Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kids and Summer (Chores)

Once upon a time I birthed a baby in June.

And then the next year, I birthed another baby in June.

 No, your newborn baby brother does NOT want to play baseball with you. 

Needless to say, those were some BUSY and hectic and chaotic and stressful summers.

Thankfully, my mom came each and every summer to help us out.  Back then, I was working part-time, so there was a better "balance" (is there ever really BALANCE in your life when you're a mother?!) between my work and home life.

Yay for Granny!

Quite possibly my all-time favorite summer pic of the boyz and my Niece

Well, time marched on, as it does.  And the kids grew and grew and grew. And yet my mom still came each and every summer to help me out with the clowns boyz. 

Last summer was bittersweet as it was the first summer we were without her.  We hired a neighborhood babysitter to watch the boyz for the summer.

This year is much the same.  Except the boyz are even older.  And I am older.  And more tired.  And working full-time.  And used to having the boyz in school Monday through Friday, so the house doesn't really get all that wrecked in the few short hours they're home.

Also, during the school year, the boyz were used to a routine.  A daily routine that included duties such as making their beds, eating their breakfasts, brushing their teeths...

So the first week this summer that the boyz were not in school anymore, I was pretty much dismayed at the state of my Trenches at the end of the day.  Holy frat house.  Empty juice boxes and food wrappers were strewn about.  Baseballs and other sporting equipment littered the lawn.  Sneakers were everywhere.  BEDS WERE NOT EVEN MADE.

It was definitely time for some Tough Love.

I found fillable Chore Charts online and customized them for each boy.  Responsibilities include:  making bed, brushing teeth (yes, I still have to remind them that toothbrushing is a YEAR ROUND TASK lest they walk around looking like they've got sandy butter on their teeth...), eating nutrition, taking the dog out, picking up, 1 hour of quiet time, yada yada yada.

 Wine and chore charts go hand-in-hand.  Obviously.

I also make them fill in each day what they ate for breakfast and lunch.

The charts are right on the kitchen table for easy access throughout the day.

And glory of glories?  IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING.

No longer do I do the Dead Man Mom Walking trudge into the house at the end of a workday, fearful of what mess(es) I'm gonna find.  Chores are marked off.  I can see what each of them has eaten.  There are no messes.  THE BEDS ARE MADE.

The absolute best part?  I didn't even have to bribe or threaten them (yet)!  They  All 3 are very much like me in that they're task oriented.  Give them a checklist with things to do?  Well, by golly, they're gunna git 'er done.  

I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner.  Amen.

How do you handle summertime and chores?  Is your summer routine different from your school year routine?  Basically, I just wanna know how you keep YOUR house from looking like it has been taken over by drunken college students at a kegger?  Wait, do the kids these days even say kegger anymore?  I'm so old. *sigh*

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