Mom’s Gotta Have a Great Calendar

calendars.jpgSome of you BirminghamMoms bought your 2010 calendar weeks ago (you’re the ones who you got your Christmas decorations up before the second round of Thanksgiving turkey). You probably have two versions to manage: Your portable, personal calendar and the family calendar posted on the fridge or a common area at home.

I enjoy the ritual of selecting my calendars every December, perhaps because I have an optimistic sort of notion that as goes the calendar, so goes the year. If the calendar is neat and functional, perhaps my life will magically follow suit and sort itself into tidy compartmentalized boxes, always on schedule and with potential conflicts identified and avoided. If only a calendar could assure this.

Moms need highly functional calendars since the kids’ appointments are our essentially our appointments. We not only schedule them, we gather any necessary paperwork (birth certificates, blue forms) and supply the transportation. It takes a serious calendar to keep up with it all.

The week after Christmas is a great time to buy calendars because they are 50% off and more. There is still plenty of selection up until the first of January, when it suddenly dawns on everyone else that it’s time for a new calendar. Don’t wait until they’re picked over. 

As a general rule, wall calendars work best for tracking schedules while desk calendars can also include to-do lists. Most family-type wall calendars have a space for each person every day. Some even include a small line to pencil in the dinner menu, which is helpful you are able to eat at home or if you’ll be leaving leftovers in the fridge for the next shift to identify and heat while you’re running to practice, ballgames, etc.

If you purchase a desk calendar, be sure to look for one with timeslots that go into the evening. While a typical work calendar runs through five or six p.m., moms of school age kids know their day gets busiest as soon as the kids get out of school.  

By the way, don’t overlook the simple desk calendars at the Dollar Tree. They have a few thin desk versions that include spaces for mileage and expenses, perfect for keeping in the car to track these items for reimbursement or tax purposes. Consider these recommendations as you kick off a new decade.