Saturday, January 12, 2013

Scheduling Disaster

Something I struggle with as a homeschooler, or maybe this is just a trick for parents in general these days, is managing our family's schedule.

When the kids were little our time was so simple.  Mealtimes, naps and bedtime defined the structure of the day, we had to go to the grocery story once a week and maybe we'd throw some playtime with friends (aka Mommy's social time) into the week.

Now with older kids who can and want to do more, plus my taking on classes and business work, it all seems very complex.  There is a whole stack of things we need and want to do. Homeschooling time, foundational classes and extra activities.  Field trips and adventures.  Time with friends.  Family game night. Date time for all the various combinations and permutations of the members of our family so we all get one on one connection time.  We still need to go the grocery store.  Time to cook and enjoy meals as a family.  Time to relax and get to know ourselves. Daddy work time, Mommy work time. Walks for the dog. CrossFit time for the mommy.

My iCal is a fantastic mosaic of colors and activities. I have separate calendars for Sara, Kids & Family, SNC work time, Bill's travel, birthdays.  I'm also subscribed to calendars for US holidays, the Seattle Sounders and the Seattle Public Schools. In hopes of keeping everyone where they need to be and all the balls in the air, I even make sure to put in appointments for meals and bedtimes.

Getting everything onto the calendar and making sure I'm not committing to being 2 or even 3 places at the same time seems like building a house of cards.  So many elements, I proceed slowly and delicately until I have a beautiful towering structure that is surprisingly solid and sound. For months or even entire quarters the structure functions beautifully and our household hums along peacefully.

And then, one day, some scheduling wind whips through my iCal and whole house comes fluttering down.

Yesterday that wind went by the name "Soccer Practice." In one small blow, something that happened on Tuesday and Thursdays for years moved to Monday and Wednesday.  Suddenly, nothing works anymore - work time, choir practice, childcare time, board meetings, bill paying time, personal Sara time are all up in the air.  I find myself now reluctanly staring at a game of 52 card pick-up. 

I'm sure my creative parts will kick in again soon, and a new and even better iCal structure will arise from the pile.  But for right now, I'm just going to mourn the loss of something that worked and the need to start over again.

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