There is only one word to describe me this week..”EXHAUSTED”! As we tumbled through the weekend, which consisted of play dates, a visit with their father, and pool time; I found that none of the weekly house cleaning chores were getting accomplished. For every uneventful moment that I had, I decided to spend it sitting on the sofa or relaxing on my deck. Before I knew it, Monday was upon us and the house was a mess!
So here it was Monday night and I am sitting on the sofa (again) and scanning the room just to see “toys”, “socks”, “shoes”, and....the dreadful “dust bunnies”. How is a single mom to handle all of this? I felt completely “exhausted” just looking at the tornado affect! Then I came up with a plan….
Why not make a list of “chores” for the kids to do. After all, they are home for the weekend AND they are old enough to take on the task. Why not remove the video games, computers, and couch potato activities..and get them cracking at CLEANING!
First, I sat down with my daughter… What can she do to help around the house? Make her bed… Wash dishes… Sweep the floor…. Dust…. Feed the animals… Before I knew it, her list was on the refrigerator and she was off and “cleaning”.
Second, the more challenging of the two…my son! He looked at me and said “Really?”. We struggled through his list…Gather laundry… Make the beds… Mop the floor… Vacuum the first floor.. Grudgingly, his list was up and ready for action!
Now, here is the funny part. I get up in the morning to find that my daughter is already fast at work on her list. I look and the “check marks” are going fast and furious. Her goal…She wants an iPad (that is gonna take awhile). My son on the other hand is sitting on the sofa watching television while playing his DSi. I look at his list and see that he has successfully completed his tasks for the day.
I do my walk around to confirm and all looks good! I take a moment to look back at him and wonder why he doesn’t look as exhausted as my daughter. I then begin the “interrogation” (as my son would call it) I am quickly reminded that my son is always “one step ahead of me”. YUP, he off loaded his duties to his little sister!
As I began to question him as to why, he quickly answered “She really wants an iPad and I really don’t want to do chores”. So there you have it…. And my lesson learned? My son values his “time” and my daughter values her “money”.
So in Keeping it REAL, make your children part of the “family”! Yes, I am pushing the idea of “making a list with REWARDS”. It is important that ALL children understand the responsibilities of having a home and pets… It is important that they participate and stay involved in the activities of daily life. And as a single mother, I might soon find myself sitting on my sofa and looking around…. Looking around at a clean house completed by the adorable and loving hands of my favorite little people!
To read more from Kristen, visit Keeping it REAL
Kristen lives in Northern Virginia with her two children. In 2011, she started blogging about starting over and the many challenges of having a career and being a single mom. In her free time, Kristen enjoys spending time with her friends and watching her children live life...