The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Kim-Marie Evans.
How many times have we all been stopped mid-morning coffee by a panicked child yelling “I need a toga…TODAY”, “It’s bring your pet day mom, but you have to come too”?
Or worse, when you ask your loving spouse for help with the extra credit project your child didn’t tell you about that suddenly requires a trip to Michaels and your hot glue gun (with you attached) only to find out they are playing “business golf” and are going to be out of town.
Didn’t they mention that?
No, nobody mentions these things. Ok, sometimes they do, or so they say, but if it’s not written down it’s likely to be forgotten.
Our family had reached def-con 4 with the schedule this spring. With four kids, four schools, a traveling mom and an overworked husband, the wheels came off. Assignments were missed, birthdays forgotten, pets unfed…general chaos ensued.
It was time for intervention.
I reverted to my Wall Street days and decided we would have a weekly staff meeting where everyone would report on their upcoming week. To entice everyone to come, I told them they would be getting their allowance at the meeting. Turns out, they didn’t need incentive they LOVE the family staff meeting!
Every Sunday night we all sit around the table (or on the bed) with our calendars and note pads. I use the momAgenda Home Office Edition, it’s the mother calendar around which all of the other calendars orbit. The little one brings his Disney autograph book, and draws dinosaur pictures, but so did some of the traders in staff meetings on Wall Street. The most important attendee is of course my husband. It’s amazing to me that he can live in our house and have almost no idea what goes on here. I insist he bring his calendar as well. If I’m hit by a bus tomorrow, he should know that Thursday is “bring your pet to school” day.
We go through the week day by day. Who needs what, who is doing lacrosse pick up, who needs a homemade clown costume for the circus at school you didn’t know about. This is an excellent opportunity to enlist help; ask the husband to pick up, the older sibling to help the younger with a project, etc.
We then assign chores for the week. The kids can barter over who wants garbage vs. laundry and they get paid for last week’s allowance.
We then attack Monday as a well prepared army. The kids feel important for being included in big family discussions and take ownership of their own schedules, and most importantly, I’m not the only adult who has responsibility for that stupid clown costume.
Kim-Marie Evans is a member of the Council of Media Moms at momAgenda. She is a lifestyle blogger who writes about motherhood and travel on her personal blog The Luxury Travel Mom. You can always find her on Twitter.