Posts Tagged ‘hot bath’

True Confessions of a Mother

January 18, 2013

When my children were 7, 4 and 2-years-old (back when I only had three kids!) I read a book that stated, “A seven-year-old is capable of running a household.”  It shocked me.  But I bit into it…. with my jaws wide open… similar to my first bite of a Krispy Kreme donut.  That night, as I laid in bed with my eyes wide open, I dreamed of training my 7-year-old to take over all the menial tasks that I dreaded as a mother and keeper of the home.  I envisioned my next two offspring also reaching the ripe old age of seven…. and helping their older sister do EVERYTHING!  Oh, sweet baby Jesus, this was the answer I needed … my ticket to sanity… the train bound for the hot bubbly bath surrounded by candles …. and TIME to read a good book without interruptions.

The chore chart was born that night and materialized the next day.  It worked like a gem.  I taught each kid a single chore, one at a time, year by year, that they could master at my cleaning expectations.  Oh, would my future daughters-in-law sing praises to my name!

You may be asking yourself what I would do with all my new-found free time…. well, I’m a homeschool mom.  BAM!  (Homeschool mom = no free time.)

Reflecting back, after 12 long years in the saddle (and 9 to go, but who’s counting?), I have come to see the harm the chore chart did to my children.  Yes, it’s true.  And I am admitting it here for all the world to read.  (Well, that is…. the 80% of those in the world over the age 15 who are literate… according to a 2002 statistic.)  (Homeschool moms are experts at finding statistics to prove their point.)

As the teen years encompassed our home, I realized that my sweet chillin’s wouldn’t lift a finger for any chore that did not have their name next to it on that particular day. “WHAAAAT?  Is that how we brought you up???  To be selfish and petty?”  Made my blood boil.  (That only happens at 212 degrees F…. and I was THERE, baby!)

Discussions revolving around teens and the spirit of helping, a willingness to serve, desiring to be like Jesus, etc. etc. etc. were had by yours truly and many others in my life.  Since then, we have regrouped and are trying something new and improved… it’s called being nice.  Being thankful.  Not feeling entitled.  An announcement was made at the dinner table not long ago…. it went something like this:  “We are a family.  We help each other.  We serve each other.  If someone cared enough to plan your meals, go grocery shopping, cook for you and set the table….. then you need to stick around until the whole kitchen is cleaned up and the food is put away.”  BAM!  It has worked beautifully for three nights now.  I will keep you posted on the success of trying to teach my children to be helpful without their name written on a chart.  Pray for me.

Now, those who have great faith in my chore chart abilities, do not fear.  Only the kitchen tasks have been removed.  Their names are still next to chores that include wiping toilets, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning windows, collecting trash, etc. etc. etc.  Some things just need routine.  Ok, I just need routine…. and a long bubbly bath surrounded by candles.

Three Way Tie

August 5, 2010

I don’t know if I’ve ever been this tired before.  Even when I had babies waking up at all hours, I don’t recall being this exhausted.  Yes, I overdid it a bit with the whole redecorate the house thing.  OK, I’ll admit “a bit” is an understatement.  The schedule in my mind for this week consisted of:  Monday – Zaza’s room. Tuesday – Boys room.  Wednesday – Kitchen and Family Room.  Thursday – recover and finish tying up loose ends.  Friday – lay by the pool.  I’m right on schedule too.  What surprised me was my aching body on Wednesday night.  I thought I would hit the pillow and be out cold.  Well, I did hit the pillow… even early, at 9:45.. and I slept like a baby.  The baby that wakes up and cries every 20 minutes.  My body was hurting.  Too much up and down the ladder.  Too much painting next to the ceiling.  Too much of too hot outside.  Too much moving furniture.

By 3:45 a.m. I had had enough.  I decided I needed a soak in a hot bath tub with epsom salt.  It did wonders for me… and in a mere 30 minutes.  I climbed back into bed and was relaxed enough to sleep until 7:45.  YES!  My husband woke up and asked how I slept… TOTALLY unaware of my tossing and turning and moaning… and even the bath tub water running 12 feet from the bed where he lay!  “That was quite possibly the worst night’s sleep I’ve ever had.”  But then I remembered camping at Needle Rock Spring Break of 2009…. and “sleeping” in LaMision, Mexico in the summer of 2009.  It’s a three-way tie for worst place.

Tonight, I’m heading straight for the tub before the bed.  BUT Zaza’s room is darling and 98% done. (Just needs curtain tie-backs, and some more painting of butterflies and flowers on the tea table.) 

The boy’s room is situated, but will it ever be clean to my liking?  Who knows?  We piled our 11-year-old’s belongings in the hall before moving him into the room he shares with his 13-year-old brother.  I instructed him to pick up each item in the hall and decide to keep it or get rid of it.  He spent about 10 minutes in the hallway and then came and reported that he didn’t want anything in the hall anymore!  SWEET!  The garage sale pile is growing!  We separated their bunk beds and put a bookshelf in the middle of the room to create two separate spaces.  It’s pretty dorm-ish, but does the job well.  I need to anchor the shelf to the wall before someone dies of falling shelf in there.

The family room and kitchen were painted in one day thanks to a friend and her three sons who helped me and my three children.  Worker bees were we!  I made the valances today, but only got two of three up on the wall.  Tomorrow morning I’ll be done!  And I’ll take photos for you, faithful readers.

Off to the tub.  Good night!