This is part 1 of our series–managing a large family.
To be successful in anything that you do requires that you have good management skills. In large corporations they have good MANAGEMENT teams that help run the operations of a business. In government, the day to day operations are MANAGED by a department. The sports team is MANAGED by a person. In the food industry, you have good MANAGERS to help smoothly run the restaurants. In our homes, we need good MANAGEMENT skills to help it run smoothly and effectively.
I have run our household for about 20 years. During those 20 years, I have researched and tried almost every scheduling method that is available. Some have worked effectively and we used them for awhile, then discovered something new and switched it again. Almost every school year, I would try and do something different depending upon our season of life.
I have learned that being married to a visionary husband will disrupt any schedule that you have set into place. This was becoming a problem for me. I knew I could not keep to a strict schedule because I needed to be flexible enough to bend if my husband said we were going to go do something for the day. I also had to be ready for a schedule change if my husbands hours changed at his work and I needed to be able to switch around my day easily. All these factors were things I had to consider.
Another problem issue that came from scheduling was that I would type up a schedule for each child, but then I was having to make sure that every child was doing what they were supposed to be doing every moment and that was draining me.
I also grew tired of all of my lists. Lists of things I wanted to accomplish, lists of things I needed to accomplish within the week, lists of things I was supposed to remember, lists, lists, lists. Can you tell I love lists. I have learned to almost do away with them now.
Another issue was that I would never really know how or what was going to come of my day. Sometimes we would accomplish nothing, other times we would just say, let’s go to town and hit the library or let’s go goodwill shopping today. Much wasteful time was spent not knowing what I had to do for the day.
I also grew tired of yelling to see where children were at. Yelling to make sure that a child was doing his/her work. I do not like to yell, as I get older I realize that it is not an effective way to raise children.
One book I really enjoyed using is from Steve and Terri Maxwell—- chorepack system.
That is something that I would definitely recommend using to help manage your chores. The only probably I had found with that method, for us, is that a child would lose there cards, or would simply set down their chore pack and would not find it for days on end. I would also grow tired, especially after being up with a baby and a toddler all night and would not want to sift through my chorepacks in the morning to make sure that each child got his or her daily chores. There were other issues like sometimes my oldest son would be gone for the day at a job away from the home and we would end up doing his chores. Another issue was the time to figure out how quickly a child would get something done. I realized that one child was getting more work while their siblings were off and playing.
With all these issues, I knew that I had to figure out a way to effectively run our family and allow some free time for myself and my children. Plus I wanted to make a plan that would accomplish all that I had in a week.
One day while reading a Little House on the Prairie book I read the following….
As Ma said “Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday.”
Then it clicked, here was this woman, who was married to a visionary husband, who upped and moved her various times in her life, she must know how to manage her home and do it effectively, otherwise she would of probably gone crazy. I thought I would give it a try.
That is what the series is for. To show how I solved all of the issues that were making it impossible to run my household effectively. Isn’t that what the definition of a manager is. Actually I couldn’t find a true dictionary definition of “good manager” But Ask.com had the answer:)
Definition of good manager:
A good manager is the one who has clear and assertive communication. He or she should be able to create a good integrity chain that links the employees and the firm. In addition, the manager must possess strong motivational skills to the people around and good decision making skills
I knew that for my home to be successful I had to have the following:
- Children need to know what they are to do for the day.
- Children need to know what is expected and what will happen if those expectations are not met.
- We have a centralized lists of things to get done before Dad arrives home.
- I have to like and believe in my system to make it work.
- I also have to be flexible enough to say, “life happens, children get sick, Dad stays home, and we will skip chores for the day.”
With all this said, I hope you enjoy this series on how we manage our large family home. Up next part 2 of our series…how it all began….