I read a quote a while ago that said something to the effect of ‘don’t compare your everyday life to the highlights of someone else’s life’. I think it’s so easy to do that with our constant social media fixes like Facebook, blogging, etc. I am a blog stalker for sure, but I usually do keep in mind that I’m reading someone’s best, so I try not to compare myself.
So, on that note, this post is NOT what happens on a typical day at my house. However, I have been trying to up my game as of late, and I’ll be honest, it’s a bit more work, but way more fun for the kids. And happy kids = happy mom. For reals. I gave a lesson at church the other week about the difference between housekeeping and homemaking right after I had tried this new approach with my kids and I think I need to make the switch to become a full time homemaker…
Our after school routine is just that. A routine. Somehow my kids don’t ever remember that routine though, so I seem to follow them around the house doing the “wash your hands! change your clothes! get out your homework!” reminders and it’s a constant battle to get them to do it. Like they think I might bag the stuff we do everyday and throw in a movie or something. Not going to happen. (well, maybe once in a while)
I did a test a couple of weeks ago to see how the kids would respond. I put all that stuff I usually say after school onto cards and made it into a scavenger hunt. Nothing new in the job category at all. I handed them the first card that said to put their homework on the table. There was a card on the table that said to go upstairs and wash their hands. You get the idea. The card in the bathroom said to make their bed and so on. I knew it would be a little more fun, but I wasn’t expecting the enthusiasm from the kids.
Seriously. When they read the last card that said “clean the playroom for 10 minutes then get your shoes on, we’re going to the park” they literally cheered. Cheered! We go to the park twice a week for my workouts, so they knew we were going to go, but they set the timer and cleaned the whole playroom. Talk about an ‘aha’ moment.
I’ve tried to do a couple more days like this where they might pick the jobs (and a few fun things) out of a jar, or maybe everything will be on a wipe-board that they can erase or cross off, but it does seem to help with the morale for sure.
The only downfall is that they are bummed when I don’t do it everyday. Which I don’t. Honestly it’s pretty rare. Especially with how crazy our life has been lately. I’m trying to be the kind of mom for my youngest kids, that I was when my 10 year old was young. I even made playdough with Geoffrey and then even played with him. Doesn’t sound like a feat? For me it was.
As we were playing I realized I have never even shown him the alphabet before. Seriously, I’m mother of the year over here. Apparently his older siblings have shown him because he did recognize 1 or 2 letters. Good thing he’s only 2. We have some time work so I won’t look like the bad mom come kindergarten.
Right now my mom and MIL are here so it’s almost like I’m on vacation. Almost. I’m out of heavy lifting duties until my arm and underarm heal, so no lifting baby. That right there has gotten me out of nighttime feedings for the last 3 nights. Now that’s a vacation.
Miranda’s baptism is coming up soon, so we have a house to clean, invitations to make and more family coming in town next week. I feel my vacation coming to an end. I did get the girl’s room painted before the grandmas came, so now they are helping me sew the curtains and bedding for the girl’s room. Spring Break starts on Monday and we have lots of projects and outings to do.
After the relatives are gone and I’m back to fending for myself and brood again, I’m planning to find more tricks to help make my ‘job’ more creative and fun. I’ll be sure to share if I come up with something that works. If you have something that’s working for you I’d love to hear it!