Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Motherhood and More: Introducing chore charts to teach responsibility, get stuff off the floor

I’ve started researching chore charts for my children to strongly encourage them to stop being the ungrateful heathens that they are.

I know they need chores and we should have started this years ago. I know, I know, I know. It’s important for them to understand life doesn’t revolve around their every want and need and we all have to work together to keep this home going. For goodness sake, would you please stop throwing your socks all over the living room floor or at least pick them up yourselves without waiting for me to do it for you?

We’ve made good efforts in the past to enforce chores and whatnot. And the rule still is if they keep their rooms clean for a week, they get a dollar on Sundays. Guess how many times that has happened?

I am not out all that many dollars, is what I’m saying.

Occasionally, my son will want to earn money to purchase weird, zombie-type game apps and is willing to sweep the floor and unload the dishwasher.

But I think it’s time to be more serious. We need to have a schedule and rules and consistency.

Implementing a regular chore chart is going to be difficult. We’ve been talking about it for a while and how we expect them to start working around the house more since my husband and I spend 70 percent of our time at home picking up all of the random junk that ends up on the floor. But the kids don’t seem to be too keen on the idea.

My youngest, my daughter, has no concept of money and the fact she can buy things with it. We very rarely take her to the store because she’s insane and we lost her one time in a huge, packed store. No one has recovered yet. Since she hasn’t seen actual money transactions very often, I think she thinks toys and books and fun stuff just show up in her hands through no effort of her own. Which is true, actually.

Both of the kids really enjoy helping, though. Setting and clearing the table can sometimes be a battle to see who can put the most dishes on the table and clear the most off, which has obvious ramifications.

I mean, there’s only so many glasses that can be broken before we’re all drinking out of Spider-Man cups.

Although, now that I think about it, their excitement with helping probably has more to do with competing with each other than actually helping their parents. I’m willing to accept that, though.

But they do like to feel included, like they’re doing something that contributes, like they’re responsible members of our family and that we appreciate their contributions. So I think it will be good.

I think they’ll adjust well in spite of all the whining and complaining about me being the worst mom ever and why can’t they just watch television instead of dusting. Having responsibilities will be good for them and for all of us.

Plus it means less work for me, which leaves me more time for watching television. 

This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on March 25, 2015.

Monday, March 9, 2015

But I am looking forward to having daylight past 5 p.m.

I'm attempting to write a post about my weekend but really all I can muster at this point is "Duuuuuuude!  TIME CHANGE SUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKSSS!"

Eloquent, no?

But really.  I'm running at about 13 percent today because of time change but also because I stayed up too late watching House of Cards and cross stitching.

It was a full on rager, you guys.

Would you think I was more cool if I told you I also drank a bit of Basil Hayden's while I cross stitched vegetables with faces?

I learned that I liked Basil Hayden's when Chris' boss gave me a shot of it on Saturday at a homemade bike show in Louisville.

As you do.

We were at the show because Chris designs/works with this really cool carbon drive bicycle belt that replaces chains and it was neat to see the belt on all sorts of bikes from all over the place - even a Louisville Slugger bike that will be on display at the museum.

However, I told Chris that we didn't necessarily fit in with much of the people at the bike show because neither one of us had epic facial hair or man buns.

Plus there were no cruiser bikes which is my preferred bicycle because I am an old lady. (See cross stitching reference above.)

After the show we ate at an Irish pub and I had fish and chips and drank two very good beers and we went home and watched a bunch of House of Cards while I cross stitched smiling vegetables.

And on Sunday we picked up the kids who were only minorly irritated with everything.  I felt a sinus infection coming on, what with the swollen left side of my face, but it seems to be better today.  However I still feel a bit like death because I stayed up too late and had to wake up when it was still dark outside because DAMN YOU TIME CHANGE.

I think I'm going to see how much coffee I can drink before I start floating on the ceiling.

Totally unrelated to anything I've said in this post so far but it makes me smile:

Friday, March 6, 2015

Homemade Friday: Fort, by Brooklyn Tweed (Or the sweater that wouldn't end)

I don't knit for my husband that often.  He has a couple pairs of warm socks and a nice wool sweater that he loves and he's satisfied with that.

He doesn't ask me for things.  And maybe that's because he knows me.  He knows how long it takes me to finish something for him.  I'd like to say it's because I want to take my time and go slowly to make sure that whatever I make for him is absolutely perfect but the reality is that I know that I can push his items to the side when they get boring and work on something else.  He won't get mad.  He honestly probably won't even notice.

So that is what happened with this sweater.  The pattern is Fort, by Brooklyn Tweed.  I like it.  The sweater is sophisticated and stylish and has enough texture to keep me interested.

But the problem is that I started the sweater last spring or late winter.  That's a horrible time to start a new knitting project for me because my mind shifts with the longer days and all I can focus on is sewing.  And more sewing.  And then even more.

I don't want to knit because knitting reminds me of colder weather and in late winter I am ready for sun and warmth and hand sewn dresses.

So this sweater languished.  I had most of the body knit by the time I put it to the side last spring.  And I had so many other projects I wanted and needed to finish once I picked knitting back up in earnest in the fall that this one sat in it's bag.  I left it out and visible so seeing it would encourage me to work on it, but all it did was silently admonish me for not being faithful and for straying on to other, more exciting and time-sensitive projects.

A few weeks ago I picked it up again, determined to finish.

I haven't finished.

I've got the body knit and most of one sleeve.  It really won't take much at all to finish.  But the urge isn't there.  I want to want to knit it, but I don't want to knit it, if that makes any sense.

And spring is coming, in spite of the two feet of snow and I have dresses to sew.

So maybe I'll finish it next fall.

It's a good thing my husband knows me so well and is so understanding.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sometimes I'm a shit mom

Sometimes I'm a shit mom

I'm a shit mom who wants to be alone.

I'm a shit mom who yells at her kids because they stand by her whining to get attention.

I'm a shit mom because I don't have the energy to give them the attention they need.

Sometimes I'm a shit mom because I resent the fact that they are always, always needing me.  Always clinging.  Always there.

I'm a shit mom because sometimes I pretend like I don't hear them when they yell at me from another room.

I'm a shit mom because I park them in front of a screen to lock myself in my bedroom and cry.

Sometimes I'm a shit mom because I do not do fun things.

I never know what is going to make me feel this way.  Was it the fact that Adele got in our bed again last night and I lost sleep?

Is it that something in me desperately requires alone time and when I don't have it I lash out at those I love the most?

Snow days are hard, man.  I'm not a 'play in the snow' person anymore and applying layers upon layers upon layers to children who will only stay outside for 15 minutes is discouraging and exhausting.  And at this point I think we're all a bit tired of the magic of the winter wonderland outside the door.

I'm having a heard time coming up with things to do with the kids, and by the time I see that they are desperate for activity and attention, they're also already really irritated and bored and lashing out by smacking each other and also the whining starts which makes my yelling start because holy hell STOP WHINING.  STOP FIGHTING.

And then they are sent to their rooms, which involves more yelling because "please go to your room" never works but counting down very loudly does even if they scream at me as they're stomping upstairs and slam their bedroom doors so hard that pictures fall off walls.

We're working through, I guess.  It's an all-day spiral of me attempting to be a pinterest parent and them being frustrating and lashing out, then I lash out, then everyone is in a funk of bullshit.

And then it starts over.  We can always start over.  Over and over and over again I will try not to be the shit mom.  I will try not to yell and I will try not to let them know when they are driving me crazy and I will try to play more and laugh more and lose the giant cloud of irritation that is hanging over me.

I will try not to be so stuck in my own head that I can't see when they need me.

I will start over.

We will start over.