Organizing Our Family

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Sometimes one of the hardest things about being a Mom can be keeping the family schedule and tasks organized. Let me start by telling you I am a total type A planner personality. In fact my day job is working as an event planner. Planning is just what I do and how I run my life. However, twins can throw quite the wrench into all of your organizational time.

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After I had the babies I was so sleep deprived that I felt like the fog in my brain might never go away. As I am sure all new parents can relate, sleep deprivation is for REAL! Being organized is what always helped me keep things straight in my brain. After getting around 3 hours of broken sleep a day, for weeks on end, I struggled to remember everything. If I didn’t write it down, I was not going to remember it. Once you become parents you are keeping track of multiple schedules instead of just your own. My husband and I continually would tell each other about things going on and then quickly forget in the midst of our new found chaos.

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After a couple of months the babies starting sleeping through the night and I finally came far enough out of the fog to find a system that works for us. For starters, communication and patience is key when finding your new groove as a family. My husband and I had to work a lot on how we communicated our schedules and needs. Once I went back to work it seemed as though everything doubled with pickups, drop offs, doctors appointments, work events, social outings, grocery shopping, etc. etc. One of the first things I learned is that SIMPLIFYING IS A WORTHY INVESTMENT (especially if you have twins)!!! Coordinating a family schedule can be stressful enough, let alone if you are worrying about uninstalling and reinstalling cars seats everyday, so you and your significant other can share the carpool duties. Our budget was working double time so I understand that this is not cheap. There are many ways to reduce costs and still simplify your life. Lets take car seats for example. We invested in some nice, super safe car seats for our babies. After getting to the point of needing a second set of bases I researched all the options. Here are my suggestions:

  • Research the retailers (do you have points or miles that can be used?)
  • Search high and low for coupons
  • Talk with the retailer and ask about upcoming sales, promotions and discounts because you might be surprised what they will share with you
  • Look on craigslist and other similar websites for gently used items you can purchase at a killer price
  • Join a Moms group because many times they will organize sales for gently used goods
  • If you decide to buy new take excellent care of your items so you can sell them when you are done
  • Talk to your friends and see what they did
  • Do you know anyone with hand me downs or someone that might sell you items they are done with
  • Get creative… do you have a friend that is saving their items for their next baby but aren’t planning on getting pregnant for awhile? See if you can borrow or rent their extra items until they need them again

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After simplifying what we could, we searched for a better way to communicate our schedules with each other. We tried the old fashion way with a paper calendar but I would always for get to update it. The times when I did remember I would be away from the house, where I didn’t have access to it. I tried calendar invites but with my husband and I using different operating systems that made it tricky. Finally, I found a solution that worked for us. It sort of fell in my lap when I got an email about a new family organizational app. The app that we use is called COZI. It was free so I figured why not give it a shot. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love. The whole family has one login and everyone can access it on their phones. You can add permanent recurring events to the calendar like your trash day. All events can then be coded to certain family members or the entire family. I still maintain my personal calendar but this helps share the pertinent information that my husband needs to know. We are able to stay in the loop on things like my husband working late, picking up the kids, lunch for grandma’s birthday, dinner with the girls… etc. What I love most is that every Sunday they email you the upcoming weeks schedule. This always gives us a reminder to go over the calendar with each other and discuss the week ahead.

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My other favorite feature about Cozi is the grocery list and shared to do list. Grocery shopping with twins or kids in general can be a project. All moms know you need to efficiently manage this time and it’s not easy to just run back to the store if you forget little things. So many times I would run out of something and think “oh I’ll have to put that on the grocery list”…. But do you think when I actually went to make the list I remembered what in the heck that item was? NO! Cozi has helped us keep a running grocery list. If I think of something I put it on there right away because I always have my phone with me. The best part is that we both have 24/7 access to it so if Jonathan needs something for his lunches he can add it right then and there. This makes those little trips to the grocery store much more effective so you don’t have to go home and do a full pantry scan to see what you need. It goes back to the practice of simplifying so you can maximize your time. As for the to do list, I don’t know about you, but mine seems never ending! Keeping this running list helps Jonathan and I prioritize our time and see what tasks we need to tackle each weekend.

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Be a team, work together and with a little organization you can get it done!

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