Do you ever feel like a family Uber driver? I know I say this every year, but this year was going to be different. We were going to have a more reasonable afternoon family schedule. But a few things changed, and suddenly we are busier than ever.This fall, my son is in cross country and plays two instruments, while my daughter plays softball, is in two musicals, and is in a performance group. Even though I don't work outside of the home, it's incredibly challenging to stay organized for the kids' busy afternoon schedules. One of the biggest issues is the unpredictability. My son has cross-country practices and meets on random days of the week, and my daughter's school musical rehearsal schedule changes by the week. I usually spend my afternoons driving all around time. Despite the chaos, I've worked hard at staying organized – here are my biggest tips to stay organized for kids' busy afternoon schedules.
Stay Organized For Kids' Busy Afternoon Schedules
First, you'll want to make sure you have the right tools for staying organized. I personally use a paper planner, but the best planner is the one you use! (See our tips for the best planners for moms here).
Make sure that you add all of the dates and appointments that you know about in whatever planner you choose to use. You should also pull out the annual school calendar, and add the holidays and half days. Then, start going through each of the activity schedules – adding those to your planner as well.
I personally add all of those things to the monthly page of the planner. Color coding is a great idea – take a look at these recommendations of pens to use for planning.
For those activities that can change week by week (my daughter's school musical rehearsal schedule, for instance), highlight those days/times where rehearsals may occur. I like to keep these times free to avoid conflicts. Then, when the schedule is released, I go in and make changes to the days.
With an inconsistent schedule, Sunday planning is absolutely essential. Each Sunday, I look at the monthly schedule page, and transfer the appointments for the week to the weekly pages in my planner. I also plan my goals for the week, and plot out my own work and fitness schedule.
See more about how I plan on Sundays here.
Have Backup Plans
It's always a good idea to have a play B for those times when the kids' schedules overlap. As much as I try to make sure that I have no conflicts, things sometimes change. Whether it's a good carpool plan, a babysitter, or a family member, be sure to have someone to call when you can't be at two places at once.
How do you stay organized for kids' busy afternoon schedules?
(Find the monthly calendar pages in the photo here)
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