I’ve always been quite an organised person, but becoming a parent brings a whole new meaning to the term organised, that requires a whole new set of organisational skills.

September is one of my favourite times of year.  The start of the new academic year always feels like the time to get organised.  I love stationery and I love bags, and growing up September always meant new stuff!  New bag, new pencil case, new pen to carry daily, new note books. With all the shiny new things came the intention to always do my best handwriting and to do my homework the night it was set.  Of course those resolutions always went the same way as any New Years resolutions.  But life is always better when you have a new pen.

organisational skills

I am the organiser in our house.  The husband would be in complete agreement when I say if left to him we would never go anywhere or do anything!  His job is to program the Sat-Nav.  It is a true test of our marriage vows when I organise a day out.  I plan the day, make a picnic, pack the stupid amount of crap kids need, get myself and the boys ready, get in the car ready to go.  The husband? Gets in the car and asks “So where are we going?”. One job!  He only had one job!

9 Years into this parenting job I’ve noticed several changes in the direction of my organisational skills.

Stage One: Baby Days

The hardest days to organise.  Mainly because you left your brain somewhere in the delivery room, and these days have trouble recalling your own name.

Life revolves around feeding and sleeping, and whether we have enough time to go to the shops before the next feed or poonami.

At this stage my life revolved around lists.  Lists of things I needed to tell the husband when he got in, because if I didn’t write it down I would forget.  The Lists of times the baby fed in hope of some kind of pattern other than ‘always hungry’ emerging.  And Lists of things to do that I never seemed to find the time to do (mainly due to all that feeding).

Yes, life was organised by lists and a pillow system to remind me which boob I needed to nurse with next.

Stage Two: Pre-Schoolers

A bit like trying to organise a hurricane, but we structure our weeks around play dates and classes.  Always remember to plan an extra day of cleaning after the play dates have been hosted at your house.  Again a hurricane springs to mind.

Lists at this stage are pretty useless.  By the time you’ve added their favourite dinner to the shopping list it will no longer be their favourite. Instead you need to be organised enough to prepare for every situation, but relaxed enough to go with the flow. |Easy!!!

This often means leaving the house for an hour looking like you are going away for two weeks.  The scooter they insist on taking but won’t ride, the ridiculously over-sized toy, spare clothes for muddy puddle incidents, bribery snacks.  You name it, you’ve packed it.

Stage Three: School Kids

There’s homework, newsletters, school trips, birthday parties, world book day, lunch menus, fundraising days, assemblies, inset days, non uniform days, bring your scooter to school days, library books, spellings, reading books, after school clubs.

That’s without having to keep track of coats and misplaced jumpers!

I would be lost without my ‘mum’ calendar.  You know the huge ones with a column for everyone, that makes you slightly depressed when looking at it because it’s so blatantly obvious the kids have a way better social life than you!

I swear I used to be more intelligent before I had kids.  Nowadays there’s so much to remember, that any useful facts I once knew are buried beneath random children’s birthdays and the names of all the Paw Patrol characters.

What are your top organising tips?

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Claire Kirby

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