The Notepad that Might Save My Life

I don’t believe I am exaggerating, this notepad is pretty darn exciting and will probably ultimately extend my life, or at least reduce the amount of stress each morning. The original idea came from Vicki, who made a notepad at the beginning of each school year to use for afternoon dismissal instructions. The pad included a place for the child’s name, the teacher’s name, check boxes for the activity (play date, after school activity, doctor’s appointment) and a place for her signature. I was enthralled by the idea – so much easier than tearing through the junk drawer looking for a clean piece of paper and a working pen.

Using this creative idea, I came up with one of our own. Every morning, especially with a certain girl-child, is a battle. When to get up, what to do next, what to wear, when to put on shoes, practicing the piano, making lunches, eating breakfast. I felt like a task master, and very often we would dissolve into yelling matches and someone would invariably go to school unhappy and someone else would spend the morning in a guilt induced fog.

Then came our morning task pad. All the tasks they need to do before walking out the door. Then I decided to add in the afternoon and evening tasks, and boy, are we in business.

I have to admit it was not that easy to make, since I am a beginner with Adobe Photoshop Elements. But, I used VistaPrint and they have a template to download, which was a good starting point. After much trial and error, I was able to make the form look the way I wanted (although I could never figure out how to get little checkboxes instead of dashed lines) and then I sent the image off to be printed. A week later, we were in business.

And so far, so good. The kids are using the system, there is much less yelling in the morning, and kids go off to school happy and successful, having already checked a number of items off their to-do list, and I can relax and enjoy my coffee.

What saves your sanity in the mornings?