I'm tired of being a slave around here - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 11-18-2007, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids will not pick up after themselves. It's making me crazy. We have a small house, and I just can't keep everything out of their reach. It's one freaking mess after another, and it's always a fight to get it picked up. It's always more work than just doing it myself, but if I do it myself I get so angry I could scream.

Just now ds1 asked if he could watch tv. I said not until the magazines that he spread out all over the hallway were picked up. And I told ds2 he had to pick up the cards he spread all over the bedroom, with my help. Ds1 stacked the magazines on the floor. I had to then had to tell him that's not where they go. He said he didn't feel like putting them back. I told him that the tv wasn't going on until they were put away. He put them away. Ds2 absolutely refused. Well, that's not true. I picked him up and carried him into the room with me, where he proceed to pick up the card, and then throw them to the other side of the room. I told him he wasn't going to get to watch the program until it was picked up. But that's not fair to ds1. And what am I supposed to do? Spend an hour containing a 3.5yo in a separate room of the house so he doesn't see the tv? I then told him that the game was going away. All he cared about was getting to see the tv program.

This has happened not only with tv, but with getting ready to leave the house. It's a big flipping process just to get them to pick their shit up before we go somewhere, usually somewhere that is for them.

I had tried taking away any toy that I had to pick up. Well, that quickly didn't work. What if ds2 is the one who didn't pick up? Then ds1 doesn't get to play with it because ds2 didn't pick it up? And to make it even more infuriating, ds1 figured out that he could torment ds2 by taking out a toy that ds2 likes that ds1 doesn't care about, and then not picking it when asked. Then the toy goes away, and ds2 is upset.

So how is this any different than punishment/rewards? We've talked about my feelings. We've talked about working together as a family. We've talked about not being able to do other fun things because we spend time picking up. Blah blah blah. They don't give a shit, and I'm about to lose my mind.

Why do I have to even ask them to do pick up after themselves. All day long I pick up around this house, it's not like they don't see it modeled.

I'm about ready to get out a punishment chart and stick it to the wall. They are turning into little spoiled brats and I'm sick of it.
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#2 of 22 Old 11-18-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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I went through a real phase of cleaning things up and putting them away (in the garage) if they didn't pick them up when it was time to pick them up. Out in the garage meant that they were going away indefinitely. It really worked for them. I didn't worry about who made the mess. It was really a matter of cleaning it up. We all clean up at clean up time. If it's important to someone else, then by all means, pick it up.

Sometimes my youngest will get overwhelmed with a seemingly big task though (like a deck of cards strewn around). In situations like that, I try to break the task down and help him get it going.

I don't know, maybe it is punishment, but my rule is, if you can't take care of it and treat your things with respect, then you shouldn't have it. I point out that when everything is a jumbled up mess, then it is hard to enjoy what you have. I also have found that if I go through the toys and thin them out, then they have a much easier time keeping them tidy. It's been so long since I've done that, but it really makes a difference.

I hope you find something that works for you. I know, it's enough to make anyone crazy!:
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#3 of 22 Old 11-18-2007, 07:26 PM
 
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I know how you feel, my house is a wreck half the time and getting help is hard. What I am going to start doing is putting things up, and rotating toys and I see fit, if I can only handle 2 toys out this week than that's all they get. I don't think that you have to approach it like punishment. I think you can handle very respectfully, and communicate your feelings to your kids and tell them you need help or the toys need to be put up for awhile. Do it while they are asleep and when they ask for them tell them they can pick one to play with and when they are done its put away and another is brought out.
I think you need to sit down with them and tell them how you feel, you will be surprised how much they may respond...its worth a try.
Good luck!!!
I know how you feel about losing your cool, i'm there a lot also
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#4 of 22 Old 11-18-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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This may sound silly and trivial, but I have found that the way I phrase my directions tends to make a big difference.

Instead of:
"Not until the magazines are picked up,"
"Sure, sounds good -- you can watch TV after the magazines and cards are picked up and put away."

Instead of:
"Thats not where they go."
"Please put them back in the magazine rack."

Instead of,
"The TV is not going on unil they are picked up."
"We'll watch TV when its all put away, nice and neat."

I'm not saying I always talk like this. If I'm tired, or fed-up, I sometimes hear myself barking orders and making threats. I'm not pretending otherwise! Just saying, when I remember to stay positive, it does make a difference. Usually.

I hear that you've tried a lot of things, so probably you have already tried being playful? My kids respond well to:

- timing them with a stop-watch and recording their "scores."
- handing them a written list of task, with little check boxes for them to tick-off.
- having them race each other.
- having them use teamwork (pick up the magazines together, then pick up the cards together.)
Quote:
It's a big flipping process just to get them to pick their **** up before we go somewhere, usually somewhere that is for them.
Oh no, now see -- if it is somewhere for them, and they are refusing to cooperate -- then just skip the outing. It will likely only happen once or twice. But there is no reason on earth for you to wear yourself out arguing and cajolling them to tidy up so that you can take them somewhere fun. No way. I would remind them well in advance, "We are supposed to leave for wherever in 40 minutes. If we are going to go, xyz has to happen before that time." Maybe one more clear warning. Then if the time comes and goes with no results, then you go get yourself a good book and a cup of tea and settle in for some "me time." When they ask about the outing, just reply by saying that they weren't ready on time, so you are skipping it. I don't think its mean at all -- sometimes action (or inaction, in this case) speaks volumes more than words.
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#5 of 22 Old 11-18-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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I have a 3 and 4 year old--slightly different situation, but might help with your 3yo--and I've found that leaving out/behind works quite well--especially with the 3 year old.

This happened less than two hours ago:
"Please put away your bike now."
"You!"
"It is your bike, you put it away."
(I continue to clean up the mess *I* made outside)
"Please put away your bike."
"No!"
"Okay, then, A. and I are going to go feed the birds now."
"I want to feed the birds!!!"
"Not until your bike is away."

This leads usually leads to tears, but she puts the bike away, and then I make a big deal of including her in the activity. Since this works so well for them, I use it pretty consistently. The 3yo is going through a stage of testing different ways to not pick up after herself, so that means a lot of tears. The 4yo accepts that one has to pick up after oneself before the next activity and generally does so, although sometimes she'll try, "sometimes I like someone to help me"--and I usually do help, or accompany, but not do for her.

Usually the cleaning up is all together. Another trick I use with the 3yo--since the 4yo is usually compliant because she wants whatever comes next--is to ask her to do something, and if she doesn't, cheerfully ask the 4yo and then turn the task into a fun game with the 4yo while simply ignoring the 3yo. She usually immediately wants into the game. Works with teethbrushing, getting dressed, and other daily tasks, too.

We let them trash the playroom, but then ask them to clean it up with enough time before the meal, outing, etc. They still need our presence--to direct, to make sure the toys aren't just dumped into any old container, or whatever.

Sure--this isn't particularly continuum or things like that--but my sanity requires that my kids learn to do these things. If I had the kind of life where they had 2 toys and I didn't need to get them in the car to go places like the native people the continuum concept came from, I'd probably respond differently. But they have a lot of toys and can make quite a mess and my sanity requires some order. I don't have a problem with them learning that to get to be a part of the fun stuff we do as a family, they need to do their share. I'll sympathize with them--"Wouldn't it be nice if there was someone who picked up our toys after us? I'd really like someone to pick up my toys for me!"--but it's a pretty firm line for me.

When my kids are older, though, I'll probably put my foot down about their room much less often. Close the door...make them clean it once a month...
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#6 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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Quote:
This may sound silly and trivial, but I have found that the way I phrase my directions tends to make a big difference.

Instead of:
"Not until the magazines are picked up,"
"Sure, sounds good -- you can watch TV after the magazines and cards are picked up and put away."

Instead of:
"Thats not where they go."
"Please put them back in the magazine rack."

Instead of,
"The TV is not going on unil they are picked up."
"We'll watch TV when its all put away, nice and neat."
This helps a ton.. I also realized that a clean home was/is important to me and while yes we do have rules about hw we keep and respect property I had to realize if I wanted to keep a clean home I had to be the one to do it. Actually my biggest problem was ussually not my daughter but my husband . However as I set the standard and kept clutter in controll and got into a comfortable groove of clean DD followed.

Wife to DH since August 01 mom to a bubbly girl October 2002 and our newest gal March 2010
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#7 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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You could let them watch the Oprah that was on last week about the cluttered house My DS watched that with me this morning and tried to re-clean everything I had cleaned last night and tried to throw away a lot of his toys He said he didn't want to have a house like that.

My kids are usually pretty good about cleaning. Sometimes we turn the radio on and see how much can get cleaned before the next song is over. Sometimes we have a race to see who can clean up the fastest. Mostly, I just set expectations ahead of time. For example, tonight they were in the bathroom and I went up there, asked what they were doing, saw that things were starting to get messy and told them they could play with whatever they wanted if they cleaned it up. They came down about 20 minutes later and I asked if they had cleaned it up and they said no. I told them I expected them to clean it up and went back to what I was doing. They also wanted a popsicle so that helped incentivize them to clean up because I told them they could get it after they cleaned.

It also helps if I tell them exactly what needs to be cleaned up. They get distracted easily so I have to keep giving them things to clean up.

Also, make it easy to clean up. We have a two chests in the living room for toys so all they have to do is pick up their stuff and toss it in. In their bedroom, they each have a bin for toys so they can throw them right in. Plus, they have a hamper so they can just toss their clothes in.
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#8 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 02:17 AM
 
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I was stressing over this very thing a couple months ago. Then I took all of DS' toys and put them into 4 boxes (small boxes) 1 box is toys we play with now, 1 box is trash (ones that have a little piece missing or don't work), 1 box is to be given away, and 1 box goes into storage to be rotated with the "play now" toys every 3 months or so. I keep it so there is only 1 box of toys and it has taken a lot of stress off DS and I. I think he is actually happier because he has more room to play and doesn't seem to get overwhelmed with the toys. I've also noticed he is more creative, like using a cracker box for a garage since his garage is in the "storage" toys.
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#9 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I was really angry when I wrote the OP, complete with a little mommy tantrum of yelling at no one in particular and slamming a few doors. I've calmed down now. They're really not spoiled brats - they are very lovely children.

I guess I fjust eel like I shouldn't have to make a game or have incentives or any of that for them to pick up after themselves. I feel like they should just do it because it's what you do. I mean, they know we put on our seatbelts in the car. Period, end of story. And we've never had a battle about wearing seatbelts. In fact, ds1 will freak if we start to move and someone isn't buckled in.

Now, I get that not picking up your toys doesn't equal someone possibly dying, so the consequence doesn't compare. But why can't it just be a habit that they learn from us? Yes, occasionally dh and I leave some stuff around if we have to run out, but for the most part we keep things picked up.

I guess I'm just feeling like they are old enough for the basics - if you spread cards out all over the floor, pick them up when you're done. If you have a glass of milk, put the glass back in the kitchen. And it feels like way too much work on my part to make sure they do it.

I end up getting angry mainly at myself because the whole thing is so inconsistent. We don't have a whole lot of set rules, we don't have a reliable rhythm to our day, etc. For the most part this works well for us and our lifestyle, but I am really feeling bitter about the toy thing and don't know how to solve it.

And it's hard when there are two kids, because like I said in the OP, I don't think it's fair that a toy gets taken away because one of them doesn't pick up. And I don't think it's fair that the other one would always have to pick up the other person's mess just to keep the toy. And I often can't skip our outing because they choose not to pick up, because we have plans to meet a friend or have paid for a class, or whatever. And if they are willing to miss it instead of clean up, chances are they didn't want to go in the first place, so no biggie to them. They don't have to go, AND they don't have to clean up. And again, with two, what if one of them is refusing but we plans for the other one to meet a friend?

Argh. The whole thing really makes me nuts. And I guess it's the 3.5yo that's making me the nuttiest. I guess I have to readjust my expectations, but I also want to start putting some sort of "rule" or routine in place about keeping the house clean. I mean seriously, half eaten bananas go on the kitchen counter, NOT on the couch!!!!!
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#10 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 04:13 AM
 
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I totally sympathize!

My house is always a flippin disaster because dd(5) will not clean up after herself unless she's constantly reminded and ds(2) just pulls random things out and trails them across the house.

Its never ending. I wish we owned this place so I could put locks on every cabinet!

dd spent nearly all the day cleaning her room because she "gets distracted" and forgets to clean up. Its so annoying!

I wish I had a good solution for all of us!

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#11 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 06:04 AM
 
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No advice - I am not good at all at getting kids to pick up. The only thing that works for us is the "waiting for the bus" technique and even that to a point, because we are often very short of time and because that will only work when I am dealing with only one child at a time. When the two of them are together they will laugh at me and run away... that is so exasperating...
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#12 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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http://sandradodd.com/chores

This counterintuitive advice about not requiring cleaning up, has been so helpful to me--and my kids really pitch in more than ever. The phrase, "No, no, Mommy, I'll get it, you relax," has even been uttered a time or two!
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#13 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
Argh. The whole thing really makes me nuts. And I guess it's the 3.5yo that's making me the nuttiest. I guess I have to readjust my expectations, but I also want to start putting some sort of "rule" or routine in place about keeping the house clean.
I think, in the case of the 3 yo, this would be best.

Think back....how well did your 6 yo independently clean when he was 3? My 6 yo did not independently clean at all when she was 3, but she would clean up *with me* if I made it a game. Now, at 6, she generally cleans when when my requests are specific (asking to clean up a specific mess, not a whole room), and phrased as Mamaduck suggests. Holding her hand at 3 did not prevent her from cleaning independently at 6.

I think you probably do need some house rules about cleaning if the messes are making you resentful, but you will still have to be active in the process. Limiting the mess they can make is one place to start. I know that my dd's messes became MUCH more extreme as she started playing on her own. (without me in the room). If she is near me, I can notice when she is shifting (and leaving one mess behind) and remind her to "please pick up your puzzle" before pulling out all of her stuffed animals. So maybe it would help to have them play in the space where you are, or check in on them regularly.

Another things that helps is limiting the number of toys that are available. I rotate toys, keeping some in bags in the closet. That both limits the mess she can make/facilitates clean up, and also seems to improve the quality of her play.
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#14 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
My kids will not pick up after themselves. It's making me crazy. We have a small house, and I just can't keep everything out of their reach. It's one freaking mess after another, and it's always a fight to get it picked up. It's always more work than just doing it myself, but if I do it myself I get so angry I could scream.

Just now ds1 asked if he could watch tv. I said not until the magazines that he spread out all over the hallway were picked up. And I told ds2 he had to pick up the cards he spread all over the bedroom, with my help. Ds1 stacked the magazines on the floor. I had to then had to tell him that's not where they go. He said he didn't feel like putting them back. I told him that the tv wasn't going on until they were put away. He put them away. Ds2 absolutely refused. Well, that's not true. I picked him up and carried him into the room with me, where he proceed to pick up the card, and then throw them to the other side of the room. I told him he wasn't going to get to watch the program until it was picked up. But that's not fair to ds1. And what am I supposed to do? Spend an hour containing a 3.5yo in a separate room of the house so he doesn't see the tv? I then told him that the game was going away. All he cared about was getting to see the tv program.

This has happened not only with tv, but with getting ready to leave the house. It's a big flipping process just to get them to pick their shit up before we go somewhere, usually somewhere that is for them.

I had tried taking away any toy that I had to pick up. Well, that quickly didn't work. What if ds2 is the one who didn't pick up? Then ds1 doesn't get to play with it because ds2 didn't pick it up? And to make it even more infuriating, ds1 figured out that he could torment ds2 by taking out a toy that ds2 likes that ds1 doesn't care about, and then not picking it when asked. Then the toy goes away, and ds2 is upset.

So how is this any different than punishment/rewards? We've talked about my feelings. We've talked about working together as a family. We've talked about not being able to do other fun things because we spend time picking up. Blah blah blah. They don't give a shit, and I'm about to lose my mind.

Why do I have to even ask them to do pick up after themselves. All day long I pick up around this house, it's not like they don't see it modeled.

I'm about ready to get out a punishment chart and stick it to the wall. They are turning into little spoiled brats and I'm sick of it.
O-M-G are we long lost sisters or something? I am so where you are right now!! Not just the kids, it's the hubby TOO!

This could have been me posting this to the letter... (((hugs mama)))
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#15 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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I wrote the following for another list I am on about "Creating a Clean Canvas". It is a different perspective about cleaning not as a chore, but as a gift.

Our goal in our home is to live joyfully together. I am fully confident that our son has observed the process of cleaning many things as he joyfully shares in the cleaning activities of our home without struggle or pressure. When something spills, he gets a wash cloth out of the drawer and wipes it up; or he asks for help if something is an unusually large mess. And when I spill or make a mess, cleaning isn't seen as something that I am responsible for doing alone either. Our son is just as apt to grab a towel and wipe up the spill before me (without being asked). He always places trash in the trash can, without being asked. We have never expected him to do it under
direction. We model, he observes, he copies our actions. ***If I were to consider cleaning a chore that I didn't want to do, I would expect that he would adopt that attitude too.***

Sometimes, I ask for help and he declines and that is fine too. I respect that whatever he is doing is as important as what I need to do.


Quote:
***(My disclaimer is that I only have one child but we do have a large home with a lot of toys.) I consider it a gift to ds to recreate a clean canvas for ds to create, play and utilize his many toys.

I don't expect ds to pick up after himself, I believe he will learn this as he needs to. We chose to invite him into our life and into our home and realized that this entailed many changes in our expectations and our efforts. I provide information about how the work of cleaning our home limits my energy or availability to do other things and how helping helps; but without any expectation that his play and experimentation won't create disorder. He is 6.5.

I have a designated "place" that I return things to so that they are with like-things as a group so that they can be utilized as intended or as desired. Generally, ds disperses items as he plays with them over the course of a week or so and then while he is asleep or elsewhere with dada, I recreate order out of the apparent chaos.

Ds seems to be delighted by the reorganized toys and then the redistribution process is joyful for him. So, I consider the recreation of order *a gift* for him, not a chore for me. Seriously. It is quite fascinating to observe this catalyst to his engagement and creativity when things are returned to 'their place'. It is like he has new tools that are rediscovered and his play becomes more involved and intentional. A blank canvas to create afresh. It is a joy to watch unfold!!

The amazing part is that he intentionally redistributes some things to the precise place I just cleaned them from; apparently it is the process of distributing which has some complex thought and decision for its repetition. The process of his play is purposeful and organized in its own fashion.

We do model returning things to "its place"; but I have NEVER said 'this belongs here'. (This is a pet peeve of mine from childhood. We were REQUIRED to return everything to "its place". It took me a while to determine that *I* really prefer things to have a place and that it is easier to return them as I go along than to catch up.) And ds is particular about putting some of his things in a specific location and I honor that too.

It's taken me a long long long time to appreciate that i really do like having a clean and orderly space and that having cr@p scattered all over everywhere makes me feel scattered in my head as well. This is such a BIG issue for me and exactly why I am consciously reframing the cleaning. As a child, we were made to clean, conditional on getting to do other things that we wanted to do. So, cleaning had this drudgery and "have to" connotation to it. So, as a rebound, I didn't like to clean. But I *like* the house clean and orderly. It took me a long time to embrace that *I* wanted it to be clean, rather than I HAD TO clean. This changed my perception of the cleaning toward gifting myself with a clean canvas too. I recently read on another list where Evening Pat gave Morning Pat the gift of a clean sink/counters/kitchen.

This idea of treating oneself with the gift of a clean kitchen really resonated with me. It changed the whole chore aspect to an activity of love. The FlyLady helped me too. I regress and then when I start feeling overwhelmed with my pack rat tendencies, I focus on finding the kitchen counters and the whole world looks BRIGHTER. I couldn't keep up with the FlyLady's e-mails but I read at the site a bunch and got the gist of it. I don't look at the clutter when I start to clean, I just "start on the left" and move to the right cleaning and it just evaporates (well, sorta ).

It really helped me to designate a place for everything. I mentally/emotionally resisted this as it felt controlling to 'have to' put things in their place. But, I have found that my life is easier this way. I don't insist that anyone else do this for me. I do it for myself. So, now I love organizing and reordering shelves, cabinets, etc. But the counters...

Oh, and ds loves to creatively play with many different toys all together in unique and non-conventional ways. So, there are always many toys distributed all over his playroom. We sort it together when he prefers and leave it when he is engaged; and it is a mine-field. It is his room. Same with dh's office. I don't touch it unless it is mutually agreeable.

The areas of our home that I prefer to keep to a higher degree of cleanliness, *I* do. I figured out it actually only takes 5 minutes to unload the dishwasher, but hard to get started. I find that making it a game for myself (how many minutes to do x?) helps to change the energy about it also. When I ask dh or ds for help, they help or decline based upon what else they are doing. We work together and each has particular preferences and no one dictates for another. We just respectfully honor other's things by placing them out of the way, but convenient to find.

Our son's room and his playroom, I clean and he just sort of keeps me company. I ask for him to help with specific items 'would you help me find all the legos, trains, track pieces, etc.', sometimes he is busy doing other things, sometimes he helps. But, pretty much the chaos of his room is overwhelming for him to sort all the pieces and not get distracted/engaged with whatever he finds fascinating.

But he helps me in other ways in the house. We don't and won't do "chores". We just work together to help each other. No job is one person's job. Sometimes there are more interesting things to do and things are not attended to immediately. Sometimes dh does the dishes, the bathrooms, the trash, the shopping, etc. Sometimes I do. There are some parts of homemaking that I like more than others and dh and I share them according to who likes to do what. And some things just don't get done as often because they aren't important enough to us. I am confident that the things that I do like keeping orderly will get done, because I like the result. I trust that ds will do the same with his own space. For the common areas, I choose to keep them as clean and orderly as *I* want and need them to be for me to be comfortable.

Ds likes to dust, vaccuum, work in the yard, carry groceries, help me shop, sweep, use Windex, etc. Now he likes to help with doing dishes, laundry and cleaning bathrooms also!

We just work together rather than making it a chore.

HTH, Pat

I have a blog.
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#16 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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Oceanbaby, I have found the saying "you can't serve soup from an empty pot" reminds me that I need to replenish myself in order to have more to give. What are you doing to get 'down time', and time to pamper yourself?

I do so many things! I eat protein in the morning. I take a mega vitamin, Evening Primrose oil capsule, and Magnesium for hormonal/mood balance. Dh can tell if I forget to take them!

I have Tuesday night "off". Dh comes home early, I go to the chiro and sometimes have a massage. He cooks dinner!

Wednesday, dh and I have "date night" together. Ds visits at my sister's for about 3hours.

Saturday is "Dada Day". Dh and ds spend the day together while I run errands with my close mama friend. Sometimes we go to the grocery store together as a 'girls date' during the week.

Sunday, I have a couple of hours when dh and ds go out to the park for a bit. So, I get that time at home alone.

Any of these are subject to dh traveling, sister not being available, any other changes. But, by having multiple outings planned regularly, when something doesn't work out, I know another break is coming soon.

I also try to implement a regular bedtime for myself. Which helps, when I stick to it.



HTH, Pat

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#17 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 01:05 PM
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Pat

This is wonderful and mostly resembles how we handle things.
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#18 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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Oceanbaby -- we have always had a loose "rule" about putting one activity away before taking out another. I see nothing wrong with creating that kind of structure -- I use language like, "Oops -- lets put this away before you take that out." And I step in and start picking up with the unspoken expectation that they will help. It requires a lot of supervision, help, and monitering though -- in the beginning, prepare yourself for exerting MORE effort rather than less. Putting a new plan or routine into place is always a little bit of work, kwim?
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#19 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
Oceanbaby -- we have always had a loose "rule" about putting one activity away before taking out another. I see nothing wrong with creating that kind of structure -- I use language like, "Oops -- lets put this away before you take that out." And I step in and start picking up with the unspoken expectation that they will help. It requires a lot of supervision, help, and monitering though -- in the beginning, prepare yourself for exerting MORE effort rather than less. Putting a new plan or routine into place is always a little bit of work, kwim?
Done gently, this is especially useful for kids who tend to get overwhelmed easily.
And, Pat, what can I say? Well, okay, how about, YOU ROCK! Seriously, woman, you need to write a book. I'll edit!
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#20 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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I didn't read the other responses yet, but just wanted to say that maybe it would be easier to just identify what needs to be picked up instead of allocating specific tasks to each child. Then there is no "ds2 didn't pick up, but ds1 did" and that is no longer an issue. Instead, it's "You may watch the program as soon as the magazines and cards are picked up." Then repeat that statement as needed.
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#21 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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I am sooooo with you!

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#22 of 22 Old 11-19-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
http://sandradodd.com/chores

This counterintuitive advice about not requiring cleaning up, has been so helpful to me--and my kids really pitch in more than ever. The phrase, "No, no, Mommy, I'll get it, you relax," has even been uttered a time or two!
Love this; thanks for sharing.

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams." 
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