I am sure looking from the outside in of our family people think, "Wow! They have got it together." I mean, I manage to make it to work at an acceptable time and looking presentable. I travel for work, so Travis manages the girls school and dance schedules like a champ. We are all happy, healthy and productive members of society.
Then again, if you have read this blog for any length of time, you have probably seen the piles of clean laundry that never get folded on my couch. Real Life.
Well, I am hear to dash that illusion with one simple sentence. Mornings in our house are mass chaos.
Yes, you heard it people. Mornings are ridiculous. I love to say and even pretend that we have a routine. If the routine includes your three year old running through the house with her pajama pants on her head, then yeah, we've got that.
Let me describe a morning with the Williamson's for you...just a taste of what it's like so you don't think I am making this stuff up:
Alarm goes off at 5:30am. I hit snooze. It goes off again and I hit snooze. This continues until I accidentally turn it off intending to get up. Then, I jump out of bed a 6 am. I race to the shower. After I shower, I tell Travis to get up and I turn on the bedroom light. I go let the dog out and turn on the coffee maker. As I am going back down the hall, I turn on Emma's light and wake her up. Then, Hannah and Catherine. (This is the calm portion of the morning).
After telling Travis FOUR HUNDRED times to get up, he finally does. I make the bed and he goes to the kitchen to get the girls some breakfast. At this point, it rapidly falls apart. Emma spends most of her morning standing around waiting for someone to remind her what to do next. ("Have you brushed your teeth?" "Oh yeah...I forgot." "Do you have on shoes?" "Oops...forgot that too"). Hannah is super OCD, so she is always ready first, which is great. Until she decides to boss Catherine around, who is usually running through the house in her panties yelling at us to get her dressed or feeding the dog cereal off her spoon.
It continues like that all morning. The whole time I am yelling at the girls to "GET DRESSED!" "WE HAVE TO LEAVE IN 5 MINUTES" "YOU ARE GONNA BE LATE AND I WILL NOT TAKE YOU IN TO GET A TARDY SLIP!"
Chaos I tell you....and it is STRESSFUL! This morning was much the same. The thing is, this morning, it hit me. I hate spending our mornings yelling at the girls (and sometimes Travis). It's just not a good start to the day. While I know these days won't last and they will become more independent, I can't help but wonder what a nice smooth morning in our house would be like.
(And don't leave me comments about picking out clothes at night or packing lunches at night...trust me...we have tried it all!)
All three of the girls are interested in money, spending it more than earning it, but money, nonetheless. Catherine even goes so far as to steal money from Hannah's piggy bank when hers feels a little empty. (And trust me, Hannah knows every missing penny and a fight breaks out...usually in the morning!) We have never really had a good system on how they earn their money. Usually they scavenge change out of our cars or off the dryer.
And so, starting next week, each of the girls have chore charts.
(yes...it will wait until next week because I am traveling the rest of this week and Lord knows Travis doesn't have an organized bone in his body to implement this new system!)
Each chore is worth money and they have to do it WITHOUT being asked. Some are daily chores and some are weekly. Each one has a chart and will get my or Travis's initials at the end of the day for each chore they did. Then, at the end of the week, they will get the allowance based on that. Some of their allowance they will take to church for offering. The rest they can save or spend how they like.
Here are pictures of the girls' chore charts. Each chore and chart is tailored to each of the girls. Emma has more chores, but more earning potential. Hannah has fewer chores and less earning potential. Catherine's chores have pictures because she can't read.
So...that's my solution. Maybe it will help. I mean, God does work miracles!