Remember I opened my very own Suburban Family Bread & Breakfast?
I set my working hours from seven AM till eleven AM, and then again from about four PM till after supper.
It didn’t work out. I already wore myself out during the first week. It was too much, and the hours too early for me to be able to cope. Soon, I let the house go to pot. Not because I was lazy and didn’t want to work, but because my body just couldn’t keep up with my ambitions.
When I left Facebook and went on a blog hiatus, it was exactly because of this. The Ehlers-Danlos and my stubborn refusal to go easy on myself wreaked havoc on my body like you wouldn’t believe.
So I got lectured by DD-20. I got lectured by my GP. And then I got lectured again, and again. Everyone kept telling me I should take care of myself and stop doing things that might hurt my joints.
Right. So I was supposed to sit on my bum all day and do nothing? I might as well stop living then, cause honestly, what’s the point? And besides, who was going to take care of the house if I didn’t do it? The fairies?
I didn’t think so.
So DD-20 came up with this brilliant plan: We make ToDo lists for every member of the family and everyone gets to do their fair share.
We held family council one afternoon, and DD-20 divided the chores, making very sure I wouldn’t take on too many tasks myself. She then made a template on her computer and put everything in. Every last chore. She took an old picture frame and turned it into a beautiful pin board, printed out the ToDo lists and pinned them on the pin board. It was her birthday present to me. Wasn’t that thoughtful of her?
Look how absolutely gorgeous!
We all have our Daily Chores: Get up at a decent time (but it doesn’t have to be seven AM, thank goodness!), make your own bed, open curtains and windows, tidy up own room, and put away clothes.
There are the weekly chores: Change sheets (each their own), take out garbage and recycling (DH and DD-15).
Monthly chores: Garden work (all), clean windows (DD-15), and clean fridge (me).
Finally there are our personal chores. The hubby gets to hang the laundry to dry, vacuum downstairs three times a week, clean the cat litter tray three times a week, wipe down the kitchen cabinet doors once a week, clean the bath once a week, take care of the shopping crates, wipe door handles downstairs three times a week, and mop the floors downstairs once a week.
DD-15 has to take down the laundry when it’s dry, vacuum and mop the floors upstairs, clean the bathroom three times a week, dust the living room two times a week, load the dishwasher, and wipe door handles upstairs three times a week.
DD-20 doesn’t have any chores because she’s in college and doesn’t live with us at the moment. Even so, she still thinks of things to do whenever she’s home. She takes on the little chores that no-one has done in decades, The Missions, in FlyLady-speak.
My chores, finally, are to unload the dishwasher, clean and tidy the kitchen, clean the downstairs loo, put in a load of laundry and clean the litter trays on the hubby’s “off-days”. That’s really not much, but if I do more, I burn myself out and my family won’t have it. Oh, of course I still prepare supper most days and take care of the grocery shopping. But it’s still not nearly as much as I used to do.
And the house? It looks better than ever.