Have you ever taken a step back and really stopped to think about all that you have to juggle when you are balancing life?
I mean really think about it? I have vowed recently to do just that in the hopes that I may start to appreciate the small stuff more and the stress a bit less.
This idea bombarded my thoughts as I was driving like a mad woman trying to get one child to soccer on time, two others to Tae kwon do, and trying to keep my 4 year old awake in the back seat. This was certainly not the first time that I found myself in such a craze, nor will it be the last I am sure.
You know there are days that the hustle and bustle makes me smile. The thought of being available and able to rush them around truly makes me happy. Growing up my Mom didn’t drive so simple things like getting to sporting events and friends’ houses was tough. Then there are days where getting out of the house itself feels like Spartacus trying to escape the arena. Maybe a bit dramatic, but you get the point. This is when I decided to come up with a plan-steps if you will to help me stay organized, in control, and hopefully less overwhelmed.
Step 1} Plan a few extra minutes to get out of the house and to get there.
This step, although crucial, is so hard for me. We constantly find ourselves rushing to get out of the house daily. The rush to get out for school is currently my downfall. A little more prep and planning though and I am sure that we can get out without too much dramatics (by me mostly).
Step 2} Keep a detailed calendar both on the phone (as we are increasingly using our phones for more and more-my personal assistant) and on the wall.
As I am mostly out on the road (or work) having both calendars to reference has saved me more than once. The relief I feel for just having the sense of a plan eases my anxiety considerably.
Step 3} Carpool when available.
I have kids in four different schools right now. If we didn’t carpool, at least where school is concerned, I could not do it. My kids, especially my two girls, despise the school bus. Yes, riding the bus would make my life so much easier, but at what cost? They have had a couple of exchanges on the bus (several years ago now) that made them feel unsafe. I didn’t need to hear anything else. That’s when I began driving them both to and from school. Besides, my seven year old son would definitely be the first one to get into trouble on the bus ride. He is very impressionable and eager to entertain his friends. Cute most of the time, but I would dread the phone calls from the bus driver and Principle. There is one family in particular that we car pool with and have saved my life so many times. The Bacons are a very special family whom I could not live without!
Step 4} Organization is great, but if you are not consistent with it then it is a big waste of time.
I should know. I have begun with strong intentions to continue various organized routines before, but it quickly weened when I eased up. Staying on task and on schedule makes the coming days that much easier.
Step 5} Step 5 just might be the most difficult to follow through with. Laugh!
I think that this should be the easiest step to balancing your life with your kids’ schedules, but for me it is not. It is so hard! When we are rushing out the door or trying to get from point A to point B laughing is the last thing that I want to do. It was after we had a horrible time getting out of the house one morning. I found myself yelling A LOT! I shocked even myself. I vowed that it wouldn’t happen again. So now I try my hardest to remember how I felt after this incident and most importantly how my kids must have felt. This makes it a lot easier to find the humor when it might be hard to muster even a smile.
What I try my best to remember, as you should too, is that we are all in the same boat. Life gets rough at times, harder for some albeit, but rough all the same. Learning to balance these moments/events is a learning process, but necessary to enjoy all of the love, laughter, and challenges thrown your way.