OK. Moms. As a famous quote says: You can’t change the waves but you can learn how to surf! Today, let’s try to learn together one easy way to surf the waves so you can become the boss of your time!
More specifically, we’re going to talk about family calendars.
Why using a Family Calendar in the first place?
Let me tell you this: a Family Calendar isn’t so important… until you think about what a family life looks like without a shared Family Calendar. That’s right: without a shared Family Calendar, this is was usually happens: last-minute organization, missed events, forgotten birthdays, but most of all a feeling of frustration or even worse, arguments with your husband or kids.
The Family Calendars is a like a compass for your family life.
If you implement just one thing in your time-management “toolbox”, I’d like you to consider setting up your Family Calendar. And this is why: if the goal is a happier and simpler life, Family Calendar will drastically improve your feeling of peace and organization at home… with a tiny investment.
A drastic organization improvement with a tiny investment
Think about it: I’m sure you favorite magazine offered you a wall calendar with their last January issue. Or if you’re more on the tech end, you already have a computer-based or smartphone-based calendar you could use right now.
So, in my understanding, if you don’t already use a Family Calendar, it’s not so much a matter of finding the right tool, but much more about understanding how to make it work for your family, and how YOU can benefit from using it.
So, let’s begin with an empty calendar:
– a free monthly wall calendar from your fav magazine January issue
– any computer-based, phone-based or online calendar you already have
Step 1: forget about Pinterest-worthy Family Calendars
Yep, forget about that. Because if you’re using the usual paper wall calendar, in a couple of weeks you’ll see a lot of cross-offs, extremely well-worn pages, eventually dog-eared ones. And plenty of different colors, obviously, because you’ll just use the first pen you can grab in the house to update a scheduled appointment on the Family Calendar.
And that’s ok. Really.
Step 2: fill it in with all the schedules and dates you can think of
Now, start your treasure-hunt in the whole house for all the schedules, time-sheets and calendars you were given at the beginning of the school year:
- school calendar,
- child-care calendar,
- work schedule,
- any invitation you may have received
- and basically, any activities you or your kids or your spouse may be involved in – I mean: after-school, tennis calendar, music lesson time-sheets, church calendar for the year… I’m sure you have a pretty list too 😅
Then, add all the birthday dates for your family members (and yourself, so the kid can see!) – or even better: write the name AND his/her age, it will give you a heads-up for important birthdays such as your auntie turning 70 😇 Personally, I usually add godmothers’, godfathers’ and close friends’ birthday to the list.
Finally, add any date that has a special meaning for you – to give you some examples, I’m writing down in my Family Calendar:
- all the holy days from the Roman Catholic calendar for the year
- French Mothers Day and Fathers Day because my family lives in France – and no, it’s not at the same time than in the US
- our anniversary, my BFF anniversary, my parents’ anniversary
- our baptism anniversary for the 4 kids, my husband and I, so we can give grace on these special occasions
- the kids’ annual checkups
Step 3: make it work for you: USE your calendar!
There’s no point to fill in your Family Calendar if you don’t put it to use right away. Once your Family Calendar is set up, it becomes a no-brainer to:
- not forget an appointment 😜
- make plans for the next school break
- call your BFF and schedule a monthly Girls-night-out for the next couple of months
- plan a simple family get-away to visit some new place on a weekend
- say no to a new activity or an invite when something is already planned in the Family Calendar
- brainstorm your family vacation plan for the whole year with your husband and kiddos
Now. Does your Family Calendar works like this? What would you add to your own Family Calendar and how would you make it work for you? Don’t be shy and share your ideas in the comments below!