6.28.2010

Everybody Do Their Share

A week after returning from Palm Springs, and I still hadn't done dishes. The house was in general disarray, and I felt tired and overwhelmed at the thought of tackling it myself. I longed to be able to hire a housekeeper-- at least someone who could come in and set things right once a week. It was then that the thought hit me with sudden clarity: I have kids.

The kids have always had chores, but they've been small. Make your bed. Clean up toys before prayers. Clear you dishes from the table. But I knew they were capable of more. I'd just been hesitant to enlist their help before because teaching and supervising a child often takes more energy than simply completing the chore myself.

Not this time.

E was in charge of vacuuming everything. He could hardly push it across the floor, but was so proud of himself for the effort. Then he wiped down the table, chairs and countertops while I demonstrated the proper cleaning of a bathroom to Little Miss C. She then had to scrub the upstairs 'kid' bathroom on her own. Everyone helped pick up and put away items, wash windows, and do dishes.

It didn't take nearly as much time as I'd feared it would, and I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of their work. A few times they grumbled that they were doing 'your job, mommy', but that gave me the opportunity to explain that every member in a family is responsible for keeping things running smoothly.

I didn't even feel guilty. I was getting free labor and it was good for them!

Oh yeah. This is going to become a regular thing around here.

{image from Martha Stewart}

6 comments:

LisAway said...

Again, you are EXACTLY where I was a year or two ago. The kids had some very basic jobs but I remembered scrubbing bathrooms at their ages! Now they have regular jobs sorting recycling, scrubbing bathroom sinks (they still won't do toilets) and hanging laundry. Pregnancy was a great motivator for me, too. I simply could NOT stand to hang laundry so Evie helped me when I was pregnant with Aaron.

Reading back over that it sounds like I couldn't stand it, but I mean I really couldn't STAND because of my circulation problems (I was could only march in place) and because of my back.

Oh dear, I'm rambling on. I'll stop now. I'm just glad you had a good experience with getting your kids to join in on the fun. :) I hope it will be a relief to you!

LisAway said...

I was could only march in place. I really was could. Can you tell it's past my bedtime? Good night!

Crys said...

I just discovered this with Clark this week, he has been in charge of the keeping the table clean and last night he did the dishes. It has been way better than I had feared!!

皇銘 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。......................................................................

Carrie Stuart said...

Isn't it wonderful when that realization hits? I had 4 in 6 years...and they are now 11 to 17 and have been doing the dishes, vacuuming, trash, the bathrooms (except mine) sweeping, table, etc. for 8 years (depending on age). The only time in those years I've had to do dishes is the week of Scout camp/Girls' Camp. It is only more work initially (to supervise) then it pays off big time. They rarely complain (because it's become "their job" not mine) but when they did, we would tell them their first several years were our "investment" phase, where we had to do everything for them. Now they were capable of doing more and we and Heavenly Father expected them to do all they were capable of for themselves. Enjoy!

merelyLooking said...

Ahhhh.... The Golden Age is beginning....

Let me warn you, though, it's a serious blow when they leave home and you discover you're a mere mortal again.

Speaking of which, thanks sweetheart for coming home and throwing your's and hubby's elbow grease into the mix and helping me remember "the good old days" :)

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