Apathy, Flylady and Contributing Factor #2

I believe that Contributing Factor #2 to my apathy about household chores is that, with our home size and family size, there is simply too much for one person to attempt to do. There is absolutely NO WAY I could do a Home Blessing in an hour. I’ve tried. I’ve valiantly tried. It takes, consistently, one hour to mop one floor of our home. That’s sweeping and mopping. Nothing else. No dusting, no vacuuming the area rug, no trash removal.

So, I hear people saying, “Get the kids involved.” Yes, this IS the solution. There have been times in my parenting career that I could have had it “made in the shade” by enlisting the assistance of my kids, especially when Amelia and Clara and Jacob were still home all day. Now, I face a real challenge in developing a Flylady-based system for getting household chores accomplished by the kids who are at home, primarily due to the cognitive, behavioral and physical challenges of some of them.

On the trip, I spent a lot of time facing this challenge of involving the kids whole-heartedly in our household routines. At the moment, they each have specific responsibilities around the house. For example, Tim is in charge of getting lunch entirely cleaned up (each person is responsible for his or her own dishes, but Tim puts away leftovers, washes up any miscellaneous pots, wipes the table and sweeps), Margaret and Eleanor do the same at supper, Lydia sets the table for each meal, Peter tidies up the living room at night, etc. I needed to add responsibilities to each person’s list PLUS, for my sake, so I don’t spend so much time prompting and reminding, put into place an external motivator for each child.

Now, I have successfully raised three children to healthy, contributing adulthood, so I’ve probably heard everything there is to hear about whether or not to “pay” children for doing their household chores. Here’s how I’m looking at it: when I have to do something that I don’t especially like doing, I would rather be motivated by the opportunity to receive a reward for my work than to avoid a punishment for not doing my work. Why should my kids feel any differently?

And that leads me to another point. If I’m brutally honest, my only true motivation for continuing religiously to complete my Flylady routine is to avoid the guilt and embarrassment of CHAOS. When I realized that there was no positive motivation for doing what I spend so many hours a day doing, it was a real eye-opener. I’m considering giving myself a positive motivator, like a professional massage or pedicure, when I’ve done my Flylady routine for a certain number of days, too.

Of course, all of this external motivation will require some monetary input. With our current job situation, this will be a challenging factor. However, Joey and I talked a lot about it yesterday and decided that if putting in place a system that includes external motivators for the kids saves my “sanity,” then it is worth the effort.

I think developing this new system with the kids is definitely part of a solution to my apathy. And then, there’s Contributing Factor #3….

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One Response to “Apathy, Flylady and Contributing Factor #2”

  1. Amelia Says:

    I guess if you think about people working a job, they are getting paid for their efforts…and getting punished if they don’t do them (aka fired). You don’t want to kick the kids out of the house, though. 🙂

    Anyways, I don’t see a problem with paying them for their consistent work because that is a true “real life” thing to deal with.

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