Y’all nothing makes this mama more drained then finally getting the rug-rats to bed and then coming downstairs to a pile of dishes, laundry, crap on the floor, and toys downstairs.
I just can’t do that ever again.
I have to be able to switch off.
I can’t keep pushing bedtime later and later so I can have time to unwind.
Every night after family game time (aka dinner), the kids know to pitch in or play nicely.
I have a new rule:
No pudding until the kitchen is tidy.
Since the UK has the washer/dryer in the kitchen, that also means my laundry is folded and put away. Then we all play in the living room until about 6:00 pm. The kids tidy up the toys, and we hoover (US= vacuum) before everyone goes upstairs as a family.
Once the kids go upstairs, they do not come down until they are dressed for breakfast the next morning.
There isn’t anything for me to do housework wise downstairs after the kids go upstairs. It is miraculous. I’m free!
I can’t exactly figure out why, but we have more time together as a family. The kids’ favourite game is playing big cats on the African plains.
We took down the hardware for our curtains in our front reception room and ordered some blinds. The order didn’t actually process, but I didn’t realise it until they didn’t show up three weeks later.
So for over a month, we had no privacy in our front reception room. Ugh.
I’m sure the neighbours nearly called social services because when we play lions, James and I claw at them, pretend to bite them, and growl loudly. I’m thankful the blinds came so we can fight our little cubs in privacy.
Sidenote: My husband also likes playing lions because “Laura, the male lion just lies around while the female lions hunt with the cubs.” It’s such a man’s world, eh?
On the subject of pretend play, my daughter always requests to play house.
“Pretend I’m the kid and you are the mom.” [What?!?!]
When we go upstairs, the kids are responsible for tiding their toys and laying out their clothes for the morning. I rock the baby with her bottle. ((She is 19 months. Is that still a baby? When do I cut out the bottle? And more importantly, how do I get her to stop nursing?))
I read the-not-so-baby baby a book, sing her a song and put her down. I’m not settling her anymore. I ferberized her when she was little (google it if you wish), but I kind of got in a habit of rocking her to sleep. Now we cuddle and snuggle for about 15 minutes and awake or a sleep, she goes in her bed. Crying or quiet, she goes in her bed. If she is crying 10 minutes later, I will give her a little cuddle and put back down.
Kids have to learn how to self-regulate, sleep training is a skill.
Mama Lion needs time with Daddy Lion. Roarrrr!