Thursday, March 6, 2014

Motivated Moms


The very word is met with groans from my little ones.

At least, it was until we were given a Motivated Moms ebook to review. Now, the kids actually ask to help clean!

Motivated Moms is a chore planning system. Housework, homeschooling, raising a family . . . it all takes time and figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. This system helps take the guess work out of what to do every day. It's as easy as checking the list, doing the work, and marking it complete.

This chore planning system was created by two women who wanted to help moms "balance creative endeavors with their desire to have an orderly an organized environment in their homes." The business started with a traditional book format and evolved to printable ebooks and apps for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch and Android.

I think the most difficult part about using this system was choosing which book I wanted. They have so many options! With differences from half-page to full page, black & white or color, page-per-day or week-per-day, with or without scheduled Bible reading, and any combination of it all, there's a format for everyone. If you're like me, you'll appreciate the option to print a sample page so you can see exactly what each choice is like. I finally settled on the weekly color planner with scheduled Bible reading

I've been wanted to give my little ones (8, 5, 4) more chores around the house. They already had certain tasks (putting away toys, folding/putting away laundry, emptying dishwasher, setting table), but I wanted to give them more responsibilities. I never had a schedule to clean before, so I wasn't consistent in using their abilities. This system keeps me accountable. 

I start the week by assigning chores. I highlight each child's jobs in a different color. If it's not highlighted, it's mine. There are daily chores that are completed every day of the week and then individual day chores. The kids each have a daily chore and usually one individual day chore. Some days, a child won't have any individual day chores at all.

Here is the list for today:
  • Clean middle shelf of refrigerator
  • Mop kitchen
  • Clean/wash hairbrushes and combs
  • Dust family/living room
  • Clean light fixture - utility room
  • Work on baby book/scrap book/photo album

Washing the hairbrushes and combs is purple, so Alyssa (5) will help me with that. Dusting the living room is Jake's (8) job, because it's yellow. Nothing is blue today, so Zac (4) only has to change the dish towel (his daily chore).

The kids have been enjoying this method so much that sometimes while I'm assigning the chores, they beg for me to pick them. Or, if one child is dusting, another one or two will join in, because "this is fun!" I expected the excitement to wear off quickly, but at 6 weeks in, they're still going strong.

There are a few things that I would do differently if I were going to design my own list. Some of the individual tasks don't apply to our family. It's not a big deal. I'm a big list maker, and if I make a list, I have to mark things off the list. For instance, no one in our house takes any prescription medications, so I wouldn't need to check them or call in refills. It's on the list one day though, and it bugs me to leave it unmarked. It makes me feel as though the day is not complete, so I cross it off. Another thing that I would change is that there are no blank spots to add chores to individual days. (There are spots for daily chores.) Sometimes, there are things that I have to do, like bake cupcakes for a party or write a review for the blog {wink}, and I would like to add them to my master list. Also, because we are at church pretty much all day on Sundays with only a couple hours at home in the afternoon, I don't do any chores in those days. The scheduled tasks for Sundays are pretty simple: filing coupons, making shopping list, planning menu. I just do them on another day.

Over all, I really like having the planner. It's helping me involve the kids more, getting them to enjoy the work, and reminding me to do things I often forget (like cleaning the tops of the kitchen cabinets). The things I would change are not enough of a problem to stop me from using it. Those are just the ways I would change it to better suit my needs. Not having to create my own rotating list for an entire year is well-worth overlooking aspects that aren't perfect in my eyes.

You can purchase an ebook for $8 and start the system right away. Or, if you prefer, you can check out the new customizable apps.

To connect more with Motivated Moms, you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

If you'd like to see how this system worked for other families or to read some reviews of the iOS app, click here.

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