Monday, September 13, 2010

Killer Time Management for Busy Families

Our Saturday.

Kevin and I leave the house at 6:30 a.m. to catch Drummer Boy in action in the University of Nebraska marching band. On the way to Lincoln, I text Drama Queen, letting her know I left a new pair of pants for her she might want to wear to work that morning.

After taking in the festivities surrounding Memorial Stadium and enjoying a BEAUTIFUL morning, we set out to find a desk and chair for Drama Queen's new room. It takes a couple stops, but we're successful. As we load it into the van, Miss Innocent One calls asking if she could go to her friend's house a few hours earlier for her birthday party. No problem, I say. We're on our way.

We get home around 12:30. Ladies Man has just gotten up, Miss Innocent One needs help with homework and Drama Queen walks in the door from work, in a toot to get something to eat so she and Ladies Man can go to a friend's house to watch the Husker game. We each find a leftover and they're out the door in a matter of about ten minutes.

Kevin completes a project in Drama Queen's room and Miss Innocent One needs a present for her friend's birthday so we head out to find a treasure. On our way home from birthday shopping my cell phone rings. It's Drama Queen, saying she got a phone call from Miss Innocent One's friend's brother who's sitting in our driveway wondering where in the heck we are. And Miss Innocent One still needs to pack for the slumber party!

No worries. We squeal in (no, not really . . . well, maybe a little), Miss Innocent One packs, I wrap the present and send her on her way.

And then it's time to get ready for dinner guests that evening. I prepare some food while Kevin finishes his project upstairs. When that's done, we take full advantage of a quiet, empty house to sneak in a nap.

And it was a good thing too, because we had a long night ahead of us.

It's amazing how energizing a little nap can be. After waking, Kevin runs over to church to work on something there and I decide it's high time I paint over a spot in our kitchen wall I'd patched a LONG time ago. I'm not sure what possesses me to do this about an hour before our company was to get there, but I get it done in time to finish dinner and greet our friends in a fairly respectable manner.

Ladies Man and Drama Queen are back home by 5:30 and our guests arrive a little before 6, beating Kevin. After dinner, we sit in the living room enjoying a great conversation with our friends as at least half a dozen teenagers wander in and out of the house to see Drama Queen and Ladies Man. I don't realize how late it's getting until the last teenager arrives at 11:45 to spend the night and a pack of kids leave. After a lovely evening together, our friends depart around midnight and Kevin sits down at his computer to finish some work for Sunday morning while I make a beeline to clean the sink and toilet in my kids' bathroom since we're having an overnight guest. Dishes litter the kitchen and dining room (I refuse to clean up while entertaining guests. I'm sure I'll miss out on some sparkling or insightful revelations!), so I clear the remains of dinner, unload and load the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen.

The clock reads 12:34 when we finally call it a day.

Some days are like this. Some aren't this full. Some are worse, with Kevin and I going in different directions with different kids to get everything covered. It can be exhausting and exhilarating. In the commotion that is life, I've learned accepted a few things.

This is life right now.
I can hate it or I can embrace it, recognizing it won't be that long before my kids are no longer here.

Roll with it and keep breathing.
It isn't bad. It just IS.

Do one thing at a time.
Getting too far ahead of myself makes me crazy. You tackle a busy day one step at a time.

Getting stressed only heightens the chaos.
Keep breathing. Keep moving forward. Are you noticing a trend here?

Enjoy each moment.
Beauty can be found in every day, ordinary moments. A ride to pick up a birthday present can bring about great communication with your daughter. Dinner with friends can reveal God at work. Having teenagers around makes a house lively. Naps are good. Very, very good.

Life won't always require so much. And when it doesn't, I have a feeling I'll feel sad about it. I've decided to do more than endure these busy years. I choose to LOVE them.

Want to know how other families do it? Join the Marriage Monday gang or read other participants' stories at Chrysalis.


Constance said...

Time Management is a mixed bag! It's necessary to maintain your sanity and yet it also has the power to enslave us! A tight rope, balancing act to be sure!

I agree, my kids are all grown up, the house is quiet and orderly, and while I love this season in my life, I have found the passage of time to be bittersweet!

Of course my son asked permission to come here tonight and host a HALO REACH Video Game Debut Party tonight with his friends on our big screen TV. The game will be released at midnight and at about 1AM a bunch of 19 & 20 year-olds will camp out while Dave and I are hopefully sound asleep in bed. It'll be like deja-vu when I get up tomorrow morning and find "boys" littered about, all over the living room!

I guess I'm not completely out of that season in my life after all!

April@The 21st Century Housewife said...

I loved your post! It really struck a chord with me as our life always seems very busy - and yet I rejoice that it is because everything I get to do (from the fun stuff to the more mundane) is a privilege and a blessing. Thank you for reminding me of that!

Jana Banana said...

You guys ARE busy! Sounds like a lot of fun, though--to have an energetic house!

Good tips about accepting seasons in life for what they are--because they do pass.

A fun read! :)

Joyfull said...

Thanks for sharing the activity of your houshold and the ways that you handle it to ensure some great time management! Loved reading your post today. Thanks for sharing.

e-Mom said...

Tami, I loved this!!! I hear your sense of pride, and accomplishment. Well done, Mom. You've figured it out, for sure: Just live in the moment.

I'm such a scheduler and planner that I would have failed miserably with more than two kids. I would have loved to have had more. (Can't wait for grandkids!)

As always, thanks for your support of Marriage Monday.

Big Hugs,

e-Mom ღ

Lynn said...

Oh Tami,

Girl, I just giggled as I followed all of you around on Saturday. It is a rich blessing. This ordinary yet extraordinary day in the life.

You are brilliant and your love for your family fills this post. So well written and I loved reading every word. And girl, like you, I'll embrace it all as it flows day-by-day.

Hugging you Big time. Lynn

Shelley said...

OK PLEASE tell me when did you find time to write this blog post - lol that was exhausting ... but fun ... and the Lord has given you a ton of wisdom - well done x

Susan said...

Great post Tammi,

I always enjoy each one. Even though I'm not signing, I'm on your reader and I enjoy them ALL.

Yes, these are some really busy times for you. Keep enjoying them. You seem to manage your time well.

As far as my boys...although they don't notice many things, I didn't mention the negative things they don't notice either! (weight gain, moodiness, bad hair, etc!)

They do love and pamper their mom. I'm so grateful for each one. They are all sooooooooo different.

Thanks for stopping by today♥

Mac an Rothaich said...

Lovely, I like your heart of contentment:)

tonya said...

The busy years fly by. We only had two, but the schedule at times was crazy. And you are right either we embrace it or hate it. And now that we are on the other side, I can't believe how one day you are holding them in your arms and the next they are leaving with the car!
Great post, I am sure many moms will be able to relate!

MiPa said...

Great advice my friend! I especially needed to be reminded "I can hate it or I can embrace it". Oh, yes! Thanks for the great reminders.