Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 21: The Importance of a Plan

Today is talking about the ant and the grasshopper. Have you ever heard that story? How the ant prepares all summer for the winter bringing food into his shelter and does nothing but work all day long. Then there is the grasshopper who plays all day and doesn't prepare anything for the long, cold winter. So the winter comes and the ant is safe, warm and feed and the grasshopper is out of luck.

I've never really liked that parable. Does it have to be one or the other? Do you have to be either the ant or the grasshopper? I think the key is to be somewhere in the middle.

I've always been a planner. I like things to run smoothly and everyone to have fun no matter what we are doing. But becoming a mom put all of my previous planning ideas on it's head. I'm still a planner, but in a whole new way. Let me explain...

Before I was a mom, I would plan every detail and get aggravated with deviation. Now, I'm a flexible planner. I still like to plan things, events etc., but now there is so much more to planning an outing with a baby/toddler/kid in general and I've managed to become a lot more flexible and enjoy the deviations because they are sometimes the most fun.

As a mom, I've gained a sixth sense about what we will need and what could go wrong. I love the impulse of "Let's go to the park!" However, with a small child there is no walking straight out the door without a little preparation. I know every mother/parent knows exactly what I'm talking about. You can't go anywhere without diapers, change of clothes, snack, sippy cup or bottles, a lovey or something to entertain, blankets for smaller babies... Your list may be a little different and have some more or some less on it, but the idea is there, it's amazing how much a little person needs, even for a short while.

My solution: Be prepared. I always keep a change of clothes, diapers and wipes ready in the diaper bag. I also keep a couple small toys, a pad and pencil and a small book in there (my daughter is almost two so this is what will occupy her). I keep snacks in baggies in the cupboard so I can just grab a couple and go. I try to keep a cup of juice in the fridge all the time so I can grab it, even around the house. I don't always, but filling a cups takes 45 seconds and if I don't have to do all that other stuff then it seems like no time at all. With this preparation, by the time shoes are on, we are out the door no matter how impulsive the outing is.

Now, I just have to work on planning dinners better. There is always something to improve!

*Note: The challenge is associated with Joyful Mothering from the book 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae.

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