Thursday, October 2, 2014

Exercise, Chores & Children

I've given up on being a "runner" ... but I am an avid exerciser. 

Every morning I start the day with a workout, and then I do several more sessions throughout the day. I really like how exercise break things up and gets the blood moving. Instead of exhausting me, I'm more energized after each session.

I almost always get my exercise in. The same isn't always true about the house. Now, living with five active boys, I can clean the house ... and you wouldn't know it just an hour later. Admittedly, I often use that as an excuse.

As a SAHM, and with the kids back in school, I actually have quite a bit of time during the day. I really don't have an excuse not to get in both the exercise and the house work. Sometimes the two can even be combined a bit. I'll turn on the music and get in quite a few steps while putting things away, vacuuming, mopping, etc.  Often, I'll do one job (folding the laundry) then pop down for 10-20 minutes on the elliptical. Then I'll do the dishes and clean the kitchen, then hit my home gym again for some reading and riding (on the stationary bike). Prep dinner, then have a little treadmill time.

Occasionally, I have one of those days where one thing turns into another and it's just rather crazy. I wrote up a little of my afternoon this past Tuesday ...

... clean the kitchen, put away the peanut butter and jam, oh, the jam is gone. Run down to the food storage to grab another. Oh, I haven't put away the last few bags of groceries. Stop and sort everything. Empty boxes and bags out the recycling. Back to the kitchen, put away the towels I folded yesterday. Oh, I'll replace the hanging towels as they missed the wash last time. Put them in the laundry basket and oh, I need to put the darks in the washing machine. Back to the kitchen. Unload, the dishwasher ... I could use some music. I really need to update the playlist on the Ipod. Spend a minute on the computer, while that is syncing, go to the other computer and check Facebook and email and pay a couple bills. The toilets really need cleaning, spray them and let them sit. Back to the kitchen to load the dishwasher. Oh, the washing machine is done, I need to go put the clothes in the dryer. Oops, #2's clothes are still in there from yesterday. Set the dryer to warm them up and go vacuum the kitchen. Oh, that poor plant is wilting, hurry and water all the plants. Back to vacuuming. Ok, that should be long enough in the dryer, pull out those clothes and fold them. Shoot, I forgot about the toilets, quickly clean them ... I really should do the whole bathroom, but I'm actually not finished with the kitchen yet. Oh, the mail has come, so out to grab it. Quickly call Time Magazine and tell them NOT to automatically renew (I like it yes, but the kids are doing a fundraiser at school and will get credit if I subscribe through them) ... and speaking of the kids, it's time to pick them up! I'm off!

Do you ever have days like that? 
I actually felt like I got a lot done ... just very distracted!

A couple months ago when Daddy and the boys went to Seattle on vacation, I stayed home (vacation anxiety!) and had even more time than usual on my hands. I went ahead and tackled a couple projects. Taking everything out of the pantry and laying down contact paper. Reorganizing everything there and in a few of the drawers. It got pretty crazy there ... looked like the kitchen had exploded. Stuff everywhere! It often gets worse before it gets better, right?

I know ... it really doesn't look that "clean" (or Pinterest worthy) but this was a BIG improvement on how it looked before! Everything actually had a place, easy to put away and to find our everyday items.

Normally, one of the kid's jobs is to unload the dishwasher. After getting everything organized, I'll admit I was a little loathe to let the kids goof it up again. I wasn't sure if they would put things away in the new proper places. For quite a while there ... I was unloading the dishwasher. I did finally turn it back over to the kids (much to their chagrin) and they don't always get things where they should go, but that's life.

I struggle a bit with the whole "children and chores" ... I know the boys need to learn how to do these simple household tasks. They need to learn the value of work. So often, it is harder to be the "mean mom" and get after them, it would just be simpler to do it myself. Being a SAHM ... I am a bit conflicted too. I don't "work" outside the home, I do have quite a bit of time. The kids are so busy with school and sports. I remember as a teen having that "discussion" with my mother ... me saying "I have SO much on my plate getting good grades, extracurricular activities, etc ... I shouldn't have to do housework too!"  Even as the parent now ... I do still feel that way a bit, and I try to pick up the slack.

I've been impressed with my oldest. He is a hard worker. He graduated this past Spring and has a full time job at present. He gets himself up and off to work on his own. He packs his own lunch. He does his own laundry. He can handle many household tasks and can even cook quite a few dinners and such.  #2 has started to do his own laundry ... several of his white shirts are pink now. The younger boys have their jobs, and they actually get paid when they help Daddy with a derby. Even with five boys I still mow the lawn ... I like mowing the lawn. I don't like mopping the kitchen floor!

 I feel like the house is never really "clean" ... it's "straight". 
Often I don't make "dinner" ... I make "leftovers".

Here's a few funnies I found.

Just Thinking Out Loud this Thursday ... so many random thoughts on housework! Is it more important to take of me, or the house? How many chores should children have? How do working mom's do it all? Does blogging count as a household task?

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