Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Awesome Chore System

Need an awesome chore system? You may want to visit my friend Emily at her blog. How could you not take advice from someone whose chore charts look like this?

When I enthused over her charts, Emily replied that I, with five kids, surely had some wonderful organization system I was withholding from her and the rest of the world.

She found me out. I've been keeping my superpower secrets from you all for far too long. Here it is, in all its glory. You may need to hide yourself in the cleft of a rock and not gaze directly, lest the majesty of it be too much for mere mortal eyes.

For those who could bear no more than a glance, let me enumerate a few of the differences between Emily's approach and mine:
  • Emily's charts have her kids' names at the top. Apparently, my children are named A, B and C.
  • Emily has a chart for each of her children, even her non-reading preschooler. I lost steam after "C" and haven't gotten my mojo back although I am now on "E."
  • Emily's charts cover the whole house and more. Mine is for kitchen clean-up only.
  • Emily's charts are on clipboards. I had to dig mine out from behind the calendar. Note: I mean my non-personalized, paper calendar we get free from the city each year. This one (Emily would know how to rotate it to be viewed properly):

Not a calendar like Emily's created on a fancy website and color-coded by family member:

You get the gist.

Emily also likes washi tape. I don't want to disparage her efforts, so I've kept that area of my life hidden from her as well. Emily's creation: 

That's fine, as far as it goes. If you're into aesthetics and good taste and all that. I'm slightly more, ahem, utilitarian and low-tech:

Surely there's more to life than chore charts and washi tape. Take cooking, for instance. Every mom knows that cooking for a family of hungry kids requires a fair amount of effort and talent. Emily has got that covered for you. Take your pick of links to Emily's varied thoughts on food whether that be meal planning, crock pot adventures, or exactly what to do with 15 pounds of ground beef. 

My cooking is also legendary. Not to brag, but friends gave me this sign for my kitchen: 

While they have no idea how I kiss, it's a safe bet to give a person like me a sign like that. What did I tell you? Legendary, baby! An entirely different friend posted this on my Facebook wall because it reminded her of me: 

Why I need different friends will be the subject of a future post. When I do give cooking advice, you'll note that the recipes come from websites with names like "All Easy Recipes" or are associated with appliances not normally thought of for food preparation. Dishwasher salmon, anyone?

Despite it all, we manage to keep the house reasonably picked up, the kids have routine chores even if they don't have a snazzy system, most of my decorating attempts are more successful than my pen jars. No one has yet starved, though the fact that Mr. Wonderful and the kids are all thin may have something to do with that missing delicious-ness component of many of my meals.

I am mostly ok with all of this except for when I really am not and weep at Mr. Wonderful about my inadequacies and failings and general worthlessness. This happens with a disheartening predictability that could be covered in a blog post Mr. Wonderful--who is no fool--will never write, "The Joys of Living with a Perimenopausal Psychopath." In my deeper and less hormonal moments, I remember A.W. Tozer and his explanation of the "hyphenated" self sins. Tozer warns that both self-pity and self-confidence contribute to the veil around our heart that keeps believers from the face of God. 

"I keep looking at all the people around me, and everyone else seems to have it so together." That would seem to be an entirely fitting conclusion to the evidence I've presented in this post, wouldn't it? Surprisingly, that quote comes from my friend Emily. Yes, I almost spit my coffee across the keyboard when I first read it too. I know what you're thinking and I completely agree. If this is how Emily, Emily of the charts and the washi and the cooking feels, what hope do the rest of us have?  

And this is why I love Emily. Because she gets it. You can read her whole conclusion, but **spoiler** Emily understands it's not about us, it's about God. He uniquely makes and equips us. Great charts, great crafts and great cooking are not how God equipped me, though I may do well to improve in those areas. And with Emily's help, I just might. 


  1. Oh, Holly! Thank you for making me laugh! I love how we are exactly the same, except not at all. If only I was as witty, highly intelligent, intellectual and as good at teaching my kids as a certain someone. ;) My favorite part was where you assigned the kids letters instead of using their names and then stopped at "C". That is brilliant! You can hand that chore list to any random person and that child can't argue that it's not his or hers!

  2. I love your deliberate misinterpretation of my total slackness as a sign of genius. Let's roll with that.


  3. You crack me up. =) I love that you even have a system. I'm still trying to formulate something other than "Kid A, go do ______ and Kid B, you go do _______." Loved your post and also love knowing I'm not the only mom who doesn't use color-coded charts and washi tape (what on earth is washi tape???)

  4. Love thankful that it's not about us at all and that in our weakness His strength is perfected! Keep writing, Holly! You have a gift that needs to be shared.