FamilyWeeklyPlanner10We love to plan. We are obsessed with it. And we don’t just make one plan. Oh no. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you with Plan A and Plan B. And, if you’re going to be professional about it, a Plan C is handy. Plan B is for when Plan A doesn’t go to, erm, plan but you still want to hang onto a semblance of Plan A’s proposed activities. Whereby Plan C is for when things get so bad you have to throw your hands in the air and give up. But you don’t want to leave it all to chance. Get me?

Planning is all about planning ahead. Yes, it does mean we start making Christmas lists in September (yeah, just blame us for the capitalist takeover creep of xmas) and buy our kids birthday presents for their next birthday almost as soon as they’ve had their last. But at least we’re not running around Oxford Street like a bleedin’ maniac on 24th December buying overpriced last minute inappropriate crap or shambling home on Valentine’s Day with the usual sheepish “Sorry, darl, i’ll make up for it tomorrow, I promise”. It means somehow our children end up going to school (did you know you have to apply for primary schools over a year before the child actually needs to go?) and don’t wear clothes two sizes too small when they suddenly have a growth spurt.

To plan properly you need a planner. Or two. Somehow one planner is never enough. One sits in the kitchen and gets bombarded with jottings, clippings and spag bol at irregular intervals. Another one is found deep in your handbag and comes out when you’re planning al fresco. As a consequence it’s usually full of crumbs and squashed raisins. Another one lives at work and is invariably full of (sadly, imaginary) plans you had for yourself, you know, theatre events, music gigs, after-work drinks, but never came to fruition. Yet others are specialised. I have a birthday book somewhere (when did I ever think I would own one of these?) which is supposed to make sure you don’t miss a birthday ever again. This is not true, of course, but somehow it does make me feel good to know it’s there.

Oh, sneer all you will at a mother’s obsession with planning or, as some call it, control freakery. Because if we didn’t, nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, nada, zilch, would get done or happen or, er, go to plan. It’s sexist and reductive, but do you know a dad who has ever managed to plan further ahead than where his next beer is coming from? I mean, I’m all for spontaneity, but if us mums didn’t at least TRY to keep things together the entire world would, in all certainty, collapse.

Imagine it. Never mind bank meltdown (a few businessmen take their eye of the ball), think of a world where PE/swim/ballet kits are still filthy when required, nursery trip payments are overlooked, and Granny’s day out simply forgotten about. A world sans clean pants could so easily lead to anarchy. And perhaps this is why mothers love to plan. Because while for all the rest of the planet might treat us as the drudges of society we secretely know that if we pulled the plug on it all utter chaos would ensue. Although, having said that, we’d probably have a Plan B in case things went too far…