How to think of everything…

I’ve been having a lot of the same thoughts lately, thoughts like: How could I not think to bring a basketball to her practice? or Why didn’t I think to have him practice his report one more time? It seems like I just can’t quite think of everything all the time.

As my kids were heading out the door to school this morning, they reminded me of the sign that we have posted on the back door (which I wrote about a little while back right here).

And it made me realize that I needed to take a pause from the hectic schedule of this fall season and come up with a little game plan for how I can start getting back on track.

Because I love acronyms, I came up with these ideas for helping me THINK of everything:

Take the time – How many times have you walked right out the door and forgot about eight things that you really, really need for all the things you are about to go do? I have done that more times that I can count, and so I posted the aforementioned sign on our back door to help with that issue! One idea: when planning your day, reserve a 15-20 minute window before you have to leave to just stop and think and make sure you go through a little “pre-flight” checklist before you head out!

Have some help – I think one of my themes of motherhood this year is enabling my children to help themselves (and help me in the process) — since there are four of them and only one of me, if we all work together, things go so much more smoothly. So whenever we are heading to a practice or a game or to school, I’m teaching my kids to run through a list of what they need to have with them. That helps it from becoming “Mom, how could you forget my jersey?” to “Oh man! I forgot my jersey” — which then hopefully won’t happen again.

Invest in YOU – This is another theme for the year! If you are so tired and burnt out and frazzled, then of course you are going to start forgetting things left and right. You deserve some TLC, whether that means making yourself go to bed earlier to get more rest or finding some time to relax and recharge during the day or maybe even scheduling date night so that you have something to look forward to!

No is not a bad word – I keep thinking that if I tell myself this enough times, it will start to sink in. This is definitely still a work in progress for me, but I want to encourage us both today to not make “yes” the default answer to every request that comes our way. At least, let’s try to make it a habit to weight the pros and cons of each decision —  and then do a thorough calendar review — before we commit to anything new!

Keep it in perspective – This is a big one for our family! Just the other day, I was transporting my children from an appointment on the north side of town to a practice on the south side of town. I hadn’t thought through the timing very well, and we were stuck in some pretty horrible tollway traffic. As the minutes ticked away quickly, I could feel the tension rising in the car. I didn’t want my child to be late (this was a practice for my kiddo who thinks being late is one of the worst things in the world!) — but there was literally nothing I could do. When she asked me, “Am I going to be late?” I paused and considered several different vague responses. But finally, I simply said: “Yeah, probably so, buddy — but it will be okay.” And, miracle of miracles, she just sat back in her seat and accepted it. In the end, we weren’t that late, and it really was okay. Now, I don’t want tardiness to become a habit, but it was a good lesson that sometimes we make mistakes and things don’t work out the way we thought they would — and everything still works out just fine!

I know, as moms, we try to think of everything — and if we give ourselves a better chance by slowing down, not taking on so much, and keeping our expectations in check, we may not be perfect but we’ll be close enough!

P.S. Go Rangers!!!

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