Chores. That word alone will send every kid in any house across the world running for their room. Amazingly my kids find homework, they eat longer, they need baths, anything to get out of chores.
I don’t have small children. I have a ten year old and a fourteen year old. Yes, plenty old enough to start pulling some weight. Especially since it is their own messes that I am having to clean up. Moms, you know what I mean. There is a process to our cleaning.
- You have to day and you clean till your house is shiny. (well mine is kind of a sparkle in places.)
- Children come home. They remark “Oh, Mom it’s clean.”
- They sit and I swear decide how to destroy it the fastest. The eat in front of the tv. Which means dishes and wrappers gather themselves right on the floor. Backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets, gloves, hats and shoes clutter the mudroom. Dropped right as they walked through the door. The floor being clean means it’s time to drag out toys that I swear have not seen the light of day in months, but now must be played with and because we will play tomorrow must linger on the floor scattered in a battlefield position for the remainder of the week.
- Mom goes into complete psycho mode, cleaning and ranting about being a slave to her family and no one appreciating or helping. (Does this sound familiar to anyone? Anyone? I know your out there!)
Well this past week I met my end of the line. I was done. I am either going to get the kids to help or I am going to move to the hunting house and live in a very quiet, very clean, very peaceful home that only sees my mess. Yes, it will be lonely, but I can walk over to visit the pigsty they will be living in.
Okay I can’t move. It will be too hard to walk back and forth to do laundry and to make meals. But it is a thought. I decided to get serious and I created a wonderful chore chart. It is not overwhelming, but it is a list of what they must each accomplish everyday when they get home from school or after breakfast on the weekends. I decided that I would make the list easy to get done and easy to finish.
Here is the bargaining point!! They get no electronics, no wi-fi, NO NOTHING!! (I know very improper english and a double negative which I hate, but I had to use it here. Don’t tell my English teachers!) That’s right, they either do what is on their list or they can go get ready for bed and get a book. Well the book thing doesn’t bother my kids, they will read for hours, but I can’t take books away. They would die and so would I. We have that connection to our books. Plus if they do get the entire week finished, they get their allowance of $5.00. I think that is pretty fair.
Well So far it is working. I am holding my ground. I am making them clean up after themselves. I mean what kind of husband is my son going to be if he makes messes and expects his wife to pick up everything and wait on him hand and foot! Oh, dear. I should have started this long ago.