Summer Story

I really enjoy summer.  However, the tension for me grows as our family grows (both in age and quantity).  I love going out and having adventures with the kiddos, with Greg, with friends or just flying solo.

Here's the thing.  I have four young kiddos who aren't great at helping out around the house.  Shocking, I know.  They have their chores, but it's pretty minimal in terms of responsibility (i.e. clean room, make bed, brush teeth) which leaves the bulk of the load on Greg & me.  Or just me because I think Greg is now banned from laundry detail after a dryer, ahem, issue this weekend.

So when it's time to clean, wipe, scrub, vacuum, sweep, or's on me.  Here's one side of the coin: it's more work to get supervise and instruct each kiddo with each job than just doing it myself.  And I realize that I am creating a vicious cycle of children who can't and won't help out.

The other side of the coin is this: I want the kiddos to enjoy their summer too.  I want them to run around through the sprinkler, ride bikes, play house outside.  I don't want to be the mom who calls them in from having fun to unload the dishwasher.  And bonus, they're least I have a couple moments of quiet in the house.

So for now my solution to this problem is to let them play until they begin bickering and then I start doling out chores, the ultimate punishment.  However, they're onto me and rather than coming to me with their disagreements, they've formed some brand of crude judicial system. Today, I overheard my oldest girl threatening to throw the other girls' stuffed animals away so that they wouldn't have to clean their room anymore.  My other solution is hiring a butler.

Not a bad idea, actually.

I want the story of our summer to be adventure.  All out fun-having, memory making awesomeness.  And when we come home, I want some locally sourced, organic masterpiece simmering in its delicious aroma on my sparkling stovetop.

Do any of you have a genius plan for balancing?  Or a great butler recommendation?  I heard this guy is pretty great...




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