Announcement: We’re hosting two more virtual sessions this week! This Wednesday (March 25th) at 5pm PST/8pm EST, Sarah is hosting a conversation for people running brick-and-mortar businesses trying to adapt to this global pandemic. The link to attend is HERE, and remember to check time zone!

On Thursday (March 26th), our very own Catherine Connors will host a conversation about managing teen anxiety at 6pm PST/9pm EST. The link to attend is HERE, and again, think about time zones!

Onto our intro…

People always think I’m a type-A person, but I’m really not. This is why I’m a great last-minute traveler (especially to emerging markets) and why I’m good at working in startups. I don’t have to have rigid structure to thrive. I am at my best in chaos. 

But chaos is about focusing and getting things done when there aren’t enough hours in the day. What about when it feels like there are a thousand hours in the day and hardly anything to do? It turns out that’s when rigidity and structure is comforting, at least for me. 

I mean, this is a silly thing to type up if you are someone who doesn’t require structure: 

10:30am: LEGOs

11:30am: Clean up LEGOs

11:45am: Nintendo time

1pm: Lunch

2pm: Family cleaning challenge

2:30pm: Walk around the neighborhood

3:00pm: Reading on your own

4pm: Baking with Apple Paul

5pm: Family board game tournament of Champions

6pm: Bath/dinner

And yet, this was last Sunday’s “schedule.” I’ve never once had a weekend “schedule.” Or any schedule for downtime with my kids. At first when I saw friends posting schedules for their kids, I was like “wow are they organized!” Then I realized it’s a coping mechanism. 

Where I normally need a to-do list to deal with an endless amount of things to do, in these times, I need schedules to create artificial constraints. To make things feel busier than they are. 

Put another way: We did have constraints on things we could do, but we didn’t have constraints on time. It seemed to yawn out in front of us forever. So we had to essentially create constraints on time to make the constraints on things we could do look exotic and exciting. 

“IT’S LEGO TIME!” ONLY FOR AN HOUR! ACT NOW!” As opposed to the reality of you could really play with LEGOs anytime you like because they are all right there in the closet… 

It totally worked. It helped me pace everyone through the day, and when I read out the schedule my kids were like, “Oh man! What a great day!” They felt industrious and busy without leaving the house. (Except for that 30-minute stroll.)

(If you have suggestions for how to liven this list up in future weekends, I’m all ears. Any other tips for keeping kids from bouncing off the walls? Go to our threads here and here!)

Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:

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