One of the biggest challenges I have and I think most Moms have is how to get it all done or at least keep up with things....cleaning, laundry, errands, cooking, bills, projects, outside commitments, work, relationships, etc. It can get a bit much to handle and I don't think anyone has the answer, but there are some great ideas to help with the balancing act. Just like anything else you may read or hear about, you use what works for you and leave what doesn't. I found something that helps me and I thought I would pass it along in case it helps some of you.
I first found this on http://www.makeandtakes.com/job-jars, and she found it from someone else. It's pretty obvious, but I have made job jars for each of my boys. Before they can go out and play or watch TV or do something they would like, they have to check their job jar to make sure all the colors are up. If not, they complete their jobs and then they are free to go. The jobs vary according to child, age, specific activities, but I can add a job as I think of it. This is great for me because sometimes I say yes and I forgot that something needs to be cleaned up or they need to practice something or there is a project due in a couple of weeks that they should spend a few minutes on today. Most of the jobs take 5-10 minutes, so it's not really overwhelming for them and it's a great help for me. If I notice the trash needs to be emptied and I can't get to it right now, I just turn over that stick in someone's jar and they get to it when they come home or at some point during the day. If I'm cleaning up at the end of the night and I notice that the main floor needs dusting, I may do it myself or I may give it to someone else. I get to choose. If I'm feeling overwhelmed, I can make a new job and ask someone to help me out. You get the idea.
I planned on doing this last summer, but never got around to it. I'm hoping it will be a big help this summer and help us to have a lot of fun while still getting everything done. There are many more ideas.....small magnetic file folders that hang on the fridge with the jobs on clothespins, pretty clipboards that hang on the wall with checklists, a bowl full of job slips on the table and everyone picks one. Find one that works for you and help your kids help you. Once it becomes routine, you don't have to get after them about doing things. My 8 year old no longer needs a stick to make his bed - he makes it before his feet touch the floor. My 3 and 5 year olds get easier jobs like picking up the blocks in the basement or helping me bring things back to the right rooms. None of them need a stick to pick up their clothes - they all do that already. I'm hoping my 12 year old won't need his jar much longer and show initiative when something needs to be done...he's about 50% on that one!
This works for our family...maybe you'll find some inspiration to do something that helps you get things done while teaching your kids about responsibility. Once things get done, it's easier to say yes to the fun stuff!
~type to you thursday~