One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other. -Chinese Proverb
It can be difficult for single adults to conquer time management, so imagine how much harder it would be to manage time for a family of six or more. It’s hard enough for parents to take care of multiple babies and/or toddlers at the same time. As babies and small children, the task of managing everyone’s time tends to fall on the stay-at-home parent, if only one parent works outside the home. Time management is crucial to running a smooth household. So, as children grow up, it becomes necessary for parents to develop some sort of schedule, or normalcy. To this day my mom has a weekly calender that forever sits open-faced on her kitchen counter. She also has a different colored pen for each of us. My siblings and I write down anything we have to do, or anywhere we have to be at a certain time in our designated color. As a task is completed or an appointment is met, we cross it off the list.
This calendar has been extremely helpful to my mom in ensuring that everyone and everything is taken care of. That being said, it’s important to be realistic about the actual amount of time we have in a day (or week). Many children means many activities. So it’s important to guaruntee that one or two children are not dominating the calendar. Even if these activities are worthwhile, it simply isn’t fair for the rest of the family to constantly be on the run for one kid. Suggest that your child only partake in their favorite choices of activities, or explore other options for transportation. Parents should also keep in mind their own social lives when helping their children plan for activities. The last thing you want is to turn into a chauffer.
Time management doesn’t just involve balancing activities. It’s also about setting aside free time for you and your family. It’s important to keep open a few days of the week in case an emergency comes up, then you’ve essentially budgeted time to deal with it. Plus it’s a good idea to have adequate free time to make sure that all homework and chores get done and to still have relaxation and play time leftover.