Jenny and Bryan split up the essential maintenance tasks. He does the family's banking and post-office runs during his lunch hour, wolfing down a sandwich to fit it all in. She goes grocery shopping every couple of days (the kids go through 10 gallons of milk per week) and buys most of their clothing online.
But the couple hasn't figured out how to reduce the hassle of doctor visits. Jenny shuttles two toddlers at a time, leaving the other four with a sitter. "It's less hectic for me that way," she says, "and it's also easier for the office to keep track of their charts."
How to do it better: Several strategies could help the Masches get things done with less stress. "Bryan might find it easier to order stamps and do his banking at home, online," says Donna Smallin, author of Organizing Plain & Simple. Jenny could save time by organizing her shopping list based on the supermarket's layout; by creating a daily meal plan she could reduce her food runs to once or twice a week.
Jenny and Bryan definitely need to simplify trips to the pediatrician. One option is to call around and look into whether another physician has evening or weekend hours. They might also ask whether seeing six kids at once makes a house call worthwhile. "At the least, if Jenny can take three toddlers at a time and ask a nurse to help out, she'll cut out four wellness visits a year," says Tomlin.