Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Step Closer To Domestic Bliss

Sunday afternoon, Chris and I sat the kids down and had a talk about chores. We've done this before. Generally it involves us lecturing them about doing more around the house while they stare at us blankly and sprint from the room the moment we stop talking. But this time we were prepared - he and I had made a list and taken notes and had a (semi) plan in place. So we gave them each their jobs, both daily and weekly, and explained in detail what we expect from them. I want to make some kind of chart with a way for them to check jobs off as they finish them, but I haven't figured out in my mind how I want it to look yet. I need to do it soon before this whole scheme loses steam. Four days into it and they are doing pretty well. They're needing lots of reminders and lots of me following them around telling them exactly how to do their jobs, but all in all our house seems to be tidier and I'm less overwhelmed. Because, in case you were wondering, four kids make lots of messes. And I really don't enjoy cleaning. I especially really don't enjoy cleaning up their crap that they literally leave everywhere, anywhere. Littlest Pet Shops in the bathroom? We got 'em. Crayons under the dining room table? Yep, those too. Dirty socks under the couch? You betcha. Jewelry and hair do-dads on the piano? But of course. Drawings and other art projects on every available horizontal surface? Duh. So hopefully this new chore routine sticks and I won't have to run around like a total lunatic every time we're having company, trying to clean everything at once. Well I'm sure I'll still do that, but at least maybe I won't be quite so frenzied.

This is what we've got so far:

Bethany     Daily:   Straighten up 2nd floor bathroom (including minor cleaning if needed), straighten up and vacuum family room, help unload & load the dishwasher as needed
                Weekly: Thoroughly clean 2nd floor bathroom, vacuum and straighten up play room
Connor     Daily: Straighten up 1st floor bathroom (including minor cleaning if needed), straighten up living room, vacuum rug by front door, help unload and load dishwasher as needed
                Weekly: Thoroughly clean 1st floor bathroom, mop kitchen, dining room and living room floors
Lucy         Daily: Wipe off the dining room table, help unload dishwasher as needed
                Weekly: Clean fronts of kitchen appliances, clean desk top in family room, dust living room and family room
Mattie         Daily: Refrain from kicking, biting, hitting, head butting, screeching like a banshee, throwing food on the floor, drawing on anything and everything, and so on and so forth
                Weekly: See "Daily"

More chores will be added gradually, but we thought it best not to throw their systems too much into upheaval all at once. The ultimate goal is to turn over all of the household chores to the kids, leaving me with more time to dedicate to soap operas and bon-bons. Can't wait...

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