Plan of Action for Family Organization

I am an Invisalign Teen ® brand spokesperson and all opinions expressed are my own.

One of the things I struggle with is keeping the family organized.  I know when I have a plan, it is easier to provide the stress-free, healthy and happy environment that I desire my home to be.

A safe and fun place.

The challenge is to put the organizational structure in place to allow that to “organically” happen.  16 years of parenting experience has taught me that when I don’t work on this, things tend to fall into a more chaotic state which increases MY stress and worry resulting in poor food choices, frantic running between appointments and a home that is miles away from relaxed!

Here are three things that I am implementing ASAP:

family schedule on phone

Get control over the calendar – Oh my!  Three boys, a husband, a dog and me.

The places we go!

The places we NEED to go!

The places that I forget to take us!

Yep.  The places I FORGET to take us.  Take yesterday, I was called out-of-town and in the morning I got a call from the orthodontist.  I saw the number pop up and my heart sank.

You know the feeling.  That feeling of I-just-missed-something-important!

I had forgotten to make arrangements to reschedule the orthodontist appointment.  I hate that on so many levels! Forgotten appointments put the orthodontist’s office in a bad position and my son really needed that appointment.

He is getting started with the early stages of Invisalign Teen® treatment and is really excited about straightening his teeth without a mouth full of metal and all the disruption and sacrifice that comes with it.  I know from personal experience how transforming Invisalign® clear aligners can be!  I have been through the entire treatment and now just wear a retainer at night.  With teens, it’s even more transforming, since teens look better and feel more confident than they ever could in traditional metal braces.  I also know from wearing Invisalign clear aligners myself that there are no emergency runs to the orthodontist to fix broken wires and brackets and it takes less scheduled appointments since several aligner sets are provided in advance, so it’s very doable (even for me!). What I love best is that Invisalign technology has become so advanced that they’re able to treat minor to complex cases, so it’s definitely worth getting a consultation if it’s something you’ve considered for your teen.

So attending all scheduled appointments is so important, since it can shorten my son’s treatment time and reinforce to him how important it is to wear the clear aligners regularly.

It is really important that I get this under control so we can attend all the appointments and facilitate what needs to be done!

Up until now, I have had a mishmash of paper and online calendars – notes written, entries randomly made. But none of them effectively sync with my phone which is silly since that is what I have with me all of the time. My first step is to get all calendar items on ONE calendar that can be seen from all devices. I know this sounds obvious but sometimes obvious can be the last thing we see!

making dinner

Get control over the food – Oh my! If I have one more day that we get to 5 pm and have NO ANSWER to “what’s for dinner?”, I might just collapse. My boys are getting older and eating more. It isn’t as easy as it used to be to just pull something light out of the pantry or freezer. I need meal-planning.

I need it now.

The first thing I am adding to my newly synced calendar is to start investigating a meal rotation that can put reasonable-to-make and healthy dinners on the table.

This will be much easier once I get my calendar under control and I can actually see the spaces during the day that are available for grocery shopping and meal prep.

And for the busy days, a long list of slow cooker recipes will be just the thing! But thinking about a slow cooker meal at 5 pm just isn’t a feasible plan.

family walking

Get control over exercise – I have finally started taking steps in my own life to work my work schedule around yoga. I have been consistently attending 4 classes a week and already seeing results just a few weeks into the plan.

My next goal is to get the rest of the family involved in regular exercise. With summer fast-approaching, we will have the time (and the kids will need to release energy), so it is a good time to make this happen.

It is easy to get my husband involved, we like to take walks together in the evening, but I have been bad about letting our daily schedule invade that time. By putting this activity on the calendar and doing it daily, we can both get needed exercise and time together chatting that we would miss.

The boys are a little more challenging. They each like to do something different, but with some advanced planning I can make sure the younger two get to a community pool regularly for swimming and the older one can get involved in a youth tennis league.

happy face

As I write this all out, I realize that this masterplan all hinges on the calendar and some planning. Both things that I manage well in other areas of my life…now it is time to apply those skills to the family!

A big thanks to Invisalign Teen for inspiring & sponsoring this post and giving me the kick-in-the pants I needed to start implementing this plan today.  All opinions expressed are my own.