Chaos-free kid weekend? Who are we kidding?
First, we actually thrive on a bit of chaos. It keeps life interesting. And sometimes, chaotic weekends are unavoidable. The “must do” events simply fall all on the same days.
If this is happening consistently, though, it can wear on you (and the kids) increasing stress, reducing immunity and sanity.
So, how about a TGIF you can really look forward to because it offers a bit more “ahhh”? A few less places to run, a few less chopped up hours in the day, and a few more off duty shifts for the taxi, and maybe the ability to extend bedtime a little later and sleep past the normal alarm time? Sign me up.
1. Aim for 1 “Big Deal” a day
I say “aim for 1” because, depending on the quantity and ages of your kids (and their various activities), this may or may not be possible, so you may have to adjust it to 2 “Big Deals” for the family or 1 “Big Deal” per child. A sleepover is a “Big Deal” for some kids, a birthday party might be for another, a soccer tournament for another. Stack 3 of those in a day and you may all be toast. You know your chaos tolerance, so choose accordingly.
2. Plan ahead and block out the time
Yes, you can actually schedule FREE time. Time not filled with an agenda in which you can spontaneously combust into a dance party in the kitchen, or bake a cake at 10pm, or make grass angels in the lawn under the stars, or play with sparklers when it isn’t Independence Day. When an in-the-moment opportunity arises, you have the opportunity to choose what you want to do.
3. Say “No” to some opportunities
Speaking of choice, I hear this line quite often: “Well, we were invited, so we have to go. What excuse would we give??”
Try, “We’re so happy to be invited, but we’ve been running on overdrive and planned a slower weekend. We’ll love to join you next time.” Or, “please count us as a ‘no’ right now. We have other plans in the calendar.
Saying “no” can be a gift to both the giver and receiver. When someone commits and then backs out at the last minute, it’s a drag (especially when kids are looking forward to it!)
When guests arrive to my house telling me they have 4 other parties to make it to that night, I don’t feel honored. I feel like one more check mark on the dance card.
Make time for me some other time. No worries.
In short, you have control over what goes in your calendar. Use the power of NO so you can say YES to amazing things… sanity included!
p.s. Coming soon “Tips for the Kid-free Chaos Weekend” because we need both, no?
Julie Ford is a certified life coach, speaker, trainer, and author of Creating Time and Energy. Individuals hire her to trade their “badges of busy” for intentionally full lives. Organizations hire her to attract, train, and retain our next generation of leaders, the Millennials.
Based on the foundation that when things are running smoothly at home, amazing things can happen at work, Julie uses one-on-one and group coaching to help her clients to define what matters most in their lives and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to implement habits that serve rather than sabotage their intentions. Her clients find more joy and less chaos in every stage of work and home one habit at a time.
Need a tip for reducing the “crazy busy” in YOUR life? ASK Julie! Leave a question in the comments or just talk with her.