Do you ever feel like you’re a scatterbrained mom? I feel it just about every day! Let’s face it—there are too many balls in the air all the time, and some of them are bound to fall for a little bit before we pick them up and get them in the air again. It seems like no matter how much I try to plan and prepare for even the simplest tasks throughout the day, some things get forgotten, procrastinated, overlooked, or misplaced.

A few days ago, we did not have a very stellar morning. It seems like just about everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. We woke the kids up a little bit late, and they started getting ready for school. We realized that Jonathan hadn’t finished his homework and Kaitlyn hadn’t studied for a spelling test. In between mouthfuls of breakfast, the kids frantically finished up their homework assignments and filled out their reading logs, while I made lunches, passed out breakfast, and re-packed their backpacks. I was yelling out frantically, “Did you brush your teeth? Jonathan, go change your shirt, you put on a dirty one! Daniel, help Jonathan finish his worksheet. Kaitlyn, please check yourself and don’t forget to dose 15 for your applesauce. Anna, do you have your library book? Kaitlyn, how do you spell ‘aboard’?” When we were finally ready and running out the door, Kaitlyn said, “I can’t find my testing kit!”

I was thinking in my head, “How is it possible that you can’t find even one testing kit?” We have about nine of them, and we use them all the time, but for some reason all of them were misplaced! Unfortunately, this happens far too often at our house and not just with testing kits. It happens with a lot of things that we use all the time—hair brushes, car keys, TV remotes, cell phones, pacifiers.

Miraculously, we found the testing kit, and we all made it out the door with homework, lunches, library books, and everything else. We even made it to school on time, but when I was done, I felt like I had put in a full day’s work, and it was still 8:30 in the morning. I started thinking … there has to be a better way!

Here are some solutions I came up with:

  1. Plan ahead.

    Yes, I know this one is obvious, but sometimes it’s really hard to do. After a full day with five kids—cleaning house, homework, activities, dinner, etc.—I’m completely fried, and nothing looks more tempting than climbing into my bed. However, taking time the night before to make lunches, fill out Kaitlyn’s book for her lunch carb count, correct homework, pack backpacks, and lay out school clothes makes such a difference!

  2. Have a place for everything.

    I know, this one is also obvious. I can hear my mother-in-law’s voice in my head, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” When you have a certain place for everything and have good habits of putting it in its place, it shouldn’t ever get lost. This is easier said than done though! With five little people running around the house putting things out of place (not to mention the two big people that are also part of the problem), it’s really hard to keep track of everything. That is why number three is my favorite …

  3. Tether it!

    Yes, this one is my favorite, because it doesn’t take any effort once you get it set up, and it’s a solution that really works! For any item that gets misplaced consistently, find a way to tether it to a spot. We’ve recently done this with some spare testing kits, so Kaitlyn never needs to wonder where to find one. We attached a long piece of elastic to several kits and attached them to her bed, to the kitchen drawer, and to her seat pocket in the car.

Here’s hoping for less scatterbrained days ahead!

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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