Many times I have heard “How do you do it?” The “it” in question varies from keeping track of kids, to participating in activities, to homeschooling, to feeding a crowd. My standard answer is “Some days are better than others”. Now that may sound cliché – but I assure you that I mean EVERY word of it. There are some days that are just better than others and I pray that those are the days we are in public.
Here are just a couple of things we do to help organize around our house. First we use a buddy system. The oldest pairs with the youngest and second with second youngest, etc. This means when we go out as a family, there is someone “responsible” with the littles; someone to hold hands crossing a parking lot, someone to help get food from a buffet, someone to help go to the bathroom, someone to sit next to on the Zoo train, someone to push the swing, someone to help littles get dressed or bathe – the list goes on. Reality is that neither MrTB4M or myself can do all of this for everyone, we are simply outnumbered. As the older ones have left for college, the ones left at home have automatically restructured their system so that no one is left out.
So the buddy system assures that once we get somewhere everyone has a partner. But, how do we know where we need to be? The household calendar is a “small” project of mine. EVERY month I sit and create a family calendar. On this we list everything that has to take place outside of the house – appointments, youth group, volunteer activities, practices, games, travel. To make it easy to decode and simplify how much I have to include in print I have assigned everyone a color. This was an accidental process; but man am I sure glad I stumbled into it. See after kid 2 it was getting pretty tight in a calendar box – by the time I would write J1 – Dr. Knight 1100; J2 practice 1700 Ferdinand Park; J3 practice 1800 Ferdinand Park – I would be out of space and it was “busy” to look at. Now with an assigned color I get by with Practice 1800 Ferdinand; 1700 BMAC #1; 1800 Koch #2. I save space in the boxes and it is easy for the kids to pick out their specific activity based on color code.
These may not be helpful to any of you, but both of these tactics work for us. AND whether or not these could be helpful to you or not, one thing is for sure – everyone can relate to the phrase “Some days are better than others”.