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If you’re going to balance growing a family while running a business, you’ve got to minimize your decisions.
Otherwise, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed. And tired.
Decision fatigue can cripple your ability to get everything done.
And as a mompreneur, you must make many decisions during the day to answer questions like, “Can I…:”
- Have another piece of candy?
- Pick what show we watch?
- Take a bubble bath?
- Help you make dinner?
- Print out a coloring page?
- Sit next to you at dinner?
So many questions.
And each one requires an answer. You’ve got to stop what you’re doing and think for a moment before you answer. Otherwise you may accidentally end up saying yes to some crazy request without realizing it (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything! 😀 )
I know I have a point where I just want the decisions to stop. So I either give in and say yes to something I’d rather not (like another television show), or I snap and yell.
Neither are very good options.
So, in an effort to preserve sanity and cut some thinking out, I made a change back in 2012.
I decided to give my kids each a day.
What Does It Mean to Give Your Kids Each a Day?
Back then, I had five kids. I assigned them each a day of the week (Monday through Friday). Then I declared that on their day, they’d have some special privileges. They’d also assume more responsibilities.
And since it worked so well to minimize my decisions (and cut arguing!), I’ve stuck with it ever since.
Here’s a peek at what the child of the day gets to do:
- Select which seat to sit in at meal time, or if we go anywhere
- Help cook dinner
- Prepare the snack
- Pick the nightly television show/movie
- Select the activity for family play time
- Be my main helper in any projects
- Select the breakfast and lunch menu for our annual meal plan
- Pick the dinner theme for the meal plan
- Spend 1/2 hour of special time with me during Quite Time (and pick what we do – within reason!)
That list? That just eliminated many the questions I used to have to think about.
Now, I have more brain power to think critically about the other decisions. I have the energy to put into my business.
How to Set Up a Day for Each Child
When we first started, I let my oldest have first pick at the day of the week. Then the other kids selected from oldest to youngest.
Each following year, the next oldest got to start with the oldest going to the end of the line.
We select days of the week every July, when we’re doing our annual planning. I do this in the summer because we aren’t homeschooling, and I have time to teach the new chores and routines. It works well for us!
Before we begin, I grab a piece of paper and draw a quick table. Then I record each day, and note who claimed it.
We talk about privileges and responsibilities on the day. And I make sure to type it up before I lose the paper. However, my kids are pretty good at remembering who has each day, even if I didn’t do this step.
More Than 7 Kids?
Until Bryson was born earlier this year, I had seven kids. They each got a day. It was pretty simple.
Now that I have eight, I had to ponder this a bit.
I decided to pair my oldest and my youngest up. You see, my oldest turns 16 in a month. It won’t be long at all before she’s going to college or something.
And, my kids really don’t understand the privileges of their day until they’re about three and a half. Prior to that, they may pick a game or help pick food, but they don’t yet grasp the “it’s MY day!” concept.
So, by the time Bryson is old enough to care, my oldest will be almost 20. Yikes!
If we have more kids, I’ll pair them up with the next oldest. That way everyone will have a day to themselves for several years.
Just a Couple of Kids?
If you only have a couple of kids, consider giving them two days each week. I’d recommend not giving them back to back days though. Mixing it up a bit will help keep the excitement of having a day fresh.
How the Kids Benefit from Having a Day
I’ve discovered many benefits to giving my kids a day. It’s helped tame the chaos and minimize my decisions.
But, the benefits aren’t just for me! Here are five ways my kids benefit as well:
- They each get a chance to feel “in charge.”
- It’s taught my younger kids the concept of rotating days in a week, making teaching actual days much easier.
- They get special time with me, that was always hit or miss before.
- They have one day each week where they LOVE every meal choice.
- They’re learning to think through decisions and make good choices.
Minimize Your Decisions
After the New Year, I’ll be sharing more posts to help you minimize your decisions. Reclaiming your brain power is such a freeing experience!
It definitely improves your productivity when you don’t have to stop and think all the time.
Have you ever assigned days to your kids? Is it something you see working for your family?
For even more tips on growing a business as a busy mom, check out my course Balancing Diapers and Deadlines. You will learn how to get more done with less stress.
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.