(archived from Jan. 21, 2013)
When two families blend into one, schedules become more hectic. More activities, more in-laws, more ex’s. Thus the importance of a good calendar. Sounds simple, I know, but sometimes it’s the little things that save your sanity… and your relationship.
When things get hectic and schedules fill quickly, something’s bound to be forgotten. When dealing with kids and step-kids, I’ve found it’s important to put ALL their activities on the calendar. As moms, we’re quick to put our own children’s events in ink, from bake sales to basketball, but it’s easy to put the step-kids in pencil, especially if they don’t live in your home. We’re just in the habit of making our own kids a priority. It takes effort to add in our new family members. But putting the events that are important to them on the calendar
does many things; it shows your spouse that you consider his kids a priority (and you know you’re the one that’s going to have to keep track of all that stuff), it reminds you of these new people in your life, and it keeps an activity load balance. In other words, it reminds you not to sign up your own son for 3 sports if that means you can’t make it to your step-daughter’s cheer clinic. It’s all about balance. Writing it down helps.
I’m especially fond of Cozi and Google calendars because I can share them with my
husband online. Google is especially helpful because we use it at work too, so ALL my commitments are in one place. Be warned, seeing your whole to-do list in one place can be
overwhelming! Maybe when you look it over, you’ll realize it’s time to simplify.
If you’re an organization junkie you can even color code activities by family member. I actually tried this, but could never remember which color belonged to which kid (we have 5). Plus, what color do you use if there are two or more kids taking part in one activity. You have to figure that part out for yourself. But for now, start your calendar. Start with birthdays, school holidays, weekends you’ll have the step-kids. Then every time you get hit with PTA meetings or show-and-tell day, add it right away and relax, knowing your calendar has got you covered.