I HEART September! It's a great month full of awesome anticipation for Autumn. This weekend I'll probably pull out my Fall decorations (even though it's still 90 degrees outside) and fill my home with scents of pumpkins and spices.
But before I can do that, I have to buckle down and admit something:
I'm a terrible, terrible housekeeper.
Or, more importantly, I'm a terrible, terrible chore supervisor. Person. Mom. Something.
I'm working on ways to improve this area of my life, since it affects my entire family in myriads of ways. I've read other bloggers' schedules and "secrets" to their housekeeping Edens, and I realized that they have something I simply do not have: Motivation. Oh, and self-control. Probably energy, too (at least right now. I'm sure once I have SIX kids to raise and I'm not pregnant anymore, all that missing energy will come rushing back, right? RIGHT?). I've read about how people can cram everything that needs to be done in simple chunks of time, leaving hours and hours for their personal improvement and wholesome recreational activities. I'm not bitter about these women and their schedules. I actually admire them, you know? I think it's awesome that they've found something that works for them and their family and it creates order and peace in their homes.
I've been thinking all week about what I can do to improve upon the things I already do right. Because I do some things right! I know, it's a shocker, but here are some of the things I actually get right as a mother/wife/CEO of a household:
1. We read scriptures (one-two verses each. Right now we're in Alma 30) every morning at 7AM. And then say family prayer.
2. My kids ride their bikes to school wearing clean clothes, with finished homework in their backpacks, helmets on their heads, and sometimes sack lunches (home lunch is something that has become optional because of my inability to care about making their lunches).
3. After school, the three oldest have to do their homework and piano practice before they can do anything else. I usually sit down for at least 45 minutes to 2 hours with #3 (see previous post).
4. We eat dinner as a family. I try to actually MAKE something for dinner. It's usually met with disdain and #3 storms out (again, see previous post) and everyone hates everything, but we sit down as a FAMILY, PEOPLE!
5. We always say a family prayer before bedtime. The girls will say their own personal prayers in their rooms after reading their books for a while, but either Brandon or I will listen to the boys say their personal prayers as we tuck them in.
6. We go to Church every week.
7. We have FHE every Monday night, even if it's only 15 minutes long.
That's about it. That's all I get right. Granted, in my eyes, I think most of these are the most important things we can do, of course --I mean, we're talking spiritual growth here, right? Celestial Glory and Familes are Forever awesomeness! But my list of failures is much, much, much longer. I can't tell you them, though, dear reader, because my therapist has me doing this new thing called "not talking bad about myself to other people" --as if talking bad about myself was somehow detrimental to my soul or something. (I like my therapist.)
My intent and desire is to get better at the much, much, much longer list of failures, though. I'm just not sure how to go about doing it. Yeah, yeah, I could tackle one task at a time, but that would be too logical, dear reader. And where is the fun in that? Here are some ideas I'm trying to wrap my brain around intellectually and emotionally so I can actually pull out the big guns and do it physically:
1. Create two laundry days a week where I actually A. DO THE LAUNDRY, and B. DO THE LAUNDRY.
2. Turn off the television for most of the day; make the preschooler and toddler do more outside play, coloring/drawing, puzzles, etc.
3. Implement more chores for the preschooler. That kid (#4) is getting away with murder, people!
4. Figure out how to get the kids and hubby to actually help more without it becoming a war. What I mean is, figure out a system where everyone knows the expectations, follows them, and/or reaps the awesome/evil consequences. I've been pretty good at chore charts (I even bragged once on this blog about how great we are with chores), but since summer, and my pregnancy, and school starting, and my pregnancy, chore charts are now outdated. Ignored. Laughed at.
Do you realize, dear reader, how hard it is to get anything done when you don't have the energy or motivation to do it? And your lovely angel-children take advantage of your said state? And try to get away with stuff? It's crazy exhausting, that's what it is!
And now you know my current reality.
Truth be told, I've spent a lot of time on this couch this summer, feeling sorry for myself. Trying to get up. Cringing inside when my husband has run out of clean garments (again!) and berating myself for not teaching my kids more responsibility. I mean, what if I died tomorrow? What the heck are these people going to do without me!?
That's why I need to figure this out. I have to get this done and settled and routine-ized before I tackle the ultimate "switching of rooms so the baby will have someplace to live and the older kids will have a taste of some freedom and giving away of toys to children who actually love toys since our kids obviously have no love for anything they own."
Help me out, dear reader! Please tell me:
1. What is your daily routine while your kiddos are in school?
2. How do your chore chart systems work? Do you implement rewards?
3. Does your husband have chores to do? Are they spoken or unspoken?
4. Do your kids get allowance? If so, how much, how often, are there stipulations attached?