Had an epiphany the other day. Probably caffeine fueled. Little bit from exhaustive corpse function.
Momma lost her proverbial shit with herself and things have to change.
Managing a household under the umbrella of the Cosmic Everything Else has been…well, challenging is too light a word.
“Are you sure that taking college courses isn’t too much for you?” implored my mother.
“Hands down, a resounding ‘YUP’,” I responded.
But, it’s something for “Me.” and I’ve yet to find a real balance with the self care I endeavoured to ascertain throughout all of last year. I was really proud of that…finding the things that made me happy, offered reprieve or a little bit of escapism in order to regroup and refresh.
So, what’s an on-your-own mom of four kids residing in the house to do?!
Change the goddamn wording.
See, “of” is the problem. The problem with thinking you’re the umbrella to the functionality of an entire household, solo, when your kids aren’t infants or toddlers is…misleading. It implies that you’re the entire center of micro-managing the Universe, and not in any good way.
I’m a solo parent with four kids.
Now I’ve just changed the perspective to include the understanding that these kids, 16, 10, 9 and 9 (twins, yes) can manipulate complex, military-style attacks in Star Wars Battlefront…and so they sure as shit can “Do.” things to take them off my plate. Not “help”…I don’t resonate well with that. Do. Git’er’done. Because, life.
Disclaimer: I’m not stupid. I’ve been a parent for just over 20 years. The kids have been “Do.”ing things around the house. They help with dinner. They, for the most part, do their own laundry. Yes, at nine years old. Sometimes I’ll help hang/fold because gods forbid a piece of cloth touch one’s skin for a millisecond, rendering it dirty = mountainous volume. They tidy their rooms to sub-standards like all kids do. They’ll do things when asked.
The point is to have to ask a whole lot LESS.
I’ve not had much success with things like “chore charts” and the like in the past. Just doesn’t happen. In the throes of managing the Cosmic Everything, reminders get lost in the wind and the consequence of non-performance simply isn’t a consideration to an already overtaxed brain dealing with schools and programs and workers, OH, MY!
I had to start over. From the beginning. Foundations!
So? I turned my wall into a family command center.
Yup. I’d spent two hours (that’s it?) on Pinterest for ideas on how to best gather information and resources for these four spawnlings to easily access in their own piece of the Cosmic Everything.
Blackboard paint, yo.
Because, if it’s fun…it’s more likely to succeed.
I have the perfect wall for it, too. Right by the kitchen, right on one’s way out down the front hall…I DARE you to miss it!!
*eyes narrow suspiciously*
Hauled my I’ve-earned-this-ass down into the furnace room for all things “tool-y”…I like tools. Read from that what you wish.
For less than $100…I procured the necessary items in order to create a dynamic space for all to see…and “Do.”
Between the Dollar Store and Walmart (the dry erase calendar board and blackboard paint) I acquired the bits and the bobs…but why the lanyards?
Oh, no. No, you won’t tell me you can’t find it, thus, you did not clean it. *evil stabby glare*
I pre-packed up some Dollar Store crates with all the cleaning goodies necessary for all things Bathroom.
Sits on each bathroom’s floor. My OCD can chill.
Remember those lanyards? Check it out.
Printed out the how-to-clean-so-Mom-doesn’t-lose-her-shit instructions for the room/area of focus.
That’s right…a younger spawnling can throw that sucker on and have an instant how-to.
But, how did I actually organize The Hub?
Yup. I did that. Go, Go SpazzyHands! and all… \m/
See that menu chalkboard sticker? Oh, yes. Yes, because having four spawnlings each ask “What’s for dinner?” at four different times within the first 40 minutes of being home from school is bringing me close to running headfirst into a wall.
But, not this wall. This wall is epic. And, it would smudge the chalk. And, I haven’t planned for who would clean it.
I used a Dollar Store document frame and printed out a skeleton “Daily” “Weekly” “Monthly” table, slid it in, and can now use dry-erase markers on the glass to highlight ongoing tasks under each category. Dry-erase = fluidity to change, modify and adapt, as necessary.
Now, I *do* recognize the requirement of implementing reminders. Habits form over the course of a few weeks, by nature over a few months. Family meeting tomorrow night to discuss. Also, to fill in the spawnling/task requirements. I would have done it myself, but I find getting them to choose what and when is allowing them to direct their own efforts and, again, is more likely to succeed.
We’ll also be discussing why Momma’s so close to losing her shit and how we, together, nay WITH each other, can “Do.” All The Things and find a balance everyone can manage. I don’t need to be the umbrella under which I must manage and exhaust myself.
Do you have a Hub of your own? What do you think makes it so successful? Anything you’ve added/deleted? Let me know!