Tag Archives: schedule

Communicating with the Working Parent

With all this technology, you'd think it would be easy to send messages to working parents.

Communication has changed drastically since we were kids, but I’m pretty sure that a lot of schools and kids’ after school activities failed to get the memo.

As a working parent, I feel the brunt of this on a weekly basis.

My husband is responsible for going through the backpacks and managing the paper so I don’t see everything. And as a result, I find out about things like the fact that it was Crazy Hat Day when we arrive at the bus stop in the morning. Without our crazy hats, of course.

And then of course you have after school activities like ballet, where the preferred mode of communication is pinning up notices on the bulletin board. Which of course only works if you are the one dropping your child off and picking them up.

It seems like the entire world of communication around kids is geared towards the stay-at-home mom sitting in that waiting room, and going through the backpack after school.

But what about the rest of us? The ones who would be completely on top of things if they would just send a damn email? Or a text? Or a Google Calendar invite?

Gen Y considers email passe, and the schools haven’t even caught up to that yet. How on earth are they going to communicate with parents as communication ever changes?

I am a working parent. PLEASE send me an email if I need to know. So my kid arrives with the crazy hat on Crazy Hat Day. Thank you.

What do you think?

What are you grateful for?

The last couple of years have been a roller coaster ride to say the least. Lately, I’ve had time to thank God and be grateful for where I have landed.

My morning of gratitude:

6:30am – The sun peeks through my window.

6:35am – Snuggled cozily in my big comforter.

6:40am – The warmth of my beautiful wife beside me.

6:50am – The sounds of chatter and restless feet.

6:53am – My dog whining for me to get up.

6:55am – Morning bear hugs and peppy smiles from my kids.

6:58am – The smell of preparing a fresh pot of coffee for Jen and the circling dog reminding me to feed her.

7:00am – Our first class breakfast menu of yogurt, turkey sausages, mini bagels, whole wheat toast, fruit, nuts, cheese, egg whites and milk.

7:05am – The laughter from PBS educational TV and making healthy lunches for my kids. A Lunch menu consisting of PBJs, flat bread pizzas, bagels, grilled-cheese sandwiches, carrots, fruits, granola bars or money to purchase school lunch on Fridays.

7:25am – A meeting of the minds in choosing the appropriate school and weather fashion.

7:30am – Squeezing their little faces, checking their sparkly white teeth and combed hair.

7:35am – Piano practices and beautiful music to awaken sleeping beauty mommy.

7:45am – Brain warm-ups, a little math, a few spelling words and/or the thought for the day.

7:50am – Free play! A little Legos, dolls, Wii, DS, TV, reading, sharing, catching up or anything the kids want to do.

8:00am – Get ready to leave for school. Jen and I get more “I’ll miss you” hugs, kisses and smiling faces.

8:03am – We walk over to the bus stop and exchange good mornings with our neighbors surrounded by trees and our little quiet neighborhood.

8:10am – The school bus pulls up and the doors open to a smiling bus driver wishing everyone good morning!

8:15am – Jen and I go for our workouts. Sometimes we take a walk together, or she goes for her run, and I’ll do my martial arts exercises.

8:45am – I post my first comments, tweet my good mornings to friends, and make my to-do steps to reach my goals.

Recently, I ended a business post that life is like a river, but sometimes it’s more like a hurricane. Like the aftermath of a hurricane, there’s always new life, growth and beauty. I cherish more vividly all the beauty in my life. I’m so grateful for each day. What are you grateful for? How do you start your days?

~ John

Managing the Family Schedule

With 3 kids, we have a lot of schedules to keep. Between playdates, birthday parties and after school activities, my business trips, church activities, and more, it can get overwhelming fast. John handles a lot of the day to day scheduling for the kids. I just try and make sure my work schedule makes it to the central calendar, so we can plan around it. Most of the moms we know in town know at this point that they shouldn’t ask me about scheduling playdates. I always refer them to John.

With so much going on, having a good system in place to keep track of everyone is essential. I won’t say we have the perfect system, but it works for us. It’s rare we miss anything (although we did miss the scheduled call from the teacher last night…coming back from a business trip, I was just sooo tired and plain forgot! Oops!)

Here’s what we do:

  • We have a family calendar hanging in the kitchen. Sports, playdates, parties, and other activities are all listed there.
  • I initially put travel in my computer’s calendar, but always add it to the family calendar as well.
  • Birthday party invites go on the fridge, under a heavy duty magnet. That way we can always find details/directions.
  • My travel itinerary goes in its own spot on the fridge. I always print out 2 copies, so that when it’s time for me to pack my bag I can grab one to go in my travel pack, while John has all the drop-off/pick-up info he needs within arm’s reach.

I’ve thought about creating a central calendar on Google Calendar, but haven’t gotten past trying to sync Outlook and Google Calendar. One of these days I’ll figure it out. J It is nice, however, to have a handy reference available without having to turn on a computer.

How do you manage the schedules in your house? Any handy tools or apps that you use? Would love to read your tips in the comments.