I don’t REALLY spend all my days whining. It’s too busy around here to do much whining. In my down time, like when I’m in my queen sized bed all alone at night, knowing my husband is alone in another bed, far away from me, wishing we could be together, that I do the most of of my whining.
Or in the morning before the kids are up, and I’m doing my devotions in front of the fire. I get all melancholy, stare at the fire, and find I have a hard time writing in my prayer journal because I feel like I’m writing the same things over and over again. Asking God to just let our family be together again. I try really hard to fill the pages with prayers about other things, prayers for other people, yet I find myself still coming back, in the end, every single day to, “Please, just bring our family together again… and let us get on with it already.”
In reality, my days between my morning devotions and my bedtime are busy and that’s probably a good thing. Who wants to have too much time to mope and whine?! I sure don’t!
Since about the middle of December my kids have been sick. This is very rare for us. So far, I’ve been able to fight it off. I’ve spent most of that time though FEELING like I’m fighting. Never feeling 100%, but yet not really feeling SICK either. Just dragged out, tired, like the way you feel when you’re in your first trimester of pregnancy (and no, there’s no way I’m pregnant, if God’s going to provide us with a miracle, it won’t be that one!) I’ve been fighting with no energy, never feeling all that great, and just needing sleep a lot more then I normally would, yet not actually having the time to get even enough sleep. This has been making it even more difficult to stay on top of everything in the home.
Most nights are spent up til after midnight, either working, or just because there’s not enough hours in a day to get it all done. I find I can’t get everything done early enough lately, but I also like to spend some time with the kids before they go to bed, and also have some down time of my own. This means I’ve been getting to sleep around 2-3 am most nights, or should I say, mornings?
This really isn’t such a great routine. I need to get out of it.
I shared about my breakdown a couple of weeks ago after the first of the year.
Well, one of the issues was trying to stay on top of this HOUSE, which is for sale, which people call or email me to want to VIEW, at any given moment! To say I detest living in a ‘show home’ would be putting it mildly. I am SO tired of having our home for sale! I want to just live my life, have my personal photos on the wall, and let my family be who they are!
My kids and I are NOT neat freaks. We’re not slobs either, but we ARE busy people, who spend a lot of their time being creative!
Did you know that most creativity brings about some mess with it?
BUT, I’ll be darned if having our home for sale is going to dampen my kids creativity and learning processes! These messes though, the continual messes, do kind of get a little over whelming when you’re also trying to sell your house!
For example, Elsa loves to make cakes and is learning how to use fondant. She’s been spending any extra money she’s earned (or received for her birthday & Christmas) on fondant and cake making/decorating supplies lately. When she works on a cake(s) she uses the entire dinning table. I’m not going to stop her either. However, we also need to eat at that table, and… making cakes and getting creative with all her fondant etc. can take her DAYS.
Shaylah, on the other hand, LOVES to draw, write, and read. At any moment you will find drawings, pencils, pencil crayons, markers, even crayons, pages of writing, and then books, just about anywhere and everywhere. I DO encourage her (OFTEN) to put all these drawings in her art folder, her writings in her binder, and to keep all her ‘tools’ put away, but again, Shaylah can spend days on projects!
Julia, well she also loves to read a lot, but her biggest messes are in the cabin/studio, along with MY biggest messes. We both LOVE fabric, and we both hate to waste anything, so all our fabric clippings, unless they are too small for ANYTHING (which means smaller then 2×2 inches around here), we save to be used for other things later on. Waste not, want not, right?
All those fabric scraps, then all the fluff (Oh the fluff!!!) from all our cutting… well, we could vacuum twice a day and still have fabric fluff floating around the studio. Especially the bamboo velour, our favorite fabric to work with of course. The fluff that comes off that fabric while you cut! It’s incredible. When I’m finished work, even my eyelashes are covered in fuzz. I don’t bother wearing mascara “to work” anymore. Fabric fuzz on top of mascara… it’s not so pretty.
Then there’s Joshua. I won’t go on to share about how the work shop looks right now. My son is into mechanics, and welding, and all kinds of other stuff… need I say more?
Alesia, well… she’s a typical 20 year old and into hair products, clothes, books, movies, clothes, hair products, make up, and make up (oh, did I repeat some of those?). She also loves to cook and bake. I really enjoy her cooking and baking, we all do, so I try REALLY hard not to complain about the mess… too often. She’s been able to cook a meal for a party of 12 or more since she was about 13 years old. I’m proud of her for that! I just wish cleaning came as naturally as the cooking… lol She works out of the home though about 30-36 hours a week, and helps with the business too, so I feel guilty asking her to clean too often. However, cleaning as she goes… well I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
During that time I had my ‘breakdown’, I realized something needed to be done around here. My older two kids KNOW what they need to do. I don’t feel I should have to “nag” them to get their work/cleaning done (I won’t say whether my theory on not nagging ‘adult children’ actually works…). But I knew I needed to figure out a new plan of attack with the younger three girls.
We’ve tried daily chore charts in the past, but honestly, they just don’t work for us.
Then I got to thinking about how things are done at a “job”. Take some fast food restaurants for example. If you go in the bathroom, often there will be a sheet on the back of the bathroom door that each employee needs to ‘sign’ to show that they cleaned the bathroom at a certain time each day. This way, the manager knows when, and what, has been done.
I realized this could work in a busy home too. Having a list for each ROOM, rather then a list for all the children on the fridge.
Their bedroom, the upstairs bathroom, and the hall, etc. are NOT near the fridge. Having a list with those chores, on the fridge, just makes no sense to me!
So this is what I did! I printed out some pages, just simple chore chart pages, and then sat down with all three girls at the table and we decided what needed to be done in each room, and who would do each task.Then we made squares so that they could put in a check mark as they finish each task! These lists are hanging in each room, or on the doors of each room, where ever is most appropriate.
It’s been going pretty well. I think there’s always a lot of confusion for children if they don’t know exactly what’s expected of them. Heck, the same can be said for adults too! If we start a job and the boss simply says, “Here’s the job, now go at it!” how are you going to know just what it is that is expected of you?!
Now the kids know exactly what’s expected, and exactly what THEY each need to do in each room of the house. It worked out that in each of the larger rooms, there’s about 6 jobs they need to cover so each one has 2 jobs. That made things simple because we wrote those jobs down, then I let them each pick which of the two jobs they liked best! They all like doing different things and each was satisfied with the tasks they have to do.
For the smaller ‘rooms’ of the house, they each choose one room. Julia is in charge of the downstairs bathroom, Shaylah the upstairs bathroom, and Elsa is in charge of the stairs/hallway.
What’s my job? To keep on top of the dishes, and the laundry and do the deep cleaning where needed. We all felt that if they did all the ‘little’ things like sweeping/vacuuming floors, etc. (we have a VERY small house, these are SMALL jobs) then I would take care of the biggest jobs.
And that’s how we’re trying to stay on top of things in our home!
How do YOU organize chores etc. in YOUR home?