorite meals when they are all listed in front of me.  I can even hand the list to people and say pick your two favorite.  I still leave a few days on the current calendar open for leftovers, new recipes and at least 1-2 "choice" nights which really mean nothing sounds good or I don't have time to cook so we're going to throw something last minute together.  The free printable calendar I use is here.

   One thing I'm learning from all of this is how much easier lists make life!!  For example we went to the beach the other day and I thought I had everything.  When we got there I realized I forgot some things and as we played we wish we would have thought of a few things.  Today I plan on making a beach list!  Sounds crazy but next time we go I can set the list on the counter and the older boys and Paul can help make sure we have everything instead of everyone looking at me.  I'll pop it in a blank page protector and then lay a dry erase marker by it.  As we load the van everyone can check off what they put in.  In the end it will be quick and easy to see what's left to load and I don't have to think of it all while I'm doing the girl's hair and thinking of a billion things we need.  Somehow a list is less annoying than a mom/wife saying, "Oh, get this, don't forget that, did you put this in the van yet???"  And it ends the, "I didn't hear you" excuse.  If you read it and checked it off it better be in there!

  All this planning takes time and is a little stressful while doing all the thinking but it has made a huge difference once it's done.  If I start realizing I want to change some things or add I write them on a post-it and stick it on that page.  When I have time I can hop on the computer, make the changes and print out the new sheets.  My daily sheets have sat on the computer for a couple weeks as I tweak.  I'm finding in the end it is well worth the effort.

What activities do you plan and prepare for alone?  Could a list help take all the remembering off your shoulders and allow others to help without your constant input?? 


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Carrie Roer said...

I am such a list-maker myself! Now that VBS and my sister-in-law's wedding are over, maybe I'll have the time to think through some routine in our lives and use some of your ideas! Thanks for posting

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