We are 30 days into summer break and my heart is SOARING!!! I have loved every day spent with all FOUR of my kids. 31 days ago I was not anticipating the peaceful feeling I have found as the days have passed. I was overwhelmed with how I would work and take care of my home and entertain all four kids and still be sane by the end of the day. And then I realized the only way I was going to be a good mom, wife and leader was to delegate some of the responsibilities.
I get overwhelmed when I am trying to work and I am interrupted every 5 minutes (literally) with diaper changes, laundry buzzers, diffusing arguments, and I am fairly certain the girls eat ALL DAY LONG. By the time I clean up the kitchen it is time to make ANOTHER meal or snack. I was fairly certain I would’t survive the summer and then I began to create our command center. So I hopped on Amazon Prime and ordered a $25 laminator… the BEST $25 I have spent all summer! It started with chores for the girls, which turned into responsibilities which developed into jobs.
- Chores: The things they help with as part of their contribution to helping the family.
- Responsibilities: The things they do to take care of themselves.
- Jobs: One action they do daily that they can earn money for completing.
As I have discovered things that have made working from home tricky, I find a solution, print it, laminate it and stick it to the refrigerator (aka, the command center). HOLY COW!!! This has legit changed the way we function as a family. My stress level has drastically changed, the kids have been INCREDIBLE and my evenings that were once full of chores and stress are enjoyed by the fire. Here are some things we have added to our command center:
- Friend rules: for when they have friends over. This way I am not asked 100 times for snacks, they don’t leave the yard without asking, and they know that their options for playing on a beautiful day are in the backyard or on the porch. They don’t even ask because they know that when their friends are over, they follow the friend rules.
- Food schedule: because all day they want to graze and not eat meals. So we printed out the schedule for eating and they know what to expect during the day. Once they have had their snack, they have had their snack and must wait until the next time slot for food. After days of going back and forth on what they wanted to eat we decided to plan out lunches and dinners weekly. They pick out what they want, write it on the list with the dry erase marker, and then they know what to expect. Often, the big girls can take care of their own lunch and clean it up.
- Shower Schedule: with four kids, in the summer, with no real schedule, it is easy to forget who showered when. Instead of it being my responsibility to remind the big girls when to hop in the shower, the shower chart reminds them and they have begun to take that responsibility on themselves!
- Ten Minute Clean-up: because lets be real! 6 people in 1,400 square feet, HOLY MESSES!!!!! So we broke down what to do room by room and any time I yell 10 minute clean up, the girls grab the laminated list a begin to tackle each item one by one.
- Morning Routine: instead of me shouting out the morning commands, make your bed, clean your room, get dressed, brush your hair, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, they just follow the list and are ready for the day each morning!
The purpose of this is to help create habits for the girls, to help lift the load of family responsibilities and to help us to enjoy summer! And let me tell you, THIS HAS CHANGED MY ENTIRE BEING! Laundry stays caught up, the girls are learning new things, their attitudes have been AMAZING and my heart is content. I didn’t realize they were capable of so much responsibility, you should develop your own command center, too! And to help you, we are uploading our images at the bottom of this post! Happy Summer from our family to yours!
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