On this blog, I always try to post things that are either
1) hopefully-humorous musings on just how I got like this
2) hopefully-optimistic ways in which parents who are “like this” like me might be a little bit less so.
After two weeks of no school, no afterschool activities, no babysitter, I feel spectacularly unqualified to give anyone parenting advice, other than: don’t yell as much as I did. But a new year is a chance for all of us to have a fresh start, and here are a few ways I hope to make our family life in 2012 a little more smooth and peaceful for all:
- chores. Oh sure, I have my kids hang up their coats after school and stuff, but we’ve never gone hard-core with the job assignments– and these last two weeks have taught me that my kids are waayyy too accustomed to being waited upon. I have posted the following job assignments on the refrigerator: the 9-year-old is on breakfast cleanup; 7-year-old is on dinner cleanup; the 4-year-old is on “front hall cleanup,” since the front hall is nearly impassable by 5:30 p.m. each day for all the stuff that has somehow piled up there. So far, my oldest is really into it, and will be rewarded with an allowance at the end of the week. My middle has been more desultory in his duties, and will not receive an allowance at the end of the week. We shall see if that increases his motivation. Maggie announced to me that she does not have to clean anything up because she is four. I told her that I disagreed with that assessment. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
- using workflowy to make my kid-free time more productive. I’m never crankier than when it’s 2:30 and time to pick up the boys and I have gotten nothing done, NOTHING, that I can point to, other than a loaded dishwasher and maybe blow-drying my hair. I’ve always been a pen-and-paper person for to-do lists, but then spend a lot of time procrastinating by copying the list over again to make it legible, rather than getting through it. Workflowy allows you to organize your to-dos in categories, and mark certain ones for #today, and it’s totally fun to click on the little button and mark a task completed, and I think I love you Workflowy.
- my brand-new Erin Condren life planner:
Is that not GORGEOUS? Okay, I know I just said I’m moving to a cloud-based to-do list. But you will pry my datebook from my cold dead hands. I usually go with the At-a-Glance Weekly, and Erin Condren’s personalized version costs twice as much, but it’s so cheery! And it has tabs! And stickers! Next to my iphone, I love my datebook most of all, so I might as well have a really tricked-out one, right?
- and now that I have a pretty new datebook, I’m going to schedule blocks of time: to write, to work out, to have a date with my husband. I learned this trick from a mother of nine a few years back: make appointments with yourself for the things you want to make time for. Make those appointments non-negotiable. And that way I hopefully won’t wonder where the day went.
- All of these things will make my life so organized and peaceful that I will be full of patience for my children, and a loving tone. I really do want to be a Fun Mom in 2012, one who has the time, and makes the time, and makes that to-do list, and works it hard, and then sets it aside when the kids come home. If I can do that, it’ll be a great year for all of us.
This post not sponsored by workflowy or Erin Condren. Honest-to-goodness love here people.