Growing up I was always expected to assist in the household chores and looking after and taking responsibility for my two siblings.
As Emily has grown it really hasn't seemed right for us to expect her to do chores, we have expected her to do certain things to help out and have tried many many ways to encourage her to help with chores but none of them felt have right.
It was only when reading articles about chores on the joyfuly rejoycing website and a post that Sarah at Happy @ home wrote that the penny dropped. Sarah made the point that we have to ensure every ones needs are met. My needs to have a home that is organised and therefore enable me to be relaxed are as valid as Emily's need to play and not worry about tidying.
By having things tidy and organised I will be relaxed and I will be much more able to devote my time to Emily without being constantly diverted by what needs to be done. But that is my need and I have to plan for that and make it happen.
These bookcases from Ikea have come in very handy..
I liked Sally's Ideas about work stations and have set up this room so that the things we need are very easily accessible and very easy to return to the right place in various cubby holes in the bookcases or in box's stored in two other cupboards that are in the room.All the things needed for sewing will be in one box and so on. This will involve Milly 's participation and it will be an easy task to do quickly after a project.So on a day to day basis the arts , crafts ,sewing,knitting, books ,will be manageable now, very easy to access and to store away, even if things are left out till we need the table for lunch etc it is a really simple job to put them back in the relevant places.A variation on an actual workstation but so far is working very well.
On the bigger scale I feel that making beds and hoovering etc should not be any concern to Emily, I have never expected her to help with these tasks but it has always been something she is aware I need to do because I mention it and feel distracted by it.I will endeavour to stop making it an issue and will get it done at a time she is otherwise occupied (only problem is that's when I come on here !!!)or perhaps I should get up when Al goes to work instead of laying on, that doesn't sound too appealing either!! I suppose I just have to decide just how important the housework is to me and reorganise things to accommodate it .
It is hard enough fitting in the things that have to be done like make meals, hang washing ,give some time to Beauty, and have the odd moment where I simply rest.I am a very tidy person ,I am a Libra/ Virgo cusp so I do like things organised( read a bit anal) and I am finding it hard to change, it is something I do for me, I enjoy having a tidy home, I really wish it wasn't as important to me but that is one of my comforts and helps keep me relaxed.
As with everything else along the Home ed / unschooling route it is taking some time to sort out some kind of routine for the basic household things to get done and for me to let go of the other things so that I can be free (mentally rather than physically) to spend all day sewing a mermaid from felt and odd scraps as we did recently.
The routine of home ed with a curriculum and set times for lessons etc seems as though it would be easier for me as I do like to have a routine.The major stumbling block there is that there is no way it would work for Emily ,so my housework would get done but the stress levels would be sky high and our relationship would be non existent and any actual learning taking place would be negligible..
Tidy house, stressed inhabitants doesn't make sense eh!!
Changing the way I think about the jobs that I want to do rather than need to do will hopefully take away some of the pressure I put on myself to get them done and learn to live with a calmer attitude to housework.
My need to have a tidy and organised home,her need to play, her need to have fun, her need to be creative,we just need to find balance to ensure both needs are met.
Unschooling is challenging me in so many ways,this may seem insignificant especially to those lucky people that can live without a second thought to tidying, I have needed for some time to have a calmer attitude to tidying and by finding a solution to the problem that has arisen because unshooling by its nature needs to be spontaneous will help me to change for the better.