Before Labor Day I was really mourning the end of summer because we've added several things to our schedule this school year and it will mean that I'm out of the house more than I'm used to.
I tend to get overwhelmed when I have a lot of out of the house commitments. When I get overwhelmed I turn into a crazy, nazi mama who is seriously lacking in grace. I'm determined this year to go through the year with balance, calmness and grace. In order to do that I'm relying on my "secret weapons"...
Here's my secret weapon for keeping our family out of the chaos zone:
yep, same as last year. The calendar and the daily schedule on the fridge. If it's not on the calendar, it doesn't exist....I don't care how many times you told me. So my kids have learned that if they have something they want to do, they better write it on the calendar. Everything goes on here, even things that happen every week. I just need it written down.
The daily schedule is really more of a routine or rhythm. It's posted on the fridge just in case someone "forgets" what he should be doing.
It also has their daily room or chore assignments. Each child has a room or chore (in addition to their bedroom and laundry) that he is responsible for. It has been so nice living in a smaller home, our last house was completely overwhelming for me. I didn't really realize it until we moved into this much smaller home. These chores should only take about 10 minutes to complete.
I have two other secret weapons to help me stay sane:
This is my "Mom's Notebook". I know...very original title. I have a section for each of the extra curricular activities we are involved in- co-op, drama, dance, AMTC (this is for Josiah) and scouts. Any time I get an email from any of these group I print it up and put it in that section. For co-op I also put a copy of any of the syllabi my children get. Each group will have contact info, calendars, etc. and even though I put this information on my refrigerator calendar I still print it up and put it here.
This is my calendar that I can carry around with me. Each week I double check the family calendar and make sure everything is also on my calendar. I really like this "Family Plus" datebook by Day Timer because it has spaces for each family member for each day. It also has a dinner menu area and at the top is "to do" lists. Also, it was only $5 at Walmart.
well, one last secret weapon...
...this is my grading bucket. It sits right next to my comfy red chair. When the kids finish a subject that I need to check or grade they put it in bucket and then that night while we watch the news I check everything and put it back in their buckets. If they have to get their school work out of my grading bucket in the morning instead of their bucket, they have my permission to bug me until I check it. We've had a few times where things didn't get checked and the child just went to the next lesson or lessons and then had several lessons of correcting to do. It wasn't fun for either of us.
What are your secret weapons for sane when life is busy?