The other day my newsletter shared some posts for helping you avoid overwhelm this new season. I also invited my readers to tell me their biggest challenge as special needs parents. I love it when my readers reply!
One fantastic reader, Karen, not only replied, but also took time to share her own scheduling trick. I imagine this will save many of you, whether or not you have a special needs child. Here’s what Karen said,
One idea about appointments that I am so glad I had last year, I’d like to share: schedule a week or two periodically for NO appointments. It is as if we have a vacation coming up, even though we don’t. I mark on the calendar, “schedule no appointments,” so when a medical office is telling me my child can be seen by a certain doctor only on Tuesday mornings, for example, and we are looking at that “sacred” week, I have to say, “OK, then we’ll have to go with the following Tuesday,” rather than acquiescing to the day they are suggesting. And if we are trying to fit in a dental appointment, and the receptionist asks about a date during that particular week, I simply let her know that week is unavailable.
It seems like a simple thing to do, but it hadn’t occurred to me before this past year, and I found that every single week had one to three different appointments. I tried doing the “cluster several appointments together, especially if they are all in the same distant town” idea, and also the “make all your medical appointments to be the same day of the week, and also use that day to do your other errands as well” idea. However, too often, the medical offices do not operate under that plan–for example, some are not open every day or the physician uses certain days strictly for surgeries. And by the time we’re done with two appointments in a town an hour away, we don’t have time for other errands unless we want to arrive home to make supper at 9 p.m.! So that didn’t work either.
When we found ourselves in one of those “no appointment weeks,” I can’t tell you how free I felt! As it happened, we still had unexpected things come up that were inconvenient, such as an unscheduled injury or a car breakdown, but having a few days in a row where we didn’t have to go anywhere but the occasional grocery store pickup or driving a teen to work, or going to co-op were quite refreshing!
That is indeed, genius! Thank you, Karen, for sharing your sanity-saving tip with us! Do YOU have a tip that saves your sanity? I’d love to hear!
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