Does this sound familiar?
~ I tell my son that he cannot play Wii unless he cleans up his room. I say this in the morning. About 3:00 I tell him that, yes, he can play Wii without ever checking his room because....I FORGOT!
~ My husband tells me that the girls should cut the grass the next day. When he arrives home the next day he asks why the grass hasn't been cut. Ummm....I FORGOT!
~ My children are not allowed to go on the computer until all their chores for the day are done. I notice that one of my daughters has been on the computer for the past hour and then I realize that I never checked that all her chores had been done. Heck, I don't even remember what all her chores were!
I know that my brain is overloaded. I know that I am trying to keep too much information sorted in an organized fashion up there. What with all of the things that we try to accomplish on a daily basis, not to mention just the sheer amount of chaos created by seven - nine people being in the house, and the fact that I am getting older and have even more accumulated memories that I try to house up there, it is no wonder that I can't remember much.
This is where I was at a few weeks ago. Frustrated because I was always forgetting important things. Frustrated because my children tend to take advantage of my lack of memory. Frustrated because I was feeling completely overwhelmed by my duties. Something had to change. Thank God for my mother.
My mother is my sounding board. She is the one who will listen to me go on about all of my woes. I know that if I call her and need to talk about something, she will listen and offer whatever suggestions she can. I am truly blessed to have her! During this time, then, I called and spouted my frustrations to her. We spent a few phone calls like that, actually, and by the end of the week we came up with this:
An ugly white board that is sitting in my entry way because I have nowhere else to put it! But, boy, does it do the job I need it to do. We started by putting all the kid's names on the board and listing all of the things that they need to do on a daily basis. Things like:
pick up their rooms
brush their hair and teeth (yes, I still have to remind some of them :)
drink their Reliv shakes
do their meal chores
As soon as each task is completed they put a check mark next to it. Each evening I add extra things they have to do the next day. Things like:
cut the grass
If there is something that either needs to be done by multiple children or is not assigned to a particular person, I might just write that in a blank space so that I remember it needs to be done.
Now when they ask me if they can watch a movie, go on the computer, go to their club or play Wii, all I have to do is walk over to the white board and see what their status is. Sometimes I take their word that the items have actually been done, while other times I will double check, or I will occasionally just take a tour of the house to see if everything is up to date.
We've been doing this for about a month now and it has been wonderful. There is no more guessing and no more frustration for anyone! It is either done, or it isn't and I just have to look at the board to tell. I don't have to remember all those tiny but important things every day.
I've tried variations of this before. Things like writing a list every day, writing items down on my calendar or sticky notes, but the fact that I had to write these things down every day got too tedious and I would forget about it :) The white board, even though it is unattractive and cumbersome, really makes a big difference. I don't know if you struggle with any of this, but in case you do, I thought I would offer this as a possible solution to the problem. It might be just the thing you need to alleviate a little stress from your daily life!