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On the morning that I had planned to write this blog, the day went downhill fast (imho).

How appropriate. It was a Friday, and my husband and I were both at home and had discussed that I would work in the morning, until his scheduled conference call at 11:30. Our eldest had an acute hip infection so he was at home (instead of in school), and the youngest was rickety because of chicken pox.

Hubby would bring the only schoolgoer of todaty to school and then come back, so that I could go into the office. But he came across a neighbor with whom he went for a impromptu cup of coffee. So he was only home again at 10:20h. He forgot the time and his phone battery ran empty. I had a moderately good time with the kids. Because of the youngest being so tired, combining Lego supervision with my laptop was not an option.

I had arranged a conference call at 10 am, that had to be rescheduled. I also had a deadline for the day, so I had to finish that in the afternoon. At 7pm I wanted to do a yoga class, but if my hubby can’t finish his work during the day, he prefers to do it tonight. When I leave at the beginning of the evening, he starts working again when I am back (when the children are in bed and the kitchen is cleaned up), and so we do not really see each other when not in a hurry. S I skipped yoga because I was still angry because of his dropping out this morning and wanted to talk about that.

Situations like this one sometimes cause such stress for me that there is really only 1 best tip for a day that runs differently than you had planned. But for the impatient among us, like myself, I give you three more tips after that.

1. Press the pause button!

When your planning gets derailed, you are already too late for your next agenda item. So call off “for personal reasons” and take a moment to breathe.

Get a cup of tea that you drink mindful and still warm (rare for working moms, that’s why I mention it). Feel the warm earthenware or paperware cup in your hands and feel calm energy coming into your body. Consciously taste the tea that you have chosen.

Now ‘sharpen’ your ‘saw’ first for a bit. What are your priorities in your life now? What do you want to work on in the coming months? How can you best do that? Again, take a deep breath.

2. Plan B

Did you happen to have a plan B for the day? Otherwise you make one on the spot.

What are fixed appointments and must do’s for today? For example, pick up your kids again at school or daycare. Write those out with times attached. Now schedule in enough rest, because your stress level has to be lowered again.

After your appointments and sufficient rest, start with your deadlines and other priorities. Arrange for the day to run according to plan B.

Also schedule time in few days, for arranging a Plan B for the next day that inevitably will go differently than planned. Do you have enough babysitters on a list, you that you can quickly call on for back up childcare? Will you be discussing the schedule of the coming weeks with your partner? Do you know where your buffer time is?

3. Buffers

A week has 168 hours. You will sleep around 56 of that, which leaves 112 hours. Now first, subtract 14 hours. Then the number of hours you work and your travel time for work. Then you have left the time for yourself, your family, your household, your social life, your hobbies and everything else. That’s usually still quite a lot.

Please look again at what I wrote: first subtract 14! That is your buffer. You will need it if something is not going according to plan / intention. So fill your agenda after substracting your buffer, not entirely full.

4. Enjoy the ride

Life is now. Even though things are going different than you planned, you have time with your children as they are now; in a time in which you have plenty free resources to help you be physically fitter; in a decade in which you can build a whole empire with a laptop… And you probably also have the economic freedom to organize your life the way you want it to be.

So, even if something goes wrong, enough is still going well. Calm down and count your blessings. Enjoy the small and big things that you are grateful for!

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