When you have five kids, you have a home grown basketball team. You also have a small army. My father calls my crew the thundering herd. I believe that title is an accurate description. They are not a quiet bunch and you definitely know when they are in the room.
Compared to some we are not a huge family. Larger families exist. However for me, we are a big family. We live in a cozy 1700 square foot town home. Three boys in one bedroom, two girls in the other. Their rooms are small. But I would not change a thing. The laughs and wrestling we hear each night before bed warms my heart.
One of my greatest joys is time spent together. Each room has a purpose. We cook in the kitchen together and sit down, almost daily, to dinner around the table as a family. We retreat to the bonus room and pile in the recliners and on the couch to watch movies or play video games. Each room allows us to do things together as a family. It is my dream come true. What I often envisioned my life to be when I had kids.
With that said, seven people living in 1700 square feet can get messy and crowded. There is a lot of stuff. Clutter is easily accumulated and it drives this momma mad. Leaving me overwhelmed at times, it calls for constant cleaning and sorting.
In the past I have devised chore charts and punishments watching each fail. Attempting to keep up with who does what and who is grounded from what becomes too much for the hubby and me to remember. They outnumber us. However I developed a new system. A competition and this one just might take.
Thanks to Big Brother and their Have/Have Not competitions, I came up with my own. Yes, there will be a losing team. A group of children who will become the Have Nots for the week should they fail to complete the simple tasks and earn enough points.
I have come up with five simple tasks each team much complete during the week to gain points. At the end of each week, points are tallied and the winning team will receive the Have rewards while the losing team will receive the Have Not rewards. I think it sounds fun. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone. Right? The idea of the Have Nots having to clear the dinner dishes of the Haves for the week is one the great many rewards! Wouldn’t you agree?
As I pulled out my laptop at the end of our dinner last night, I began my presentation. Met by the moans and sarcasm of teenagers the young ones embraced the idea of competing for rewards.
As the house fell asleep to the grumblings of teenage angst last night we awoke to different attitudes. This morning beds were made, dishes were put into the dishwasher and the oldest asked if they would receive extra points for having their room already clean unlike the girls. HA! This just might work!
Large families are fun. Sure we cannot buy all the latest gadgets for the kids or go on big vacations but I would not trade the laughter, adventures at home, and time spent together around the table for any amount of money. God has blessed my life with insurmountable joy. And it hasn’t come from stuff.
My hubby asked me last night if I got this idea off of Pinterest. My answer, NO. This one was all me. Not saying another clever momma out there hasn’t developed their own system, but I came up with this one in the forty five minutes before I prepared dinner last night. Click here to see my Google slide presentation. Don’t think the kiddos were quite as impressed with my cleverness as I was 🙂 I’ll let you know how it all works out!