Hurried, Harried Happiness

Posted by suevenman on Sep 5, 2013  

With September comes a lot more than colored leaves. Summer recess gives way to team sports, extracurricular activities and a myriad of meetings. When life feels like it’s going to run you over, a little organization goes a long way.

One memorable fall, each of my five daughters was on a different sports team. This meant five separate practices on five separate fields with five game schedules to coordinate and, hopefully, attend. My job (if I wished to accept it) was to make sure they had rides to and from, clean uniforms for games, healthy snacks before practice and somehow fit in homework and piano practicing. I also needed to prepare dinner in advance so we could eat before everyone fell apart and hope against hope that I didn’t forget to pick one of them up along the way.

As all of this sank in, and after a brief breakdown, I began to plan how to keep all the balls in the air without knocking myself out in the process.

I devised a chart with one column for each day of the week and rows for each of the five kids. I added two additional rows: one for dinner and one for myself. Every Sunday afternoon I sat down and wrote in practice schedules, driving plans and any other extracurricular activities. I included dinners in the sixth row.

I reserved the seventh row for reminders to do something that made me happy every day. One day I’d bring home fresh flowers, another day I’d soak in a tub. Nothing monumental or life changing; just enough to remind me that, “If mommy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

By the close of fall sports, I wasn’t nearly the wreck I thought I’d be. I batted 1000, with the exception of one missed pick up (why is it always the middle child?). My simple family organizing chart was the map to our family’s sanity. It kept me from double booking, made meals a little easier, told me where I was supposed to be when my head was spinning and, most important of all, reminded me to stand still long enough to take care of me.

To all you moms and dads out there juggling sports, homework, practicing, dinners, work and both minor and major crisis, remember that, a little organization goes a long way and “If mommy and daddy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

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