Family Planning


I'm a month out of work now. So far, it's a been blissful haze of late nights and tired mornings. Lazy days at home and lazy days out and about. Domestic chaos. Piles of laundry - even when there’s been ‘great drying’ out. A general feeling of what should we do today? Ah sure, we can do that tomorrow. Let’s just take it easy. Where will we go today? Ah, sure we can go there tomorrow. Let’s just take it easy.

Basically, there has been very little structure in my life and after years of having a VERY well defined schedule, I am realising that I don’t cope spectacularly well without one. I just don’t get anything done without some sort of a routine and then I get stressed out about the accumulation of things I need to do and things I would like to do, so that even the fun stuff seems like too much hard work and it all turns into a vicious cycle.

So, last week, I decided I had had enough. I needed to get organised. I needed to somehow piece all of the things that need to be done and all the fun things I want to do and to find time for them all. I wanted to allocate time to housework, paperwork, fitness goals, etc so that when it was time to have fun I wouldn’t have to worry about any of that mundane stuff and I wouldn’t be distracted from just being with my girls.

I found a really simple way to organise myself and it’s been working well so far. It provides me with structure, but if I want to be spontaneous, that’s ok too, because I can just shift things around a bit or ignore it if the beach is calling! (Seriously, if the beach is calling in Ireland - the dishes can wait!)




A quick online search led me to this Mama blogger in Australia who designs great family oriented printables. I used her ‘Weekly Schedule’ to plan out my week and I've found it to be a great way to keep track of things. I printed out a copy of the blank schedule on Sunday evening, sat down with Devo and started filling it in. We had a think about what we wanted to do that week. A visit to the library? A walk in the woods? A trip to the park? A date night? (It helped to fill in the fun stuff first!) Then we thought about the chores that needed to get done. How many loads of laundry would we realistically do? Hoovering, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms - you know - all that lovely stuff ;) It all went into the schedule. This week, because there was time allocated to them, there was no trying to cram it all into one afternoon whilst simultaneously losing patience with the children. 


That was a major win in my book!

We also scheduled time for our own personal 'work'. I got some time to write and Devo got some time to devote to a big project I will tell you all about soon. 


The planner has worked really well for us so far and we will definitely be using this as a time management tool for the foreseeable future. It’s working well for the girls too. They have been a bit all over the place since I've been off and Naíonra finished for the Summer. They are not yet particularly aware of the days of the week and what happens when. They get confused and frustrated when I mention, for example, that we'll be going to the funfair on Saturday, and they can't understand when Saturday actually is and why it isn't NOW.

The planner, which is hung on the kitchen wall, has been a brilliant way to physically show them 'how many days' it is until that (purple-circled)  trip to the funfair. (I probably shouldn't mention anything about these types of things until the day of, but I have a big mouth and can't help myself)

There is also a section on the planner for a daily ‘menu’ but we have yet to get that far into scheduling. I know it would be a good idea for us to get more organised in that area and start meal planning. It will save us money, which is absolutely necessary at the moment, and make the 5pm fridge search/head scratch a bit less frantic, but we're not there yet. 

I know there are tons of meal-planning tools out there and great foodie blogs that write about batch cooking and other such useful things and I really do need to investigate further...

Maybe if I put it in my schedule I’ll find time to do that too!

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P.S. There's still time to enter the Digestive SOS Kit Giveaway!
P.P.S. Did you see the fancy new 'Nominated' badge over there??? >>> 
I've made the long-list for the Blog Awards Ireland in TWO categories this year - Best Parenting Blog and and Best Craft Blog. Fingers crossed the judges like what they see here and thank you if you nominated me!

18 comments

  1. I have been harping on about this exact thing all week... but of course I did very little about it. Maybe a planner is in order in our house too, after our holiday though I think ;)

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    1. Oh it's definitely not something you need to worry about before holidays! Enjoy, enjoy them and then you'll be all energised to tackle the dreaded 'organisation' when you get back. :)

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  2. Oh this sounds like something I should do, I'm about as organised as a bag of cats and I've so much to do i just don't know where to start and end up doing nothing!! Keep us updated on how it goes for you :)

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    1. That is exactly how I've been Sara, if this week is anything to go by it'll be a life-changer! It's so helpful when we can all see where we stand and technically there should be no more 'Oh, I forgot to tell you I had that thing tonight' confusion. I'll keep you posted on how that works out ;)

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  3. Also sounds like something I SHOULD do!! Been talking about it for long enough :)

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    1. I'm always trying to find ways to MAKE more time and this has probably been the most effective thing yet, but you've still got a very new baby, so your schedule should just be be full of 'take it easies' ;)

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  4. I think my husband would ditch me and go looking for you if he read this. I am very definitely of the "yerra relax, I'll do that later" variety. Even lists are a step too far for me. The funny thing is that my children seem to have reacted to my relaxation and love lists, so they too will never read your post! Regardless of how you approach it I hope your enjoying your time out.

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    1. Haha! Well we could do a swap, my hubby took a considerable amount of convincing to give this a go and would probably be delighted if I took a more laid back approach like you! Lists have always made me happy so now that I have more time I'm my hands to make them, I'm only thrilled with myself ;)

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  5. I use a small paper diary the difficulty I have is not putting too much in it! I forget about preparation time for some of the things we do :(

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    1. I have a diary too (pictured) but I keep forgetting to look in it! The planner is on the kitchen wall where I can't avoid it. It's definitely helping me be more aware of the preparation time I need.

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  6. That sounds like a very good idea and something I need to do especially now that things could be all change for us in the coming months!

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    1. All change sounds exciting! It's been really useful so far for us. Hope it works for you too.

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  7. Thanks for the super idea, going to try it soon. I'm dreadful without routine, I can't settle to do anyone thing and I end up starting 5 things and finishing nothing.I've been making lists but they're not getting done either. And my oldest really needs routine in his life too. Update us in a few weeks, if you keep going with it!

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    1. I was exactly the same. I'm a list maker too, but I've been adding the lists to the planner now instead and it actually works better. There's still never enough hours in the day - but at least I feel a bit more in control!

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  8. Ooh this sounds good! Actually, as I've just reached the end of my week off, I'm probably too late reading this. We did almost NOTHING all week - but hey, as you say, if the beach is calling in Ireland, you don't do the dishes :)

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    1. But you were on HOLIDAYS! Not having a plan is totally acceptable on holidays. Always! This is our new reality so I need to get a handle on things on a more regular basis. You're excused from needing this ;)

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  9. Everyone loves a planner Sadhbh!!!! Good job! X

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