Consistency means you do it every time, on time. I’m not talking about perfection impossible, but just being faithful in your actions, specifically around the home. What are the practical steps, the outplay of this?
I see posts and tweets all the time where momma’s don’t know what to do with their kids. Maybe they ask about getting their homes together (I ask this one too!). The solution to both these and more is simply getting a plan and staying consistent to that plan.
Sometimes we are tired, but putting that dish in the dishwasher (or just plain ol’ washing it) will lead you to be prepared for the next meal. I mean, if your plan IS to be prepared for the next meal. Push through and do it. Or have a set time when you wash them.
If you put baby to bed right after dinner then set yourself an alarm to come back to the kitchen and clean it up. If you tend to ignore your reminders and alarms, and you know if this is you, switch the order you do things. Figure out what baby can do quietly while you do the dishes first.
You might enlist your husband if he’s willing to do one or the other. You can take turns too, one night he does bedtime and you do dishes, the next night switch. He may not want to do either of those, but perhaps he will be your accountability to get back in the kitchen once baby is down.
It doesn’t matter how you end up doing the job, as long as you can be consistent in it.
At first being consistent can be tedious or feel like you are chained to the task at hand. But truly once you start it does become easier.
Again we come back to making mind habits.
As I read in the book called The Power of Habit, our brains really operate on tracks or paths that are made. Once those paths are made it’s easiest to continue going on them. Just like someone creating a road through the woods, you wouldn’t be likely to drive off road and start chopping trees down in order to create a new path. Well it’s the same with any new habit you’d like to form.
It’s so easy to keep with the old, even when you know it doesn’t work well. You go to start chopping and say forget it. Sometimes two or three days into it, you see progress but at that point it’s still easier to go back to the old way. Just know that with each day that passes your mind is making a new path that will soon be just as easy as the old.
Stay consistent and it’ll be easier to BE consistent.
Consistency example #1
Consistency and kids go hand in hand. Talking back for instance, needs to be consistently addressed. Ignoring it you will consistently say, ‘I won’t address it so you choose to do it if and when you want’. But addressing it isn’t necessarily giving a punishment. It may just be talking through it. Ask, why do you think you can say that? Why do you feel it’s unfair what I said? What would you have me do instead?
This allows you to really see into their brains. Sometimes kids are just absent-minded, sometimes it’s just selfish childishness, and sometimes it’s intentional. Once you know where they are coming from then you and properly respond. At this point it may a punishment or letting them know that’s not appropriate and why. Let them know that the next time there will be a punishment. Then follow through.
The main point is YOU need to FOLLOW THROUGH. This is the consistent part. The next time there is backtalk then repeat the process.
Consistency example #2
Family chores can be a great help to you in being more prepared for each day. In order to be consistent you will need to delegate tasks to your little ones. You may have a gentle and humble discussion with your husband to see if he wants to be apart of family chores, and if so, what he would be willing to do. But really, this is about you and the kids.
Make a list, a chart, use stickers, money or candy (you decide what’s appropriate for your family) and let the kids know what’s needed to be done when. Don’t overload kids, esp. if they are under 8 or if they have never had to do this before. Start with one or two tasks. Once everyone understands what’s requested, now it’s time for consistency. You need to remind and inspect to make sure they are doing it. Every time until they own the responsibility as theirs. Do the same for your own chores as mom.
So how this looks IN REAL LIFE…
We have a standing chore for the kids that’s not included in the daily chores. It’s automatic that when they are dressed for the day that they empty the dishwasher before breakfast. This took a little doing to get them on a routine of it.
Again consistency is making those new paths then keeping them. But when my older 2 children were 4 and 6 I coached them in putting the dishes away. Some items they cannot reach their storage places. Some items, like the blades to the blender, they were not allowed to handle. Otherwise they put away everything they could. This leaves the dishwasher ready for new dishes throughout the day. Since we homeschool the kids are here all day making dishes! So I also have them place their own dishes in the dishwasher.
Most times I only have to wash pots and pans, specialty items and remember to ran the dishwasher after dinner. Even that little bit could be delegated but I haven’t gotten there yet. Yes, it is easier at times to just do it ourselves, but I’m of the mindset that I’m here to train my children to take responsibility and know how to do for themselves. But I know that consistency early on has made many areas of my life easier.
Consistency is key!
Next post we’ll talk about planning and how that plays into the third most important piece for being prepared (it’s probably the first): food.
Let me know, in the comments, if these posts are helpful and if you’d like more step-by-step posts.