Thursday, June 30, 2005

Family Schedules

Being the Chicken Pot Pie Family that we are, we need to have some organization around the house. Not that hubby & I are poster-children for organization. Hardly. We have to over-come our natural tendencies toward creativity, spontaneous activity, & impulsivity.

But if we are to survive as a family, and enjoy our lives, as we travel 800 miles for one child, return in time to get the other child, fit in counseling, work, & feed ourselves, we needed a plan.

In the creation of our plan, we focused not just on the things that needed to get done (as self employed folks, we need to schedule work time so we can pay bills), but we looked at the things we weren't doing (as in no one wants to return from a 9 hour drive, unload the van & then clean the house -- no matter how bad it looks), and we kept an emphasis on the fun things we can do as a family.

And we needed to be flexible, because no matter how well we plan, how great our intentions are, 'things' just crop up, and bite us in the old scheduling-butt. So, our plan includes parent meetings to discuss work & family priorities, allowing for us to adapt the schedule as needed.

While the schedule is flexibility based, there are some firm plans:

Monday is "Family Game Night"
Wednesay is "Cleaning Day"
Saturday is "Family Movie Night" **

Now, while I said these are 'firm,' obvisously, we don't let plans get in the way of The Point. The Point being our work as parents. So, if the children are not behaving, be it one or all of them, they loose the privledge of game or movie night.

And recently, when our central air died, we didn't really do the cleaning we ought to have -- it was never lower than 87 degrees for 3 days (yes, even at 2 a.m.). Why be firm on the schedule just to flex with the trip to ER?

And then, we have daily things as well. For example, we all go on family walks (weather permitting).

The bottom line: Organizing your family should be workable, which means flexible, and always focused on your family goals.

** This family activity, does count towards 'TV Time.' Yes, we are those kind of parents. More on that next!
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