Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chores and Agency...A match made in heaven!!!

This week came in as a rolling, thundering mess of a storm!!!
One that I was certain might drown me in a sea of tears.

I found myself in my office during the wee hours of Sunday morning sending emails to any and all that I had commitments to for the week...
my full intention was to erase EVERYTHING from my calendar...
and I was successful!
I know myself well enough to ACT when I feel I should, so I rushed to do as I felt....had I given it any extra time or thought, I'd have "chickened out" for fear of messing up someone else's schedule and life; I couldn't think about anyone else knowing that if I did, I would choose to just buck up and deal with the blows of this fierce storm.
Instead, I followed through with what I knew had to be done:

Co-Op classes - cancelled
Book Clubs - cancelled
Business meetings - cancelled
Reviews due - cancelled
Tax Appointment - cancelled

What relief I felt...
There have been too many RED FLAGS waving all around me,
yet I've had so little time to address ANY of them!

It was time to CHOOSE my family over all else!

The contention in my home has been at an ALL-Time High!!!
Really not good, considering my hubby is out of town working and I am here trying to put out all the fires alone...and while we are on that subject..
WHY???
WHY???
WHY???
Why do all the fires have to come while I am alone?

Why can't kids DUMP their problems on both of us together?
Why do they fling it all my direction?
Do I look Strong?
Do I look like I can handle all of this mud-slinging?
By the end of Sunday, which didn't come to a close for me until well after midnight,
I had HAD IT!

You would think I should feel blessed to know that two of my kiddos think I walk on water...
BUT when FIVE of them think you suck pond water...well, the feeling is a little less than blessed!!!

SO...
this week has taken on a new life!
With everything officially erased,
it is
high-time to do a little introspectin'
and a little re-assessing.
Time to dig in to the workings of this family
and the family schedule
and the chore schedule
all the STUFF
that makes a family work...
Time to figure out why ALL of my kiddos don't think I walk on water...
why several are out of sorts and if there was anything I could do to make a difference.

After my email madness in the wee hours,
I went in search of answers...
to the only place I know to really receive any answers that will make a difference.

And inspiration came...
hooray for me!
Had it not, I was strongly considering jumping off a bridge!  jk  ;)

So...the first thing to start with was to give a few choices!
I'm finding that my kids have quite the desire to exercise their agency, so time to find a way to put it into action.
I started with one area of our life that seems to cause me to be the DRILL SERGEANT and my kids to become whiny little turd-muffins who wish to argue with anything and everything that is asked of them...
I have always had a pretty good go with keeping a chore schedule that worked and was followed without too much drilling on my part...
But since our move, I cannot say that has been the case.
With kids getting bigger and busier, the "PLAN" I've used in the past failed miserably.
So, I tried to just assign things out as I saw necessary, this only resulted in whining, complaining and bickering.  Belly-aching DOES NOT do it for me!!!  And that seemed to be all I was receiving.

Back to my inspiration ~
LOVE it when I get some!!!

I felt impressed to write down ALL the chores that this family does to function well.
I made sure to include EVERYTHING I do in this list...something I've never done in the past!

My kids are forever telling me, "I ALWAYS have to do ALL the work around here."
When you hear that from one
after another
after another
after another...
the story loses any credibility with me...
that and the fact that I'm quite certain I do my fair share of work around this place!

Anyway, I gathered all my chicks in around me and told them they could choose to do any chores they wished as I read them aloud...
The smiles and snickers began almost immediately!
There was a place for each of our names on a poster board I had prepared for this occasion...as I read the chore, I would place it on a name...at first, my pile was stacking up as my kids sat and didn't offer to help too much...
THEN an amazing thing happened, they started saying things like,
"Well, I could do that one"
or "Yeah, give me that, I'll do it"
or quite possibly my favorite,
"Mom, you can't do all of those jobs, it's not fair, I'll take some!"
At the end of this entire process I began taping the little papers underneath their names...
as I was doing this I saw that my pile started to diminish ever so slightly and then a bit more and a bit more.

I still have a few chores left on my list that I'm not willing to do, such as
Cleaning up dog poop in the back yard...
the way I've decided to handle this one is simple and brilliant, if I do say so myself!!!
Dog poop duty will go to the Turd-Muffin of the day...
Cause it's quite fitting for the person being a turd to pick up the turds...don't ya think???
I'm thinking I will have handled many crucial issues in our family with one simple task...yep, brilliant!!!

So far so good...chores are happening, bickering and whining is not!

Maybe this agency thing isn't so bad after all!!!

Give it a shot, you might be pleased!  :)