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Keeping a Family Organized

A mom finds her kitchen calendar is a necessary crutch

It’s the central nerve center for our family and the only way I can keep it all together.  It logs all events, practices, games, business trips, birthday parties, vacations, school holidays, and play dates.  And it has saved this forgetful mom on more than one occasion. 

What’s this miracle tool?  It’s our family calendar that hangs inside a cabinet door in our kitchen.  Basically, if it’s not on the calendar, I don’t consider it happening.

The hard part has been getting my family on board!

I’ve spent the past 12 years trying to train my husband to put stuff on the calendar so that we can plan ahead.  He’s famous for not telling me things he’s doing until the last minute.  “I told you about it last week,” he always says.  Yeah right.  My typical reply, “Well, it’s not on the calendar.”  

Once again this is something I picked up from my own parents when I was growing up.  My dad always held our kitchen calendar as the “Holy Grail”, and even taped a string with a pen attached to it so that my mom, brother and I could easily fill it in. 

My parents spent many years drilling into my brother and me that everything needed to be written on the calendar. As a teenager, I fought it and thought my parents were just trying to make my life difficult.  But now as a parent, I know that it was the only way my parents could keep all of the family, school and extra-curricular activities and events straight.    

I realized it was important to establish this with my family a long time ago when my oldest son was about seven years old.  He was invited to a birthday party at one of those fun adventure zone places that he was really excited about attending.  I bought the gift, dressed him in a nice outfit and drove the thirty minutes over to the event, only to find out that the party was the day before! 

After that I never wanted to see that disappointed and sad look on my child’s face due to my forgetfulness, so I bought a calendar, hung it in the kitchen and never looked back.  I check it every morning when I wake up and again before I go to bed so I know I’m not missing anything.  As I have gotten older and as my mind goes a little more, I appreciate it more and more.

The only time I’ve had problems was when I initially forgot to write something on the calendar, so I now force myself to write appointments down as soon as I make them.    

Apparently my 8-year-old daughter is already following in my footsteps.  I was in her room the other day and noticed that she had a calendar hanging on her wall.  Right now she just has her birthday marked and highlighted, but it’s a start!     

Laura Jaumillot October 21, 2011 at 02:33 PM
In addition to a calendar with all events posted, we have a dry erase white board on the refrigerator with the days of the week listed at the top. If a child needs to bring supplies, treats, etc. on a certain, or needs to buy a spirit gift to bring to school, or needs photography supplies replenished by a certain date, needs to turn in field trip forms/money, etc. those things go on the white board to help reduce the number of last minute trips to Walmart. When I'm going out, I can see what are the needs for the week and pick them up all at one time. Of course, all this depends on the student remembering to tell me, and then writing it on the board (just like with the calendar). But when my daughter saw that she was getting extra credit in her classes for remembering to bring something in, she realized the white board was a valuable tool, and now she makes sure she puts items on it. Also we write little encouraging notes to one another on it for the day.

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