The trials and tribulations of teaching life skills

Herding cats anyone?

That’s probably a lot easier than teaching, encouraging, nagging and shouting about the life skills required to keep a house and it’s occupants in some form of cleanliness and healthiness.

It’s not like I haven’t been working on this since they were born or anything, after all.  In that seven years of effort with one child and five with the other, you would think that I may have made a slight dent.  But no, not so much as a temporary impression on their stubborn desire to ‘not do it for themselves’.

If you have one of those kids who loves things to be neat and tidy, there are many, many days that I wish I was you.
I love my kiddos, I do not love their stubborn refusal to help out, without much cajoling on my part.  It’s not like I haven’t made every effort to create a kid-friendly house.  Shelves they can reach, special cupboards to store their things in, clean up kits that are kept easily available should they be needed and even a mini-vacuum cleaner for a quick whip around when things get spilled.

They just don’t buy in to it.  The fact that they are now fairly functional members of our household seems to have washed right over them.  I feel like one of those rather large dung beetles pushing one of those even larger balls of poop up hill when it comes to getting the Oh Waily kids on board with the need for everyone to pitch in (at a suitable level, of course).

I am about to start another round of My Organized Chaos in the hope that I will be able to chip away at this ingrained reticence on the part of my little Oh Wailys.  As the sole* cleaner in the Oh Waily household to three or four mess-makers, this lack of help has worn thin.  I mean, really thin.  Rice paper is literally chunky compared to my trigger on the lack of help I receive in this area of our lives together.

I wonder, do you have a special trick up your sleeve that gets your kiddos to help out?  If you do, feel free to share it with me.  I’m open to all and any ideas, whether large or small.  Just don’t tell me I need to wait until they’re 35 for them to realise that household tasks are just a normal part of life!

* Mr Oh Waily is often away travelling or working long hours, so I can’t rely on his regular assistance.

Resolved… or not

Every year we hit this speed bump – New Year’s resolutions.

Aaaargh.  To resolve or not to resolve, it is always such a quandary.

Living in the southern hemisphere it’s so much of a ‘Spring-time’ feeling when 1 January rolls around, even when the weather doesn’t co-operate for a few days, that it is hard to resist the urge to embark on a jag of personal change.

So, as the Borg would have me believe, I have decided that resistance is futile.   Resolutions, of a sort, I am going to make.  Last year was pretty mediocre on many fronts in my world.  No need to rehash it in the sunlight of a new year, but suffice to say that the year dragged on longer and with less enjoyment than I would have liked.  No major dramas, but a certain degree of ennui settled in for the duration and then wouldn’t leave despite attempts to remove it.

For 2014 I am hoping to shut the door on that listlessness and dissatisfaction (far too many Esses in those words, seriously) by making some changes in approach, a bit of forward planning and some effort.

Here are my personal goals* in a nutshell.

  • migrate to a Primal lifestyle.
    • at least one long walk a week
    • change over to a whole-food style of eating & ditch grains
    • work on some basic core strength exercises**
    • get better sleep routines in place
  • read at least a book a week.
  • write a blog post at least once a week.
  • go to some sort of cultural event once a month.
  • continue with our fortnightly date night.
  • work on implementing plans for my other longer-term goals.

And there, I have succumbed to the Borg, er, the New Year’s resolution disease.  Let’s see how well I manage those.

How about you, did you resolve or not this year?


* as opposed to goals that relate to family and work – those, they shall remain privé.
** when I get a minute I’ll set up my fitness page and that will include some details of the goals.