Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Future proofing for mums

It's all the rage.  The government is always on about future proofing.  So are major corporations.  Future proofing is planning strategically for the future.  Getting organised.  Contingency plans.  Succession planning.  Making sure you don't get caught out.  Not living in a reactive way.  Change management.

Well, I think I know a thing or two about all of that.

Here's what future-proofing looks like in my o-so-glamourous life!

1.  Cooking dinner in the morning so that when (like this afternoon) the three year old throws a tantrum that lasts for about an hour, there is actually something for us to eat.

2.  Bringing the washing in as soon as it is dry, rather than thinking "O, I'm too tired.  I'll just get it in the morning", hearing it raining at 2.33 am and then watching it go mouldy as it continues to rain for the next fortnight.

3.  Checking to see who has wet their bed overnight at 7.30 AM rather than discovering the 'gift' at 7.30 PM when they are about to climb back into the bed - yuck, yuck, yuck.

4.  Asking 15 times between 7.55am and 8.45am whether or not the precious (usually tiny, usually obscure) item for news has actually entered the school bag so that mother does not have to deal with a melt-down at the classroom door at 8.59am when said item has not made it to school.

5.  Taking a packet of rice crackers to every event that lasts for more than 10 minutes so that the said event is 'I'm hhhuuunnngggrrryyyy - proofed'

6.  Going to a friend's house for lunch on a weekday that is more than 20 minutes away from the school and strategically anticipating that within two minutes of arrival, one of the offspring will vomit at lunch/have mild stomach-ache/fall-over and school will phone requesting my return.

7.  Succession planning - this is really a complex series of negotiations between myself and the 15 other people it will take to replace me if I am unavailable for one afternoon.

My succession plan (as outlined to my husband) goes like this.  "So I won't be around on Wednesday for two hours, so you have to take J (and her friends) to soccer, then take N to netball, I can get Mrs X to pick up B for music lessons, get A to walk home himself, ask Grandma if she can stay around a little longer to look after A2.  But then can you organise Mr Z to bring N home from netball .... and maybe Mrs Y could bring J home from soccer and then dinner is in the fridge and B will need help with the project on 'Exotic insects of the Amazon', plus A and J have to practice their music, homework, speeches and well, anyway - all the best ..."

8. Realising before 8.10am, that all the girls' uniform shorts have just been put into the wash and are now wet.  It takes half an hour for the dryer to dry their uniform shorts - can personally testify to this.

9.  Checking the bathroom before the important guests arrive.  aka - "disgusting toothpaste-covered sink/stinky toilet/personal embarrassment - proofing".

10.  And finally - making sure they all get into bed on time.  This is called "mother's sanity proofing".

Got any of your own?!!

6 comments:

Peter Sholl said...

Sarah said...

I love it! My life is so boring in comparison. Your's is rich!

Karen said...

I also find it helpful to hide the fruit in something opaque so that the 4 year old doesn't eat it all while my back is turned. It makes packing school lunches in the morning much less stressful.

JMS said...

Jenny you are freaking me out as if you are living as the fly on the wall in my house!
My main tip is to ensure that as child's hat is ripped off head and catapulted into boot of car, ensure no hats exit vehicle until following morning at drop off time.

Julie

allysonadeney said...

Jenny,
Love it!
Especially the crackers one.(5)

Two I would add.

1. Me sighting all homework on Monday afternoon so that I can gauge how much time is needed for the rest of the week. Not fool proof but pretty good.
2. Taking water and wipes with us everywhere. Mine are always thirsty and need cleaning up!
Ally <'v'>

Motherhugger said...

Yes, I wish I knew about that rotting apple in the schoolbag when holidays started, rather than when they ended...

Pip said...

Very good - you should write a book : )
I would add to number 5 a hidden bag of food so that when the 2yo eats all the visible food in your bag there is something left for the older ones.
Also - happily not relevant for you now - I should anticipate that 2yo's nappy will be filled in the last 5 minutes before a scheduled departure from the house.