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Family Planning - the other variety!

(2 Posts)
marbola Sat 04-Dec-10 22:39:58

We have three kids under 9 and, okay, hands up, we're pretty rubbish at organising and planning. It's all about getting through the day and trying to keep the house liveable, and we simply never plan ahead... for anything! This year, we booked our holiday two days before we left!

Here's the deal... at work I'm a To Do list geek. My DW keeps all her stuff in her head. As a parenting team, we don't share a common tool.


I'd really love to hear your wisdom on the following:

What do you do if one person is To Do list geek and the other hates lists?? We argue quite a bit about this - I really want to help my DW as I know some kind of system will make her life easier, but it's the classic "driving instructor" thang - if advice comes from the other half it is often taken as criticism...

Often when we agree that she will do e.g. "renew child's passport" - it takes months and months, and I end up nagging. Too often I end up doing it myself, which undermines my DW.

I'd love to hear about how other parents create time to plan ahead together and when you get that time how do you use it productively?

- Do you sit down weekly/monthly and actually have a planning chat (like a family meeting?) for the week/month ahead? Do you schedule these in so they happen? How do you decide who should own what tasks?

- How do you plan ahead for big events - holidays, birthdays, special occasions, your bbig dreams.


- Do you have some kind of central shared family to-do list book? How do you use it? What works for you?

(I've tried white boards, fridge planners - and they never get used. I get the feeling that becasue I am trying to introduce some "system" my DW rebels against it.


- How do you work with multiple calendars?! We have one in the kitchen. I work from home and my DW is a stay-home mum. I have my calendar on my computer and we are forever transferring and duplicating events back and forth and stuff inevitably slips through the net.

My DW rarely makes lists, doesn't work with electronic calendars, filofaxes, personal diaries etc. I've tried "third party" approaches like getting "organsing" books out of the library, trying shared electronic calanders, online to do lists, but no joy. I know my failing is in how I approach the subject the my DW. The crazy thing is I know she can be super organised when she wants to be. Before kids she was a Project Manager!!

What am I doing wrong?! Maybe I near to hear some truths about myself? How can I support my DW?

howtoapproach Sun 05-Dec-10 11:00:39

Hello - although it sounds a great idea to make lists tbh I think your current approach is fairly typical in that it sounds like a juggling act and it's the same as ours.

I personally would be horrified to have a load of lists. Yes, ideally I'd like to do the ironing on one day, dust and hoover a couple of times a week, change the bedding on a set day but for me it doesn't work like that. If I had a list of what I should have done that day, I would be exhausted trying to achieve it and feel like a failure every night.

The nature of dcs is that they are chaotic and demanding. They might be ill, want to wear something that isn't washed and ironed but at the bottom of the laundry basket. Want to go round a friend's house at the last minute. Need a lot of help with homework that night. Desperately need attention and comfort following a problem with friends etc.

How can you help? I would suggest do what you can to help. Why is it your wife's job to renew the passports? Could you not just use the time spent reminding her to do it yourself? If you see something needs doing - just help and do it. Book the holiday yourself.

Sorry - don't mean to sound harsh. But when you have 3 young dcs life is a juggling act and things do tend to get left until they become urgent. Our house tends to be cleaned when we have someone coming round - i.e. it's now urgent. Washing gets done when we have nothing to wear tomorrow. I have a part-time job as well as DC but I can't imagine coping with 3.

A wall calendar is fine if that's what your dw uses. Just add on things when you can.

This is just my opinion, but I'm sure others will have a different one.

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