Monday, December 26, 2011

Being Prepared: Daily Meeting

While last years' New Year's Resolution to blog here more frequently has definitely not happened, I haven't forgotten my more important resolution to be prepared. I'm reporting back on the big and small changes that are in motion (most of the time) as I've tried to get better at this year-long goal.

Perhaps my most favorite action I've implemented this year has been my weekly and daily personal meetings. I remember watching Oprah once in high school, and she remarked as an aside, "A CEO expects to have a meeting with his or her staff about the daily happenings of the company; shouldn't we all be doing this?" Yes! I've never forgotten this. Admittedly, I haven't been perfect at this, but when I have made a plan for the day, life hums along. There is more cooperation, since the boys slide into the routine and know what to expect. My stress levels are much lower, which also feeds into the happy feeling around our home. What I like most of all is that I can think about what is most important to me as a mom and figure out ways to implement these important things into our daily lives. Taking a few minutes each evening to gather things together for the next day is a beautiful thing. When the check for preschool is in my coat pocket, the grocery list is uploaded on my phone, the chicken is defrosting in the fridge, it all makes for fewer grumpy interactions as I am scooting everyone out of the door each morning.

On the flip side, I'm working on my spontaneity. I have wonderful people in my life who operate in a much more freestyle mode, and sometimes I envy that. While my tendency is to plan, plan, plan, I do try to keep pretty loose with those plans and go with better plans if they surface. Anyway, I'm looking for balance that way and I think my lesson in improvisational mothering is coming as we are imminently expecting the arrival of our baby girl. Farewell predictability! We'll see you in a year or so! Hello mysterious sleep schedules, infrequent showers, and keeping things flexible.

Mothers of the world, tell me (if anyone is out there): how do you handle the first few months of having a newborn with your other kids? I've kept the structured things in our current lives intact (swim lessons, library storytimes, playdates), and I'm hoping that our new baby will be happy to come along for the ride. Is this realistic?


Deanna said...

Our experience with number 3 (especially since her older two siblings were quite a bit older and we didn't have the option of cutting school and other things out) was that she basically HAD to just come along for the ride and fit herself into our lifestyle. A much different experience than with the first two, since at that time we had the flexibility to adapt to the babies and let them determine our schedule more. So I'd say that it is definitely realistic because sometimes it just has to be :-) Because of all of that though, there were definitely times when we tried really hard to make everyone else in the family compromise and do what was best for Camilla whenever we could, if that makes sense. Sometimes I feel kind of sorry for poor Camilla because her whole life has revolved around our busy life with her older siblings, but she is pretty adaptable and an incredibly happy little girl, so she doesn't seem too much worse for the wear.

Robyn said...

I'll never forget a YW leader of mine telling me that her #4 learned to sleep very well in the car. Babies do seem to adjust pretty well to their situations, and it's probably best for the other kids to keep things are normal as you can. Good luck with #3!

Kristy said...

This daily meeting idea is such a great concept, and one I need to work on implementing much more. I heard Sister Beck talk one time about how she sits down and has meetings with herself. Including an agenda and opening with a hymn and prayer. Sometimes there is so much on my mind and I spend a lot of minutes here and there thinking about things. I think I would be more effective if I set aside time to have a meeting with myself and really be able to pray, think and seek inspiration about the things on my mind-- and not have that time interrupted by requests for more crackers. :)