I say this with hesitation. In fact, I almost didn’t write this post for fear of judgement. There’s always someone who points a finger and calls foul on posts like this. “Who’s to say you’re an expert?” the haters cry! “Tell me, Mr. Parent Expert, how do I get myself organized in the midst of the complete chaos I have to deal with every morning before my kids go to school? Easier said than done!” Trust me, I’ve heard it all.
But lately, I’ve decided to take a bold approach to parent blogging. I’ve decided to blog about the things I know, and know well. Through the encouragement of great bloggers like Michael Hyatt and Jeff Goins, I’ve realized that, since I’ve lived through nearly all of what I blog about, I’m an expert in a way. However, a post about getting yourself organized as a parent is a touchy subject because most parents struggle big time with this.
To all of those who that applies to, let me just say- I know. I really do. The reason? I struggle too!
I know the disadvantages of being disorganized and I know the advantages of being organized. On the mornings I wake up to get my kids ready for school and realize I did not plan ahead and get lunch boxes cleaned out, and containers cleaned the night before, there’s chaos. But on the mornings I wake up and I actually took action the night before, cleaned everything out, and prepared ahead, there’s peace.
Take this morning, for example. All of my kid’s lunch containers were washed, dried, and ready for assembly (see picture above). From 6:40-7am I worked to get lunches packed and it was a breeze. The other thing that helped was that I had packed my work backpack the night before. My daughter and I left with plenty of time to get her to school, and I made it to my office in a timely manner. All was well. The fact that I was proactively organized resulted in a very peaceful morning.
The day before? Not the case. I forgot to let the dogs out and feed them at 6 am (which is important, and kind of sets the day in a positive direction), the lunch containers had not been washed the night before because I was really tired and went to bed, and all of the contents of my work backpack (iPad, MacBook, books I’m currently reading) were scattered across my house. I couldn’t find my shoes or my keys, and there were no clean coffee mugs (not the end of the world, but quite tragic for a coffee-addict like me :-)).
My daughter and I flew out the door, with barely a second to spare, and we were late dropping her off. In my own rush, I nearly forgot about an appointment I had at 8:15am sharp.
Chaos, chaos, and more chaos! All because I neglected the necessary organization, the night before, that I always know results in peace. Obviously organization alone does not prevent chaos because sometimes life just happens and no amount of planning or organizing can prevent that.
We get asked all the time how we do it. “How do you do it with 8 kids?” people ask. “I can barely manage with 2!” The answer is simple: organization. And a little bit of OCD! But understand- it’s an ongoing struggle for us. We learn lessons all the time. When we neglect organization (which happens weekly), we fail. When we adhere to it and utilize it, we win! It’s that simple!
What lessons, similar to ours, are you learning in your parenting journey?