Thursday, August 12, 2010

morning routines: the follow up a FAQs

alright already!

i get it i gave you the routine and now you are all "when did you start?" "does this work during the fall with school?" and "I NEED A FOLLOW UP!"

well aren't we all a little demanding!

in case you haven't seen it i posted my morning routine here.

but i'll post it here as well:

no electronics (except tv for a few morning cartoons while eating breakfast, and checking of i-touch for any emergency emails...never has happened yet) may be started up and nothing may be worked/played on till everything else on the following list is completed (usually around 10 am in the summers)

the morning routine:
*kids up. eat cereal.
*dishwasher, is unloaded from the night before while kids finish breakfast.
*dishwasher can then be loaded with breakfast bowls, and can continue to be filled throughout the day as needed.
*beds are made and rooms are tidied up (but really they don't need it cause we pick up before going to bed.) mainly dirty laundry: pj's, undies, and socks or bedding that needs washing is taken to the laundry room.
*next each person in our family (minus dad because he's at work) is to participate (as well as they can due to age!) in our daily household chore.

ours goes as follows:
Monday-fold laundry- kids are all responsible to fold their own clothes and put them away in their drawers) yes even the 6 year old and 4 year old. they do a horrible job, but with practice they get better. i'm not looking for perfection, just good habits...and my 10 year old and 8 year old are incredible laundry folders as they have had a little bit longer practice. the rest of the week i am the one who folds all the laundry and they are responsible to take it to their drawers.

Tuesday- bathrooms- while the boys, who have been taught how to clean the bathroom, each are responsible for one part of the bathroom (ie toilet, tub, and sink...and that is on a rotating weekly schedule so not one kid gets stuck with the toilet every week) katie and i clean my bathroom. basically i just want her to be part of it and help and when we get to that point when she's a little older, she'll be rotated into cleaning the "kid's" bathroom as well.

Wednesday-floors, and dusting- one kid vacuums their room, the others dust and help me dust as well. i make sure my floors are all swept and mopped.

Thursday-organize- just like i challenged all of you to organize one area (large or small) we have tried to do this as a family. it's mainly for my kids during this summer because i just want them to get used to doing it on a regular basis. it will be more for me in the fall when i will tackle closets, and other places on a more regular schedule again.

Friday-mow lawns-
the older boys have started this this summer. our lawn looks like it gets a bad hair cut every week, but they are slowly improving. sigh.

now i have to ad this because i'm sure people will have the question of "how the hell do you get them to do it?"

i have one answer for you.

my kids revolted (especially the bathroom day) for a little while...but i didn't make them do it. instead of yelling, and getting after them, i would let them sluf off and when they would ask if they could play video games, asked to play with friends, or asked to go to the pool. i said "nope. not till your daily chore and every day stuff is done." oh you should of heard the wailing!

but after a few times, and with my consistency of "if these things get done...then you can do..." they may still huff and puff on certain days and say "ugh i hate mondays because i hate folding laundry..." to which i always answer "no kidding, you know folding laundry is my least favorite thing to do? but we have to do it in order to go to the pool right?" and that usually stops all grumbling.
and there you have it our morning routine/schedule...which opens up the rest of the day for us.
and here's my follow up:

my mornings are all scheduled. yes, because it is summer that's how i have it. during the fall i personally keep the schedule that i've implemented...but i have a "lighter version" for the kids during the school year because lets face it... homework, scouts, piano, and if we are doing a sport...will most likely create meltdowns (and i ain't just talking about the kids).

no see during the school year i'll keep my routine till 10 am. it still gets everything done and my house is somewhat clean at any given moment. not spotless because well HELLO i have 4 kids. i also adjust my routine if i know i have to go to walmart or doctors appointments or whatever else by switching out more time consuming tasks with easier tasks (less time).

but for the kids they are expected to do something before they are allowed to watch tv or play video games and play with friends. (and of course we also have to adjust the days when we have den meetings or if the kids are involved in a sport...)

school schedule aka
"the lighter version" is as follows for the kids:
monday piano, and bring in trash cans from the curb
tuesdays clean the bathroom
wednesday vacuum/room (their room)
thursday help fold clothes (not the whole load i'll leave a little for them out. this will be a new one this year...we'll see how it goes)
friday mow lawns(but not till spring which around here doesn't really hit till school gets out anyways!!!)

saturday and sunday are not work days except for the regular morning stuff like make bed and keep it tidy. or if we've had too many things going on that week we'll try to do catch up, but i try to avoid at all costs making the kids work in the house on saturdays and especially sundays.

i know there will be scouts and possibly sports in there, so i normally don't put the bathrooms and laundry day anywhere we have extracurricular activities out of the home.

now to answer some questions i keep getting asked:

*when did you start this routine with your kids? when they were older or did you always have a routine?

well i've always had a routine...but it's morphed throughout the years.
let me explain. when my youngest was little around 18 months old i would have him help put away his toys he was playing with. but i made it really simple for him (and me). i had bins of toys. they didn't even need to be a specific "toy bin" like just super heroes or just trains. (but i tried that too) i just had a few bins that sometimes would have different kinds of toys as well. i would take it down from the closet and open it up for him. he could play with his hearts content. if he wanted another bin. i would have him help me put away that particular bin that was already down, so we could bring the next bin out. it seemed to keep things less overwhelming for a little 18 month old (and a new mommy like myself) to have to only need to clean one bin at a time (and i ain't talking huge bins!!)...
that is how i made all my little kids start helping with our "cleaning routine" katie's room is mainly bins that are accessible but she's pretty good at helping me clean up every night and not dump out every single bin. cleaning up thier room is a great place to start to teach little ones to clean. but i think the main key point here is that you need it to not be overwhelming for them to help. so less toys means less overwhelming. i'm having a little bit of a harder time with a girl on this but we've been working on weeding out and boxing up things she's not that interested in and i have a hard time letting go of because i made it or it has sentimental value (ahem to me).

as they get older more can be expected of them. but remember they are just learning and they can't do it without your help. you first have to teach them what you would like for them to do while doing it with them. i'm still at that stage. not so much with the 10 and 8 year old but more so with the 6 and 4 year old. at some point i hope to of instilled habits that the kids will know how to do it on their own (we're shooting for teenage years) but then again i'm not looking for perfection...i'm just looking to instill in them habits they will be able to take on with them when they leave home and they'll hopefully know how to do laundry and keep a dorm or whatever rat free. do you get what i'm putting down?

I'm not as scheduled as you are. i wish i was. have you always been this way?
i'd like to answer this with a yes and no.
i've always been a more organized and routine person. my room wasn't ever super messy growing up, but then again my mom is pretty tidy herself (?don't know if that has anything to do with it?), and
i've had times when organization of my home wasn't the most important, but it was still kind of tidy i guess.

i'm going to confess here to something which might get me hung.
after my first kid i got ppd. for about a year. didn't know it till the year passed and i slowly walked out of it. in that year i didn't feel like i was "myself" in some ways. a house schedule was one of the things that sort of was put on the back burner.
it used to make me happy to have an organized and somewhat clean house. but for that year, it did not, and i had no desire to do it. i only did it when i knew people would come over. or when it was absolutely necessary.

that year was one of my hardest transitions (yes probably as bad if not worse than when jake left for deployment) i was learning how to cope being a mom, being an apartment manager, and being someone that never left home to go to work anymore.
i found walking to be a great mood lifter...and slowly i started add cleaning on a regular basis. by the time my oldest was 18 months i was finding ways to have him help me with our house, as i noticed how much better my mood was when i was walking AND having my environment somewhat peaceful.
if you think you have ppd talk to other moms, get help and support and love. if need be go see a doctor.

here's what i honestly think: if you have too much stuff you will be overwhelmed.
live in the house you live in now. i know some of you are military so you never know what size house you will have. well i was military for a little while (out in october!) and that's when the whole every 6 months i would get rid of things that weren't being used because i HATED packing up and unpacking crap i knew we didn't need. i know when i have stuff laying around that doesn't have a place to go it makes cleaning frustrating. same thing goes for students oh yeah and for the rest of us too.

so to those of you who feel overwhelmed by a cleaning schedule, i would say it probably means you might have stuff laying around that doesn't have a place to go. get rid of the stuff you don't need and make more surface areas show up. you'd be amazed at how easy dusting and keeping things looking nice will be when you don't have to keep pushing around stuff from one corner to the other.
maybe your first step should be to look at organizing your space.

hold on i have to break up a fight between the boys...

okay we're for those of you who work full time jobs. i thought about it and honestly because i'm not in that situation...i don't feel like i would be able to answer that? so i did the next best thing.
i googled: cleaning schedule for working moms...and this post came up
there were many others but this one kind of had everything briefly spelled out. i hope that was somewhat helpful!

last question: do you have a night routine?
YES absolutely!!! this is probably one of the most important things because this will ensure you will start your next day with a put away house. (which will help you with your cleaning routine don't have to worry about putting things away ON TOP of cleaning!)
at night we do a pick up of hot spots:
bedrooms are completely picked up (i should also mention that i only allow video games to be played if the room is picked up. and i only let my boys play video games starting at 5, right around dinner time for a little so they basically have been starved of video games all day and are willing to pick up the few toys that have been played with during the day just to get on the blasted thing. (i swear video games are like crack to kids! and when you keep crack away from them for a long period of time they are willing to do anything for it! so use those blasted video games in your favor! can you tell i hate them? can't win them all)

our night time routine:
*so i make dinner.
*kids are getting their video game high.
*we have dinner.
*talk about our day with dad over dinner.
*and then it's slow down mode.

**while the fam checks out the garden, or plays outside for a little. i put the last of the dishes in the dishwasher, i pick up the kitchen, and if needed sweep and hot spot mop areas where there's goop or something sticking to the floor(some nights its the whole freakin floor). turn on the dishwasher and walk away from the kitchen.**

*my kitchen is ready for the next day.

*my kids then are to pick up rooms (if at all necessary...usually just katie because she plays in her room while the boys were tweaking on video games and i'm making dinner.)

**and then night time routines are done.
brushing teeth.
good night songs sung.
personal prayers had.**

*and then i read to the boys for about 45 minutes (currently we're reading percy jackson book 2)

i end my day with either sitting next to the husband while he watches tv and i do hand work on a quilt or something else, or read. this summer it's been all about reading...yeah try 8 books in like a month and a half. hello, my name is vanessa and i have an addictive personality. whole different post though.)

start my morning at 5:45 to go walking 4 miles.
get back around 7...where i'm suppose to take a shower and get ready for the day but in reality i 99% of the time meet my pillow for that 1/2 hour till the kids get up...and yes i do fall asleep 97% of the time.

and there you have it the ultimate complete too much information about my schedule post.
you asked for it.
and now that i've written a mini book of a post...
we'll talk soon.


Kori said...

You are too freakin likable! You've inspired me to try to get a little more organized to make my home a little more peaceful. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I see we are a lot alike! I adore tidiness and organization. I also love schedules. We homeschool, so schedules are extremely important. 13+ yrs ago, when we first HSed, I tried to do it all. I remember a lady with ONE child in our umbrella group saying.."We have eaten mac n chesse 3 times with week and my house is a disaster!" I went home and told hubby and he laughed and said, 'she ain't YOU' No, my house isn't perfect either-real people live here too, lol. But I am right there with you on chores and responsibilities. Kids need 'em and until they can pay rent(ha) they will keep getting them! I have been through financial woes and big hormone shifts and always cut myself some slack when scheduling and organizing, cause I know I will jump back in soon enough- that is just who I am, lol! I really enjoyed reading your post today! Although I am 47 and my youngest is now 11, I see many similarities. Have a blessed day today!

trish said...

*** applause ***

I think we were separated at birth! Minus the 4 miles, I can only handle 1!
Scheduling seems daunting, but it is the unscheduled life that makes me nuts. :o)
Yes yes and yes about too much stuff. I was already a "less is more" sort of gal before the military, but after a few moves and each child added to the list ... yes, even 10 years after my husband getting out, I still have that mind set. Isn't that funny how it sticks? :o)
You did a wonderful post Vanessa. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your heart regarding ppd. Those first days of motherhood can be scary. Especially when you are leaving the work environment, to stay home with your new little gift. :o) Boy oh boy do I remember those days. :o) A lot of unsure feelings floating around.

Have a wonderful day!!

Sincerely ~ Trish

Christa & Scott said...

Just wondering, what books have you been reading this summer? I'm also super-addicted to reading and am always looking for good books. Thanks!

michele said...

so have you always been a morning person?! i cannot fathom gettin up that early for a workout though i would LOVE to, it would open up so much more time in my day!

Ashley W. said...

I hope you keep up the good work with your kids! My mom taught us to cook and clean and by the age of 10 each of the kids in my family had one night a week to cook and daily/weekly chores. We complained and hated it, but we are all grateful as adults to have learned those things at such a young age. (I know my husband was grateful when we got married that he wasn't eating burnt food!)
It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who makes my 2 year old clean her room, put away her dishes, brush her teeth and what not on a daily basis.

Unknown said...

I ♥ you!! This is what I want to accomplish but haven't had the know-how to get there. Totally inspires me.

I have an addictive personality too - I got "The Help" from a friend on Friday and gave it back to her Tuesday. I probably should have made myself do my chores before I got to read... Have you read it yet?

Tracy said...

So... what'cha been reading this summer? Now that you let that cat out of the bag you might have to do a whole post on what you've read and your personal reviews! Love your daily routines, totally inspires me to get myself more organized!

Emily said...

You're so awesome! Thanks for sharing what has and what hasn't worked for you. :)

Genevieve said...

this is just what i needed to read! we've just moved and i'm now a full time stay at home mom- no longer working. the transition has been a little hard and i just can't quite seem to get myself organized and back to feeling like myself. thank you for the inspiration! i'm ready to make myself a schedule and get organized!!

Laurel H. said...

What a coincidence! I was just outlining to my husband our own weekly chore program earlier this morning. Then, lo and behold, I see your post here! What I think people discover, as they become more confident in their own situation, is that no one can really outline a "one size fits all" chore program for them. While you, or I, or anyone else can provide a great start, ultimately, everyone must determine this for themselves.

Thanks for sharing!

emmylou said...

We do basically the same thing, except we do bathrooms Sat morning. During school they have to have their backpacks ready to go & by the door along with their shoes. And if the family room or their rooms get messy the TV/video games go off until they're tidy again. I'll have to show my 10 year old your post because he always complains that no else has to do these things! Thanks for sharing!

mamaTAVE said...

You're sweet. Thank you for all of this. It is soooo helpful to not have to try and reinvent the wheel. You are appreciated!

I am definitely of the "I have to much stuff" camp. I don't know how that happened... It's not even great stuff. It shouldn't be hard to part with. Why is it so hard?!! I guess I'm just overly sentimental. I'll work on that... ;-)

Linz said...

This was possibly the most inspiring post I have read in a while. It makes those chores seem totally doable. Yea! You're my hero! Thanks!

QuiltNut Creations said...

thank you thank you thank you! I'm a mom of 4 as well(all boys!) ever since I had our 2nd and I also got PPD, I have had a routine like yours. what I love about it, is that it really doesn't take a lot of time. I am also self-employed and my house is 90% of the time guest worthy because I have a routine.

thanx for sharing yours; you have a few different ideas I want to try :)

Laine said...

OK so I have to get myself on more of a schedule. I actually did make myself clean and do wash this morning until 10 and then it was the computer looking at blogs. Now tomorrow I have to be at work by 8:30 so I will see what I can accomplish in a 1/2 hr. Thanks for giving me a push. I needed that.

Unknown said...

Thanks Vanessa. I've read your blog for a while, honestly for the sewing and crafts. I cheered for you and Dana with the whole SYTYCC thing.

But, what makes me love reading your blog so much is that you are the real deal. Without TMI (except the bathroom stuff every now and then), you prove your true talents by showing that you deal with real life, just like those lazy non bloggers reading your posts.

This has been the long way to say: enjoyed your post. Keep it up.

kodie said...

this helps me start thinking about getting on a more concrete schedule in my house. i am a mom of 2 little ones who also works 4 days a week. so my days at home are usually spent trying to get all my household stuff done to get ready to go to work the next day. plus, my 4 year old is starting preschool in a few short weeks, so i will need to get something in place to make sure that i am not 'that mom' that gets their kid to school late every day (still might happen once in a while!). thanks for getting my wheels turning on this!

ice cream said...

I'm inspired and afraid all at the same time...oh, and i feel inferior!!

thecurryseven said...

I always love to read about how other people schedule and assign chores; I'm always looking for new ideas. Everyone around here has household jobs as well. With 9 children there is no way I could do it without their help. We've been doing it for so long, they don't even question it any more. Chores just happen. It really is all about creating habits.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Wow is all i could say after reading this, i even made the hubby read it. Thanks for sharing and incouraging people that it can be done. I love the evening routine what time does your children go to bed?

Unknown said...

You are my freakin' Hero - Thank you for the ideas!

Marci said...

out of everything you just said up there...
5:45, seriously? wow. that's amazing!

Kendra said...

Thanks. I love seeing how other moms organize and take on their day. Every time I find something I can take and improve my own life. This time it will be that being consistent with my kids despite the whining and moaning (and gnashing of teeth) will pay off and the chores will get done. Also, that I need to remember the long term goal is good habits, not perfection. And I agree video games are like crack to kids and should be used to our advantage at all costs.

April (Polkadot Sparrow) said...

Amen sister, Amen, Amen.

Love this post. I think I will print it off so that I can make my own.

I am organized and actually know about the depression thing. I get it WHEN I'm pregnant, which is again just recently, and while I do not want to clean (usually I DO), it does help.

So thank you. This may just be my sanity saver. For the rest of my life. haha. It's just fantastic to see it working in someone else's life--a real life example.

Team Clark said...

Thanks for this, Vaness. It's funny that so many people want to know the ins and outs of this, but it's just a tricky thing and since you do it well, you can teach us all!
PS You seem to be doing really well and I'm so glad!

KateL said...

I'd love to know what books you are reading and what you thougth of them. I am always looking for some good recommendations.

amy smart said...

I am finally catching up on reading posts that I've wanted to read, and this was one of them.

You are awesome. And you totally make me laugh. This has been the hardest part of the summer for me - trying to get a freakin' schedule that works for me and the kids. I'm already planning ahead to make next summer more successful. Thanks so much for the great tips and advice!

Diana said...

From one schedule addict to another, may I suggest an "Ask Mom" day. This summer I put the kids and I on a new schedule not unlike your own accept every Thursday is "Ask Mom" day. It is so satisfying when one of my girls comes to me while I'm doing my morning chores and says "Mom, what would you like me to do today?" Heaven!

Bonnie Weeks said...

I have 2 little ones (2 and 4) and you have so many good ideas to make sure we're implementing now. We're doing some of them...but now they are going to be helping. I sat down and explained to my 4-year-old that I needed his help folding clothes and vacuuming. I told him that someday he was going to leave and I wouldn't be there to take care of him, so he needed to learn now how to help our house be clean. He thought that sounded pretty cool. So last night, there we were on the living room floor and he was proudly learning to fold his clothes. He feels so big now. Thanks for the inspiration...always.

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