Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All Set for September to Start

I am a bit embarrassed to admit it since it is nearing the end of October, but I am just now finally ready for school to start. Granted, my two school-aged kids have been attending school since they opened the doors September 4th but I have not organized myself until just now. Er, well, I guess I still have some organizing to do, but the one thing I really wanted to get set up is just now finally set up.
The chore and laundry schedule. (Insert scary "Psycho" music here, if you like.)

I had a GREAT one all set up for myself and the boys for the summertime, when they had all day to whittle away on their chores. But I knew it needed to be modified for the school year. The reality of soccer and school (oops, I have that backwards don't I!!) is that there are not as many minutes in the day for the boys to do their homework, have free playtime, read together, AND accomplish the healthy list of summer chores. Well, there is that time, I guess, but then there are no empty spaces in the day to have poignant conversations about life and God. And we can't afford to let that to be missed.

So a Fall Chore Schedule I did create. (High Five to me!) I will introduce it to the boys after school. They won't know what hit them.

The interesting thing I discovered in these past 7 weeks without a plan of action is that I tended to hand chores out on any given day based upon my level of frustration or stress. Frustration with my load, frustration with their arguing, stressed about meeting all the needs of the day, frustration with the incredible mess we lived in, frustration-stress-frustration.

We want our boys to be hard workers. We want our boys to be responsible. We want our boys to work diligently without complaining. I am pretty sure these past 7 weeks were not actually accomplishing that. I am pretty sure they were instead learning how to avoid them ("play quietly with your brother and she won't bother you").

I am thankful to have a plan again. It feels good to be unemotional and in control in this area (there are ENOUGH areas that I have little control with... more on that, perhaps, later). It is one less thing I have to expend energy on, that thing being thinking up the day's chores.

I have made a sheet that spells out each day's chores for each boy (and you will remember that my boys do their own laundry now...oh I have a funny story about that...). We chatted yesterday about what it really means to, for example, clean the bathroom or do your laundry. Expectations have been set. The boys highlighted their name everywhere they saw it. They taped the list to a place where they can see it. They know all about the "bonus reward" they can receive for accomplishing the chores well all week without complaining or reminders.

The other person being trained, here, is ME. I can now look at my piece of paper with MY chores on it and know what I need to accomplish today (and today only!) so that by the end of the week generally everything has been given the once-over. I am a quasi-perfectionist which means that if i don't think i can do it perfectly, I won't bother to do it (what's the point!). Having a week long plan helps me through the hurdle in my mind, allowing me to just be diligent in today's work knowing that the rest will take care of itself.

Let the training recommence!

1 comment:

Ginger@chirgies said...

I can SO relate to all of it. The being too overwhelmed to begin, the doling out the chores based on frustration level, the not getting around to creating a new system...

Might be good to dust off last school year's chore list.