Foresight- Part I

Have you ever been ready to walk out the door when the baby spits up – all over you?  Or the family is all strapped in the van when someone remembers that they forgot to use the bathroom? Tension mounts…

You know what it’s like to try to leave the house on time! It often takes longer than you anticipated when you aren’t the only one you’re responsible for! Children have a way of sucking up the few precious minutes that you thought you had to “spare”, and then some! The pressure piles on…

And how about the search for those last minute items that are essential to have with you – like the due (or overdue) library books, the permission slip for Boy Scouts, the shoes for ballet that were right by her bed…last week after class? Yes, you know. It’s a big job… this LEAVING HOME WITH THE FAMILY stuff.

I just described one often stress-filled event. I could have chosen several more to relay, but you get the picture. Life with little people can feel overwhelming!

I’ll never forget reading the following quote when I was a young mom.

Foresight is a parent’s finest weapon.” 1foresight

I remember reading that quote and then re-reading it. And then writing it down, and reading it again.

And then I remember that it hit me. Foresight = weapon. Hmmm. Life can feel like a battlefield. And if foresight is one of the finest weapons for this battle, I pondered, then I wanted to learn how to wield it with grace, dignity and strength!

And so began my quest to implement this concept of “FORESIGHT” into my life and home.

So what is it, exactly? This weapon of foresight? I call it prudence, thinking ahead, careful planning.2foresight

And the antonym? Hindsight. You know what they say about hindsight, don’t you? Hindsight is 20/20. Mostly, yes. But if I can have foresight, if I can think ahead and anticipate, I can oftentimes ward off potential stresses and mishaps… and maybe hindsight won’t be necessary?!?!  Maybe. Not always, but oftentimes.

So today I’d thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve implemented at home over the years to reduce chaos and confusion, stress and strife, in family life. (Reduce is the key word. Reduce. Not eliminate. THAT is impossible!)

Here are a few to consider for those of you with young families:

  • Plan one day during the week to run all your errands. Map out (the night before) what route you will take. And then be ready to leave right after breakfast. That’s when everyone should be well rested and has full tummies. And they’ll know that this is the day for errands… not what they have to do (go from here to there, get in and out, traps back and forth) several days each week.
  • Get them to pick out their clothing in advance 1clothes2when you have a busy day planned or a special event to attend. Then try the whole outfit on. Hang the clothes, tights, jewelry, shoes, etc. in a special spot so that when it’s time to dress, you have only that to do. (This is especially helpful when you’re raising fashion-conscious girls!) And then don’t let them change their mind at the dressing hour!
  • Eliminate choices. Or at least narrow them down so that it’s not too overwhelming. For example, at breakfast, serve certain foods each day (Monday – eggs, Tuesday – pancakes, Wednesday – oatmeal, etc) or the same food during the week (oatmeal) and your choice on the weekends. Everyone can eat the same foods. They know what to expect. They don’t ‘need’ to have several choices – we aren’t a restaurant! {This concept is helpful for many areas, not just for foods… which puzzle to put together, which friend to invite over, which books to bring home from the library.}
  • Routine is helpful. Progress through your day with as regular a schedule as possible. It lets the children know what to expect. After breakfast every day, we do ________________, _______________, and ____________________. Every day. That’s how habits are formed. That makes kids feel secure.

(Next week, I’ll share part II of “foresight”, listing a few more ideas to equip busy moms with a bit more sanity. Stay tuned!)

Foresight:  making wise choices about how you run your home, how you train your troops, how you plan ahead,1crazy to keep yourself from going crazy!

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