Lists, calendars, and journals can help your family find balance
by Andrea Seiderman
What a wonderful time of the year. The air is crisp, decorations are displayed in a vivid array of sparkling colors, and excitement builds. Of course, added to our ‘usually overfilled’ list of daily events come December’s parties, shopping, baking, decorating, celebrations and January’s new schedules. For the students in our households, there are final reports and exams.
But, what we all most want is to relax and enjoy the season. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Balancing work and life at any age proves to be a challenging feat, and sadly quite often we experience the unwelcome defeat.
I asked my friend, a mom of four, how did you best balance your time as the kids were growing up? As she was actively involved in school, sports, religion and the arts, I was happy to get her perspective. After thinking for a moment, she decided that one of her best tools was the charts and lists she made. Simply writing things down helps her find balance. Whether its a diary, a grocery list, or your family’s daily activities, writing things down can do so much to ease our mind and make our days run more smoothly.
When my own kids were young, I too made notes all over the school calendar. With technology, this is done more and more on the computer. Being the visual person that I am, I need to be able to have a physical calendar. Written notes near my computer still act as my best reminders. No matter how digitally advanced we have become, many of us still rely on our ‘sticky note’ memos!
Here’s a project to do over winter break with your children to help you start the new year in a more balanced way. Make a chart with your kids of their schedules for the new year. Taping this onto an inside kitchen cabinet or study area will not only keep everyone on track with their daily activities, but will be a fun reminder of that special time you spent together designing it! This may be a fun memory of everyone being together or it may even become a new annual tradition in your household. Either way, it will definitely take the stress from the daunting task of combining work and family time. Not to mention you’ve created a project that the children can help plan and helped the family pull together to balance everyone’s schedules.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, organized and balanced New Year!