5 Ways to Simplify Your Family’s Schedule

Put yourself in these shoes: you’re pregnant with your first child, and you’re running one of the world’s most successful companies.  Then, 6 months into your pregnancy, you quit your job to go run another of the world’s biggest companies.  That’s the real life story of Marissa Meyer, the former CEO of Google, and now the CEO of Yahoo.

How does she do it?  In her words, she “ruthlessly prioritizes.”  What are her priorities?   “God, family, and Yahoo.”

Every mom, no matter her situation, needs to ruthlessly prioritize and simplify to parent her best..

It can feel like your family’s schedule is in control of you, instead of you being in control of it.  Take back that control with these 5 ways to simplify your family’s schedule.

1. Say no to one invitation this week.  Sure, you want your child to get to see her school friends at their birthday parties.  But, when you start getting invited to birthday parties for kids you barely know, it’s okay to decline.  If you feel badly about it, send a gift along with your regrets.

2. Cut back on one activity for each child.  If your children are involved in more than two activities, let one of those activities phase out.  Do not sign up for it again.

3. Cut back on one activity for you.  Are you room mom, team mom and leader of your book club?  The busier mom is, the more hectic the home feels.  Prioritize your own involvement.  If it’s hard for you to watch from the wings, be involved but don’t be in charge.

4. Answer this question.  How many meals do you usually eat together as a family each week?  If you said fewer than five, and the reason is extracurricular activities, it’s time to cut back.

5. Less stuff = less responsibility.  There is a lot of pretty stuff out there—pretty stuff for our house, pretty stuff for our children, pretty stuff for us!  But, the more stuff we have, the more stuff we have to take care of.  It takes up more space (you have to spend time figuring out where to put it), it takes more up-keep (you have to wash it, replace its batteries, or dust it), and it takes more of your time.

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