I actually had a post already written for today, but I think I’ll put it off until tomorrow.
Feeling the need to . . . Bleh.
In case you aren’t familar with this term, it could probably be defined as: The point at which thoughts come tumbling out of my brain with little rhyme or reason but (hopefully) in the end come together and make sense.
Here’s the thing. Anonymous commented with a wonderful question on yesterday’s post about a simplified summer checklist for my kids. It’s the same question I’ve been asking myself over and over and giving myself many different versions of answers. I tried to respond, and it turns out that lovely Blogger is not allowing me to comment on my own blog.
Here was her/your/I-guess-it-could-be-a-his-but-I-picture-all-of-my-readers-as-women comment:
“So Nony, are you *keeping* your kids’ chore charts? Are you saying your are focusing more on daily maintenance/pickup than deep cleaning of bathroom, etc? I read you’re LAST summer’s posts and was all set to follow what you did! LOL Seriously, was just sitting down to print a copy of your chore charts. I’m still going to and we’re having a family meeting later where I’ll explain them. We’ve got to start with *some* kind of structure. My husband is a teacher and a slob, combined w/ myself a slob and 3 slobs in training…well…bad goes to worse quickly during the summer here. Thanks, Nony, love the blog, feels so good to have found a kindred spirit”
Here is my “bleh” response:
Random Thought #1:
Last summer’s Summer of Clean WAS a success. My kids learned how to clean. That was our focus, and I feel confident that if they were put into a situation where they needed to clean a bathroom, do their own laundry, or sweep a floor . . . the adult in charge might not even guess that their mother is a slob.
Random Thought #2:
My kids are in public school, but I view myself as their primary teacher of life skills.
While I think I’ve done a decent job on many things, I had not taught them how to clean. This was because, pre-blog, I was so random in my cleaning that even though I did hand them a cloth to help me on occasion, the cleaning was so inconsistent that they never had a chance to develop any real skills.
Random Thought #3:
At the beginning of last summer, I was reaching a point where my own cleaning skills were developing, and I wanted to use this newfangled concept called Consistency to teach these skills to my kids.
Random Thought #4:
Because I am a slob, and was petrified last summer that I would lose ALL traction in my deslobification process, I had to choose a focus. A steely-faced, scary-eyed focus.
I chose to make that focus our weekly cleaning tasks, with the additional motivation of teaching my children cleaning skills. Additional motivation is very helpful for me. I don’t like depending on only one motivation. I need a back-up plan.
Random Thought #5:
Teaching my children to clean is not my main goal for this summer. That was accomplished last summer.
I’ve reaped the benefits this year. On a Sunday night, I can say, “OK, I need your laundry!” and they are able to sort it into piles for me. Over Christmas break, I handed the task of bathroom cleaning over to them while I worked on the special goodies for our Christmas Eve celebration. (Which I then forgot to take with us, but that’s not the point.)
While they obviously still require direction and supervision, last summer’s success means we don’t have to have the same focus. We need to learn new skills.
We’ll still use the Bathroom Cleaning Checklist from last summer on Tuesdays. I’ll still have them do the vacuuming on Thursday, and we’ll still work together on Laundry Day.
Hopefully, the kids will be comfortable doing these things, even if they don’t wake up excited about them.
THIS summer, I want to teach my kids the life-changing potential of daily tasks.
I struggle . . . big time . . . with daily tasks.
Especially when my routine gets altered.
So, while my FOCUS was on teaching my kids basic cleaning skills last summer, my FOCUS this summer is on training them to keep a home livable through developing daily habits.
And I hope/wonder/believe that because they know how un-fun bathroom cleaning is, letting them skip it one week because they’ve done so well on their daily wipe-downs will be a life-lesson that has the potential to make a real impact.
I’m setting us up for some teachable moments here, people.
Random Thought #6:
I’ve been encouraged several times lately to start giving advice. To tell other new-to-their-own-deslobification-process slobs what to do.
Here’s the reason I hesitate to do that: I don’t like being told what to do.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I prefer to see/hear/read ideas and then decide what I want to do with them.
So I offer you these things to consider:
Where are you in your deslobification process? Have you developed some daily habits that are helping your home run more smoothly? What are the skills you most want your kids to learn? Can you use the task of teaching your kids certain skills to help you maintain your own focus?
I’m not changing my focus because last year’s focus wasn’t good. I’m changing it because I’m in a different place now, and I need a re-focus.
There you go. This is what is going on inside my brain. Confused?
***** And while we’re on the subject of comments not working . . . . I need to let you know that I will soon make the move to WordPress, hopefully in the next week. Nothing to fear, things will be the same, with the same format, at the same web address. It will just look a little different. I’m excited because I love the new design, and the move should make it easier for you to comment and for this Slob Club to keep growing! Just don’t be alarmed if one day soon you land on what appears to be a totally different blog!