Do you get stressed just thinking about everything on your family’s daily schedule? I certainly do. One person goes here. Another goes there. The kids have activities scheduled at the same time, in different places. It never ends.
So how do you keep everyone performing at their best in everything they do? These tips will help you keep up with your busy family schedule and ensure your kids thrive with all of their activities.
~ This is a sponsored post on behalf of Country Life and Moms Meet. This post may contain affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are still 100% my own. ~
It seems like every year we add more and more to our family’s weekly schedule. Weekdays start with school. Then there’s the kids’ homework. In the evening, my oldest son has an hour (sometimes two hours) of Judo/BJJ four days a week, plus an hour and a half of soccer practice twice a week. Then games, tournaments, or competitions most weekends. And that’s just one kid!
In addition to pre-K, my daughter is involved in a pre-K speech program twice a week, has speech therapy once a week, and also dance class twice a week. …Are you keeping up with me?… Yeah, it’s a lot and doesn’t even include mom and dad’s schedules, or my youngest son’s activities, which will start coming into play next year. I can’t even imagine how much more hectic our everyday will be when he starts getting involved in stuff.
So yes, it’s a lot for one family plate, but we’re an all-in kind of family. And I know we’re not alone. But the big question is, how do we keep up with it all and ensure the kids are getting the most out of their activities? I’m going to share my tips and how I make it all work for my family.
First things, first. Without a family calendar, there’s no way I would be able to keep up with who needs to be where, at what time, and on what days.
Obviously, there are multiple types of calendars that can be used, so it’s all about finding which one works best for you. Ultimately, a large magnetic calendar works best for my family. It’s right on the refrigerator, where everyone goes multiple times a day, and can see just what they have on their schedule.
Taking calendar organization a step further, it’s easier to keep up with each person’s commitments when you color code them. Give each family member their own marker or pen color, so it’s easier to identify who is doing what.
With a busy family schedule, I personally find meal times to be difficult. My biggest issue is time. Most families will simply eat out when time is an issue, but that can get expensive and unhealthy when fast food is the go-to. That’s where meal prep comes into the picture.
Pick a not so busy day over the weekend to plan the upcoming week’s meals and prep them. Meal prep can be as simple as chopping up ingredients or measuring out spices. Or you can take it all the way by cooking the meals and portioning them out, so each family member can reheat their share on the respective night.
My favorite thing is make ahead freezer meals. I partially precook large dishes, freeze them, and then throw the dish in the oven to heat and finish cooking the night we need it. And slow cooker recipes work especially well since you can set it and forget it.
Meal prep is a sure fire way to ensure dinner is ready every night, even if your family members eat at different times because of busy schedules.
Keep Your Family Balanced
With a busy schedule, can come rundown family members. I always have and always will recommend, that if your child gets too overwhelmed or feels too overworked, take a step back. And that goes for you too! Keeping a good balance between work, school, extracurricular activities, family, and downtime is critical in keeping everyone happy and healthy.
If it comes to a point where a change needs to be made, assess what you can take off the schedule or at the very least, take a break from. Determine what your family’s priorities are and take it from there. It may mean someone has to give something up, but your family’s health and well-being is more important than all the extra things on the schedule.
What’s the point of having a busy schedule if your family isn’t thriving in everything they do?
Considering my kids are involved in so much and we’re always going from one activity to the next, I make it a point to ensure their health is balanced, both mentally and physically. It’s the only way their little minds and bodies are able to keep up with everything they have on our family schedule. And believe it or not, it all starts in the gut!
Gut Health for Kids
If you’re going to keep a busy family schedule, it’s essential to keep everyone healthy. Going nonstop, day after day, will take a toll on anyone, but most especially kids. Did you know 70% of the entire immune system is found in the gut? That makes a healthy intestinal microbiome a major factor in a child’s growth and development.
I was recently introduced to Gut Connection Kids by Country Life, which offers a variety of prebiotic supplements for kids – Immune Balance, Cognitive Balance, Digestive Balance, and Sleep Balance. Each one is scientifically formulated to connect the gut to individual health issues, all of which can be suffered when you have a tight schedule.
When deciding which of these prebiotics would most help my kids in their stride towards balanced mental and physical health, I realized they would all come in handy.
- Immune Balance for energy and some pep in the step.
- Cognitive Balance to help with focus, especially during school hours to ensure maximum learning ability.
- Digestive Balance for my picky eating son and his digestive issues as a result of that.
- And Sleep Balance is every parent’s dream, helping kids fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. No one can fully recharge if they have disturbances in their sleep patterns.
My kids have only been taking the Gut Connection Kids supplements for about two weeks. In that short amount of time, I have seen a difference in their performance in school, as well as an increase in their overall energy. They make daily living look as easy as it gets. Based on our family schedule, the kids are up when they need to be, ready to learn when they need to be, and active when they need to be.
If you question whether Gut Connection Kids by Country Life are the type of prebiotics your kids would actually enjoy taking…because let’s be real, if it doesn’t taste good, there’s no way a kid is going to willingly put it in their routine…check out what my kids have to say about the taste and texture of the little purple chewables.
A Kids Take on Gut Connection Kids by Country Life
I asked my kids (ages 5 and 8) to describe the taste and texture of the Gut Connection Kids chewables and this was the response I got.
- Hard and crunchy.
- Sweet at first. Sour after you start chewing.
- Like a piece of candy.
A prebiotic supplement that’s like a piece of candy? Can it be true?
I’ve actually noticed that rather than chewing them up, both kids prefer to let the prebiotics melt in their mouth like candy. And I’m sure it’s an unintended effect, but they love that the chewables turn their tongues purple. It really does look like they’ve just eaten a piece of purple candy. And what kid wouldn’t add “a piece of candy” to their morning routine?
I did also ask my kids specifically about the flavor and whether each variety tasted different, or if they all tasted the same. The chewables all look the same with the exception of their different animal shapes, so I was curious. Turns out, all of the prebiotics have the same sweet and sour taste, obviously except for the Sleep Balance which is a chocolate flavored powder. Hello, chocolate milk before bed!
Gut Connection Kids by Country Life are also perfect for adults. Seeing the improvement I have in my kids, I’m ready to buy my own bottles! And with that, the whole family has balanced minds and bodies that can crush anything on the schedule.
If you’re finding yourself just sitting at soccer practice or dance class, like I often do, think of some tasks you can get done while waiting. Use your phone to pay your bills online. Prepare for your big meeting at work tomorrow. Compile a grocery list. Shoot, if you’re comfortable enough dropping your child off at their activity, take that time to go grocery shopping. Schedule doctor’s appointments. Research cheaper car insurance.
Anything that is on your to-do list, that you can get done while waiting somewhere, do it! You may have more opportunity in your day to multitask than you originally may have thought. Look for those multitasking opportunities in your schedule and make the most of your time!
Schedule Some Downtime
In the midst of everyone’s individual activities, it’s important to have some downtime to spend together, even if that means scheduling it in. During the week, family dinners may not be an option, but make it a priority over the weekend. If your family likes to be in the kitchen, cook dinner as a family. If you’d rather spend your time together doing something else, think about ordering dinner in.
Plan a family movie night. Pick a movie you know everyone will enjoy. At the beginning of the week, inform everyone of what you’ve planned and watch their excitement throughout the week in anticipation of family movie night.
Lay around the house and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s nice that everyone has their own interests and is making their own memories, but you have to make time in there for family memories too. Trust and believe, there is nothing too small or simple when it comes to making memories.
No matter what your family’s downtime looks like, it’s nice to take a breather from the hectic week, recharge, and not have to worry about being here or there.
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