Saturday, 30 January 2016

Kids can do stuff... and other thoughts

Hello, after a very long break!

I have been wanting to write about family stuff, documenting my experience of being a parent in a big, busy, loving household. About being a foster mum too, and about working and finding some kind of balance.

I considered starting a new blog entirely but I figure, this space can be whatever I want it to be right? And if I want to talk about the fantastic chaos that is our household, it's totally fine! That's the beauty of owning your own little corner of the internet. Hooray!

We have just about finished school holidays. A staggered start back with miss 9 starting school on Thursday, our little dude starting prep yesterday (Friday), which was wonderfully exciting, and miss 14 going back on Monday. I have had the most fantastic time with my kids over the last six weeks. I absolutely love having them home, watching them potter around doing the things they love. There has been a lot of reading, lego building, tea drinking, sewing, Wii playing, crocheting and movie watching. We even managed to get away to the bush for a few days before John had to get back to work. It was super nice.

The only not so nice bit of having the kids home every day has been the epic-ness of the cleaning and laundry. It was just endless! Constant dish washing, laundry mountains growing at an incredible rate, me nagging like a broken record to "PLEASE spruce the living room up a little bit before you sit down for the next movie". It really puts a dampener on a nice time when you have to do that.

This is a modest mountain compared to what we have been facing recently... Posting this laundry pic, in all it's grotty honesty, because this is what a normal laundry looks like and it's really ok. It is next on my list of things to do, because I don't love having grotty spaces, but it's real, and I think we should all be a bit more real.  

I pretty much reached the end of my tether with the laundry when it hit me... my kids can do stuff! They can! And the oldest two  (9 & 14) are old enough to take on some of the responsibility for their own washing. So I broached the subject with the two of them and they both jumped at the chance. I am sure the novelty will wear off eventually, but for now they are actually excited to do their own washing.

The other thing we are in the process of doing, to help ease the load a bit, is a massive clothes cull. Now that the little guy is at school, he will be wearing uniform for most of the week and needs far less in his drawers than he has needed while at kinder. I got it all out yesterday and put aside the following (all in great condition):

3 pairs of jeans
5 t-shirts
1 dressy shirt
3 jumpers
3 pairs of shorts
10 pairs each of undies and socks
1 warm jacket
3 pairs of PJs

...and the rest of his clothes are now in garbage bags by the door, ready to be collected by Uber tomorrow and taken to the red cross! It seems extreme, but I think this is going to change my life! (It's such a mum thing to take such joy in figuring out a new system to make the household work more efficiently)

The girls have both filled up a garbage bag each with clothes too and after I finish this post, I am going to do the same! Ugh! I feel lighter just thinking about living without laundry mountains!

I need to acknowledge a post by Gourmet Girlfriend, which I read this morning, that made me feel so much better about my decision to get the girls to do their own washing. What she says is so right, it's not just about helping around the house and making my job easier, it's about preparing them to be functional, community minded people. It's the fairest thing we can do! Click the link below to have a read.

Teaching 5 Boy about Housework...

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