“When and where did I become such a rigid, structured person?” This is the question I have been asking myself over the past few weeks. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. But I used to be the ultimate party guy. Always up for some fun. Even after I ‘Grew Up’ and had settled into my career and had accepted the mantle of responsible, head of household.
Six years ago, Danny and I had just started the most challenging battle of our lives when we decided to adopt our three, wonderful children. I also happened to be experiencing the height of my career. Speaking requests, Interviews and contracts kept me busier than I had ever been. And I couldn’t have been happier. I was leading the life that we all dream about, but most never attain.
Multi-tasking no longer defined the key to my productivity. Hyper-Tasking comes much closer to describing my work ethic. Today’s technology has enabled me to literally do 5 things at once. And since I was adding to an already full day, I needed to do more than hyper-tasking would allow. I needed to schedule more than just my work hours, I would need to schedule my family and private lives as well.
In the early days of fatherhood, I quickly learned that structure was immensely important to not only the kids, but a smoothly run household as well. And the key to that structure was a schedule that we NEVER deviated from. Granted, there were times where people simply didn’t understand why we didn’t let the kids stay a few hours longer. But they were family groups that did not enforce a reasonable bedtime for their kids. We did.
Anyway, I mention this because after a few years Danny and I have learned that to be good Dadologist’ we needed to schedule out more than just the kids daily routines. We needed to do it a year at a time. We schedule everything we can think of. This way there is less chance of a missed event or having to change appointments.
Luckily technology allows us to auto integrate some things, like birthdays for friends and family that are on Facebook. We do have to enter in birthdays for the kids in the family, but only once. The other things we schedule are:
School calendar for days off, report cards and parent teacher conferences.
Yearly and quarterly doctor appointments for Pediatrician, Dentist and Specialists.
Weekly Extracurricular Activities like, Tennis, Art Club and Advanced Reading Club.
Monthly Community Events that we get from Neighborhood Association ie: Parades, Free Days for Botanical Gardens and Amusement Parks, Food Truck Fridays etc.
Yearly Events like Gay Pride, Christmas Light Tours, Seasonal Membership to Country Club and Pool, Seasonal Theatre Membership for Ballet and Concert Series,etc.
Family Vacation, Weekly Movie and Game Nights
So as you can see, when you add them all up and then include work schedules it simply becomes common sense. Another benefit is that we can now share these calendars with the kids to access on their smart devices. Talk about making our life more productive, yet allowing us to optimize the amount of time we spend together as a family.
Michael Harris -Arzon