The title is a phrase I found myself repeating over and over last year, well, more like “get your shit together” but I was afraid google wouldn’t think that was very searchable. Regardless, it was a phrase that spun through my head quite often, you know, at times when I forgot a practice or a birthday party or a CLASSROOM EVENT WHERE ALL THE PARENTS COME IN (!!!!) and for reasons unbeknownst to me – I simply forgot. Never in my life have I had problems remembering things (or being late to things for that matter), but now with kids and one kid that is in “real school” and sports and playdates and CLASSROOM EVENTS, tucking it away as a mental note wasn’t going to cut it. What is wrong with me? Why do I seem to be the only mom who can’t keep it all together? Do you know how haunting it is to picture your child’s face eagerly looking for you to walk through the classroom door, scanning parent after parent only to realize that his mom isn’t actually going to show up? Heartbreaking. Painful. The freaking worst. I knew it was on Thursday. So why was I at the playground with my other son instead of at the school? I will never know. (And thank GOD I was at the playground and not out getting a pedicure or something. How bad would that have been??!)
Soon after this event, I met another mom. I showed up at her house on a Tuesday for a meeting regarding the blog. She answered the door in yoga pants slightly flustered holding her infant son in one arm and I could tell right away that she was caught off guard. I got the date wrong. (Insert expletive). I could have sworn I tripled checked the date in our email exchanges. What is WRONG with me?!! And I was right, she quickly explained that she wasn’t expecting me until the next day, but welcomed me into her home anyway. The home that she probably would have spent the better half of yesterday cleaning (if she is anything like me) before having someone she hardly knows come over for a meeting (for the record, I remember her house being very neat – in case you are reading this!). Instead she shrugged her shoulders and smiled, we exchanged one of those “I get it. We are both moms” glances as her daughter darted behind us in her nightgown. She confessed she had been having trouble keeping everything straight as well and just had to go out and buy some planners. Relief washed over me. She gets it. “Yeah,” she said, “with all these kids it’s just too much.”
It’s. Just. Too. Much.
Music to my ears. It’s too much. It’s not me, it’s them. It’s all the “stuff”. And a planner – duh. Clearly typing something into my iPhone calendar wasn’t working for me. Way too much work. We had our meeting and within an hour of me returning home my email dinged. It was a note from her – she said that she was the one who had the date wrong, not me. I wanted to jump through the computer and hug her. Not because I was right and she was wrong, but because finally, finally I met someone who gets it. “It’s just too much” – my new mantra. And my solution: visual assistance. Planners, calendars, file folders and text alerts for the really important stuff. Like classroom visits. I needed to get my shit, er um, act together. So now as the kids are buying their 87 million supplies, my uber organized sister (the one who wraps her iPhone cord into a neat figure 8 nightly before bed) showed me a few things she swears by to help me get my life in order too.
1. Oversized Calendar – Coffee, handbag, phone, glance at the calendar – in that order every. single. day. on the way out the door. Ask me when the Mother’s Tea is at school this year, ask me. I dare you to. This girl is ON it. (And bonus, love the neutrals with pop of color. Will look great on any wall or desk).
2. I Am Very Busy Planner – Is having two calendars redundant? More work? Maybe, but this one is portable and seriously fun. Kid stuff on the home calendar, personal stuff on this one. Or something like that. Clearly I’m an organization virgin.
3. Gold Dot File Folders – One for every kid for permission slips, school forms, important dates, class lists etc…
4. All Out Of Notepad – To make grocery shopping that much easier.
5. Striped Sticky Note Set – Because sending a note to the teacher on a pre-used, coffee stained envelope is not good for your
6. Name Labels – A name written in a sharpie only lasts so long. And these are so much fore fun.
7. The-Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – This is on my list of things to read. I already organized my sweaters like the author suggested and it’s a total game changer. Time to declutter and organize in the 6 “free” hours I have to myself this year. According to my mom, EVERYONE is reading this book. So there.
8. Back Pack – A bit of a splurge, but I’ve had my eye on this one for a while now and we need something to carry our planner around in, right? (insert husband’s shaking head)
What tips do you guys have for being organized? PLEASE do share what works for you!
Shopping links below and some fun extras!
P.S. Want to travel back in time? Here’s what I was talking about one year ago (a good read for those getting ready to send a child to kindergarten), and this one is from two years ago (an easy weeknight recipe).