I swear to goodness everyone in my family needs something at every minute of the day. I’m not complaining I’m just stating a fact.
- Scarlett has a very specific schedule (even for a 4 month old) that’s based on The Contented Little Baby system.
- Westley has his own schedule which includes nap-time, bubble-time, lego-time and of course feeding-time. (God forbid my husband is late making dinner, Westley let’s him know how unacceptable that is.)
- My husband has work, a devout yoga practice and the rare nap
- The two cats have dining demands that are almost as bad as Westley’s
- And I’m trying to run my own business and blog
Time To Figure Things Out
For the past few months, it seemed like my husband and I were failing at managing our house but excelling at getting on each other’s nerves. We realized that the root cause was a lack of time management. We tried creating a time management system by combining our own personal ones, but that was a no-go. It just resulted in more fussing, confusion, crying kids and hungry cats giving us attitude.The truth is we’re a young family and we’re still figuring things out.
Cozying Up To Cozi
After reaching the end of my rope, I did a little research for some outside help and came across this amazing life-saving home management system, Cozi. Cozi is an online Family Organizing system and it is frickin’ awesome. Pretty much a small group of techies turned parents used their expertise to create Cozi. Basically, this app helps a family manage:
- to do lists
- shoppings lists
- meal plans
- family journals
For us, as a young family, the calendar is the best part of the app. Like I said above, everyone in my house has their own schedule. With everyone’s schedule being in one place we were finally able to clearly see why things were getting crazy. The best insight was around dinner time. After taking a weekend afternoon to enter EVERYTHING that needed to be done on an hour by hour basis into the calendar, we could see why dinner time was the hardest part of the day. Prior to Cozi we were just winging it and the result was always the same – CHAOS! Using Cozi forced us to see that between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm we needed to assign the following tasks versus shouting back and forth to each other about who was going to do what:
- Cook dinner
- Clean up after dinner
- Entertain/watch Westley while cooking dinner
- Get Scarlett to sleep for her evening nap
- Sit down to enjoy dinner
- Feed the cats WET food (their favorite)
- Pump breastmilk (this was clearly my task)
- Get the kids ready for bed
- Clean up the playspace
After seeing everything that had to be done, we could clearly see and anticipate the high-stress hours in our day. The schedule doesn’t make them go away, but it does make us ready to deal with them and in a productive and happier way. Now the dinner hour doesn’t cause tension or spark an unnecessary fight and instead, we all enjoy dinner time, playtime and the bedtime routine.
Our Other Favorite Cozi Goodies
The other goodies in the system that makes life easier are having the meal plan and grocery lists in the same digital place. Now when it’s my husband’s night to cook, he can check the plan from his phone and see if I’ve adjusted the plan versus waiting to see something written on a board on the fridge. (Sometimes, tuna melt night because Vietnamese Spring Roll night because I just gotta have a spring roll.) We can also update the grocery list on our phones and the other one knows about it right away. Again, we don’t have to wait till we get home to see if the other one added something to the list in the house.
There are other great features that come with the free version of this app. (I love how new family movie releases pop up on the calendar.) Below is a chart from Cozi with the benefits of its FREE and Gold ($19.99/year) versions.
Full disclosure here, we don’t use the paid for features because we’re rocking it on the basic ones for now. But we love this system so much that we may break down for the extra goodies. Also, you may want to check out the additional support and tips from the Cozi blog. They’re great for more tips and tricks on household management.
Hopefull, this lifesaving tip will make your home life a bit better. And if you’re already a fellow Cozi user, or have other tips for managing your household as a young family let me know. I would love to share them!