We have all been here: It’s been quite the crazy day. Everything that could possibly happen in the day to throw you off your game happens. All of a sudden it’s 8:00pm and dinner is barely finished, homework needs to be done, agendas need to be signed, the kitchen is a wreck and no one can find school clothes for the next day.
Suddenly everyone is ‘so tired’ and needs to rush off to bed so they get enough sleep and aren’t ‘tired in the morning for school’.
So now you’re standing amid the mess with a choice on your hands. Do it all yourself so you have a clean house when you wake up in the morning…or… *oh-my-gosh-how-could-she*cough-shudder-choke-a-little* leave it overnight and… wake up the heathens super early in the morning to not just finish their chores, but clean it to a shine! Bet they wont make that mistake again!
You’re inviting more of a struggle.
So what’s the solution?
What you need is routine. Established boundaries and clear expectations. These are essential elements of a smoothly run household. Sure, you’re going to have days when you feel like everything is upside down, but having these in place will help those day run more smoothly and hopefully keep them few and far between!
It takes 28 days to make a habit. 28 days of struggle for a lifetime of good habits? Sure, I’ll take it! Sign me up!
One important thing with big families, okay excuse me, ANY size family really (who was I trying to kid??) is pitching in to help one another. No one person should feel like they are shouldering the weight for all. That can lead down a dark road of bitterness and frustration, and we definitely do not want to invite that into our home. So how do we ensure we are all pulling our own weight?
I will say it again: You need established boundaries and clear expectations. You need to establish a routine.
Studies have shown that children who pitch in around the house and who are assigned regular chores grow up to be more centered and responsible adults.
Establish Your Routine
Have a family routine for the evening. Routines may seem boring to some, but they are essential. They are the backbone and the strength of a well functioning home.
Now, if you’re anything like my family, you have 7 days in the week and each and EVERY one of those 7 days is full of different activities, different times we get home, different everything. That’s okay. That can still be part of your routine. For example, Tuesdays and Thursdays are soccer practice, Wednesday is Youth Group at Church. These happen every week. These are part of our routine.
Our nightly routines for these evenings are different than the other nights of the week. Dinners are quicker, showers are at different times, homework happens differently on these nights, but they are THE SAME every week. Wednesdays are no homework for my boys (they go to a private school and they are encouraged to go to church Wednesday nights by not having homework those nights. It’s really nice! Fridays are Friday fun nights so we have game or movie night and usually take out or something quick so we have more family time.
You can have a different routine every night of the week if it comprised the same elements every week and the routine is the same on the same nights every week (Tuesdays we do this, Thursdays we do that, etc). Knowing what to expect is more than half the battle. Kids need routine, and so do adults. Routine is a natural anxiety killer. 😉
If you need help with Time Management so you can actually get to a routine, here’s a free 7-Day Time Management Email Course that can help you!
Set Boundaries and Establish Clear Expectations:
Lay out clear expectations for your kids. They need to know with no doubts exactly what you expect. Then, enforce your expectations.
Dishes have to be done before screen time? Okay. Enforce it.
Clothes laid out before they go to bed? Ok. Now enforce that expectation.
Backpacks packed and lunches made the night before so mornings aren’t so hectic? Great!
Make sure they know the consequences for not following through on your expectations and don’t back down. Once you let an expectation slip, you’ve opened the door to a downhill battle. It’s hard to get back up again.
However, if you have slipped, don’t be afraid to get back up and try again! We all have those days – or weeks – what is important is re-establishing your expectations and being consistent in following through. You can do this.
Need help establishing routines and expectations? Download the Family Accountability Planner Sheet and post it in your family command center. It is a helpful tool to leave out all the guesswork and promote family accountability, which will strengthen your relationships and bring you closer as a family!
Looking for more help establishing your routines? Grab your copy of the Busy Mom’s Survival Guide by entering your email address in the window below. You’ll have planning worksheets – like these – sent directly to your inbox!
What can you use a little help with? What chores does your family struggle with? Which night is the most difficult to get through? What has helped you? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and let me know how you handle your routines and delegation of tasks in your family.