Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Total Rehaul

With the beginning of the new year our family has begun a total makeover. We have set new rules, made new charts, started new incentives, and I've tried to stop yelling to be heard. We didn't just start it all at once. We've been taking baby steps and the motivation has come from the success of the prior step. I was just talking to Tony yesterday about how much easier I have it now with some of the new expectations from the kids. For example, now that they have a new rule of placing their shoes and coats in the proper place as soon as they walk in the door, we don't have to pick them up later. They feel like they have responsibility and therefore they also don't bring all their toys downstairs like they used to. That was just something that naturally happened when they realized keeping it clean means less cleaning later on.
So now after I've been pulling my hair out for almost seven years cleaning up after the boys who would then mess it up immediately afterward, I've learned the trick to let them clean up their own mess. What a concept. People have probably told me this before and my lack of faith in my children kept me from expecting that help.
Tony and I have seen a change in the children already and it hasn't even been a whole month. All of us are much happier and the family functions so much more smoothly. Another big plus is our nice peaceful home life is now creeping it's way into our public life. The boys are even listening to me when we are out and about, which in the past is when they would be so hyper it was like talking to a brick wall.
It feels great to feel like I am finally able to handle four boys. I always hated when people would ask me before how I did it with four boys. I knew that the honest answer was that I wasn't. I was totally overwhelmed and I felt like I was treading water. Now I feel like I can answer that it's hard work but WE'RE doing it. I hope that we continue to see more success especially since we do have another one on the way. Our next goal that we want to work on is having a baby-sitter so we can go on a date. The last time we did that was for my birthday a couple of years ago. I'd say it's something we need. I think our boys are almost there that we wouldn't feel horrible leaving them with somebody while we went out and enjoyed ourselves. I'll let you know when that happens.


okeydokeyifine said...

Good for you and the boys. It is a big step forward when they learn that they are part of having the household run smoothly. They are too young to do a lot but they are old enough to do certain things and it sounds as if you have identified those things.

Remember when you were small and your chore was to smile....Yeah, good times.

EmmaP said...

too funny. i have felt the same way for years. people would say, "how do you do it?" and I would think to myself... "i'm not. it's all an act." and then you went and said a few weeks ago that you thought I should blog about how i do a good job as a mom. i was like, "yeah right." well - i will say that Sunday, i sat down and wrote a whole blog post about my "parenting skills". Watch for it on Friday.

ok - i have had "rules" before. They worked when we lived in our town home. mostly because it was smaller than where we live now (only about 1200 sq ft). so i thought things would be great where we live now, because it's bigger. really it just means more place to make messes. so - we just had a come to jesus meeting about "RESPONSIBILITY" during our family night last night. I told them that if we couldn't even manage our own responsbilities, then we couldn't manage having a dog. yes. i told them we would get rid of the dog. they have until friday to turn things around.

anyway - be sure to "stop by" friday for my "tschniques"!

your sis, em

Ruthykins said...

that's nice. it's good to hear that i'm not the only one to be slacking.

Puphigirl said...

I too get asked how I do it all. Balancing family, work, school and cubscouts. I don't know, maybe faith. But I know that Kyle does a lot for the house. He's the one that keeps up on the house cleaning. I just make dinner and get after the kids to do their homework while I am doing my homework.