Oklahoma City family fun in 2019 also includes what every family needs.
I've settled in with my new planner, made appointments and decided who's doing what where. We're getting set up for another year of the usual doctor appointments and looking ahead to birthday parties. I already know what services we use with our four children but am still seeking a few others I didn't know we'd need: an orthodontist, a field trip venue because I'm suddenly on a planning committee for that and maybe guitar lessons. Also? Swimming classes, because my first-grader is asthmatic so it's therapeutic and those life-saving skills are always something we want our future beach-goers to keep improving.
Finding the best value and what works for our schedule is a challenge with four kids. I know I'm not the only one, though, as I meet new neighbors and see introductions happen on social media. Our community is expanding, which means other families need resources too.
Whether you're new to the community or just need to change doctors or dentists or schools or realtors, we have resources to help with all that at MetroFamily. I think that service angle is sometimes harder to find because families come to us for our calendar and for local parenting info. That vantage point, though, also gives us an idea of what's around that you may not have heard of yet; I find out about new people and places all the time.
Here are three resources that can help you find what your family's looking for this year:
- The Education Guide: Every January, MetroFamily publishes The Education Guide, with open house dates for private schools, tutor contact info and field trip options. Here's what I've found out after a few years of parenting: I didn't think I needed a tutor or a private school. My oldest son is now in sixth grade and we've now visited both topics. Oh, and now I'm tasked with field trip planning, so it's good to know where to look. Even if you don't need those resources right now, it's important to know where to go when you want to look at your options. It's the focus of our January edition, which you can read online here.
- Family Favorites: I see so many people online soliciting advice about local practitioners, where to find the best OB/GYN, what restaurants make for the perfect family outing and where to take out-of-town guests. Anecdotal experiences guide me too; I always want to hear what has been great for friends in my area but there's also a guide for that tabulates thousands of nominations and votes from our readers: Family Favorites. I always check that too because it often confirms what other people are telling me or can serve as a tie-breaker. Basically, these are our "best of" awards with less emphasis on big box stores.
- The Everything Guide: If I could only recommend one resource to newcomers or just parents in general, find it all here. There's a link to our Party Guide there, moms groups and where to find child care. There's a directory for pretty much every need you have as a parent in Central Oklahoma. The actual print edition of The Everything Guide comes out every July; take a look at the digital edition here, which includes local shopping and family fun places.
The end of the year wrap-up was good at my house. I cleaned out closets and dressers and cupboards and reorganized our pantry. Donated items. Finally took in the dry cleaning. Wrote our will and set up guardianship and even wrote my own cremate-me-then-go-eat-sushi-and-read-poetry-in-lieu-of-a-funeral instructions. At some point, my family's going to put away the Christmas decorations and we'll wrap up other small projects, tackle the drawers someday. This Sunday, I have the day blacked out to get ready for the second semester of the year. It's always something with a family.
I'm glad to live in the age of the internet where everything is just a search away. Knowing what resources are worthwhile, though, matters now more than ever because my time matters. So does yours and every parent's. Make the most of it by finding what you need in one place and in the age of all things delivery, you can get our e-newsletters delivered right to your inbox here with all the top local info including weekend events. Subscribe here, because all that searching takes time. And time is in short supply over here, in this household, in most if not all households. No one ever says "Gee, I wish I had spent more time looking for things on the internet." Their childhood goes really fast as it is.
If you think of a resource area we're missing, email me. And if you know of one of those boxed meal services that's good, also let me know because I'm taking recommendations as another way to simplify life this year.
I know it's been a long break but enjoy this last weekend with your kids and do what you have to do to make everything easier this next half of the school year. Today is snowy but we'll all be looking at summer camps and swapping sunscreen recommendations before we know it.