It takes great self control for me not to immediately open up my phone calendar the second I wake up in the morning. I’m a planner, always have been. When I was little and would get sick, I’d cheer myself up thinking about an event coming up. It got me through hard times to look ahead at something positive rather than focus on the negative.
Now I just love having a busy schedule and lots of things to plan for. I did event planning all through college and at my various jobs. Now I have two little people to plan for, and it’s an absolute dream come true! Granted, they’re only 1 and 3 years old, but still, it’s a blast setting up play dates, local excursions and family vacations that will entertain them.
I’m also very much a Type A personality, probably skirting the edge of OCD. I like plans to be orderly and concise. I remember carrying around a giant day planner in my purse, obsessively updating it as changes would arise. Now I have multiple digital calendars and just recently discovered that I can sync them together through Google Calendar, which my husband can now view on his phone (and as you can imagine, he’s elated, or at least I think he should be). There are all kinds of bings, bongs and beeps that alert me to various upcoming happenings throughout my week.
I’ve been praised by other parents for doing “so many fun things with my kids,” to which I always respond that it’s probably more for me than for them. You know if you have raised toddlers, it’s imperative to get out at least a couple times a week to keep your sanity. If there’s coffee and other adult friends involved, even better.
But it’s a fine line between doing “so many fun things” and over-scheduling for the sake of “having things to do.” Even my boys get in a routine of being on the go too much, so that if we aren’t going somewhere, they get upset with me. Little Luke will have his shoes in hand, standing by the door defiantly refusing to accept we aren’t leaving, while his older brother is listing all the places we could be going that day instead of sitting at home.
As the long summer days stretch out before me, speckled with various summer day camp possibilities, excursions, berry picking, beach-going, swimming lessons and so many other color-coded calendar entries, I have to be careful to not plan too much. I want to leave room for down time, family time and the spontaneous … as long as it fits neat and orderly into the schedule, of course.
Looking for some summer fun? Don’t miss our 100 Days of summer daily blog with ideas for something to do every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
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Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 3-year-old James and 1-year-old Luke.