Now that I’ve successfully transferred the children to their respective ports of education, I have a few moments to myself to come up with a strategy.
This much, I know. It is imperative that I commit myself to making absolutely certain particular things are done on a daily basis, regardless of how I feel or how much time I have. If I need to enlist the help of the other bodies in the household, then so be it. Part of assuming responsibility is the art of delegation. Everyone can pitch in to a degree.
Those things that must be done daily, no exceptions: dishes, meal-time kitchen clean-up (come on, it’s easier when the stuff hasn’t dried on the counter for hours), taking the trash out, and scooping the litterbox. These things take a max of 45 minutes worth of time and minimum amount of effort. The trash can be taken out when the kids get picked up from school, the kids can do the dishes, and the Missus and I can take turns cleaning up after meals and scooping the litterbox. This is simple stuff, and it goes a long way.
Things that must be done as frequently as possible, as long as time allows: laundry and thorough picking up of the front areas of the house. Laundry takes time to wash/dry – just over an hour for a load. We are relegated to coin-op machines, so I have to make sure that I actually time it so the clothes don’t sit around waiting for me all day – the neighbors don’t appreciate waiting on me! Beyond that, both kids are capable of putting their own clothes away, my wife enjoys folding clothes (as does my son, oddly enough), and so I really don’t have an excuse for not doing it more often. Pickup can be done by the kids, as it’s mostly their mess. It’s just a matter of enforcing it. Ten minutes before bed shouldn’t be too much to ask, right? Just ask the kids….
It’s a matter of getting the routine underway. Routine helps me so much, and if I deviate just the slightest little bit, it’s hard to get back on track. So I have to commit.
Perhaps it’s time to call a family meeting next week. The kids are both asking for ways to help, and I clearly need help, so setting aside a time to figure it all out seems sensible.
All that aside, I still need to get the house straightened up before my MIL comes. I haven’t yet met her, and I’d hate for her first impression of me to be that I’m a slob who can’t keep house. I’m not really a slob, I’m just terribly unorganized! Mess BOTHERS me, I just haven’t figured out how to avoid it yet.
Today, I’m going to attempt rapid-fire surface cleaning and laundry, along with the daily tasks outlined above. What I don’t get done by 11:30, I will delegate to the others. Tomorrow, I’ll look at what deeper-cleaning tasks I can focus on.