15 February 2013

When being organised isn't enough

My latest article on Aussie Mum Network is called "When Being Organised Isn't Enough". Check it out here: http://www.aussiemumnetwork.com/when-being-organised-isnt-enough.html



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And here:


I have three daughters between the ages of one and six years. I work three days per week. My husband works five days per week. One child goes to school. One of those days in the week, all three children go to different places for school / pre-school / day care. We feel that the arrangements we have made suit our family, striking a good balance between current needs and longer term goals. So I’m not complaining about how busy life is.
But, we need to be organised to make this work.
I am great at writing schedules, and quite alright at sticking to them. I have even slotted my blogging into a schedule so that I can make the most out of my time while still allowing for free time to chill out. I keep a day-to-a-page diary and a weekly planner. We also have a monthly family calendar up on a wall in our home on which all activities are written in. Over time, we’ve figured out what works for us . Most things aren’t missed.
Sometimes, though, it is not enough. A list is only as complete as you make it; you can only fit so much into a set amount of time. Schedules may help to set your focus on what you need to do at a particular time, but there is a truth which must be universally acknowledged before relying on them.
Being organised is a tool, not a complete solution.
A teething toddler who won’t go to sleep does not know or care that you were supposed to start your ironing half an hour ago – she just needs some cuddles. A child who needs to talk about her day does not choose a free slot in your timetable – she needs a sympathetic ear. As a parent, I’m on call. Although I see being organised as an essential requirement, it is secondary to being flexible.
I admit that sometimes, in life’s day-to-day hectic pace, I lose sight of this. When you juggle, you’re bound to drop some balls. Sometimes being organised isn’t enough. Sometimes you just need to stop. Even if it is just a momentary pause. Is this wisdom? Maturity? I don’t know. All I know is that it is necessary. And worth it.

13 comments:

  1. I feel your pain, and I only have the two kids. As they say, "the best laid plans"! I tried to organize and plan our weeks but something like teething or a bout of gastro or a child who gets bitten at day care can thrown it all out the window, :(

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    1. Oh I know, doesn't day care bring with it a whole new set of dramas!

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  2. This is such a great post!
    I know exactly what you mean...and I only have one toddler!
    I have gotten a lot better at slowing down and even stopping if I feel that is what the family needs.
    However I must admit that when I slow down or stop I do get a feeling like I will never catch up on my to do list ever again!

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    1. It can be hard to pick up again after slowing down - I'm finding that I'm still trying to catch up with myself after school holidays...

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  3. This post is so true!
    I have two kids and I'm fairly organised but it doesn't take long for things to unravel.

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  4. I was all blind bravado in the lead up to this year, bragging about how I was going to be so super organised and achieve so much with all 3 kids at school, at least part time.

    Yeah, not so much. I seem to waste more time, zoned out, on the internet, whatever, than I did when I had 2 or all 3 at home with me.

    Even my diary is only ever completed in pencil, because I'm positive I'll stuff up a schedule, get dyslexic with a date, or put something in the wrong spot.

    Scheduling is tough!

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    1. I've got a bit of white-out through mine now that you mention it! Although, if I wrote stuff in pencil, chances are I'd miss them, thinking they weren't set in stone...

      All three at school, I can't imagine it ... four years to go ...

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  5. Great post and so true. "Being organised is a tool, not a complete solution." I totally agree with this. Many things can come in the way of the schedule we make. But for me, I'm also learning to say "no" if it's not something very important that comes up so I can stick with my schedule.

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    1. Learning to say "no" is so important. I had to do that this weekend even though I felt terrible doing it.

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  6. Yes! I hear you!!! We think that as the manic pace gets even crazier we need to keep up with it. While really, we just need to consciously stop it!
    Thanks for the reminder!

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  7. I can relate, I think every day I can struggle through I'm one closer to getting my sanity back - with one at school it's almost harder than having 3 pre-schoolers but it's not as though I can just quit and say screw this I'm over it, which is often how I feel at the end of the day! But you are so right, I'm trying to get a little more organised, it might help my stress levels xx Em

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  8. So true! And all the more reason to stop and know when you have enough on your plate. Sometimes you need to slow down and say No so that the wheels don't fall off. The world won't end if you don't juggle a million balls. Just juggle the ones you can and let your friends catch the odd one when it bounces!

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