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OrganizedmomJenfHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?

It’s a constant juggling act! My main tool is a calendar. As soon as the kids bring home any kind of schedule (baseball, show choir, etc.), I transcribe the dates and times onto my family calendar. I also then tack the schedules on the bulletin board near the calendar, just in case I need to go back and double check the location of an event or need to call a coach.

Do you use a particular day planner ?

Nope. My “day planner” is my big Lang calendar, which hangs in the kitchen. Every family event — and my work deadlines — are transcribed on to the calendar. If I need a babysitter, I’ll list the name of the sitter once she’s lined up under the event; that way, I know I’ve got that handled. I also include such things as “return library books” and “schedule eye appts.”

When we’re headed to a 4-H meeting or some other meeting that will include discussion of future events, I’ll literally take the calendar off the wall and bring it along.

Do you own a blackberry?

Nope. I just got a cell phone again a few months ago!

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
Prioritize. A lot of the things that we think “have” to be done really don’t need to be done at all — or if they do, they don’t need to be done nearly as often as we think. The more things you take off your to-do list, the more time you have for the things that remain.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?
Frozen pizza. It might not be the most nutritious meal in the whole world, but it’s quick, easy and requires virtually no clean-up! Plus, the boys love it.

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ?

The better question — what wouldn’t you find in my car right now? Off the top of my head, there are 3 jackets, numerous books, a random garbage bag (I have good intentions!), a travel mug that needs to come into the house, one Field and Stream magazine, an empty McDonal’ds fry container, a first aid kit and a handful of tiny plastic ninjas. Also pens, random change and lots and lots of dirt. Read More→

Categories : Featured Busy Mom
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It’s more tips from another Almost Always Organized  Mom. Cleo blogs about Consumer advocacy at Consumer Mom. She is a 40 something full time mom, a freelance consultant, and part time consumer advocate, serving on the board of directors of two consumer organizations.

consumermomHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
Some days, I don’t. When I do keep it together, it’s usually thanks to the Gmail calendar program! I have set it up w/ different colors for my work, the kids, my favorite classes at the gym, etc.

Do you use a particular day planner ?
I use Gmail calendar …. and just got an iPhone over the summer. The iPhone calendar synchs w/ Google; but I haven’t done it yet!

Do you own a blackberry?
Nope. … but some would say the iPhone is “just as bad”…

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house? Time saving vs. sanity-saving? Sanity saving I fold laundry while I watch TV, so I don’t feel guilty watching “the Mentalist” or “The Closer”. Saves time too :). My most successful time saver has been my crockpot. I like to eat at home. I use the crockpot at least once a week, especially in the fall and winter. I’m psyched for stew and soup weather! My kids help me put items in and mix them up, too. They can even cut some veggies; it’s fun, saves money and means we eat healthier food (instead of going out to dinner).

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?
It would have to be quesadillas — just take a Trader Joe’s whole wheat tortillas, add fillings w/ cheese or ham, cooks fast on the stove. Add a salad, another side and you are done. Another favorite is pasta. I keep all the “fixings” separate — sauce in one bowl, cheese in another, sausages in one, peas in one — so people can add what they like (or not). I find keeping sausage in the freezer a quick go-to protein (we prefer low fat chicken or turkey Italian sausage)…

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ?
Right now — empty tea cups, clothing to take to a friend (my son’s outgrown; they are her son’s size), library books to be returned, 2 booster seats, a yoga mat and tons of stickers on the doors. And probably on the floor you would find an empty juice box (or 2) and kettle corn kernels from the Sunday farmers market!

What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying to be ‘super mom’?
Don’t try to be supermom. Be yourself — be your best self — as best you can, as often as you can. Tell your kids you love them — and have fun being a mom! A supermom enjoys her kids! When I’m stressed about the house or my bank account or my last stressful trip to Target w/ screaming kids, I think, hey, they will be gone soon enough, and then I will miss them and then…I will have plenty of time for all that other stuff (clean house, nice furniture, perfect hair and make up, whatever…!)!

What is your number one goal for the year ? How do you plan to reach it ?
My number one goal? Hmm. I have a lot of goals. To stay healthy, to take good care of my family and to be more organized! I plan to reach it by taking it one day at a time. And rewarding myself with dark chocolate whenever necessary….

You can read some of Cleo’s posts on her Consumer Mom Blog or follow Consumer Mom on Twitter.

Categories : Featured Busy Mom
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This week’s featured busy mom is Dawn Morris of Moms Inspire Learning.

dawnmorris

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?

It’s not easy. There’s a lot of juggling; but when my husband and I can’t manage, there’s always a friend we can turn to for help. I don’t like to ask for help too often, and when I do, I’m sure to return the favor. Parents need to support each other!

Do you use a particular day planner ?

No, I just use a very simple one that I picked up at an office supply store. I also make a lot of lists, and use sticky notes to remind myself of important events.

Do you own a blackberry?

No, but now that everyone else in my family is texting, I will have to upgrade to a cell phone that makes it easier for me to do so. I’m not in a rush, though, since I’m online much of the time anyway. It’s easier to catch me through email than it is by phone!MIL

What is your most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?

I would have to say that it’s asking for help with daily tasks. My children help out a lot in the kitchen, and my husband does the laundry. Actually, my husband likes to cook as well.

If we all work together, it also saves more time, and makes activities, like cooking, so much more enjoyable.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?

Sometimes, we’ll have tuna or turkey sandwiches if we’re really short on time, and sometimes we’ll even make breakfast items, like eggs or pancakes, for dinner.

I also like the idea of “make your own” taco or salad nights, which can be quick if you already have the ingredients. I recently wrote a post about family salad nights

My favorite quick breakfast is muffins (made ahead of time, of course), and you can find two of my favorite muffin recipes here.

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ?

I don’t keep a lot in the passenger area, other than reading materials. You’re bound to find a children’s book or two, because I’m constantly at the library.

As for the trunk, it’s all about the sports equipment. There are fold up chairs, a basketball, a football, my son’s baseball bag, a first aid kit, etc… Oh, and I keep reusable shopping bags in there.

What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying to be ‘super mom’?

I’ve been there, and eventually I came to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect mom. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

I would say the most important thing is not to compare ourselves with anyone else. If we focus on being the best role models we can possibly be for our children, that’s really all we can ever ask of ourselves.

What is your number one goal for the year ? How do you plan to reach it ?

I’ve been working on my blog full-time for almost 7 months now, and I’d like to free up some of that time to work on other projects.

To reach this goal, I will devote certain days to different projects, and keep better track of the time I spend on each.

Dawn Morris is an accountant, a teacher, a parent, and an avid reader who has a passion for children’s literature. She started the blog, Moms Inspire Learning, in order to share her knowledge, and to inspire a love of learning and reading in people of all ages. Dawn also contributes to the free online magazine, Literacy Lava, and is a guest blogger at DreamBox K-2 Math.

You can read Dawn’s Tweets by following her.


Before you go check out This DeClutter and mom organization Resource. Click Here

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Introducing another real ‘Almost Always Orgnized mom’ Cheryl Phillips;

cherylHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
I don’t overload my children with activities. If there is an activity they want to join (dance, etc) then that is fine. However, my belief is that concentrating on doing well in school and creative play at home are the best way to raise a child. I’m probably not going to be popular in saying that, but I see too many children “overscheduled”.

I like to eat dinner together every night. If there are activities, parties and other events going on, I just keep everything up on the family calendar (right on the refrigerator) so everyone knows what’s going on.

Do you use a particular day planner ? I used to. Then I’d leave it in my car and fall asleep before I could go out and get it.

Do you own a blackberry? Yes! I’ve had a BB for three years now. I went two months without it to test my endurance. I won’t do that again.

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
I believe in doing the same routine every day. My children actually help me save time. They all have to put their things away after school, set the table for dinner, clear the dishes, etc. So, the biggest time saving tip has been for me to teach my children to help out. I rarely have to tell anyone to put away shoes or throw their laundry in the hamper. It becomes routine when everything has a time and place.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family? Yes. It’s a really basic recipe and dinner is ready in 15 minutes. Home made macaroni and a wayyyyyy lot of cheese, salad and fruit. Read More→

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Organized Families is excited to share tips with you from a real mom. Melinda blogs at Coming Clean: Confessions of an Imperfect Parent read on to learn how she keeps it all together as a busy mom.

mldHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
I’m a big list maker. For my nine-year-old, I have a list of basic things for him to do when he comes home from school, including homework, putting away his laundry, putting his lunchbox on the counter (so I’m not searching for it frantically 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave) and setting the table if it’s his night.
For my daughter, who is 12, I’ve learned that rigidity with pre-teens just doesn’t work, so my requirements for her are a little more basic. (I have more important battles to fight!) Before she can be on the computer (her favorite thing), she has to finish homework, tidy her room and read a little bit from a devotional book.
I don’t give my kids a lot of time to unwind after they get home from school. It doesn’t work for us. They get off track and then it’s a homework battle at 9:30 at night when my patience and energy levels are on empty. Plus, they both have sports practices, so they really need to get homework and other responsibilities done right away.

Do you use a particular day planner ?
I use a planner called “Hot Chocolate.” I buy all their notebooks, too. They are so fun and funky that I’m more likely to make lists and keep on top of my schedule. I need all the incentive I can get!

Do you own a blackberry?
I don’t. Although my daughter told me today that I “need” to get one. She claims my current cell phone is “so lame.”

What is your most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
I’d say, “Don’t procrastinate!” Leaving dishes in the sink, for example, makes them so much harder to clean the next day. The more you let things pile up, the longer it takes to dig out. I don’t always follow this, but when I do, it makes my life so much easier. Read More→

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