Most people learn pretty early-on that they can’t keep everything in their lives perfect. To be mentally healthy — you have to let some issues in your life go. If you miss an event — or the food isn’t perfect — it’s okay. Then the kid comes along. You should never miss your kids events.
When a child comes into your home — you have to learn this same concept all over again. There are many reasons why it is more difficult to let something go when you have a child. Every person on the planet we live on — seems to know exactly what you should do with this kid. They also know exactly what you did wrong — if anything goes wrong.
What have you missed?
“That game you missed when she was in second grade was really important, you know?” You ruined her life, by not being there.” No one would be this ridiculous — but some have come fairly close.
“Did you have her wash her hands?” You answer, “why yes, yes I did.” “You must not have had her wash her hands — really well — because she got sick.” So you begin to learn quickly everything you are doing that will screw-up this little person. If you are working full-time and trying to grow a startup on the side — the family will likely need to adjust to this situation. You can begin to think one of two ways about the child situation. Either: this is not likely to do any harm. Or: everyone is screwed-up anyway. There is little in-between ground.
Every person on the planet knows a better way to do anything to do with kids.
You have to re-learn the principal that “everything doesn’t have to be perfect” and you will have to learn how to say “no.” One of the main reasons to re-learn the “doesn’t have to be perfect way” — is because now you have a whole lot of humanity mixing in your business. You will have to drop a few bad habits and re-learn other habits in order to keep everything organized.
The new calendar.
Your new calendar will have your to-do’s listed, as usual. The way your work items are prioritized will make a difference. Find and slip in small snippets of time where you can get your work completed — on time. Meetings, work to be done, speaking engagements and even “juniors'” events will need to be on your calendar.
Share your calendar with everyone.
You will want to have your calendar accessible so others can share it. Allow others to schedule themselves on your calendar. Whomever is scheduling your child’s events will need to be able to see where you have time open. Both of you can then schedule meetings and events in those spaces available.
Write everything down — everything.
If you cannot be available — like during your travel time or commute — make sure to block those times out as busy or meeting. You must have everything marked down on your calendar. These blocks of “block-out time are to cover your time — and butt. If you have forgotten it will take an hour to get to that meeting you have scheduled — you’re screwed. There in that hour will be your child’s parent-teacher conference that takes 15 minutes — and you will miss it — again.
Let go of some control.
If you have to agree with someone on a certain event — leave that decision in their hands for the sake of the time savings to you. This also minimizes your risk management and you’ll have a greater success rate of having the right time and place. Make sure of the agreement that every event will have all available information.
Have your child’s events entered on your calendar in a different color so that it shows up clearly. Don’t use red for this color, we can ignore red. Don’t worry about being absolutely perfect the first time you are getting your calendaring going.
Time saving hacks — read them.
You will need to learn how to do many time saving hacks, especially if you are an entrepreneur or starting a new business. Read and use time management skills for greater speed and efficiency.
If you don’t have an assistant you may want get a virtual assistant. Declutter any and all unnecessary work and other events until you have a handle on your child’s issues and events. You’ll want to have a master calendar at the home after you have a child. This way everyone knows where each parent or partner is in any given timeframe. After you are a rockstar at scheduling — and getting to your child’s events — then add the next steps.
Give yourself a shorter time to make your decisions.
Decision making takes a lot of time. Anything that you can do automatically — like a routine — set that up for yourself — now. Follow an exact routine for a while so that you don’t have extra time to think. Get up, shower, dress (determine clothing the night before), eat, brush teeth and leave for work. Some people use the habit: bath, brush, book bed routine. Meaning, shower at night, brush your teeth — hop in bed and read until you fall asleep.
However you choose to model your life after a child becomes part of your life, remember that it is your choice. It is always great to get recommendations and to read lots of information. It’s extremely helpful to gather a lot of helpful hints.
Your crazy job — and your sweet child.
When you are on the job with this child — it is work — and it is your work. You have calendared in all of your information — and left spaces to calendar in your child’s events. So even though you have a crazy, crazy work schedule — you can be confident that you will never miss your kid’s event again. As with any job — you will do the best you can — and you will be a tremendous benefit to this child.
Editor-in-Chief at Calendar. Former Editor-in-Chief and writer at Startup Grind. Freelance editor at Entrepreneur.com. Deanna loves to help build startups, and guide them to discover the business value of their online content and social media marketing.