Nope I’m not singing over here!  I’m just trying to find some respect in my  own house from these three little munchkins I’ve been given the joy of raising.

Somewhere in the last month, we (and we includes everyone with a name starting with B), have started thinking they were in charge of this little thing we call the Murphy world.  Multiple requests have been met with “no”, questions have just been ignored, lying has been discovered on more than one occasion.  Tantrums galore have been infused everywhere in between.  The oldest has mastered slamming her door and stomping her feet.  It’s been a frustrating month to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, all three have done these things through a solo mission or twenty in the past.  I have a favorite kid daily.  It is always the one who doesn’t make me the yell for the longest period of time that day.  They definitely seem to get that if one kid is being particularly bad, it is the perfect time to act normal and you will probably be given a gold star or a lego set.  But the past few weeks, they have all united in their dislike for anything mom and dad have to say.

I called my mom on Wednesday to complain about a particularly bad night with Bree and somehow in the course of the conversation we ended up talking about just the chaos of the morning and evenings in our house.  That same week Bree couldn’t find her tennis shoes before school.  We let her go with boots knowing she would have to sit out of PE.  Bauer went to school when it was 34 degrees sans a jacket.  Couldn’t find it.  And one morning Bree just refused to get dressed for school and ended up chasing the minivan down the driveway to jump in.  Daddy doesn’t play.

I told my mom that I didn’t understand why the older b’s (especially Bree who is almost done with her 3rd year of real school) can’t remember the morning routine from day to day.  I was also frustrated that our bedtime kept getting pushed further and further back to almost 9pm some nights.  Selfishly, I just need my kids to go to sleep earlier so I can be away from them and the house can be quiet.  I love my quiet house and I get angry when those couple hours of “me” time was getting eaten away by whiny kids who forgot to brush their teeth or go potty or feed the fish (those poor fish…not sure how they are still alive).

My mom asked if we ever wrote the routine down and really went through what we wanted the kids to do.  Why is she the smartest women ever?  I told her I was more the lead by example and yelling type of parent :)  I showed them what to do a couple times and from then on I figured it was pretty easy.  I would just yell reminders until they left each morning in a rush and in a panic.  Future leaders of the world, people.

I complain to Sean all the time how we are late EVERYWHERE.  He says that is just who we are.  And we are raising kids to be like that.  I can’t accept it.  I just won’t have them blaming being late everyone on me in the therapist office too.  There will be too many other things already.

So I hung up with my mom and knowing that most great ideas have already been developed, I went to Pinterest.

There were a million and one ways I could make a chart of things to do each morning and night.  Glad we are 8 years into this parenting thing….

So I picked one I hoped would work with all three kids.  One that I had most of the supplies for (working in an office is really helpful for supplies…thanks UTD).  One that Bree could help me assemble.  One that may sustain the wear and tear of kids for at least a month or so.  I knew the charts wouldn’t be exactly the same for each kid so it had to be easily adjustable as well!  I am pretty high maintenance apparently!

This is the ingenious idea I decided to replicate….thank you random brilliant pinterest mom that not only makes awesome stuff, but has figured out how to share it.  Not naming any names, but I’ve heard it’s hard to pin your own pins onto pinterest :)


I got to thinking of things I wanted my kids to accomplish each morning and night without me telling them….and came up with 6 things for each of them in the morning and 6 for Bennett at night and 8 for Bree and Bauer.

So simple, yet so hard (apparently):

For Benny (AM) – Get dressed (he needs some help still), make his bed, eat some breakfast, brush his teeth (help also needed), find his shoes and jacket and feed the dogs (he has way more time in the morning than the others).

For Bree and Bauer (AM) – Get dressed, make your bed, eat some breakfast, acquire lunch and snack (if needed), brush teeth, and find your shoes and jackets (preferably put them on).

Once all these things are done, the magical TV can be turned on :)

At night (well after we get home from school), the tasks are obviously a little different!

For Benny (PM) – Read for 15 minutes, pick up room, bath/pjs, brush teeth, potty and prayers.

For Bauer (PM) – Read for 15 minutes, pick up room, shower/pjs, lay out clothes for the next day, feed dogs, brush teeth, potty, and prayers

For Bree (PM) – Homework, pick up room, read 15 minutes, shower/pjs, lay out clothes for next day, brush teeth, feed fish, and prayers

Night-time magical tv can be turned on after the the kids complete everything but brushing teeth and prayers.

We had two successful night time routines so far.  The kids love to switch their tasks to “DONE”.  It’s magnetic on both ends so it is pretty fun how it almost clicks into place.

Due to the unexpected snow day, we really had our first test of the morning system today.  Bree ran in last night and asked that she and Bauer be woken up 30 minutes early so they could get their chart done.  OKAY (she says skeptically imagining her sleepy grumpy morning children)…

I woke them up and then laid back down since I didn’t need 30 more minutes to do my chart.  I walked into the the kitchen about 15 minutes later (they are super loud creatures) and found Bauer making his lunch (like the food was in ziploc bags and everything) and Bree asking if she could have the last apple for her snack.  I almost fainted.  I never really envisioned them doing this chart thing and never in a million years thought that my kids could make their own lunches.  I’m so dumb.  I always complain to Sean about making the lunches hoping he will do it….I should have passed this task onto the kids months ago.

They watched their magical tv show and left the house with clean teeth and no screaming reminders from mom.  No chasing the van down the driveway, no lack of tennis shoes or jacket, no cramming in spelling word practice that morning bc Bree forgot she had a test, no mom feeling horrible on the way to work for the last thing they remembered was her screaming they were going to be late.  WOW.

I’m blogging about this now because I realize that this may be the only morning that this works.

But boy was it worth “borrowing” those file folders from work….

Who knew that all I had to do was just write down what they needed to do….

Oh yeah, my mom!

Thanks mom!

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About juco

The Murphy Clan is onto year 4 of this parenting adventure. We are happy to keep sharing some our proudest and silliest moments with all our family and friends. We hope you enjoy our new format!
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