With the spring season in full effect, many parents may be finding themselves struggling to keep track of all the activities planned with their babies and toddlers. The warmer weather we’re all enjoying has opened the door to more playdates, more community events and lots of new entries on the calendar.
How many times have you had a conversation with someone, decided together that you should get together again soon and even picked a day the following weekend, only to completely forget until the message comes in confirming you’re still on for said plans? If your appointments for work and family are suddenly becoming overwhelming to remember and keep up with, we have a few tips for you busy parents to organize your schedules and keep up with all the plans you’ve made.
Tip 1: Dry Erase Calendars
This may seem obvious, but using a dry erase magnetic calendar and attaching it to the refrigerator is a great way for everyone in the family to know what’s going on and who is responsible for which appointments. And it’s right in your face every day, each time you go looking for a drink or a snack. We recommend getting one that’s 3 months for parents of babies and toddlers who have more doctor appointments scheduled in advance.
Photo Credit: Sadie Hernandez on Flickr
Tip 2: Be Thorough When Making Calendar Entries
Whether you use a dry erase calendar as recommended above or go the more modern route of syncing your digital calendars, be sure to always include as much information as you can on a given date on the calendar. Beyond just the name of the event and who will be responsible for going, you may need to write information like the name of the person you’ll be meeting with if you’re checking out a daycare, for example. Or if it’s a birthday party you’re going to, write down the age of the child and who will pick up the gift ahead of time. These details eliminate any confusion and should help you avoid some arguments and stress.
Tip 3: Write Everything Down
Even if your whole family knows that every Wednesday at 6 pm you have a standing meeting with your book club, write it down. If you’re having a conversation with someone and a plan is made, use the Notes app in your phone to write it down, or send a text message to yourself, so you can remember to add it to your shared calendar later. This helps avoid double booking yourself or your partner, which can be a huge stressor in families.
Tip 4: Pencil in Time for Yourselves
While play dates, doctor appointments, trips to the park and visits to the public library are important for your child, it’s also important that you block off some time at least once per month, and preferably more, to do something just for you. This truly may be the most important tip of them all. Give yourself a weekly gym time, or schedule a date night with your partner at your favorite restaurant. Whatever it is that makes you happy and helps you decompress, make sure you allow yourself time to do it.