Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Take Pride In My Work

There's snack trash stuffed in various places around my house. 

Granola bar wrappers pop out from time to time to frustrate me. Usually when I think I have a room fairly well straightened up. 

That's when I find another stash of those bastards. 

I might mutter things under my breath that I can't repeat on my blog.

It's frustrating. See, I have a routine. Really, I do. I could bore you with all the details, but instead, I'll condense it for you.

I run around all morning getting kids off to school, and my husband off to work. Then I take care of the littles, and clean my house. I have a different routine for each part of the day. Morning, Afternoon, and Evening. Blah blah blah.

This routine keeps my house clean, and me sane. Me sane, is an especially good thing. And I take pride in it. I'm a stay-at-home-mom now. I want to be good at it.

There's been a problem lately, though. They don't go to school. That pesky Summer thing has been fantastic for having sunshine. But it's been murder on my house.

When they're home all day, even if I try to stick to my routine, it fails miserably. Because they are messing things up faster than I can clean them. I sometimes think I gave birth to the Tasmanian Devil. And then several more of them. And now they all live with me.

I'll admit it. I've kind of thrown my hands up on keeping the place clean. My pride has taken a hit, but my sanity has improved. I've settled for it not turning into a complete sty. That way when they go back to school next week, I can get on top of it again pretty easily. And I think I've mostly succeeded in that.

Of course sometimes I give someone a task that they are capable of, but don't include every last detail. Little things like "don't leave toilet bowl cleaner sitting out on the counter where anyone can get to it". So of course, they leave the toilet bowl cleaner out. Because if I didn't say it, then it doesn't count.

I'm actually at that point, that point I hope I'm not alone at, where I'm not sure which will really be more beneficial: Do I pester my child until they complete the task I gave them? Or do I stop asking them to do things that I know won't get done without major oversight?

When I worked outside of the home, my nursing assistants rarely didn't accomplish something they were supposed to do. I worked with dedicated professionals. But if I were to see something that hadn't been done, a simple reminder would be all it would take. They took pride in their work. Why don't my kids?

My kids don't just need clear and complete instructions, either. I also have to find the balance. Tell them too much, and half of it is forgotten before you've even stopped talking. So, I need to give them all the details they need to do something, but preferably in ten words or less.

That's doable, right?

Maybe I've have approached this all wrong. Maybe I should be having them do everything along side me. Together we will could make the house shine! And the dog will stop barking. And the birds and mice will work together too, to make me a dress for the ball.... Oh sorry, I was dreaming again.

Still, maybe I could have a little more of that whole working together thing. I could try. Because while I am all for embracing the mom you are and not freaking out over the mother you're not, I'm all for growth and learning, too.

I can play on the floor with them, sing songs, and have a blast. I can play with them and talk with them for hours. But organizing them to accomplish a shared task? It's like herding kittens.

Soon my house will be clean and I will have a couple of quiet hours here and there. But I think as happy as I'll be, I'll also feel like I wasted this Summer a bit by not pushing them (and me) to work together more.

That said, as much as my kids love each other, and they really do, they're also siblings.  To much more togetherness and there might have been blood drawn.  Just sayin'.


If you're still reading, thank you! I'll bet your house is clean and your cherubic children helped. If so, I'm totally jealous. If you liked this, click the link below which registers a vote for me, would you? Thanks. You're the best!
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  1. Um, no. My house is barely clean enough these days and I would say the word "spawn" is more accurate than "cherub." :-)

    There is a certain amount of working alongside that happens in our house, but I only do it when I assign a new task, and I work with them until I know they know how to do it. After that, there are consequences for it not being done properly. It works for us.

    I have no idea what it's like to have kids at school all day...like ever. Sometimes that sounds *really* nice. Like right now, when I keep telling one kid to go to bed...the one who is always on my ass, 24/7. *sighs*

    1. The consequences is a good idea. I think we'll have a family chat about what is appropriate and what they can expect. I want everyone to know what's going on.

      Part of me misses homeschooling. But not the part that is really frazzled.

      And you know you're awesome at what you do. Next year I want to come to your Harry Potter Camp.

  2. I recently discovered an app that helps with the chores in our house- Choremonster- the kids get a list of what they are expected to do and earn points for doing them (you get to approve the points). So far, it's been a big help, because they don't have to listen to me list out their chores or remember them, and I know there is an accurate list of what they should be doing each day. They earn points towards rewards- most of which are not monetary, and they get to use their electronic devices for something practical. They still have consequences for not doing chores, but more importantly for them, they get rewards for doing what they were assigned. It's cut down on lots of fighting and whining for us.

    I also realized, while my mom was visiting earlier this month, that my attitude can have a huge impact on how the kids see chores (and why I resent certain chores so much myself)- if the kids feel this is our home (versus my house), the kids feel a certain level of responsibility towards helping that I never felt when I lived at home. We all live here, so we all help keep it clean, happy, and functioning.

    1. I sure try to make it seem like a team effort for a shared home. I have no idea if I'm succeeding in that or not.

      I like the app idea, I will look int to that. I love the idea of carrot rather than stick to motivate, too.

  3. You are most certainly not alone!!! I can't wait for school to start, but I really want their rooms clean first. His is mostly done (we need to vacuum and rearrange it). Hers - not so much. I have to stay with her and keep her on task and ask her about every single little thing, whether it's something she wants to keep or not. Ugh!

    We started a chore chart for extra money, and they're doing ok with laundry and dishes. Of course, we didn't think to tell them that they have to make sure the Glad boxes are actually *dry* before they go in the cupboard... How long have those been sitting in there wet??? *sigh* I guess we'll wash them again then...

    However, my living room and dining room have stayed clean for over a week! I'll have to get a kid to vacuum this weekend.

    1. Go, Sandy!

      I have to get the girls going on their room. I've grounded them from being on the computer and talking to their friends until it's done.


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