Time Management Tips for Families in the Real World

Wouldn’t it be great if everything always went as planned? Enterprise level organizations seem to get it right. They plan out bold visions, take action, and multiply success. Effective time management skills are a driver for achievement.


Things work out differently on the family level. Many don’t run their homes like businesses. The team isn’t made of paid employees. People are far more irreplaceable at home than in the workplace. And sometimes those irreplaceable people experience extreme challenges. When the person you depend on is suddenly thrown into chaos, some of it is bound to rub off on you; there’s no way you’ll be left completely unaffected.


Consider the case of an expectant mother who never thought her new baby would come as anything other than full-term. She plans as many new mothers do, building the layette, designing the nursery, and perhaps even lining up a few babysitters. She could not foresee the demands and challenges that arose as a result of her child being born too soon.


Having a preemie is not the only challenge that can make effective time management more difficult for families but it is a good example. Often, families have to learn a completely new lifestyle when their premature infant finally gets clearance to go home from the NICU. The health challenges preemies experience can result in a rigorous and demanding home schedule. Many new preemie parents find keeping pace to be a real struggle.


Never give up


Family struggles can make the ability to set and follow a schedule seem like an elusive dream. Just when you think you’ll be on point, another unexpected hurdle appears to throw you off track. And the emotional impact can make focus difficult to muster when you do find time to dedicate to a task. These effects can trickle through the entire family, transforming even the most well-oiled machine to a rusty old axle.


The frustration of consistently having your time management efforts torn apart by chaos can be depressing. Creating a schedule can seem pointless. Compound these effects with those of important tasks going undone and a sense of hopelessness may arise. Though the struggle is worthwhile when you are helping a loved one through a difficult time, the knock to your productivity can seem devastating.


Never ever give up hope that you can reclaim mastery of both personal and household time management and productivity. You will find that your persistence leads to evolution. You’ll gain experience and character as you work through hard times. As you grow stronger, you’ll feel the burden become lighter. And the good spirit of your dedication will have a beneficial influence on all those under your roof.


Practice makes perfect


Practice, practice, practice -sometimes we’d rather not hear that bit of advice. We think to ourselves, “please don’t let me have to go back to the drawing board yet again”. But what better way to show your dedication to hope and persistence for achievement than to put forth consistent effort? When you and your family face steep challenges, approaching the rough parts of life as lessons meant to improve your abilities can help to reduce stress and keep you moving forward.


Even if you were a very organized person before the waves of life struck and threw you off balance, it’s now time to approach personal and family time management as a skill you are working to acquire.  Separate the chaos of the day from the act of planning, thereby alleviating any fear of the unknown. It goes like this: You plan out a day, things don’t go right. The next day, plan again. Celebrate your successes and meditate over what didn’t play out as hoped.


As much as possible, make your goal to succeed in the planning session itself. Set aside a time every day to get at least this one thing done. Over time you will see that your strong devotion to doing this one thing at an established time will have a positive influence over how the rest of the day goes. It doesn’t matter at this point whether other family members cooperate. Give them and yourself time to adjust as you work towards a brighter future for all.


Communicate, communicate, communicate


People experience and respond to stress in different ways. Everyone has a coping mechanism. Differences in coping mechanisms can sometimes cause friction within a family. Somehow you all must get on the same sheet of music. The first milestone to restoring  a smooth-running household is to strengthen communication.


When one of your own is going through a challenge, now is the time when forgiveness must be paramount. Freedom is safety. If a person in your family fears self-expression with other members it can easily have a negative impact on communication. Issues that are brought to the table are more readily dealt with than those that are hidden. Over time you may find that unexpected turns of events become fewer, allowing your plans to stick.


This is time management for families in the real world


In an ideal world everything is perfect, predictable, and yields to your plans. Projects go as projected. Nobody ever shows up late. All the work gets done in the time allotted to it. No key task or commitment goes undone. But this is the real world. It’s a world in which imperfection is a key part of perfection.  It’s a world of learning more than of mastery and the things we think we know are often proved invalid. We live in a beautiful world.


So much of the hardship felt by families who are going through hard times is centered on the unavoidable stall in organization and productivity that results from their situation versus the situation itself. Many preemies, like our own Miracle Kaleb, get to live far beyond the NICU, becoming remarkable human beings. When Kaleb was first born, Rosie and Marcus, his parents, were forced into an adjustment period. Today, they are founders of The Gift of Life and Rosie is a successful author in addition to Mrs. Windermere International. Kaleb is a healthy young boy with a dynamic and admirable personality of his own.


If your family is going through a struggle and time seems hectic, know that we at The Gift of Life have your back and that you can make it through. Even with all their many idiosyncrasies, unpredictability, and challenges, families are the center of love on the face of the earth. With time, practice, and patience, yours can come to run smoothly again.

Does Having a Baby Change Your Life

Many parents to be and others that are not parents ask themselves, ”how does having a baby change your life?” Having a baby is a life changing experience that compares to no other.  As parents you trade late night outings for late night feedings, trips to the spa, convert into trips to the par. Your once tiny designer bag becomes a large diaper bag and your little two-seater sports car becomes an SUV or minivan.

As parents you learn to adapt to maybe earlier bed times, family centered activities and socializing with parents having babies. But what happens when you have a baby that is a preemie?

When you have a baby that is a preemie, your life will be a completely different lifestyle.  You will have wake ups every three hours to feed a baby that is tube fed, vs bottle or breast-fed, you can easily lose that bond with the baby, as some tube feedings can run continuous and some can run for an hour, depending on the doctor’s orders.  Due to the g-tube that the baby has, maintaining the baby in a position of lying down, maybe elevated to avoid reflux takes that bond that you could have with the baby breast-feeding or bottle feeding. You have social isolation, or as some people like to call it, a plastic bubble.  You say, why so fearful of germs?  Well you see,  a preemie baby is predisposed to a virus called RSV, which affects the baby’s lungs and can put the baby back on a ventilator and  cause death if severe.  Recent studies have shown that there is an outbreak of ” EV-D68 which causes respiratory illness.  The virus can be found in an infected person’s respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches a surface that is then touched by others.”

Social isolation with preemie parents is common, in that you miss out on play groups, church Sunday School, birthday party attendance or having people over to your baby’s birthday party, due to their delicate health. Your friends become those that take care of your  baby, your doctors, nurses, therapists and other preemie parents that know and understand their delicate health.  Why do we share this with you , you ask?









Dr Ajai Pic 2

Dr Ajai

Speech Therapist Barbie 2

Speech Therapist Barbie



Rosie and Marcus are parents of a 1lb 10oz  micro preemie.  Today Kaleb is a happy 6 year old.    Many birthdays and holidays have been celebrated at home with his grand parents and his parents only, because he has had on an off upper respiratory infections, causing him to be on breathing treatments and medications. As parents, we felt that we would take that precaution for his protection. He attends regular school with his classmates but also   receives speech therapy that helps him with eating better and is around other like children who were preemie and are on his same level.  It is a major milestone to have him be 6 years old , considering where he was when he came home 5 months after birth.  He came home on tube feedings every 3 hours, 18 doses of medications per day, oxygen 24/7, 2 types of breathing treatments every 4 hours,  heart monitors, multiple doctor visits per week and confined to your home, to await speech therapy three  per week for feeding, occupational therapy 3 times per week, physical therapy 2 times per week and it goes on…As a result, many who knew us and were our friends, stopped being supportive, due to our lifestyle not fitting in to theirs.  Friends stopped inviting us to their homes or outings because we had to cancel or decline a visit due to our child being sick.  Maybe he was  healthy but we could not take a chance during RSV season to expose him to the chance of getting it, for fear that it can land him back in the hospital on a vent.  Many said , “oh my you turned in to a germ freak” even some family said, “you have to let him get sick and not live in a plastic bubble”. Still others just quietly drifted apart.  You follow them on facebook and see their kids that you knew very well getting married, having babies of their own and wonder, wow where did the last 6 years go?  Do you really have any friends?



One thing as a preemie parents that we did learn, you have to be able to say, we came this far, we cannot let anyone or anything come between our child’s health and well-being.  If it means a small sacrifice of not going to a party or not having the neighborhood kids come by daily, then so be it.  But what you can do as a parent, is find other parents in similar situations and connect with them.  This is  one of the reasons that the charity The Gift of Life was formed, to help parents connect, to be a resource for them whether financially or emotionally.  Orlando lacks any support groups of this kind other than online and living in isolation with no one to speak to, is not healthy.  We are so grateful for the good friends that we do have that we have known for 24 years, they have been there for us through all that we have gone through, even coming to volunteer at The Gift of Life Charity galas in years past.


Terry and Renee, dedicating their time to The gift of Life( missing Beth, at a previous engagement)


Connect with other parents of preemies who understand …


Kaleb is 6 years old, born at 27 weeks weighing 1lb 10oz, and 12 inches long, he is a happy 6 year old weighing in at 35lbs.





How can you get involved to help?  Contact The Gift of Life and see  how you can make a difference either financially or volunteer wise to help today.  We hope that through our own testimony, many will come to understand what life in the world of a preemie parent is and that you have a better understanding of what these parents go through daily.  If you lack the words to say. sometimes just being there and listening and saying, what can I do for you today, can make a world of a difference.  Don’t ask a preemie parent what can you do to help, because sometimes there is nothing that will help, but there is always something that you can do and that is better phrased.

NICU Support Banner-01


Contact The Gift of Life:

Email: info@thegiftoflife27.org

Phone: 407-905-5454

The Gift of Life www.thegiftoflife27.org

Event Website: Christmas in the City

Facebook Page: The Gift of Life Facebook


Pin It on Pinterest