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Me and My Munchkin

Me and My Munchkin: September 2012

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Guest Post: Household Contribution Schedule + Free Printable!

When there’s a job to do … there’s just a job to do!

If there is one life-lesson that I want to teach my kids before they leave my nest it is WORK ETHIC.

I want for them to experience the pride and satisfaction that comes with a job well done. I want for them to have the knowledge and belief that working hard brings pay offs – sometimes these are external rewards but much more often they are warm and fuzzy ones.

This all starts at home.

Work ethic is not always an easy principle for us, as parents, to teach and nor is it a given that kids will readily learn. We do have to try though, don’t we, and at our place organisation and persistence are key strategies.

I try to think of our household as a mini society. It’s a little world within the world and a place that can only function smoothly when each citizen aka family member fulfils their responsibilities. To do this, I have replaced the traditional “chore chart” with an outline of what each family member is expected to contribute to the running of the household. It’s then my hope that the kids will learn that the privileges they enjoy are not God-given rights, but rather the reward resulting from contributing to running of the family.

I’ve attached a sample chart – very similar to the one on display in our kitchen ;) – that shows how our schedule works. I’ve tried to make it very clear that contributing to the functioning of the household is a given and is expected by adults and kids alike.

In keeping it real, I’ll readily admit that we are on draft upteen-thousand of this and as the kids grow, and our household routines alter, I make tweaks and changes where necessary. Sometimes these changes are in consultation with the kids – but nope, not always. I figure they may as well learn now that there will always be times in their lives where they just have to do what they have to do. Whether they like it, or not, sometimes it’s just suck-it-up-time.

When nominating what I expect each child to contribute to the household, there are a number of factors I keep in mind ….

  1. Age appropriateness – increasing the number and/or complexity of contributions as the kids grow and mature (and likewise the privileges are upped accordingly)
  2. Geared towards success – never so many things to do it’s overwhelming, nor are tasks too difficult
  3. Leading by example to ensure I also contribute what I’ve committed to
  4. Discussing the expectations to make sure they are clearly communicated and understood
  5. Honouring the privileges and rewards and consistently following through with consequences when contributions are not made.
Do your kids chip in and help around the house? Do you have a chore chart or have you just made them aware of what you require them to do? Would love to hear how your household works!

View my sample Household Schedule here.

Download your own Household Schedule here.

Author Note:
Shari Brewer is an educator, writer and the blogger at . It’s a place for exploring a whole range of household and family stuff and topics include – budgeting, reviews, family stories, organisation and more.
Just remember that it’s really about surviving it all!

Linking up with Diary of a SAHM for IBOT

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A Trip to the Zoo

On Saturday we made a trip to the Adelaide Zoo. It was the first time I had been in over 10 years, so I think that quite possibly, I was even more excited than Master A about going to see the animals!

Getting a bit freaked out in the children's zoo

Watching the "fish" (sea lions)

A big cuddly looking bear

Our favorite animal, the beautiful giraffe
The Panda bears

Exhausted on the way home, clutching his new crocodile
Linking up for the first time ever for Wordless Wednesdays with Twinkle in the Eye and My Little Drummer Boys.

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Yes, I Cheated... And it Feels Terrible!

So Friday night was yet another finals round in the AFL. Being a Port Power supporter, it's been awhile since I have watched a finals game from start to finish. Or even paid attention to who's where on the ladder once the finals rounds start.

Then of course I had to start dating an Adelaide Crows supporter. Not only do I have to listen to jokes about how bad Power played this season (actually and the last couple of seasons!) but I'm expected to tag along to the Crows games and cheer for them.

Now it would be so easy for me to just say "Screw the Power! They're losers! I'm gonna barrack for the winning South Australian team!" but I am loyal and I stand by my boys, no matter how bad they are playing.

Needless to say, going along to my 2nd Crows game felt a little like cheating. I have gone against what feels normal and wanted the Crows to win their last few games, so that I have a happy boyfriend. But expecting me to come to the games is surely asking too much right?

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I went to my first Crows game a little over a month ago. I sat in silence, mostly because I was freezing cold and WAY underdressed (I was in jeans, a long sleeved top, a hoodie and knee high boots!) but also because I just couldn't bring myself to cheer for them. It felt wrong.
I tried to get out of going to the game on Friday, which incidentally was against the same team as the first game I attended but Mr M was hell-bent on me going (something about me being a lucky charm because they won the first game I attended).

I downed a can of Red Bull on the way to AAMI Stadium, thinking of it as a chance to get out of the house for the night. I sat in our undercover seats, this time wearing fleecy track pants and a big thick jacket, and I waited for the game to start. Mr M next to me was, of course, totally excited. His Mum and sister next to us, just as excited.

I made a promise to myself right there and then that I would make an effort to cheer for the Crows that night. I hoped they would win, because I knew that it would make Mr M happy. And of course we all know that a happy man means we all win!

My efforts did not go unnoticed. I was commended (and maybe made fun of just a little bit) for cheering for "the right team". I have to admit though, I felt like I needed to shower when I got home and as though I had done the dirty on my football team! But I had one happy man, and I got some brownie points for making the effort!

Do you ever go against what feels right just to make your man happy?
What AFL team do you support?

It's Tuesday so I'm linking up with Diary of a SAHM for IBOT

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Lists, Lists and More Lists!

I have been talking lately about being a little time poor, and having awful not so good time management skills. Well, I have been tackling these issues the last few weeks, and I must say, so far I am pretty proud of my results.

The first thing I did, was start writing lists (oh lists how I love thee!)

I started with a list of what needs to be done on a daily and weekly basis. My daily list included things like meals, exercise, washing, and preparation for the next day. The weekly list included grocery shopping, changing the beds, housework, etc.

After that I mapped out Master A's schedule. He already wakes, naps, has dinner and goes to bed at the same time each day, I just needed to add in a time to make sure we are ready for the day by, and morning and afternoon teas (more info on Master A's food and meals to come in a later post).

I then did a list of Monday to Sunday and scheduled each job that needs to be done (including studying and blogging, which are my real issues right now) into a day. Friday is my housework day, Wednesday I need to do some reading for Tafe and some blogging, etc. I don't have set times for these. With Master A's age, it really is too difficult to schedule my time and jobs around him.

The last lists I made were morning, day and night routines. I have aimed for us to be dressed, ready to face the day by 8:30am. The morning routine tells me what needs to be done for that to happen. I should mention that as of next week, I will be getting up an hour earlier than Master A to get myself dressed, have a healthy breakfast and have his all ready to go for when he wakes.

The day routine consists of things like ensuring a load of washing goes on in the morning, going for a walk after Master A wakes from his nap, or after lunch and making sure dinner is prepared for the night.

The night routine is pretty straight forward. The only things I have changed is to add a quick tidy of Master A's room and unpacking his bag and repacking for the next day.

As you can see I typed these up in word and printed them out for convenience (and just coz they looked prettier!)

I am now trying to tackle my procrastination issues. Not so much of my day spent on Facebook or sitting around watching TV, which I have been so bad for since the renovations started in our kitchen.

I have a plan for the day in my motivation journal - more on this later this week and I make sure I make time for the fun things with Master A.

Do you have routines in your house?
If you are a work at home/study at home mum, how do you balance your time and still get time out?

And of course because it's Friday I am linking up for the first time in a few weeks with the gorgeous Grace over at With Some Grace for Flog Yo Blog Friday...

... And also the beautiful Bree over at Twinkle in the Eye for Flash Blog Friday!

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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Where I've Been

Ok, so the last month or so I have cut right back on blogging. I have had a little break from lots of things. I have cut back on my time spent with friends, studying, and have been spending a lot more one on one time with Master A, and also putting time into my new relationship.

So where am I at? I am still behind in Tafe, but have come to the conclusion that I can only do what I can do. I am struggling financially, coming up to the jolly season. I am slowly still trying to de-clutter when I can, and trying to take some me time.

So what can you expect from me over the next few months? I am going to make an attempt to post more often again. I have some awesome posts coming your way. Including how I have organised my days and weeks, my motivation journal, and our morning routine.

I told you I would come back, and here I am!

We're back!!


Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Dating Game

My regular followers, and those on my personal Facebook page would know that I have started dating again. Being a single Mum in the dating world isn't easy, but luckily, I seem to have found a winner and that makes it so much easier!

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I dated someone briefly at the beginning of the year, though found I just wasn't ready, and the relationship fizzled right out before it was given a chance. Looking back now, I'm glad it did, because that person was definitely not right for me!

This time around I'm much happier. I'm happier with myself, and confident that I can enter into a relationship without issues.

The hard part? Trying to start a relationship with someone when you have your son virtually full time. 

Master A does not currently spend nights with his Dad, just 3 days a fortnight. Because of this, Master A was introduced a little earlier than I had hoped, but I made do. I am extremely lucky that my Mum is so helpful with babysitting. I have a theory that she is thinking if I can develop a relationship, maybe I'll move out!

The new man in my life has made a huge effort with Master A, right from day one. He plays with him, talks to him and includes him, without forcing it. Believe me, this makes all the difference. Sadly, I have seen men who just can't accept that the woman they are seeing has another mans child. 

So what have I found hard about dating with a young child? Staying out late after a date is not possible. Impromptu sleepovers are non existant. Actually, sleepovers of any kind just don't happen. Privacy is an issue. Living with my folks, I have none at my house! And I always feel I need to check with them before having him over for dinner - yep, it's like high school all over again!

Even with all these obstacles, I could not be happier, and love that I have found someone who understands, and is willing to stay in and watch TV with me instead of heading out every weekend. I've been terribly lucky (can you tell we're still in the honeymoon stage?) and I am hopeful it all works out.

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