I want to wish all the Moms out there a very happy (extended) Mother’s Day. I hope you feel cherished and appreciated for all that you do. And while appreciating Mom shouldn’t just happen one day of the year, I know it can feel like that. Jane from our BackUp Care department reflects on how this Mother’s Day is changing her household approach.
I should start by saying that I had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I had my favorite breakfast in bed, a barbecue dinner in beautiful weather, and a very nice gift. I went to bed feeling appreciated and loved. But I also realized something -- with a few changes, I could feel like this on a regular basis. (And my kids would benefit too!)
My Mother’s Day gift? “I’ll Do This for You” Coupons (aka Chore Coupons) promising to do certain household tasks immediately and without complaining:
- From my 11-year-old daughter: walk the dog, make her bed, feed the dog, brush the dog, organize her stuffed animals, bake cupcakes, unload the dishwasher
- From my 14-year-old son: help sister with her homework, walk the dog, make lunch, clean Mom’s car
- From my husband: I’ll barbecue tonight!
But there was one issue: The coupons expired at midnight! What?! These savvy kids (and husband) didn’t have any intention of helping out after Sunday?! While I surely cashed in on my coupons, my brain got thinking. Here’s what I’ll be instituting for the next 364 days. Anyone with me?
- Create more daily chores. While this was always the Mom I set out to be, regular chores like bed making and dog walking got pushed aside when activities took over their lives, and I didn’t want to nag them during their only down time.
- Tell family the help I want. Let’s be honest, my waistline doesn’t need any cupcake coupons. And stuffed animal organization is not too high on my priority list. But if you could organize the mudroom, move winter stuff to the attic, or make my kitchen pantry look like this, that’s the type of coupon I would love to have -- with no expiration date!
- Give myself breaks more often. You know the mom who “quit” and documented the mess in her blog? I’m going to announce on a weekly basis, which projects I’m not doing -- like Sunday dinner -- and put my feet up more. I won’t be rude. And I’ll give plenty of warning. I shouldn’t need to use a coupon to get a break.
- Find more ways to be outside with the family. Our barbecue was lovely and made me realize how much more we need to be outdoors, together. So when the kids do have downtime, I’m going to encourage them to go on walks with me, help me garden, or clean out my van again (and let’s wash the exterior too!). And let’s have family dinners outside more. The sunshine and air can do wonders for stress.
- Lower expectations. We all know the spouse/kids unloading the dishwasher story. You ask for help, they put it in the wrong place, and we either get mad and re-do it, or let it go. I need to let it go. If I’m not going to hire someone (and let’s face it, not everyone can!), I need to accept help. And if I’m going to accept help, I can’t nit-pick the results.
- Enjoy these kids. Yes, they are getting so big, so fast. And it’s important that we spend the time we can, together. They are super-scheduled. But I need to do more of what they want to do with them -- when they can. Even if it means baking more cupcakes (what’s so bad about cupcakes, right?!)
How was your Mother’s Day? Any other tips for taking tasks off your hands for the next 364 days?