School started a week ago, and we're already hip-deep in fall sports/activities season. On any given day, I've got one or more kids involved in:
And the list goes on. In fact, two kids brought home permission forms last night to sign up for yet another activity! (I verified that they were, in fact, during the school day and not requiring any transportation changes before I signed off on them. I'm not a masochist.)
I love the fact that my kids are so active and involved, especially since we moved only a month and a half ago, and they're really starting to settle in to their new home and community. But come on! There are only 24 hours in a day, and I'd rather not be driving for 22 of them.
So how am I coping with this crazy schedule? There are a few things I've found that seem to help.
Calendars. Yes, that's plural. I keep my main calendar on my phone/computer, and the electronic reminders have been a lifesaver. But I'm finding that a paper calendar is vital, as well. Something everyone in the family can look at and point to is vastly underrated.
Write while you wait. Instead of hanging out on the field while the kids practice, I've been schlepping my computer to practice and 'sprinting' in the car.
Shameless carpooling. Even though we've only been in the neighborhood a month or so, I've already piggy-backed onto a carpool for marching band. Cutting down the nighttime drive home to one night a week has been so helpful.
The word NO. We're at capacity right now, between the three kids and their interests and activities. They already know that nothing will be added until something is subtracted. No piano or saxophone lessons until fall sports is over, y'all.
Sense of humor. I know myself - even with the reminders and the help, I know I'm going to forget something or show up at the wrong time or whatever. Once the schedule reaches critical mass, something is going to give. So I'm holding onto my sense of humor and remembering to smile.
Despite it all, I love this time of year. Yesterday I cheered on FutureStar at the swim meet until I was hoarse, then ran GPS to soccer practice and wrote almost 1100 words in the car while they practiced. I'd count the day a success. :)
So how about you? How do you deal with busy schedules and overcrowded days?