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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Mommy Does When the Kids are in Bed

Sometimes I get massively frustrated by the fact that my dearest husband is so darn laid back.  It’s difficult to get a real opinion out of him since he is mostly just happy to go with whatever I want.  Some of you may think that’s great, but when its like that all of the time it starts to feel rather one sided and I keep thinking in the back of my mind someday he’ll just blow up and say “Actually I hate all of your ideas and we should have never done a single one!”

But it’s also a blessing.  He is so flexible and will let me do and try things all the time and doesn’t argue against my crazy ideas most of the time.  Right now is one of the times I greatly appreciate his laid-back-ness because I have projects brewing in my house.

In response to my recent post about my crazy children I have made a game plan.  As a good wife I ran all of my ideas and plans by Justin and in his typical Justin fashion I got “sure”.  So “sure” means run with it Raych! And running I am doing.

Project 1: Visual Schedule

I am making this HUGE schedule for the kids that breaks down their day into 30 minute increments with pictures of what they should be doing during this time.  Something I read said that instead of making the parents the “enforcer” giving the children an opportunity to fight back, make the “rules” the enforcer with the parents to follow through when a rule is broken.  How does this play out? 

An example could be right now it is 7:00 and the kids are making a mess.  I can point to the schedule and say here is the time, what should we be doing right now?  The answer would be brushing our teeth.  I then remind them that at 7:30 its story time so if they choose to keep making a mess then they will have to brush their teeth instead of doing the story so they will not get a story that night.

This will also help them prepare for what is coming and not be caught off guard.  It will keep us as parents accountable to the rules as well.

Project 2: Cleaning Up

My poor guinea pig children.  A friend of mine mentioned a great idea for helping the kids focus while cleaning up.  Starting this last weekend I have been setting a timer.  I tell the kids to follow me to the kitchen and set the timer on the microwave for say 5 minutes.  I explain to them they have 5 minutes to clean up their mess in the living room or any toys left out will be taken away.  Every minute I let them know how much time they have left to help keep them focused.  So far it has worked well for me.

I have also been taking away anything they do not use properly after one warning.  For example when Jordan thought it wise to open her pillow and start tearing apart the foam during nap I came in and asked her what a pillow was for, and when she told me for sleeping I asked if tearing it apart was sleeping.  When she responded with a no I told her if she doesn’t user it correctly I will take it away.  So 5 minutes later when she was doing it again she lost her pillow and had to sleep without one.

Project 3: Chores (The Resurrection)

After going through the Dave Ramsey class we started a “job” chart for Taylor.  She got compensation based on the work she did and only the work she did.  For example she would get $0.10 every time she dumped out the bathroom trash and $0.25 every time she put away her folded laundry.  So she could earn nothing every week or a few dollars.  We required that she split the money she earned into 3 even groups 1/3 for spending money, 1/3 for saving, 1/3 for Jesus.  We will change that Jesus part to a standard 10% once she knows how to do that herself, but for now she understands how to break things up into even groups. There is an envelope for each of the categories so she could take her envelope to the store and pick a toy, she can take her “saving” to the bank, and take her Jesus money to church on Sunday (of course we explain to her why we tithe and give money to Jesus).

I am now adding Jordan to the mix.  If you read my blog you know we are strapped for cash in our house so the “chore” budget is actually funded with all the change (like coin) we get back from our cash when food shopping.  It actually works out pretty well.

Each of the kids will have 5 “jobs” to do that they get paid for as well as requirements around the house like putting away their dirty clothes that they do not get paid for, but it is part of being part of the family and living together.

Project 4: Family Commitments

This is not really a project but a conscious effort on my behalf to ensure I have my priorities lined up.

God, my savior, creator, supplier, comforter, and peace is my first priority.  He gives me everything and I would have nothing without him.

Justin, my husband, companion, love, and laughter is my second priority.

Taylor, Jordan and Elijah, my children, blessing, joy and privilege are my third priority.

Family, Friends, and Church come in fourth.

There have been far too many days lately where I’m exhausted and put off things like family blog night or game night with the kids.  This needs to be unacceptable to me.  I rely sometimes on the fact that they are young and cannot keep me accountable.  Along with the schedule helping with this I have been praying intently lately for the energy to serve my kids by loving them and giving them the time they deserve to just spend time with me (and give Justin a much needed break).  Some of you saw the fruits of this prayer by reading a Tay and Jay blog last nigh for the first time in a long time.

So there is my long old blog about the Projects I’m working on.  I’ll post pictures and an update on how its working soon.

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