Many families walk the line between order and chaos every day. A peaceful, well mannered meal can unravel with the mere mention of math homework or the unappealing prospect of making cookies for tomorrow’s forgotten bake sale. These moments are typical of parenting, a relationship that is simultaneously rewarding, exhilarating and exhausting. Whether you work outside the home, or not, whether you’re single or partnered, you probably never imagined the sheer amount of multi-tasking you would do as a parent.
How can you ‘have it all’ if you can’t even find it most of the time? Have you ever met a mom that didn’t say getting organized was one of her goals in life? Celebrity moms are no different. Katie Holmes and Reese Witherspoon have both commented that they need their busy lives organized in order to survive. One of our favorite websites, mommytrackd.com‘s mission is to help busy moms get organized and conquer the chaos of working motherhood. And busy working mom Courteney Cox-Arquette credits the fun and practical new Mommy Track’d Mom’s Ultimate Family Organizer: A One-Stop Planner for Busy Moms and its purse-sized companion Mom Essentials: A One Stop Organizer for Moms on the Move for getting her ducks in a row. Designed by a mom for moms, with loads of input from still more moms, these two organizational tools help multitasked out moms find a little peace of mind. If only they could unload the dishwasher too. Other celebrity fans of Mommy Track’d products include Brooke Shields, Felicity Huffman, Ricki Lake, Jami Gertz and Holly Robinson Peete.
We asked mommytrackd.com founder Amy Keroes for her favorite organizational tips and tricks. Here are her tips specifically focused on centralizing all the familyfacts and figures so as little as possible falls through the cracks. Click More for Amy’s tips.
- I LOVE I LOVE I LOVE MY CALENDAR, GIRL. If you’ve everfound yourself double-booked for a client meeting and a pediatricianappointment, you know that trying to manage your own and your family’sschedule is a very tricky task. Organize the chaos with a centralcalendar system. Whether you use a fancy synching electronic device orgo the old school paper route, the path to scheduling sanity is to putit all in one place.
- TIE A VIRTUAL STRING AROUND YOUR FINGER. Sign up for a free onlinereminder service like BirthdayAlarm.com and you’ll never miss another important date. You’llget an email when it’s time to send out a birthday card and your familyand friends will be impressed by your ability to remember even the mostobscure dates.
- FAMILY 411. Do you have your favorite sitter’s number closeat hand, or do you have to look it up every time you want to go out?Spend 10 minutes creating a master contact list of all frequently usednumbers and email addresses. And if you can never recall the passwordsfor your favorite websites, taking a minute to write them all down inone immovable place is well worth the time.
- FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Make it a mission to find at least threefamily-friendly restaurants in your neighborhood that are good for takeout. Keep the menus in a folder, binder or just in the same specialdrawer. On those nights when you can’t bear to turn on the oven, youwon’t have to chase around.
- MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE. Consider how many timesyou’ve left the house with kids and 17 bags of who knows what, only toremember halfway to your destination what you’ve forgotten. One of thebest ways to make sure nothing gets left behind is to use checklists.Tape your list to the front door if you have to — whatever works.
If you can’t find the time to do any of this - don’t worry. Amy’soff the record advice for all over-extended moms is to count to 10,lose the guilt, embrace the dust bunnies, have a glass of wine with anempathetic friend, and just do the best you can.
What are your chaos control tips and tricks?
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