When I became a mom, I discovered valuable crossovers between an administrative past and child-rearing present. Here are three things I learned as an administrative professional and what they taught me about mothering – plus links to FREE downloadable planner and calendar printables to help you conquer your own family administration.
Before I chose to stay home with my kids, I was a personal assistant and event planner. My days were spent supporting and coordinating the work life of my superiors, memorizing every moving piece to the events we managed. It was challenging work, full of reward and often exhausting, but I loved it.
During that season of life I learned three very important things:
1. The business of administration can be heady and hard work.
It also requires a high level of organization.
So. many. days my brain felt like it was swimming in the details and information of my work. There were always several concurrent projects that required timely – if not immediate – attention, and managing them would have been impossible without an organizational system to keep everything on task.
2. Organization is a gift that not everyone possesses in equal amounts.
Hence the need for administrative professionals in almost every field of work. If leadership is the vision that propels an organization forward, administration is the grit that gets the vision done.
This realization also helped me find grace when I had to work with people who weren’t quite able to match my organizational habits!
3. Everyone with “the gift” approaches organization differently.
There is a certain creativity embedded into an organized person that makes their systems and processes unique (that’s probably why why not every admin works well with every boss). There are also so many different types of calendars, planning tools, and apps available – not every tool works the same for each person project by project, and certainly over time, the processes get better.
When I became a mom, I thought my heady and hard organizational days were behind me. I was wrong.
If anything, what I learned as an administrative professional helped prepare me for my new role of mothering, and those three take-aways took on a new world of meaning.
1. The business of mothering is not only heady and hard organizational work.
It’s also physically demanding (and on little to no sleep!).
It seems everything in mothering requires immediate attention. The organizational stakes of child-rearing (not to mention home-managing) are high, compounding in intensity every time an additional child, bedroom, or new year is added to the life of the family.
Without some kind of system to frame out feeding schedules, and meal planning, and grocery shopping, and medical records (and on and on and on and on) keeping all the plates of family spinning and balanced is next to impossible.
2. If you think you don’t have “the gift” you better reach down deep and find it quick.
It matters little if you count yourself among administrative professionals or not. The only way you’re going to survive the tornado of motherhood is if you can find your organizational muscle and start working it out – immediately.
Mothering is altogether different from any other type of work. That being said, the playing field is pretty even. We all start knowing NOTHING.
The kind of organization you need to be a mom is something we all have in some measure, and can be grown. If relationships are the solid stuff of families, administration is what keeps that family running smoothly.
3. Every momma organizes differently, and that’s OK.
One of the most incredible things about motherhood is that it is a creative expression in and of itself. No two families are alike and no two systems of administrating them will be either. As moms we need to play to our strengths, find out what works for us, and then run with it.
Planner & Calendar Printables
For me, administrating my family and organizing my home begins with a good planner – the framework into which I can build our day-to-day lives – and, yes I still prefer paper. There is something fundamentally necessary to my own organizational systems to tangibly see the month-to-month and week-to-week spread of a paper planner. My former colleagues will laugh because the binders that characterized my office spaces, now characterize the organizational ebb and flow of my home.
I’d love to share with you the complete planner I designed and am using this year to help me manage home, writing and blogging, but also know you might need to customize it to fit your own needs. Listed below are links to 19 different planner and calendar printable pages to design your own family planner.
- Notes Page
- Monthly Goals – 8 Squares – 2 Page
- Monthly Goals – 12 Squares – 2 Page
- Year-at-a-Glance 1 Page
- Year-at-a-Glance 2 Page
- Yearly Goals
Blog-Specific Planning Tools
- Month End Worksheet – Blank
- Month End Worksheet | January-December
- Income & Expenses Worksheet – Blank
- Income & Expenses Worksheet | January-December
- Planner Cover
- Month Covers | January-December
- Month End Cover
- Editorial Calendar Cover
- Published Posts Cover
If you’re interested, take a look at previous planners I’ve compiled: