I know we’ve all been there. We’ve had that morning where we forgot to set an alarm. We’ve had that morning where we forgot something that we NEEDED to get our work done for that day. Those days are bound to happen. I’ve learned that sometimes those bad days start to overwhelm us and we forget about how our good days are. So one late day turns into five, or one night of an entire bottle of wine turns into a week’s worth. We are human and can have these days. BUT…we need to recover!
My household has a mother, four children, two dogs, and three guinea pigs. At one point we also had four tadpoles who refused to frog out but thankfully they frogged out & are hopefully frogging away in a creek. Ever since I had my two girls 14 months apart I’ve put up schedules to make things easier. Many people don’t understand that people who have things like PTSD or other various mental disorders or problems will thrive off of structure. Children thrive off of structure. JUST BECAUSE you have a schedule posted or to-do lists around DOES NOT MEAN you actually go by them. You have to make a conscious decision to use these tools to make your days flow easier.
I have a daily schedule which, for privacy reasons, I won’t list here, but my days are scheduled out. I was in therapy after my divorce and I even have a scheduled time to worry about anything under the sun (to include what kinds of bugs are located on other planets)! I allow myself that time so that the rest of my day can be used to its’ full potential. There are days where I slip up but, for the most part, that worry time has been a lifesaver! My children all respond differently to the scheduled days and chore chart. My 13 year old sees what needs to be done on a specific day and will wait until a few minutes before bedtime to get his chores done. My 8 year old will do her chores the minute she wakes up! My 7 year old will avoid her chores until I remind her. My 3 year old will vacuum 24/7 but any other chores can be a battle sometimes.
I’m going to post my chore chart here, so you have an idea of how we do things. Now, something to remember with this is that sometimes we have activities. Many times what we are “supposed” to clean up on a Wednesday gets pushed back to the following Wednesday. I’ve learned that having this schedule allows me to at least get a deep cleaning in a month of each area and then spot clean as necessary. My house is never perfect. Sometimes I’m embarrassed of the mess because I missed too many days. However, setting a timer each day for 30 minutes to an hour of cleaning time and then just STOPPING. That’s right, if I’m not fully finished my tasks to keep my house organized I’ll STOP. This may sound counterproductive but I’ve learned the following week I’ll manage my time better. I’ll make sure I leave time to wipe down my cabinets. I’ll make sure I’m better at putting things away throughout the week.
Most of these days I’m working WITH the kids to organize. They respond better if I help them. I’ll spend about 20 minutes in each room to help the kids get started or finished. They LOVE this time. We talk about our days. We talk about our goals. We talk about everything. The great thing about this time is my girls have told me they want to be mommies just like me. All while doing CHORES!! Say what?!?! They are okay with throwing things away or giving things away. They’re good with compromising.
We have our good and bad days cleaning but if you keep the structure and make the chore chart with their input you’ll see that they take pride in what you’ve done together. They truly feel it’s their job and they’re helping you with the house. They take pride in making sure their pets are well taken care of. They make sure the veggies are cut once we come in from shopping. They help with dinner. They help with their little brother. And then…some days…they throw fits because they’re so tired from school they have no desire to do anything! And…those are the days we just skip cleaning & cuddle & watch a movie.
“If everyone is good at something DIFFERENT assigning chores is easy. Use their SKILLS and PASSION to find which chores they’re WILLING to do. Have the kids choose their favorite chores and their least favorite and find a way to COMBINE those chores. You’d be shocked at what they’ll do. They’ll learn to LOVE certain chores they always hated.” – Mess Hall Mom