Thursday, July 9, 2015

The lazy mom’s guide to household organization

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not lazy-lazy. I mean, if somebody makes a mess, it’s not like we just throw newspaper over it.

But it is like I’m JUST lazy enough to be efficient. 

Like have you heard of that parenting hack where you layer the fitted sheets on your bed? Like this:
  1. Top layer is a fitted sheet (obviously);
  2. under that is one of those waterproof fitted sheets (they make those for adult beds too, don’t act like you have to wet the bed to own them. Our mattress warranty would be nullified (allegedly) if we didn’t use one...but who ever cashes in on a mattress warranty? I think they are just trying to sell you another product. luckily it is a product that has proved itself amazing);
  3. next, you use another fitted sheet;
  4. finally, we use a padded fitted sheet for extra squooshiness, but you could do whatever you want here, including nothing, I guess.
Here is the genius of it. Let’s say somebody comes into your bed and throws up everywhere (WHY? WHY!) , or you you go to grab a glass of water in your half-asleep state and spill it everywhere, or maybe you wet the bed (I’m not here to judge you, this is a safe space)? You just take off the top two sheets (throw them in the wash if it is vomit, for the love of all things holy), and go back to bed!!! put them back on the bed in the morning! It is like magic! No fumbling with replacement fitted sheets at 3 AM.

That is the kind of lazy I’m talking about.

Also, and this is huge, to be an awesomely lazy mom, you have to put your kids to work. Their freeloading diaper pooping days are over. They need to start paying rent. Earning their keep and such. That’s why I really like these:

This Etsy shop makes chore charts and custom magnets with pictures (they also have words on them so it is like, literacy strategies and chores mixed into one. Genius). Mine have the girls’ names on the chart and mostly their bedtime routine on the magnets (brush, floss, clean the playroom, etc. etc.) My favorite magnet is the reminder to get water. Nothing makes me want to set the house on fire more than a kid I thought was asleep who, all of the sudden, realizes she needs water. They have to get that before they go to bed. Because MAGNETS! Darn it!

I also love these:

They are from this Etsy shop. And it is a downloadable, editable PDF. I like to use it to track things like how well they are doing at giving “gentle touches” (aka, not hitting each other, but I’m trying to focus on positive goals) and using gentle voices (see also, no gratuitous screaming, no being mean, etc). I break it down into gentle touches and gentle voices in the AM on the way to school, in the PM on the way home from school, (our commute is a beast) and in the evening. I try to focus less on creating a “token economy” (you get a reward for doing what I want), which might undermine their internal motivation to be good people), and more on using it to notice trends. I also like to ask them to self assess (did you do x this morning/afternoon/evening)? They are usually pretty honest and I think it is good for them to reflect on their behavior. Once I get enough data to see if there are trends (e.g., Maggie is a morning monster) I can try to do more to help give the girls tools to suck less at the times they seem to struggle. (jokes! kids don’t suck. what kind of terrible mom would say such a thing!?). It is also good for tracking mommy’s gentle voice.

I also use it to track how well each girl is doing her chores. Because, sometimes one girl cleans a room for the both of them. I want to make sure that that girl gets recognized and rewarded (with mommy/daddy dates) for that.

I also love these habit trackers from this Etsy store. It is downloadable and editable so you can put in those chores you don’t really feel like doing (e.g., making your bed, wiping down the counters, whatever.) on there and keep it in your planner. And when you are sitting there like, should I sweep the floors or not? You’ll think, if I don’t sweep, I can’t put a check on my habit tracker! UGH! and you will totally sweep. Because there is nothing more fulfilling than a checkmark. Not even cleanly swept floors.


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