This weekend during chore time while my 11-year-old was hard at work sweeping and swiffering the kitchen floor, I reminded him to put a new trash sack in the bin too. He looked to the ceiling and sighed heavily then muttered under his breath, “I’m going to be such a good Dad…I do everything around here.”
In our house, kids do chores.
Everyone has a daily chore like unloading dishes or taking out trash or feeding the dog or picking up toys. Everyone cleans a bathroom and toilet each week. And everyone rotates doing an additional weekly chore like vacuuming, mowing the lawn, or sweeping and swiffering the floor. In the summer, each kid also picks weeds once a week for an hour. And even the littlest kids are expected to tidy their rooms and the toy room before bed.
They all hate it.
I hate it too.
It almost never runs smoothly. There is a lot of complaining and whining and groaning, “Ugh…mom…whyyyy??” There is constant negotiating and half-assing around this house. And the worst part is, when all is said and done, this place is often never actually very clean.
Would it be easier to just do it myself? Yes. Would it save a lot of heartache and arguments and yelling? Yes. Would the chores probably be completed to a different standard? Yes. Is it still a priority for me to give my children chores? 100% yes.
The truth is, with five kids in the house I honestly can’t get it all done myself, not without spending every waking hour cleaning (and don’t even get me started on laundry!). There is just too much. I truly believe the kids NEED to contribute to the family…to feel responsible and needed and necessary to the running of the household.
But the main reason I’m such a stickler for chores is the realization that it will be all too soon before they head out on their own. My oldest boy leaves for college in just five years with another child to follow every three years after that. I need to be confident they will know how to take care of things around the house (and how to cook a few meals like grilled cheese or scrambled eggs and how to pump gas). I need to be confident they will at the very least SURVIVE!!
We’ve all heard the saying, “I’m working myself out of a job” and I totally agree!
One of my main jobs as a parent is helping my children GROW UP. And one of the hardest things about being a mom is recognizing which parts of life are my kids’ responsibility then actually letting those things be THEIR RESPONSIBILITY! I’m still learning how to GET OUT OF THE WAY and just let them do it.
Household chores are a great way to practice!
Even if everyone hates it.
So this weekend when my 11-year-old muttered about ‘becoming a good Dad’ I stifled a laugh and resisted the urge to tick off ALL THE OTHER THINGS I do every single day that obviously go completely unnoticed and underappreciated. I managed to only give a little smile and reply, “You sure will!”
Moms, won’t that be the ultimate parenting win?? Watching our children grow into responsible, capable adults who can do ADULT things and turn into amazing parents and spouses one day living meaningful and productive lives???
That means at this house we’ve got a chore chart…and you better believe I’m going to use it!!
Who’s with me??
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