My husband told me today that I am the nucleus around which our household revolves. What I heard was, “if you don’t keep up with all of our schedules and needs, we’d be in absolute chaos”.
Yep, he’s right. Comes with the mom territory. But is it healthy?
The up side of being the keeper of the schedule is that it keeps me in the loop as far as what everyone has going on. I keep an online calendar that’s color coded by family member. It even emails each of us at the beginning of the week with everything on our family agenda. This helps me keep all of us organized. I use COZI but you can use whatever works for you.
Truth be told, it’s probably a control thing. It makes me feel important to think that my family couldn’t function without me. But honestly, they need to be able to function without me. Sometimes Mom gets sick or stressed out… sometimes Mom has to go on a business trip or vacation. Husbands, kids and step-kids all need to be able to keep up with their own activities, homework, laundry, meetings, lunch preparation, chores, etc in the event that Mom is out of the loop.
That hasn’t happened yet. In fact, sometimes the thought of going on vacation is so stressful I avoid it entirely. Why? Because of the preparation it takes for me to step out of the flow for even a day or two. Who will feed the dogs? Are there enough groceries on hand? Who will take the kids to their sports practice, birthday party, speech meet, etc that will inevitably land on the same weekend? Or if we all want to take a trip, what will we miss?!
Hmmm, perhaps that’s the ticket right there. Missing something. If I don’t adhere to the schedule we might miss something. If we leave town we might miss something. So what?! In fact, we might actually gain something. Rest. Peace. Downtime.
Okay, based on this revelation here are the 3 things I suggest trying this week (for you and me both)…
1. Teach the spouse and kids how to access & check the family calendar
2. Find one thing on the schedule that doesn’t need to be there. Take it off. Say “no”.
3. “Schedule” in a break. Whether it’s time just for mom, or family time with nothing planned. Block it out and set it as a priority appointment.
What’s the most difficult part for you?
(archived from Oct. 18, 2013)