The first two weeks of January, we let the house go. To be completely honest, I let the house go. The January emotional funk had set in and it was all I could do to keep up with the school work and laundry.
The older four children rotate the dish duty in the kitchen and were doing a very poor job. Pulling dirty dishes out of the cupboard does nothing towards my piece of mind. It tends to make me cranky. I don't have time to teach and keep up with the dishes during the day. So I was wracking my mind searching for a solution. Something that did not require me to be a drill-sargent or nag.
Katie hasn't been able to find a job and wanted more spending money. She asked if she could clean the kitchen everyday for $7 per week. We talked about my expectations for a clean kitchen and if she realized the amount of work involved in doing dishes for 9 people. She got the job.
After moving around the furniture and doing major cleaning in several of the rooms in the main living area, Joe approached me and asked if he could clean the two bathrooms and sweep/wash the dining room floor for $4 per week. He only wants to do it until he finishes earning enough money to buy an iPod. We had a discussion about expectations and amount of work involved. He was hired.
Madelyn approached me a short time later and asked if she could clean the family room and music/game room, vacuum the stairs and hallway for $3 per week. She was hired.
Allie asked if she could empty out waste baskets from the bathrooms and take care of the shoes, boots, and coats that are left lying on the floor for $1 per week. The paraphernalia by the door is a sore spot for me. She too was hired.
The children are only cleaning their room(s) once each day and I'm picking them up throughout the day. What a huge difference in our household! Everyone is mellower and less fractious. I'm not stressed as I try to do 27 things at once all day long. I know that this won't last long. Probably only until the weather breaks IF I'm lucky. For now though, it's a huge blessing to me. I feel like a lady of leisure. There is time to read to the younger girls more often, play the piano, give piano lessons, sew, carve stamps, and exercise. Life is good.