Ideas for managing manic schedules…or trying to at least!

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Even though we are only two days into the New Year, I’m already feeling manic and not managed as we prepare to jump back into our schedule tomorrow.  Yes, the holidays are over and what a nice break it was from my family’s crazy schedules.  It is true that today I made breakfast for my son’s sleepover, taught Sunday School, took my son to golf and then my daughter to a birthday party.  And today was supposed to be our last “slow” day! 

So, I am going to think out loud for a minute and share some New Year manage-my-manic-moments tips as we dive back into it all tomorrow.  Did I mention that tomorrow is back to school in the early and cold AM (two different school schedules to boot!), power skating for my son’s hockey, theater rehearsal and voice lessons for my daughter and a doctor appointment for me?  And of course there will also be a dry cleaning run, grocery store visit and call to my cat’s vet.  Ok, taking a deep breath and sharing those tips now…

1.  Get to bed earlier.  I did well with my kids on this one tonight, but oops…I’m still up and it is getting close to midnight!  I’ll have to be stricter with myself tomorrow night!

2.  Lay everything out the night before and I mean the whole enchilada.  Put out backpacks, outfits, car keys, cell phone, jackets, tennis shoes for PE day and more!  I can’t emphasize how this little ritual has saved the day…or left us feeling upside down and late when we failed to put stuff out the evening before!

3.  Have a family meeting on Sunday night about the upcoming week’s events.  Although my family dislikes this practice of mine and finds it a bit annoying, the Sundays that I skip the family briefing usually catches up with us.  Fast forward a few days later and a family member starts a sentence with “you didn’t tell me I had this…” and I am reminded that it does help to have a weekly plan to keep the schedules organized and our family on time!

4.  Make a good dinner and get a jump on it.  When I do take the time to make a nice meal, I do see a difference in my family’s demeanor.  In fact, they even say thank you!  I must admit that is because I have called a pizza delivery guy to my rescue when the schedule gets too busy for us to get home and make dinner at a decent hour.  And I’ve done so more than I want to admit!  So this year, to be healthier and save on calories and cash, I strive to cook more with the help of my crock pot, easy family recipe cookbooks, leftovers and sandwich night…which I refuse to feel guilty about!

5.  Take better care of me, the manic managed mom with more exercise and scheduled hubby date nights and gal pal time!  I am truly a better Mom when I do these things.  Yoga and wine anyone?

So, just writing these goals down helps me to feel calm.  And feel free to share your tricks and tips here in the comments section.  What do you do to successfully manage your own manic schedules?

Hmm, that little voice in my head is telling me to parent myself and get my weary self to bed so I can wake in the morning and say bring it on!