Ok moms, this is a big part of where your two roles—mom and politician—are really going to intersect. As a mom, you probably already keep some kind of calendar…for birthdays, appointments, playdates, meetings, etc. Whether you’re planner-obsessed or can make due with some post-it notes on a coffee pot, you manage to keep things running. As a candidate, this is going to be one area where you’re going to need to step things up and make adjustments.
As a candidate, you will—ideally—have someone that can act as a campaign scheduler. That person would (again, ideally) put all of your upcoming events and meetings into a working calendar for you, and therefore be able to take meeting requests and sort them out. Maybe it’s your campaign manager, maybe it’s a dedicated volunteer, and maybe it’s your mom. Note: it shouldn’t be you. As the candidate, don’t fall into the trap that we often fall into as moms…doing everything simply because you know what you need when you need it. Take the time to get someone acquainted with your schedule, your priorities, and your family, and then find a mutually convenient planning tool. And let the scheduler get to work.
Important note for moms: this is going to get personal. You want to be really comfortable with whoever is doing your scheduling because here’s the thing…they won’t just be scheduling your campaign launch. They will be scheduling your pet groomer appointment, your child’s soccer game, your Tuesday evening sitter and your talk on local infrastructure. There’s no point in scheduling a campaign event only to realize it’s the night of your daughter’s school play. A good scheduler is going to be in touch with your family and your campaign team. Treat them well…because this person is going to be your walking, talking and super versatile human planner. Here’s how to best keep them connected:
We love google calendar. It’s free, it’s functional, and allows for multiple users, notes, and alerts. We recommend setting up a google calendar and giving access to yourself, your significant other, your babysitter, your sitter, your kids (if they are old enough to need a calendar) and whoever else has a significant role in your family as well as your planner and campaign manager.
Another app we love—also free—is Cozi. Designed as a family calendar, it includes all the elements of google calendar (and in fact, can synch with google calendar) but also has things like a message board, shopping lists (crucial), chore lists and a family journal. If you go this route, give access to the same people we mentioned above and watch as your life and campaign coincide.
A final note
Regardless of what planning system you choose to use, remember to take a period of time each week—maybe it’s a whole day and maybe it’s just a dedicated chunk of time—and commit to making it family time. It might seem ridiculous early in your campaign to imagine that you won’t have time to spend with your family, but as you get closer to election day, you’ll find that every moment could be filled with some campaign related work. Mark down a time, commit to it, and spend it with your family without fail.