How to Get Your Family Schedule Under Control

Easy tips to help you manage your family schedule to avoid overstressed, overextended kids (and parents).

It’s the middle of the afternoon. Time to hop in the car and pick up the kids from school. You know the chaos is about to begin.

Maybe like me (with twins) your kids are all at the same school, so you only have one pick up. Or you have kids in different schools and you're juggling multiple dismissal times. Either way you're now looking at after school activities, appointments, homework, and getting dinner on the table. No matter your situation, as moms we have to do a lot of juggling to keep up with the things our families need to get done.

It's time to stop the madness. If you're feeling underprepared and overwhelmed by your family schedule, then it is time to take control.

If you aren’t careful, these schedules will start to consume your life and those activities that are supposed to be fun for your kids will become a burden on all of you. But the good news is that it's not too late to get a handle on your family schedule and get back to enjoying your days.

Feeling overstressed and overextended? IGet your family schedule under control with these easy tips! Great advice for busy families on how to manage activities and appointments while staying organized.

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6 Ways to Take Control of Your Family Schedule

Establish boundaries early on.

Setting boundaries doesn’t just mean telling your children yes or no to certain activities, it also means looking at how that activity will impact the rest of the day. A 1pm play date sounds great, but if another activity starts at 2pm you don’t want to leave yourself running all over the place. Set boundaries and limit the amount of activities your kids can participate in before it starts to become a problem.

Don’t forego family time.

You have few precious years with your kids before they graduate high school and are off on their own. Make sure you have time to spend together as a family. When signing up for activities, pay close attention to those that require big time commitments. Are your really willing to spend what little free time you all have at travel league sports games? Are you still able to have family dinner most nights? Make family time a priority when planning your schedules.

Schedule downtime.

This is an old trick of mine from my office days. We had a shared calendar, and I would find myself scheduled into back to back meetings for 8 hours a day, which left little time to get my work done. I learned to block out time when I was unavailable for meetings so I could work on what I needed to do. Do the same for your family schedule - carve out blocks of time when your kids can just play, daydream, and relax.

Combine whenever possible.

Do both of your kids want to partake in the same activity? Or two that are nearby? See if you can find times that overlap to make sure you are planning your time effectively. Or look for activities in a central location, like a community center or library. Otherwise, you could end up at one place for hours or driving all over town.

Be aware of late nights.

Have you ever noticed that some activities don’t even start until around 6 at night? On a school night no less! Your kids still need time to do their homework and eat something for dinner, so be wary of activities that don’t start until evening. Your kids need sleep, so factor in a reasonable bedtime as part of your plan to avoid those late nights.

Use a scheduling tool that everyone can access.

The single most important thing that you can do to take control of your schedule is to use the proper tool to manage it. We use Cozi to manage our family calendar and it is a totally genius (and FREE) solution.

With Cozi, we can create a master family calendar that is color coded by person (our pets even have their own color so I can easily track vet and grooming appointments). And my husband and I can both access it on all our devices, so that any changes are available instantly to both of us. Cozi sends us reminders too so we never forget important events. It's a truly simple way to take control and manage our family time. And did I mention that it's free?

Read more about what I love about Cozi here or start your free account here and check it out for yourself.

Family life is busy. Between school events and after school commitments, there is always running around to get everything done. But you don't have to let the schedule get the best of you. By taking control you'll keep your stress level down and give your kids plenty of time to enjoy their childhood, without overextending themselves. And you'll enjoy your family time even more!

Need more help getting organized? Read more ways to organize your life with kids here.

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