Friday, September 2, 2016

Planning but not Communicating



Not a Vikings post, though I love my Minnesota football and am devastated for young Teddy Bridgewater and his horrific injury. My readers may know I live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Roughly, Minneapolis and St Paul combined have a population just shy of 600,000 people. It quadruples if you expand to the full seven county metro area, we get to about 2.4 million folks. Quite sizable but not anywhere near the scale of other major metro areas in the United States. We have just two light rail lines, with very limited pick up outside of the cities, and the same with bus services. This leads me to ask how city planners, or at least the  parts of the city governments that approve venue licenses, would not think allowing a home Minnesota Vikings football game, a home Minnesota Gophers college football game, and a home Minnesota Twins baseball game all on the same nights would be problematic for traffic. These events moved 150,000 people into downtown Minneapolis, during rush hour traffic. On the other side of the river, but needing those same highways, buses, and light rail lines, a home St Paul Saints baseball game was being held, and oh yes, I can't forget to mention the Minnesota State Fair was going on, drawing an additional 100,000 plus people into the cities. Who would foresee that adding 33% more people into an already congested area would create travel and parking headaches. Umm, anyone that saw all the events on the calendar the same night. I work a touch north of all this, and can make a wide loop east to avoid much, but the residual effect was still present on my commute home. 

I'm in a work and planning mode this weekend, home focused, and getting the job done mode. As I mentioned, work will be crazy for the foreseeable future, and I don't need things to collapse at home. DD starts school Wednesday and has a really congested schedule filled with nine classes, two meeting alternate days, show choir, violin, and her new part time Wednesday night job as a recreational league volleyball ref. DH is three men down at work, using people from other stores or on a temporary basis, so he has felt the need to be at work longer hours and on his day off for at least short spurts. Just like the Metro planning authorities should have seen, I know we need better planning for the weeks ahead. Here's the deal though. I can plan all I want, but if I am not communicating with the other two in my house,all my planning will be as crazy as Thursday night traffic. We have three sets of hands, and we need to be working in sync on home tasks, car pooling, meal prep, and giving some love and attention to poor little pup who is going to get his fall abandonment complex back once he is home three days alone.

I've done planning before with copies of Outlook calendars, but then it only seems to sit with me, and after a while, cracks emerge in the plan because of my schedule and I didn't communicate enough for someone else to pick up the tasks. Pretty soon we are back to pulling laundry out of baskets, doing the sniff test, and ordering pizza three nights in a week. No excuses this year. I found a great calendar making resource on line. Create printable calendars can help me do the job once, print multiple copies for DD's room, the refrigerator, DH's desk, and have electronic versions I can send to each of our e-mails. I can add items we may need for menu planning, taking a cue from Sluggy's This Week on the Dining Table posts and know what we will have, what needs to supplement food already on hand, and allow flexibility. DH can throw the nights dinner in the crock pot or take out of the freezer to defrost when he runs home for lunch. I can end each day by throwing in a load of clothes, popping them in the dryer or on a hanger first thing in the morning, DD folding things and disbursing them to be put away once she is home from school, and never need the sniff test again. 

Twenty-nine years managing this family and I have had all sort of systems, and depending on the time in our life cycle, more success some years than others. I don't have the energy or the inclination now to spend my days off picking up the slack from the work week and with no real child caring duties, we should not let the house tie us down. What systems do you use to keep your family planned and in communication. Do others carry their fair share? We truly are in September now, and despite being out of school myself, this always feels like the real start of the year. To that end, I'll leave you with one of my favorite songs ever, from one of my favorite musicians. Welcome September. 








6 comments:

  1. I most definitely sympathize. I don't have the right approach, but spend probably 8-10 hours/week planning & organizing to make things easier. That includes: menu planning, shopping lists, to do lists, car pool schedules, nanny schedules, evening/am work schedules, etc. I definitely feel like I have a part-time job as a planner.

    It's not glamorous, but when I don't have time to do it (i.e. when I'm out of town on a weekend), it's a disaster the following week.

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    1. Well I only have one at home now and don't travel any longer, but I don;t spend 1/4 of what you do on planning and organizing, so there is my problem.I've been trying to take some tips from you as well on the org department.

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  2. I'm with ya... Work is nuts, and home cleaning is nuts. I was asked last night what's for supper and I said, "I've got nothing..." I meant that I have no idea... I had had a late lunch at 4pm so I didn't even think about it. You're all grown ups here, feed yourselves!!!

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    1. So true. Wednesday I made three suggestions that all had noses turned up, so I said, "fine. Eat what you want." and that's what each of us did. Not quite what I a going for.

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  3. Having managed my four on my own throughout their formative years I think I've blocked the horror out lol. I now have only one at home and he's now 22 so getting there with communication and managing his own life. I've never been that organised however so how I managed to get them all off to school in clean uniforms and work full time I'm not sure but we've all survived and still like each other so it happened somehow. We cook enough for three each evening and if my youngest doesn't want it fine we use it up the next day and he gets his own.You will be out of this phase before you know it Sam so I would say embrace it if you can stop stressing lol

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    1. I have so much respect for single parents-how someone does alone what I struggle with two is amazing. Oh,I'll always be a stresser lol, it's in my DNA but you are right.

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