I’ve hit my holiday stress wall. Yup, smack in my face. Splat!! Of course this is the week I have to work all five days. I thought I was so ahead of the game this year. I have pretty much ALL of my shopping done aside from two people. That is huge! I was declaring victory until I started to revise my “lists.” We host Christmas Eve so I have lots of lists. Grocery lists, menus, cleaning lists, holiday to-do lists, baking lists. I’m buried in lists. Have I mentioned I haven’t wrapped a single gift yet?
While looking at my lists I realized that there just isn’t enough time. No, I’m not going to clean out every cabinet in the kitchen. I’ll be lucky to get all the platters and wine glasses shined up and ready. The catch-all of EVERYTHING in my kitchen is not going to be re-organized to look all tidy, along with the stack of crap on top of my refrigerator, the mess of children’s artwork taped everywhere, or the porch that has gathered debris from our latest household project. Sorry, but it’s not going to get all done and I need to be okay with that. My Virgo self isn’t totally okay with it, but I want to enjoy the holidays. So into a box it will go and stuffed into the storage closet on Christmas Eve. Out of sight, out of mind. I swear I’ll get to organizing it all…some day.
It’s time to realize I’m not Martha Stewart, Monica Gellar, or Super woman. It’s okay. Actually, now that I recall, Monica DID have a “secret closet.” See, we’re only human and our friends and family will understand. Perfection is highly overrated. However, if my husband opens a can of paint on Christmas Eve morning (which HAS happened in the past) I might be spending Christmas in a straight-jacket.
photo credit: fanpop.com
Okay, rant over. Are you totally stressing the holidays?
I started a chore chart years ago to teach my boys the basics about taking care of themselves. Hanging up coats, putting shoes away, putting their clothes in the hamper and their dishes in the sink. Just the basics…things I think any two-year old can learn how to do. For the most part, they’ve done well, better than their daddy. In the beginning they would get a sticker for each “chore” they did. After a while it became second nature to just do it (which is what I intended). They still need reminders of course, but they’ve done well.
Now that they have mastered the basics and they’re getting older, it’s time to give them more responsibilities. I’ve looked at many chore chart printables but never found anything that worked perfect for my family. I decided I would do my own. I wanted to steer clear of having to grab stickers every single time they did something. I wanted to find something simple.
First I made a list of chores around the house that needed to be done and they were capable of doing and wrote them down. I didn’t want to give one kid one chore like take out the recyclables and another kid sweep the floor. I wanted something where I could switch it up any given day so they don’t have to do the same thing every day. Also, some jobs could be done by two kids, like watering the flowers. Then it clicked…the clip system. The boys do a behavior clip system at school. Everyone starts on green and depending on behavior you can be “clipped down” or “clipped up.” The full rainbow spectrum. I figured I could use that basic platform for my new chore chart.
Each morning I decide who is going to which job and put their clothes pin on that job. When they have completed the job they get to move their clip to the other side. I also added their reading or school work. Once they have done their daily reading or a worksheet they can clip over. So far they’ve been excited about it. Also, having two kids put on a job together makes it more fun…a little teamwork. Giving them bigger jobs gives them a sense of confidence. If I feel they’ve done a great job for the week, we might go get a frozen lemonade or ice cream.
Do your children do chores? How do you keep track of who does what?