Am I the CEO of my family? Some years ago, I would have heard that term and snickered. CEO? “I’m not a CEO of anything,” I would have said.
- You know those freebie calendars from the bank? Well, I got rid of those as soon as I had my second child. That one-inch square was not big enough to record our daily activities. I started using a mom planner wall calendar as it had 5 columns…one for Mom, Dad, and up to three kids.
- The mom planner wall calendar worked well until all three kids were in some sort of school and a host of extracurricular activities. I kept the wall calendar, but added an online calendar. Note: Even if you love online calendars, a wall calendar listing the days’ events works as a visual reminder for little ones of what is on the day’s schedule.
- The family calendar — both the wall and online calendar — is packed with soccer practices, gymnastics classes, and dance recitals, too.
- Add in the dentist, the orthodontist, and a specialist here and there and you can see how the calendar gets full.
- Don’t forget to write down or enter all important dates on ALL the family calendars.
- Did you know there’s an AboutOne calendar coming soon?
- My husband is many things, but a scheduler of appointments he is not. He can go a few years between doctor’s appointments. I’m a hypochrondriac by comparison. So, it’s my job to schedule all the well visits…and squeeze in the sick doctor visits, too.
- I’m the one who signs the kids up for soccer, lacrosse, or ballet. The key to a successful activity is to make sure that the activity is scheduled at a time convenient to not only you but your child. A 2 p.m. gymnastics class is probably a poor choice for a 3-year-old.
- With one, then two, and maybe three kids in activities, juggling is definitely part of your job description. You will need to schedule activities according to who can drive, what your child wants to do, and what you can afford.
- I’ll be honest, I haven’t balanced a checkbook in years. But, I work closely with my husband to plan our yearly budget. He pays the bills, but I let him know what needs to be paid and what expenses are coming in the months ahead.
- Plan. And when you are finished planning…plan some more. There is always something I need to plan for. Over the years, I have found that I can reduce my stress level by planning.
- Assign chores to kids. You know that kids don’t want to do chores anymore than parents want to do them, but getting chores done helps the household run smoothly. Have consequences for when children don’t do chores. Younger kids can lose TV time. Older kids can lose cellphones if chores are not complete.
- For large household tasks, involve all family members. I convene a laundry folding group each week. I separate the clean laundry in to in baskets and have each kid sort, fold, and then distribute to the bedrooms. The saying “Many hands makes light work” is very true!
- Make older children responsible for their morning and evening routines. My older kids know they must shower, wash their hair, make their beds, brush their teeth twice a day, and go to bed by themselves. I supervise, but don’t nag them to do it. My younger one needs a few reminders.
- Going to a new soccer field or a birthday party? Reduce your stress level by using an online map or GPS BEFORE you leave the house. Calculate how long it will take you to get a kid from home to karate to the birthday party and home again. By calculating the time needed for a trip you will know how soon you need to leave your house.
- Create online shopping lists, work to-do lists, birthday wish lists, and household chores lists.
- When food and drink items run low, keep a shopping list on your phone. You can refer to this list in the grocery store. By keeping an up-to-date list, you can find relevant coupons for the products you need. In other words, plan shopping trips in advance to save money.
- You may think that you bought enough school supplies for each of your children. But, as the school year progresses you will need to send in glue sticks, pencils, etc., so keep supplies at the ready.
The Big Picture
- In the corporate world, the CEO is responsible for guiding a business towards future success. As the Mom CEO, the decisions I make are important, too.
- I need to look at what is up ahead for my family, my children, and even my home. If Junior loves baseball, but dislikes soccer, then finding a fall baseball league is a must. If Susie has a late birthday, I need to find a preschool program for young 5-year-olds not yet ready for kindergarten. If the fridge is on its last legs, I need to budget for buying a new fridge.