Because I Needed Order... We'll See How it Goes

I did a Facebook post regarding my latest attempt to get my newly blended family of six organized. Based on the comments on my post, I thought maybe it would be helpful to share the tools and our journey. First I'll start with the post, then share the spreadsheet, and finally give you an update on our progress.


"My word for the year is BOUNDARIES! This word is taking on many meanings in many different applications. Starting grad school, getting married, having four kids, and working full-time has been an adjustment I did not fully anticipate - particularly in my schedule. Here are my steps to applying boundaries with teens, with our time, and our responsibilities (See pictures below). I am a systems person, my kids... not so much. Chuck is but his system is in his head... ya know, where I can’t see it until he’s doing his plans. πŸ˜‚ 

Don’t get me wrong, our kids are awesome and we are very blessed. Chuck and I have common values and goals, but different styles of management. Pastor Chad said something the other day about not calling an audible at the line after sufficient preparation has been done. YES!!! Oh my gosh, that is why I am so stressed out! I realized I have been making plans and then an audible is called at the line - Every Day. πŸ˜³ 

I feel like I have been living in a constant state of watching a suspense movie. πŸ˜¬ 

That is not how I operate effectively for very long, so something had to change. We all have to think ahead, think things through, figure out what we have time for and what we don’t, and COMMUNICATE. Also, Chuck and I should not be doing everything in the house when we have four intelligent and able teens capable of being part of the team instead of sitting on the bench on YouTube or SnapChat. πŸ‘€ #HelpMeJesus 

So here is the beginning of a new system. It will have to be tweaked, there will be times flexibility will be required, but having a plan in place makes dealing with things that are truly unexpected much less stressful. So, I am posting this for accountability sake. Ask me how our plan is working. Ask me if I am maintaining my boundaries. Ask my kids how they are dealing with the changes - they will probably need some opportunities to vent frustration. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‘ 

And encourage Chuck and I not to give up. I know this may be extreme and I own that, but I have to start somewhere. So here it is...Type-A, OCD, ADHD, LMNOP - spreadsheets and all. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ #prayersappreciated #painnowgainlater #dontgiveup #boundaries"



The following image is the spreadsheet I created for my kids, followed by a link for a customizable sheet. Here is how it works:

  • Each child must fill this out each week and turn it in on Sunday by 3pm. 
  • The top is for their schedule.
  • Each child circles a mealtime to cook.
  • TO DO/THINGS NEEDED is for school projects, field trip forms, money that needs to be turned in, anything else they need from us during the week so I am not running around frantic at the last minute.
  • The grey chores are for each child to do daily
  • The rest of the chores are selected by each child circling two chores they will do every day throughout the week.
  • The person who turns in the completed sheet first has his or her choice of chores for the week.
  • The last chores are ways they can earn money. We do not make them do these chores, it is voluntary, except taking the trash out. Someone will take the trash out whether they remember or not, but if we have to ask someone they do not get money.

The following is the link to a shareable Family Planning Page that is without our schedule. You can make a copy to your Google Drive or download the page to Excel to customize for your needs.


So far so good! Each child turned in their schedule on time. We officially started the week on Monday and have had two days of completed chores with no arguments! (YES!) The wash schedule is going smoothly and last night Brody cooked (with Chuck's help) pork chops, mashed potatoes, and peas for dinner. So we are off to a great start... with the kids.

To avoid giving the impression that we are in some 50's sitcom family where everything works out within 30 minutes... there were some challenges. One child was not particularly thrilled about the new changes and resisted turning in the schedule until the last minute. Furthermore, we were out of town all weekend, returned home on Sunday exhausted and thankful that most of the schedules had been done already, but still had to retrieve a schedule from the resistor. The resistor had changed his/her stripes and we did get the last schedule without any problems. So, the items from the last child's meal plan were added to the grocery list and we were ready to go for the week. Perfect!

Weeeeeell... on Monday I was supposed to cook the meal, which was butter beans and I forgot to put them on in the morning. By the time I remembered I was supposed to be cooking, it was too late to cook beans. Chuck to the rescue with a previously prepared meal that was in the freezer. WHEW! Also, the delay in getting the last schedule caused some confusion with the grocery list. Groceries were not ordered Sunday, no one went to the grocery Monday. On Tuesday we realized that Brody wanted to cook pork chops but no one had gone to the grocery. Chuck thought I was ordering groceries and I thought he was going to the grocery with the list. This miscommunication led to a loud and long "discussion" about who was supposed to get the groceries. (We argued, ok? Yes, we had a fight over groceries. There, I said it... I feel much better)

The long and the short of it is that the kids are doing great so far... the adults, however, may need a timeout. LOL! So, we will see how the rest of the week goes. I would love to tell you that I will update this blog on some regular schedule but I'm not even going to pretend I can promise that. I will update whenever possible, probably when I find our dysfunction amusing and feel the need to normalize said dysfunction through writing therapy for me and hopefully helping others.

Signing off for now... let's go have an awesome day!