So I lost my Mother of the Year award and ½ my wits last week (again.)
It was our first full week of glorious summer break. I had grand plans of our new contribution schedule working well, smoothly transitioning in like sweet buttercream frosting from a tube, forming perfect rosettes atop a lovely confection.
Instead, picture the beaters on the mixer completely out of the bowl, spinning on high, adorning the kitchen with ant-attracting sticky stuff. Picture loud nagging, rolling of eyes, crossed arms, exasperated sighs, and that was just me. Chaos tolerance breached. It takes 21 days to make a new habit. And when it’s not working, we regroup, re-choose, redesign and even recycle!
“Hey girls, about this past week… it was an epic fail. Did anyone enjoy the last few days? What can we do to make it better? I need help, so making contributions (our word for “chores”) go away isn’t happening.”
We redesigned together.
The list I had made for daily, weekly and occasional contributions was too cumbersome. We pared it down. They asked for daily lists to work from (many tasks rotate) until the habits are solid (fair request).
In the process, we uncovered a big obstacle.
It wasn’t just a giant “I don’t wanna.” Frankly, they took offense to the suggestion that it was that. Their room (they share) was in need of a junk overhaul. Even at its neatest, there isn’t enough storage space and this caused daily frustrations and eventually, total disengagement. And when they couldn’t find success there, all other contributions also suffered. And what did I see most on the way to my home office? Their room. Our epic fail. Debilitating.
Purging of stuff has commenced. While this is liberating, it’s a mess.
During this room redo, I’m giving myself the gift of relinquishment… letting go of current chaos in favor of future success. (“The bags and piles will go away… the room will be vacuum-able soon… we’ll be able to find stuff in 3 tries…” or I just close my eyes and run past the room.) We have a plan to split them into separate rooms, but it isn’t yet feasible. Until then, we get creative.
And have a yard sale – recycle. (I promise, neither of the kids is for sale.)
I’ll keep you posted on the contribution daily habits.
Julie Ford is a certified life coach, speaker, writer, facilitator and trainer. She helps organizations support their high performers through parenting transitions. With one-on-one and group coaching, she helps her clients to define what matters most in their lives, and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to find more joy and less chaos in the everyday.