Monday, August 17, 2015

Morning Jobs

nope, these boys aren't our regular vacuum crew, but they were happy little helpers for one morning!

I've learned as a mom that once I feel like I have things figured out in some way- the right system or the right response or the right routine... things change and it's time to start brainstorming again. Still, it's so exciting when I find something that just works. Since the kids are heading back to school later this week, all of our systems and routines are going to be up in the air for a bit as we find our rhythm, but I still wanted to celebrate what worked this summer.

For our first few weeks of summer (more than a few actually), our morning jobs were taking us all morning long. And it was kind of miserable! Lots of 'come on guys, keep working' 'come on guys, we've got to finish' 'come on guys...' (no fun!) I kept hoping maybe it would just get easier or the kids would do better at cleaning up as they played... and we slowly, slowly got a little better at things, but it was still not going too smoothly.

I'd recently re-read something about what makes people happiest with their jobs -- things like being challenged and having autonomy. So where I had been aiming to make our morning jobs a big group effort - yay! we're working together and helping each other! I decided to try a different strategy. Instead of all of us working together on cleaning up the whole house and the kids working together on their 'super helper jobs', I started assigning each of the kids their own set of tasks that they could do just on their own. And it was like a miracle! Suddenly instead of working till 10 or 11, we were finishing at 8 or 9 -- Woohoo! As we kept at it for a few weeks, the miracle of it did wear off a bit :) but we've still been quick and there has been much less nagging-by-mom and we've all been much happier workers each morning.

So hooray for a little change that made a big difference for us! Now we'll see what we can come up with for back-to-school routines that work!