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Is your family running smoothly?

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Regroup & refine your schedule

It's mid-October. The kids have been in school for a while, and hopefully are settled in. The big holiday season push will begin shortly. But is everything running smoothly? Now is the time to do a quick evaluation and adjustment of how the family is running - because if it's not running smoothly now, you may not have another chance for adjustment until the new year!

Woman with Calendar

Moms are never "just" moms. We are so much more than that. We are teachers, accountants, chefs, chauffeurs - and organizational experts. I'm sure corporate America would benefit from hiring some moms to come in and get offices and schedules organized.

In that role of organizer/scheduler, we have times of the year when we do major organization and scheduling (start of school, start of sports seasons, start of summer). But we also need to tweak things as we go along. And mid-season such as this is a perfect time to do a quick review.

How are the kids?

So, how are the kids doing? Are they getting homework done, musical instrument practice in, sports, and anything else they do? Are they getting enough sleep or are they showing signs of being over-scheduled? Do they have enough down-time?

Just because kids want to do it all, it doesn't mean they should. As a parent, you need to be honest about how your kids' schedule is working, and pull it back where appropriate. If your kids are showing signs of stress - if they aren't sleeping well or are binge-sleeping on the weekends, if they are cranky and don't seem to be enjoying things they used to enjoy - then you need to pull back. Maybe pulling back means taking something out of the schedule or just rearranging it, but whatever it is, do it now.

If, however, your child's schedule is too unscheduled, if they need a little more structure, there's still time to add it in.

How are you?

And how are you managing with the current family schedule? Are you able to be there for the kids emotionally and physically? Are you able to get them where they need to go? Are you able to get some time for yourself? Are you eating right? Getting some exercise?

If the family schedule is working for everyone except you, it still needs a change. Running yourself ragged to make everyone else's days perfect will only result in you crashing...and then no gets to anything and no one is happy. If you need to move something to make you happier and it's a neutral change for your child, do it. Now. A happy mom makes a happy family.

Ready for the next big push

Taking a breath to reevaluate and adjust can only help you find the energy to make the big holiday push. There will be plenty of things to do on top of your already busy schedule, so getting the regular schedule under real control now can only help. Reevaluating, regrouping and refining may be something moms do on an almost daily basis, but it is always worth recognizing - and doing.

For more tips on raising a healthy family

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