I know it might seem like a fantasy. A house with (insert number) children, running smoothly, everything where it was meant to be and not a random shoe/book/school uniform out of place.
Is this your dream? Or better still, is it an achievable reality?
If you’ve ever visited a friends, sisters or acquaintances home who doesn’t have children, is there a discernible difference between it and one who has children? Chances are the answer is yes. Children bring their own joys and challenges – one of them being the amount of “stuff” that comes along with them.
As the adult in the family it’s up to you how you organise that stuff. Some of it will depend on:
- Your organising style
- The amount of time you have to dedicate to organising
- The number of children you have (or don’t have)
- The amount of stuff you own and
- The personalities of your children
And that’s OK.
But the thing to ask yourself is this – do you want your children to grow up and move out? I’m not suggesting you pack their bags at 6 years of age but what I am saying is:
If you want your children to grow into functioning adults that want to move out of house you will need, at some stage, to teach them to organise themselves.
My hubby is pretty good. He went to boarding school from the age of 12 so is able to organise all sorts of stuff. If he’s travelling he packs his own bag; if we’re going away for the weekend he has a good idea of what we need to take with us. I can go away for a few days or a week and he will manage. A lot of these skills he learnt at boarding school – because, ultimately, if he forgot his books for class, his uniform wasn’t cleaned or he left something in the boarding school when he went home on holidays, it was his responsibility.
I’m not saying his Mum did everything for him and thus he wouldn’t have learnt these skills if he didn’t board. What I am saying is that if she had done most of these for him it would have made my life a lot more difficult.
I know – sounds selfish doesn’t it. But I don’t think it is.
My theory is that we all live in our home – Me, Hubby and Mr 6. So that’s six hands and six feet, three brains and physically healthy bodies that can help keep our home organised.
We have taught Mr 6 from the moment he could walk (or even earlier if I think about it) where things go. When a toy came out of a box we put it back when we were finished with it. When he could open a drawer we were getting him to put his clothes away. When he could hang up a towel we got him to do just that after each bath/shower. Sure he needed help – but to be honest he enjoyed helping us because we were spending time together, creating a space we could all work and play in.
We’re not perfect. I still do things that I know Mr 6 could do for himself but sometimes that’s out of necessity. We have been known to run late for school because we forgot the lunchbox, library books or excursion form.
But by setting boundaries, having expectations of everyone in our home, and more importantly by teaching Mr 6 strategies to stay organised – both in his space and time – we hope to bring up a child that wants to move out of home AND has the skills to be able to succeed in life no matter what he chooses to do.
And we’ll help him along the way – because we want to.
But we won’t do it all.
Until next time, happy organising.