As our kids get older and more involved in extra curricular activities, some days it can be overwhelming and exhausting. For example, last Saturday, there was swimming for 3 kids, Trampoline Park event with friends, lunch and karate competition tryouts for 1 kid all between 10 am and 3pm. Thereafter we did grocery shopping, some school work and had some park fun since it was a beautiful day out.
One might read this and ask, how? how is it possible to do all that in one day with 4 kids and here’s how..PLANNING AHEAD!
First of all, I normally have a conference with myself, aka i talk to myself to ascertain whether the activity is necessary and/or beneficial to the child because I’m not a fan of over scheduling. I don’t feel the need to attend everything or be everywhere. If I’m torn then I deliberately and with serious intent, pray about it.Of course, all weekend activities are planned and agreed upon between my husband and I.
If the event passes the “rigorous” feasibility phase, then i pencil it in on my desk calendar and in the kids planners so they know what is going on and we can all physically see it.
How IS it possible to PLAN ahead with KIDS?????
1) If i know swimming is early on Saturday morning and we normally laze around in the morning, I ensure the swim bag is packed, along with snacks and water so that in the morning that is ready to go. This eliminates the morning rush which is ALWAYS so helpful.
2) I cook meals in advance. If i know that I will be out most of the day and lack the time to make dinner then I make it the day before so it doesn’t lend to unhealthy eating out or the stress of thinking I have to be back by a certain time to start preparing the meal.
3) I ensure that the house is cleaned, laundry done, deadlines are met, etc in advance.
4) I map things out: mentally, orally and in written form. For example: I calculate how long it takes me to get from one place to the next and I factor in extra time to allow for all things kid related.
5) I ensure everyone, myself included gets adequate rest! Everything is that much harder when lack of sleep plays a role.
I hope some of these tips were useful! Remember that planning ahead is essential for reducing stress and anxiety and helping yourself and family turn these activities into beautiful memories.