Have you ever had one of those days where it’s 9am and your stress meter is already on over drive?
Your throat is sore because you’ve been yelling all morning. You spent way too much time trying to convince someone that school will be fun today. More time is wasted finding matching socks for your kids and signing trip permission forms, while making lunches.
Driving to work with a pounding headache, you try to put some makeup on and blare music in an attempt to calm down as you start your day.
So many of my mornings were spent in chaos. I was fighting fires and just trying to get through most days. I had so many emotions. Resentment, frustration, helplessness, irritation and fatigue. I felt like the 1950’s housewife that had to do it all in the home, but I had a job as well!
I’m not a great housewife. I can cook and bake, but I hate cleaning! Cleaning in my parent’s house was a Saturday thing. It took up so much time. My mom would make me clean up before I could go out. So I have a negative affiliation with cleaning. It wasn’t part of my everyday routine in my own home. I could go to bed with a messy kitchen.
Many of my friends couldn’t do that, and that’s why they have clean homes. I didn’t expect my kids to clean up on a regular basis. I would just leave it, until it got too messy, or I was having people over.
One day after a particularly bad morning I decided to stop fighting fires and make a plan for having more organized mornings. I was trying to do it all, and it wasn’t working.
I sat the kids down and told them I needed help. I was tired of the fighting. I knew they could do more. I put together visuals so they would know what they needed to get done. We planned to make lunches the night before. They set their alarms a little earlier to have more time. I was still around to help, but I let them do most of the work.
One day my son got frustrated with me and said ” We do better when you aren’t around. Can’t you go back upstairs?”.
I didn’t argue or get upset. I stepped back some more, and I’m reaping the rewards! They do everything on their own now. No more screaming matches. No more frustrating morning. I’m proud to say my children are independent little beings.
Chores have become part of our new routine. It’s not perfect. Most days my home is still a mess, but it’s getting better. I have less resentment that I have to do it all, because I’m finally getting more help. And yes, I had the same conversation with my hubby. Now we work together as a family unit to get things done. The quicker we deal with the chores, the more family time we have together.
I’m glad I made a plan. We fall off the wagon often with chores, but I make sure we go back to the plan, or make necessary revisions.
* If you are looking for free visual charts check out my favourite free websites:
www.kidpointz.com or www.dltkcards.com