Motherhood is chaotic. Plain and simple. We are constantly pulled in several directions at once when all we want to do is sit and catch our breath. It doesn’t matter how many kids we have or how old they are–life can get very overwhelming with school, extra curricular activities, play dates, baths, meal planning and prepping, errands, diaper changes, potty training, refereeing arguments, and the list goes on. And that’s just the regular day-to-day stuff!
On top of our day-to-day craziness, we recently added a little more craziness to our lives. My husband recently accepted a job out of state and is currently living and working there while the kids and I are still here as we finish out the school year and get our house ready to sell. This means the nice, little routine we had has been thrown out the window, and we are adjusting to no real routine at all. The days and weeks get very overwhelming trying to keep up with everything and not accidentally forget my children anywhere, so I’ve had to employ several organization strategies. Some of these strategies I was already making use of, and some I’ve double downed on as I try to stay organized.
I LOVE paper planners and having everything written out in front of me. Plus, physically writing things down helps me remember them better. I found a planner that works great to help me stay organized, and it includes inserts for monthly and weekly calendars, health tracking, meal planning, cleaning schedules, and an address book. I actually love planners so much that I have two, one for home/family and one for business.
My Google calendars mirror my paper planners because I don’t carry the planners around with me, but I do always have my phone on-the-go. Also, with Google calendars I can set up alerts so I don’t forget important deadlines or time-sensitive tasks.
Our wall calendar has changed over time from a way to keep everyone’s activities and schedules in one spot to the place I write the school lunches. This is the easiest way for my daughter to check the menu and decide if she’s having hot or cold lunch. She can also add little things to the month if she wants to.
Separate from my planner, I have several lists going at any one time. This includes grocery/shopping items, packing lists, errands I need to run, things to fix around the house, etc. Mom brain is real, and if I don’t write things down immediately, I will forget!
I have several alarms set on my phone so I don’t forget to pick-up my daughter from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I’m reminded that the bus will be dropping her off soon, and the all-important Tooth Fairy alarm to remind me when the Tooth Fairy needs to visit.
Checking and re-checking
I try to check my planner and Google calendars every Sunday night to make sure they are in-synch and to see what’s on tap for the week. Then I check again several times throughout the week and daily on my phone!
I’m happy to report that so far, I have not yet forgotten a child anywhere and have only forgotten to send my daughter’s water bottle to school a few times!
What are your strategies for staying organized when life gets overwhelming?