Our Morning Chore Routine {and a free printable!}

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Our Morning Chore Routine. Instead of cycling through different chores every day, we have a set routine we follow everyday and it work out great!

Our daily chore routine has taken trial and error to see what works for us. However, we’ve finally settled on a good schedule that has been working out well for about a year now.

Our household requires that chores must be done before school begins. I tried changing the schedule to where chores were done after school, but we only made it one day that way! I just can’t do school with a messy house. It helps all of our attitudes when the house is clean. :)

I really struggled with keeping my children focused on their chores each morning. That is, until my husband graduated college and was home in the mornings more. He came with up with a creative way to motivate our children and since we started it last year it has greatly improved the chore performance.

Before when we required chores to be done, breakfast and school just got pushed further and further back. Our children had no incentive to complete their chores and get on with their school day. We finally decided to set a firm time for breakfast – in our case 9 AM.

Teaching children to be diligent in their morning chores is crucial to how the rest of the day will go for the whole family! A clean house is a much better start to our school day.

If our children decide to dawdle and not to get dressed and complete their chore by 9 AM, they miss breakfast and have to continue working until they are finished. What a difference this made!

Now they (usually) get up and hurry to get their chores done! It isn’t perfect, but it has been a big help in motivating them each morning.

I will be quick to add that we give them grace in this. If we are up late, we let them sleep in and just tell them to quickly get started. If they had an extra big job that morning, we give them grace. But the general rule is for chores to be done by 9 AM, and we normally eat and get started with school around 10:00. Oftentimes I’m wrapping up business work from 9-10 each morning.

So what chores do our children do each day? We stick to a very basic routine. Each child has around one chore they have to do each day. We don’t alternate much and we change chores about once a year as the children get older.

Here is what our children do each morning:

11 year old boy – unloads and wash dishes each morning. I have a bad habit of leaving dinner dishes to be done in the morning. When Sean was in college we ate late and I was tired and not up to doing dishes. The habit has continued, though I hope to change that one day. :)

9 year old boy – Right now he alternates one morning sweeping the dining room floor and cleaning it, and the other morning he does a light cleaning job in the bathroom and normally brings up a load of laundry for me from the dryer.

6 year old girl – She alternates chores with our 9 year old. She does such a good job with her chores and works hard to get them done properly.

5 year old girl – She is in charge of cleaning the girls room each morning, and a few times a week she cleans the outside of the kitchen trash can with some natural cleaning spray and a rag. I don’t require her to get their bedroom totally clean, as that is a big job for her alone. But she has to work on tidying it up each morning.

3 year old girl – She floats around the house during this time, and I sometimes come up with a simple job for her to help with. :) A few of the jobs she does is pick up toys and she cleans the front of the oven with natural spray (sometimes LOTS of natural spray, lol).

If our children wake up and get started on their chores without being reminded about it, they receive a diligent check on their Character Badges chartWe try to encourage them as much as we can in their chores, and reward them when they do a good job. If they do an especially good job and go above and beyond what is required, they get a hard working check as well.

Character Badges Charts | Themodestmomblog.com

**For the month of March only you can get the Character Badges program totally free! Just click here to find out how!**

It’s helpful for me to have visual reminders of what the children are capable of doing. I especially lose focus on what my little ones are capable of doing when I have older helpers around. This age appropriate chore chart is helpful to print and put somewhere (like your refrigerator) for a quick reminder of a chore you can assign to your child! I hope you find it helpful!

Age Appropriate Chore Chart for Children!

Download the list by clicking on the link below. 

child_chore_list

I would love to hear how your household handles morning chores! 

 

How To Watch The Duggar’s TLC Show Online!

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It is very difficult to find any good family show to watch. We actually have chosen to not have tv reception in our house at all, because we don’t want the negative influence in our house.

How to Watch the Duggar Family Show online without a cable reception! (Photo credit from Duggar Family Official Facebook Page)

A favorite show of my children’s is the Duggar’s 19 Kids and Counting show that is shown on TLC. They used to release the DVD’s of the series, but for the last few years they have not done that. So we have recently started purchasing the seasons to watch online!

The new season started last week and we enjoyed watching it together as a family last Friday night. You can see a few clips that TLC shared on YouTube below.

And one more!

I’ve been surprised that more people don’t realize you can purchase a season of the Duggars on Amazon, or you can purchase one episode at a time for $1.99 each!

These can make good rewards for your children at the end of the week! They can work towards watching an episode through good behavior in school, or use them as rewards for the Character Badges program! Or simply just enjoy some family time together. :)

 

 

Why I Don’t Publicly Share My Due Date

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Why I don't publicly share my due date. I'm on my sixth pregnancy and I've learned it is best for me to not share my due date for several different reasons!

I’m one of those crazy moms that probably drive you batty. If you ask me when my due date is, I won’t be telling you. :)

When it comes to giving birth, women have many different ways of approaching it. There is not a right or wrong way. There are some women who have no problem having a whole room full of people or sending out a massive group text asking for prayers because they are in labor.

You have the bloggers who send out updates on FB as they are in labor, and instantly are sharing pictures 5 minutes after the birth.

And then you have people like me. Super private, ultra protective about their due dates kind of people. Right now the only people that know my actual due date for sure is my midwife and my sister, who comes to my births. My husband keeps forgetting, and I jokingly told him I’ll just inform him when we get close. (I have told him, he just has so much going on he can’t remember it!).

Some of the common reasons I see women not sharing due dates are:

 It’s just an approximate date.

The chances of women delivering on their actual date are small. Some women have a pattern of going early or late, depending on their body and how their cycles are. Not every women ovulates at the same time. Some come early and others always ovulate later. Knowing your body and your cycle pattern is extremely helpful for all the changing seasons of your life. The book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” is a great read to help you start learning more about your cycles.

They want to be left alone!

They don’t want to be called, texted, and messaged the entire week of their due date, or for the following days or weeks if they go over their date. Few things are as frustrating as going over your due date and receiving a huge amount of advice as to what you should do about it!

Surprised instead of being informed!

They like to surprise people! Instead of informing people of absolutely every detail, they just prefer to make the phone call when the baby is here.

My reasons why…

For me, I like to labor in private. We have had all five of our babies at home with a midwife, and our birth experiences have been very positive. With our first baby it was just Sean and I, and the midwife showed up about an hour before our son was born. I’m not sure she would have even made it in time, but thankfully they called to check on me and could tell by my voice how far along I really was. I honestly had no clue I was so close to the end!

With the last four babies my sister has been here with us. She normally gets here before the midwife and goes to the kitchen and quietly starts making my normal after labor snack (you can find the recipe for Putter Fingers here), and leaves me alone unless I call her to be with me. She totally understands my need for privacy and I don’t have to worry about her wanting to chat with me.

Sean sits beside me, holds my hand, and quietly talks with me when I want it. He normally makes one good joke during each labor, and behaves himself during the rest. ;) He is an awesome birth coach, and never leaves my side or stops giving me support.

My midwife is very good about reading my moods, and twice now has left my house just to give me some space to labor. She never goes far, because she knows I’ll be calling her soon. I don’t like feeling like a watched pot, and I can stay pretty calm when it’s just Sean and I.

Why I Don't Publicly Share My Baby's Due Date!

Besides wanting to labor in privacy, a huge factor in why I don’t share my due date is because I’m one of those unusual ladies who actually has babies on her due dates! Three of my five children so far have come on my due date. One came three weeks early (lots of pre-term labor issues with that pregnancy) and one came 2-3 weeks late! At this point I just tell people my due date is at the end of March, and you won’t get more than that out of me. Who knows, it might be April!

I tend to get really hormonal during my third trimester of pregnancy, and even get really quiet with my husband and struggle with just wanting to be left alone. So for my personality, it makes sense for me to not share my due date and just let everyone be surprised when the baby comes. Like I said earlier though, there is no right or wrong way!

Now I’m super curious, do you share your due date or just give approximate dates? 

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children

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We hear it said all the time.

One of the best gift you can give to your children is a solid marriage.”

It’s really true though.

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children! This Valentine's Day make a renewed effort to bless your children through a strong marriage!

Your children need to see a strong marriage modeled for them. It will give them a sense of security, and they will grow up with an inspiring picture of what their marriages can one day be.

Ask yourself if your marriage is as strong as it could be? Are you continually working on your marriage, or just cruising along expecting it to stay strong with little effort?

There Is No Such Thing As A Perfect Marriage!

You will make mistakes along the way, and your children will see those mistakes. I have made my fair share of mistakes along the way, and my husband is gracious to forgive me and love me in spite of them. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged, just keep going and put the Lord first in your marriage.

Make Time For Romance! 

Sean and I both can be romantic at heart. We had one year of marriage together before our first child was born. The memories of that year was of peace and quiet, sitting on the couch together listening to classical music, lots of candlelight dinners, and as much time together as we wanted. 12 years later, and almost 6 children later, life is quite different!

Our time is limited, but we don’t let having children around burn the romance out of our marriage. Since our oldest is not a teenager yet, we still have the ability to flirt in front of our children and they don’t know what we are talking about. ;) We kiss, hug, and tease each other in front of our children. They clearly know we love each other, and we try to model that for them.

You Are Not Being Selfish! 

I sense that so many couples feel they are being selfish if they attempt to make time for their marriage. With little ones it can be hard to make that time, but you are not being selfish for wanting to keep that spark alive in your marriage! It’s not the holy, high road to never have a date night, or go 10-15 years without spending a night alone with just your husband. There’s no doubt that children will consume a lot of your time (as they should) but they shouldn’t consume all of it. If you still feel guilty about setting time aside of just the two of you, just think of how it will strengthen your marriage and how a strong marriage is a blessing to your children!

If you don’t have anyone nearby that can watch your children, be creative and see if you can swap babysitting with local friends. They take your children one evening, and the next week you take their children. Or just have date night at home! You can see how we have date night at home here. Put your phone away and truly spend time with your spouse!

With Valentine’s Day almost here, the pressure might be on you to have the perfect gift, the best Hallmark love card you can find, or the best date night of the year, but oftentimes your love can best be expressed through simple acts.

If you haven’t told your husband recently how much you appreciate him, write him a love letter for Valentine’s Day and put it in his car before he leaves for work! Or surprise him with a candlelight dinner at home that night. Let this day of love be the time that sparks the romance back into your marriage! And remember, putting true love back into your marriage, is not only a great blessing for your husband, but also for your children!