Even Steven’s Sticker Chart

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Things have gotten way out of hand over here. Somewhere between 8 weeks of puking, a trip to Florida, the holidays – and me officially losing my mind – Even Steven and I have become a little lazy in our parenting.

Not lazy with the big stuff – our kids are still fed, clothed, loved and paid attention to. (Although we did realize that the kindergartner has worn the same outfit to school every single day this week without us noticing. So there’s that.)

While we’re not ignoring most of the big stuff, we have been lazy in the enforcement of not having poop or fart be every second word coming out of their mouths.

We’ve been lazy about the kids picking up their own toys and pitching in a little around the house.

We’ve been lazy about taking the time to ask the kids to help us rather than just do it faster ourselves.

You know?

So last weekend we called a family meeting. We talked about how special our family is. We talked about our expectations and a few things they can do to help pitch in. We talked over a few consequences and left plenty of time for the kids to “pass the potholder” for a chance to speak their minds.

And we ultimately came up with sticker charts for everyone. They can earn stickers for completing certain tasks each day. We haven’t talked about what happens if they get a bunch of stickers – for now they’re just excited for stickers, and we’re going to ride that train for as long as we can.

Four days in, and the sticker chart is working like a charm. The kids are excited to earn their stickers and truly disappointed when they don’t.

Although the soon to be 5-year-old did say, “I wish I didn’t have to unload the dishwasher. And I wish we’d never had a family meeting.”

So I told her all about how I wished that I had thin thighs and that none of THIS had happened to my body. Luckily most of that went over her head…

When Even Steven saw how successful this whole sticker chart thing was, he suggested that he could make me a sticker chart to hang on the wall.

Even Steven: I could give you a sticker every time you go to the gym. That would keep you motivated, don’t you think? And if you got 5 stickers in a week, you could earn some free time or something.

Me: LKJIUP^&^()(_)*(&^%$^%RTYU))YTR

That was the sound of me punching him in the face.


Even Steven

The very next morning, I dropped the kids off at the gym daycare, and I sat in the cafe with my laptop and played on Facebook for an hour. Then I came home and gave myself a sticker for going to the gym.

And another sticker for not smothering Even Steven in his sleep.

And yet another sticker for not spending my days chugging the handle of vodka in the cupboard.

Kidding. Calm down, Mom! I’m totally kidding.

And THEN I took the liberty of creating a sticker chart just for Even Steven.

He can earn a sticker for doing any of the following things:

*Going to the gym and arriving home in less than two hours.

*Changing a diaper.

*Cutting his own toenails.

*Actually listening to me the next time we decide to take all three kids to Ikea during naptime to buy a couch, when I say “We need to drive two cars and take the seats out of the van to fit the couch in.”

Side note: Guess who took all but ONE seat out because he was cold and then acted surprised when the couch wouldn’t fit in the van because of the seat that should have been removed. And guess who had to pay for home delivery? And guess who managed NOT to scream, “I told you so!” – except for this little random paragraph in a blog post? Yeah – another sticker for me!

PS – It won’t actually be possible for Even Steven to earn a sticker for this because there will never be a next time because I am never going to Ikea with the family again. Ever.

*Putting the lid on the milk all the way. Not just placing the cap on the top, but actually twisting it so it closes.

*Ditto for ketchup.

*And pickles.

*Sorting socks.

*Putting away laundry.

I think it’s a pretty decent sticker chart, and I’m sure it will totally motivate him.

For sure.

And if he manages to get even ONE sticker, then he can earn some free time. But not real free time. It will be the free time you get when all three kids are having a little “quiet time” and you have 20 minutes to either take a shower, clean the kitchen or try to get some work done.

I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes for him.

Even Steven

So…. what would you put on YOUR husband’s sticker chart?

PS – It’s possible that I have a little tiny bit of PMS while writing this. Maybe.


  1. Lisa R. Petty

    January 30, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Well, I’m pretty lucky in the husband department. He does do a lot. Don’t hate me.
    My teen son is another story, and I end up doing most things myself because clutter and mess drives me nuts.
    Here is a preview for you. You will need cash and that vodka, not stickers.

  2. Tracey

    January 30, 2014 at 9:21 am

    My husband would get stickers for: each day he doesn’t smoke; preparing his own coffee at night; helping with kids’ baths; grocery shopping; and helping with laundry!! BTW – love reading your blog posts!!! You crack me up (and I need a good mom laugh most days)!!!

  3. Romy

    January 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

    My husband could earn stickers for:
    -giving the kids a bath (I’d give him two for this!)
    -washing the pots and pans (He will load a dishwasher)
    -folding the kids’ clothes (He does loads of towels and folds them. No clothes)
    -wiping out the sink after brushing his teeth
    -giving me a foot rub
    My kids are not any better! It has taken EIGHT months to get into their heads the idea that toy goes in the bin with the picture of the toy on it!

  4. Anna's Mom

    January 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Okay daughter, raise your right hand and repeat after me – I promise to never write a blog post about my husband or my mother when I have PMS…….Seriously Anna, think about it- Even Steven does tons more than you give him credit for and he has 3 kids and also lives with you – I mean there’s a giant star right there!
    Now if you want to make up a sticker chart for your Dad I will pay you for it – maybe next month ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Bethany Bauer

    January 30, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    My husband could get a sticker if:
    -he ran a load of laundry that included at least one item that did not belong to him. (I think this would be his high achieving chore…maybe as many as SIX stickers in a year! Go hubby, go hubby!)
    -he took out the trash BEFORE I passive-aggressively put the can out on the deck and started a new trash bag on his chair.
    -he emerged from the shower within an hour AND there was still at least 37 seconds of hot water left (doesn’t count if he was only 20 minutes because the shower went cold). Bonus sticker if he has one or more child in the bathroom with him while he showers.
    -he keeps all children from entering the bathroom (and refrains from doing so himself) for at least 8 minutes while I shower.

    I think those four goals are enough of a challenge for the next several months. I don’t want him to get discouraged by too many stickerless boxes each day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. My Special Kind of Crazy

    January 30, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    *Cleaning the bathroom
    Let me clarify, he cleans way more than I do, but when you say you are going to “clean the bathroom” and then just wipe down the sink and put cleaner in the bowl, that is not “cleaning the bathroom.” If there is still pee spray on the floor (aim is not his strong suit) and dust an inch thick on everything else in the bathroom, it is not clean. Parts of things in the bathroom are clean, but not the whole bathroom.
    Oh, and if you are going to be standing around in the living room for hours playing Xbox, how about put a Swiffer in that hand and run it over the bookshelves for a couple minutes so we don’t look like we’re living in a scary abandoned house with cobwebs covering everything.
    I don’t dust. It’s my asthma. *cough*cough*

  7. Jenn

    January 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    It should be noted that I am not the neatest person and a horrible housekeeper. That said, my husband would get stickers for:
    *not leaving his socks all over the house
    *unfolding his socks as he takes them off his feet so they aren’t just balls of stink.
    *not leaving used q-tips on the bathroom counter
    *not leaving his chew spit bottles laying around (barf!)
    *rinsing his plates off

  8. carolyn

    January 30, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    i think it’s in the chromosome. to clean the bathroom with a “y” means to wipe down the sink and leave pee spray on the floor. hubby and son both do this.

  9. carolyn

    January 30, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    *cleaning the shave hairs out/off of the sink
    *putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of leaving them to crust over in the sink
    *throwing away used tissues
    *cleaning anything
    *putting his clean clothes away instead of leaving them in piles on his dresser
    *i need some wine

  10. Molly

    January 30, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    LMBO! I can totally relate! My husband is a very hard worker, but since I have a desk job, I should be able to handle all the rest, which includes 2 kids. (ages 3, 7) PLUS I live with my in-laws because he is building us a house…well has been trying to build it for the last 5 years! Yes, you read that right, 5 years. We did this before as well when we didn’t have kids, so in total I have lived with his family for 10 years! Where is my bottle of Vodka?

  11. Thersea

    January 30, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    If my husband ever dare suggest making me a sticker chart to motivate me into working out I’d punch him in the face too

  12. Melissa @ Stitches In Flight

    January 30, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I love your sarcastic ranting. I wish I could be funny like this when I rant. It was a good read. I found you on twitter, but am following you on Facebook now too!

  13. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    January 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Your PMS is hilarious. I’d even say it is sticker-worthy. Ellen

  14. Crazed in the Kitchen

    January 31, 2014 at 12:14 am

    My husband should get stickers for taking less than 20 minutes to poop. Seriously, what is happening there???

  15. Amy K.

    January 31, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    My bff’s husband & my husband hatched a little scheme they called “Husbands HR,” in which husbands would pay them to provide performance appraisals for their wife – based on goals the husband set up with their Husbands HR rep, of course. They thought they were SO FUNNY.

  16. [email protected]

    February 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I just love your writing style. It’s the best. and I love your idea for a sticker chart for E.S. – brilliant ๐Ÿ™‚

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