- Posted August 9, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Confessions from imperfect parents
To-Do or to Delegate
If you are like me and you have a large family, you know that laundry mountains never cease, neither does endless crumbs under the kitchen table, and errands are often run late at night when you are exhausted and daydreaming about your pillow. You will sometimes opt to order take out pizza instead of cooking, you will ignore those dishes calling to you from the sink. Just getting those dishes done frequently enough to prevent them from growing legs and walking out of the sink is your personal definition of a super mom.
How can we find time to give our kids the attention they deserve and find time for all the endless tasks?
I wanted to do it all. I would wake up on a Saturday morning and start cleaning the house. This would take hours. Before I knew it, it was 4:00 in the afternoon and our Saturday was gone. It was too late to take a family trip and I was too exhausted to go out anyway. By Sunday, I would need a nap in the middle of the day and still have laundry I didn't even get to yet. I decided to change my expectations of super mom and swallow my pride. I decided that spending time with my family was more important and I was going to find a way to make time for just that.
One very powerful word: Delegate.
The first thing I did was write on my calendar that Saturday mornings were for one-on-one time with the kids. They can't unearn this time with us for acting out badly, it is a right. It is vital to them knowing their importance. Every Saturday morning starting at 10am, I take one of the kiddos to do a fun activity. Home Depot has free craft days, Chick-fil-A has a play place, there's always the park, Barnes and Nobles has story time, the possibilities are endless. Once we return home, then my hubby will go take them out and do something else. By 2pm, everyone is back home and ready to go do something as a family together. We'll go to festivals, parks, and even all the way to the beach. So what about all of the laundry and the housecleaning? I decided to find someone I knew who could use the extra money and give the job to them. This was cheaper than hiring an actual house cleaner and was helping someone else at the same time. I decided to separate the laundry by each child in the home, one hamper in each room. That hamper gets to the laundry room, we will clean it, and they are to take it back up to their rooms and put it away. No more sorting, no more running up and down the stairs. This made 1 task half the work it used to be and was teaching my kids personal responsibility. My kids are also in charge of cleaning their rooms and in our home, there is no allowance to be earned for taking care of your own responsibilities. If they do other tasks around the house, then they are paid an allowance. This motivates them to handle other household tasks that I used to do myself. When I get home, I don't cook, my husband does and I can spend some time playing with blocks on the floor with my 10 month old and building blanket forts with my other 4.
I still don't use cloth diapers and I still miss mommy and me Pilates during the week but at least I know I am making time for each one of my kids. I'm starting to see some light at the end of the dryer tunnel and even willing to try my hand at homemade baby food and Pinterest recipes. I'm learning to be resourceful in juggling my responsibilities with my family time and releasing some of those things into the hands of someone else. In doing this, I get to be more of the super mom my kids want me to be.