So I've mapped out this whole plan for the summer, I'm crossing my fingers, and I'm hoping, hoping, hoping it works. As you may know I stay home with the kids and have this little knitting job that keeps me about as busy as a full-time job (in terms of hours that is) and I'm also a physical therapist for about 8 hours a month as things stand now. I have a blog (obvious), an Etsy shop, and I vend at the local farmers market 20+ weeks a year.
We don't fork out the big bucks for one camp after another, although that would be an absolute necessity if I were working at the hospital full time, but I'm not, so we don't. Our splurge is the pool, it's a place we all love and we go several times a week. But there's the ever-present obstacle of how Mommy is supposed to get some knitting work done all while having three lively, active, creative and energetic kids hanging around the house all day. Not to mention how the other chores and activities are to get completed that make the house and family run like a well-oiled machine (ha!). You know, like cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, animal care, garden tending, etc.
So here's the deal. In theory, Mommy is going to work in the mornings all while the kids have their own plan and activities to do and if everyone completes all of their "have-to's", we head to the pool in the afternoon. Then I take a bit of a break and the other half of my work day resumes late in the evening after everyone is at the very least settled down, or most likely in bed. It makes for a long day.
Since it's been the biggest thing on my mind these past several days now that the kids are out of school, I thought I'd leave a list here for all to see as to how our summer mornings are ideally supposed to run. And then in August I'll have proof as to how far off track we've gotten! My lists for the kids:
1. Clean rooms for 20 minutes a day and make beds.
2. Read for 20 minutes (or listen to a sibling read in Allie's case)
3. Let chickens out, feed them and close them up for the night--John
4. Clean mirrors and sinks in the bathrooms on Monday and Thursday--Allie
5. Clean toilets on Monday and Thursday--Lauren
6. Vaccuum rooms on Tuesday
7. Check the garden for veggies every day
8. Something studious--this is the fun part, they can choose any of the following or make up their own:
~sketch Lego designs and build them
~write and illustrate books
~write in a journal
~practice writing words (Allie)
~math/science books leftover from school
~practice an instrument (piano)
~make cards, write letters, sculpt, paint
~the options are endless
In the end, if they complete the things on their lists every day, they also get an allowance at the end of the week. So far it has worked well but we've only been at it for 2 days now. What surprises me the most is how excited they are to check their lists and how they've taken it upon themselves to do all of their activities without me pushing, prodding, pleading, cajoling, begging, or threatening. Allie needs a bit more help to stay on track (except for the bathroom cleaning--she'd do it every day if I wanted her to) but my standards are a bit more slack for a 5 year old. I certainly don't expect perfection, just participation.
There you have it, the lofty, idealistic plan of how to keep everyone happy, learning, playing, working and everything moving along without me having a total breakdown. My goal is parenting with attention and INtention, positive reinforcement and encouragement rather than negativity and punishment, and really how to function together, as a team, a unit, a family. Wish us luck, laugh at us, or join us, your choice!