I was talking with Mr. Brickie this morning and we were going over our normal morning stuff. What we’re doing this weekend, where we are going, vague plans for next week that will be firmed up by Sunday night.
All over morning coffee.
Then I looked at him and said, “I wish we could have less meetings. They’re so unproductive.”
We both laughed because anyone who’s been in meetings knows exactly what this conversation sounded like now. Going over things we both already knew, making vague plans that could change at a moment’s notice, and the knowledge that all we really need to be doing today is cleaning because our house is messy.
Everything else was just filler.
Filler that was wasting our beautiful morning with each other while the kids played Portal 2 happily in the TV room. We had this amazing, rare time alone with no one asking us for anything and we wasted it with a work meeting!
He said, “Yeah, I’d like more happy hour and less nine to five when we chill out.” (He’s a poet, that one.)
I agree. I want more happy hour moments with my husband. The after work hang-outs where we aren’t going over profit and loss statements and business plans for where our family will be in five years. I have a thing for five and ten year plans that would make a lesser man cry.
So here’s the big list of how my family is like a bad small business:
- Too many meetings.
- Too much micromanaging.
- Too many plans.
- Not enough delegation.
- Too many unspoken expectations.
- Too many direct orders, not enough freedom to get to set goals.
- Not enough positive feedback.
I’m a natural micro-manager. I manage my family like a well-oiled department in a Fortune 500 company. Sure, we are constantly improving and the kids are still young-ish so nothing is perfect every time (like chores) but hey, if they were perfect now that would not bode well for later, right?
I started talking about starting a micro-farm recently. I know we’ve only had the chickens for 18 days now (almost three weeks!) but taking care of them has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I love them so much. They are so sweet and they communicate well and I find them beyond adorable.
But you know what? I also have always wanted a goat. A fainting goat would be my preference, but a goat that could be milked so I could make my own goat cheese? NOW we’re talking! If I could have one of each so I could have my entertainment with one goat and my cheese with the other? Holy crap, I’d be in heaven!
Of course, I don’t know if I’m allergic to goats, so I’ll have to figure that out, first. A micro-farm might not be in the cards if we can only have animals I’m highly allergic to. That being said, I’m also pretty sure I’m not allergic to pigs.
My point is: Find a project. Find a dream. Make a plan you can work on so that you can use that extra energy ON something instead of just spinning your wheels with your significant other or friends. Spinning your brain-wheels doesn’t do you any good and is just wasted energy. You deserve better.
Advance Planning is Good but You Have to Allow for Spontaneity
I use my plans to make sure everyone is on track to what they need to do.
In the mornings before school? Exactly the same routine every day.
- Wake up.
- Get dressed.
- Have breakfast.
- Brush teeth.
- Brush hair.
- Put a snack in your backpack.
- Go to bus stop.
When they get home from school? Same routine every day. Again.
- Unpack backpack.
- Give assignment book and folder to mom or dad.
- Grab a snack.
- Sit at dining room table and do homework.
- Have mom/dad check homework and sign assignment book.
- 20 minutes of reading.
- Have dinner.
- Go to bed.
Weekends we get all crazy. (Ha Ha Not Really)
Saturdays tend to be a free day where the kids can decompress doing whatever they want as long as they’re not fighting. Scooter riding, bike riding, playing in the yard, occasionally going to the park (not very occasionally) and a whole lot of video game time because my kids love Minecraft. They also love watching YouTube videos about Minecraft. I check my account often to make sure they’re watching approved non-cussing-filled sources.
Sunday might involve a trip to Michigan or a craft or more free time. I cut off screens at about 5pm and they have to switch to drawing, books, or imagination play. Sunday nights each child picks out their five outfits for the week. (I used to just do one outfit the night before, but Mr. Brickie felt it would be more expeditious to have them pick out five until such time as they decide what to wear based on “how they’re feeling that day” if that ever happens.)
This summer we would like to visit more parks and do other fun stuff. I have the tourist guides for both Illinois and Michigan (and have Liked both Facebook pages) in order to have clear choices I can look into.
I can only imagine how our weekdays would look if the kids were in extra-curricular activities. I mean, where does the time come from?
While I try to be spontaneous and will occasionally put on music in the morning there’s not a whole lot of spontaneous activities happening. I don’t know if that’s because we’re poor, I’m tired, or some other reason I’m not entirely sure of.
It just seems like everything is on auto pilot right now and I’d like my kids to have memories that are a little more interesting than the assembly line I currently have them on. Maybe it’s just that I can’t wait for the fun that Summer brings. The fruit picking and pie making and running through orchards that I miss so much from last year.
So we need less meetings and more fun. Less micromanaging and more freedom. Less planning and more doing. Maybe I’ll start reading some books on running a small business and see how I can integrate those into my family routines. Of course, maybe that will backfire horribly. What do you think?
Does your family work like a clunky small business? How do you keep the fun in your day? How on earth do you keep a normal schedule when your kids are in activities?