First, let me say that as kids get older it does not get easier. Life evolves at each stage and changes. No stage is easier. Multiple older children can interrupt repeatedly, go outside to play, make a huge mess, and write with a pencil in the bathroom sink if not busy. The age group I am referring to is 4 – 11.
Having one do chores with me has helped. My older two, who one is mischievous together are scheduled to do piano, art, build with legos or something that I know will keep them occupied. As I try to do a few easy chores I check in periodically. Boys will be boys. A saying that as mine get older, I now understand.
Some day’s I get a lot accomplished, and some day’s I don’t. Now, with my schedule I do get more done. At the end of the day if something has been cleaned, everyone is fed and the laundry is finished I am happy.
Household Management Obligations
I think as mother’s we feel the obligation to run the home, get to the laundry, cook the meals, clean the home, take care of the kids and get them to all of their activities. All of this AND maintain a clean home.
I am overwhelmed just looking at my list some days. To avoid living stressed out, and still spend time with my kids setting up a cleaning system and time really helped. My kids know that it is my time to clean. This is not a long time in the day, but has to be respected.
I explained that we do not want to live in a dirty home, or one that we are walking over stuff to find the door.
When to Schedule my Chores
When the baby is sleeping I can wash the dishes or run down and throw in the laundry. I will grab the coloring book, crayons and some drawing paper. I take my five year old with me everywhere. He likes to jump out from behind doors and scare me to death. When deep in thought this can rattle a mom with a chore list.
Don’t get me wrong, it is cute and I love it. Just when I am playing along. I had to set a specific time to do chores . That way, I grab a handful of my index cards and start working. Setting a timer helps to give me boundaries.
Setting a Cleaning Limit
Because then I know that I have 15 min. and can get some basic housework done, or I can find a 15 min. task on my to do list. I live by my to do list.
If I have all of them at the table together it is usually drawing/coloring time. (he is working toward a regular sleep schedule) then they are safe and I have them in my view at all times. At the end of my 15 min. the timer will go off. Both kids will run to shut off the timer and know that I will sit down and color or play with them for a few min.
I will try this two or three times a day. We get alot of coloring done, some work, some fun, and some school done.
Choosing a Cleaning Task
Mark the most important cleaning task. Do that first. I work methodically with a list. Otherwise, I get distracted and lose focus.
I am realistic and know my kids will not sit at the table for hours. My cleaning timer is not usually set for more than 20 minutes.
No, it won’t be perfect, but it will be done.
A full house means a lot of dirt. the children do the chores in the morning, so I pick up the afternoon. It helps to keep our home somewhat company ready at all times.
I don’t operate well in chaos. For me to be relaxed the basics have to be completed, and something marked off of my cleaning list. Training my children to help with chores is ongoing. Just as, training them to read, play quietly, or color at the table while I clean is important.
Cleaning has taken a back seat on the weekends because I am too busy. For deeper cleaning I wait until my husband is home. He plays with the kids or takes them outside while I dive into my task.
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