Nicole Avery’s 2011 book Planning with Kids did more than deliver a guide to organising chaos and making time for family fun. Written by a mother of five with a penchant for spreadsheets and numbers, Avery has tackled her role as wife and mother with meticulous attention to detail. The book largely draws her ideas from her notable blog of the same name. Her readership has engaged with many of the key aspects of her planning regime which includes: organising your family routines, meals and finances, and preparing for the different ages and stages of your children. There are some real gifts in between these pages, like cleaning using “the 15 minute block” rule or using her meal planner system ( I had a week’s worth of meals planned with a shopping list and all the recipes done in 5 minutes!). But for me Avery’s work is set apart by the fact that she doesn’t disguise the fact that life caring for a family is hard work and that every woman needs her own time and especially time with her partner.
You can read many guides and manuals about kid rearing, house cleaning and organisation in general. But rarely will someone tell you that time to build in your own rest is vital and an investment in your marriage is paramount. As women we need to do more than survive the daily challenges of planning life around kids, work and family life. We need to enjoy the life we have been given!
This is a book I would buy for my friends and a fun one to discuss with your girlfriends over coffee. I am open to using any new idea or tool that will give me more time with my husband and more fun with my kids. See my post about smarter shopping.How about you?