Monday, 27 February 2012

Writing it all down

Image from here
One of the things about going away for a little while, is that someone has to step into your shoes while you are gone. All of those little things you do to wrangle your tribe need to be documented, scheduled and handed over.

It is an interesting exercise. All those little details that you keep in your head, like, when you make a salad for dinner, which child eats what. None of the kids will touch capsicum, Nugget and Doo Dah like tomato, cucumber and carrot but the Minx only like cucumber and carrot (not cooked) and Dew Drop tomatoes and cucumber.

As the Mum, you just know that stuff. For anyone else, it is a mind field of fussy, whiny people to deal with.

So I am making charts. Lots of charts.

There is the "who needs to take what on which day to school" chart.

And the "who can do what for themselves and who genuinely needs help (as opposed to pretending so they get extra attention)" chart.

And the "where and when to pick up children from daycare" chart.

And the "what tasks/chores are expected of each child chart aka the morning and nightly routine" charts.

And the "what shirt to put the school kids in for their school photos" chart.

And the "when to do an essential load of washing to ensure sufficient school socks for the whole week" chart.

And the "how to manage the daily requests for lollies and other treats, asked one by one ad infinitum" chart.

I just know I will forget something. Probably a lot of somethings. Because as the Mum you just know stuff you don't realise you know.

What charts do you think you would need if you were heading off without the kids for a week?


Emily said...

The "how to relax and have fun while you're away" chart. Get cracking on that one - it's the most important! x

Miss Pink said...

I have to agree, and sometimes it's just not worth going away because you don't relax, you fret about not having remembered to add some detail or the possibility of what if x happens or x does this in reaction to that.
It's exhausting!

For us it becomes harder yet again with Greenie's egg allergy. He's just started wanting to go on Bluey's playdates and sometimes the other mum's offer for him to hang out too.
A couple of weeks ago I let him go play, and didn't even think to warn the mother of his allergy because I just know what he can and can't have. Luckily she hadn't given the kids anything to eat (they hadn't asked) and while I know both my kids are aware of his allergy and would speak up, they don't always realise what has egg in it.

Thing is, I don't even know how Mr Black would go if I went away for a week. Even though he is their parent too, he is at work before we start our day and gets home in time for dinner so by then I've done practically everything freeing up the evening for relaxation and unwinding before bed. It's things like, when you take Greenie to the library you need to sing along to the songs and do the actions too or he will see that you're not and clam up tight. It's things like asking Bluey how his day was on the walk home from school because if you leave it until you get home he's forgotten what he's done. That he needs to pack his own bag by remembering what he needs himself or he forgets what he needs to hand in/take out/bring home.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Don't stress, if there's an issue I'm sure you'd be contacted. Maybe you will come back and they all eat capsicum? That'd be cool.

Anonymous said...

Oh Im exhausted reading all glad my going away chart days are on the rare occasion I go away, just drop them off at their dads with a big smile on my face. Enjoy your trip xx

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

They sound like my kind of charts!
When I go away for work I leave detailed charts on a day by day basis.
My favourite is the 'how to bring them around when they chuck a tantrum or dig their heels in chart', with a hierarchy of bribes, rewards, consequences!
Hope you get some time to relax while you're away.

Funny thing I've noticed though is that when Hubby goes away for work he walks out the door without a second thought, he makes no charts, feels minimal guilt. Why is that?

Juggler said...

The exact order of bedtime routine. Not just the stuff they have do, but the exact order in which it must be done. Aidan will get most upset if you try to read stories before a shower, its always two storys (no finding stories like Where's Wally), during his stories he gets a Chocolate milk drink, but only made with the good chocolate (which is the cheap brand - yay!). When it is finally time for bed, we all have to chorus out "See you in the morn-ing Ai-dan". As you where mention these are the extra addtional things that we just know as mums and do without thinkng but other people won't.

Sounds like you are very prepared, have a great holiday.

Kelly Exeter said...

Ha! I had a very similar conversation with my husband today when he noticed I timed our 'return from mini holiday break' to exactly miss peak hour traffic. He was amazed I had factored that into our day. I told him he had no idea about half the things I do on a daily basis to keep everything in our household running smoothly. If I had to chart all the stuff in my anal little head *shudder*

Maxabella said...

You are trying to chart Domestic Thought which is totally impossible. Just get out of there and let the chips fall where they may. I bet they all eat all kinds of salad while you're gone too. Kids are annoying like that. x

Mama of 2 boys said...

Wowzers, that's alotta charts. I know what you mean entirely though, as whenever my Mum has come to look after the boys, even if just for a night, I leave a long, winding list of do's and don'ts. I'm sure she takes one look and wonders how she produced such a control freak of a daughter (must be dad's genes).
Haven't been over here for a while, so have missed a few posts. A whole week?? Hope it's not all work and there is some pleasure mixed in there somewhere xo

Diminishing Lucy said...

I have relinquished the charting. I still have lists. Not updated.

Makes me realise how FICKLE these children are!

Diminishing Lucy said...


Photographer Mum said...

The only chart I usually leave is "What to do in case of Asthma attack/Croup episode"
I also usually do a food allergies and a simple daily chart. I just can't be bothered with any more than that. My kids are fairly adaptable, few different rules at different houses. I cross my fingers and hope for the best in most cases, but then again, I haven't been away from them for more than 3 nights. I am sure I would be a lot more prepared if it was for a longer period.

Enjoy your time off :)

Mrs Catch said...

The only chart I make is the children's daily activities/sports chart. After that essay, I have writers cramp. If they're anything like mine, your kids will do everything opposite to what they usually do, so lists and charts will be useless anyway.

Enjoy your time away. The kids will be fine.

Anonymous said...

I realised this when I started uni a few weeks ago. Mr Karen and my mum handle Fridays together while I'm in the city. I usually end up sending 3 or 7 text messages on the train reminding them of things I forgot to mention. Like casual dress day today!! Or, dentist at 3pm for Mr 5 ... etc, etc. When you have to be on the ball all the time, it can be hard to throw that ball to someone else.
But I'm sure it will be fine!! Have fun. :)

Kymmie said...

Charts make my world go around. Okay, not exactly charts, but schedules. My mother in law has one, and we have one on our fridge. It keeps getting tweaked, but in case one of my step-daughters or hubby needs to look after the boys, it's all there.

Life is less stressful when you know there's a list.


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