The countdown has started. My two big kids have less than three weeks until summer vacation. During the school year, my day time hours run smoothly. With just me and a toddler at home, it's easier to keep the living areas clean and stay caught up on the laundry. Soon however, there will be two more bodies in the house all day long and that means more dishes, more clothes and more clutter.
I do not want to spend the summer cleaning up after everyone. I want to spend our days outside in the yard, at the park having picnics and making memories. Our oldest two children are both at an age where they can, and should, have more responsibilities around the house. One of my husband and I's biggest lessons we try to teach them is we are all a team, and this house doesn't function at it's fullest without everyone's participation.
To ensure that we have a smooth summer with plenty of time for fun, I've decided the big kids are going to be responsible for more than their normal pet chores and bedroom chores. I'm hoping that things will run more efficiently and the kids will learn to appreciate all the effort that I put in during the day.
My plan to “Save Mom's Summer Sanity” is to:
- Dedicate a laundry basket to each kid. They will both get a lesson on how to work the washing machine and dryer. They will be responsible for deciding when their laundry needs done. Washing, drying and putting away will be their own responsibility.
- No screens will be turned on until their daily chores are done. Rooms must be straightened and animals must be cared for before anyone lays a finger on a remote or Kindle. This will be non-negotiable. I'm not hounding anyone to do what they know needs done. If you don't want to do your work, you don't get to play.
- One night a week will be their responsibility to come up with and prepare a dinner. Of course their will be supervision, but they have both been in a cooking class all school year at the library and I feel they are ready. Not only do I want them to start picking up cooking skills, but we really need to work on their ability to work together and not fight. I'm looking forward to one night a week where I get to just show up at the table and eat, rather than be the one preparing.
These may seem like small changes to our routine, but they are a few small tasks that I can take off my list. I want to instill life skills and household responsibilities in my children. I want to make sure they know and fully appreciate what goes in to effectively running a household. Hopefully this helps our summer be a fun filled, stress free one.
Do you make any changes in your routine to keep the stress at bay when all your children are home on break?