When both parents work, staying organised is essential for the success of the family. Who is doing drop off, who is doing pick up, when will the grocery shopping happen, how will we stay sane and enjoy time with the newest member while doing it all? These are questions that new parents ask themselves all the time. Here are 5 strategies for staying organised during a busy and hectic week.
Create a Family Calendar
Your family calendar may be a place for just you and your spouse to record the activities of the week or you may choose to include your caregiver as well. By creating an electronic family calendar, everyone can look any time of the day to see what people are doing, where people need to be and others responsibilities. Take time before the week starts to review the week’s events to ensure that you and your spouse know what will happen daily. However, if your boss suddenly asks you to stay late, you can quickly look to see what is happening and who else needs to be notified that you won’t be home on time. You can do this easily on a smartphone through Google or Yahoo Calendars or use apps like Cozi.
Use Sunday to Review the Calendar for the Week
Use Sunday as a time to review the week. This may include responsibilities for the week like cooking or laundry or to see if there are any conflicts on the family calendar. Use this time to discuss scheduling issues and develop a mechanism to resolve them. It is easier to try and call a family member or a babysitter on a Sunday when you are calm and relaxed to ask them to help out for a Wednesday night than it is on the night before when you are in a panic. This also gives you time in case your first choice is not available.
Prepare Meals Ahead of Time
Your calendar allows you to see what you need to do stay prepared. You can see where you can fit in the grocery shopping or how many lunches you will actually need to prepare if your office tends to order in or provide working lunches. This also helps you to save money in the long run by only buying and preparing what you need, resulting in less waste.
Create a Network
As new parents, we often forget that we have a network of people around us that we can rely on. This network can include family, friends, co-workers, neighbors or others that can lend a helping hand. Don’t be afraid or shy about asking for help when you need it. Instead of bundling up the baby on a cold night when it is close to bedtime because you forgot something at the store, try calling your network for help. Take as much stress out of your day as possible.
Make Time for Baby
If your baby is an early riser, and you are a night owl, you will have to adjust your internal time clock to spend quality time with your baby. Maybe head to work later, if your schedule allows, and stay later. Maybe you and your spouse can alternate who does the morning shift so you can each spend quality time in the morning with the baby. Often times, as new parents, it means working together to determine what is right for your family but preparing yourselves, and your calendars, to make that change, is worth it.
As you make the adjustment of going from two to three (or three to many), remember that you are doing it as a family. Use the suggestions that work for you. It might get a little bumpy at times but remember that is the fun of family. Try to stay positive on this roller coaster ride.