The dirty c-word: chores. (One of) the banes of all mothers’ existence. Most of us hate doing them, and yet we hate the result when we don’t do them. We all approach them in different ways – some have rigid schedules, some just do them whenever. Some are good at getting them done, and others struggle.
So, let’s talk about chores, for this week’s Link Up!
1. What chore should you be doing now instead of answering this question?
Dusting, and cleaning my front entry. Oh yeah, and hanging that wet load of laundry that is sitting in my washer, out on the clothesline.
2. Do your kids have chores? If yes, what’s your chore system?
Yes! Now, here’s the irony – neither my husband or I were required to do chores growing up. Picking up toys once in awhile was about the extent of our duties. While as children we certainly appreciated this lack of responsibility, as adults, my husband and I both saw the fallacy of such an approach. We knew that our children would be helping around the home. We also expect them to help without any pay or reward, because we did not want to teach them to only help out when they are going to get something for it. Instead, we’d rather teach our children to help out, because that’s what Christians should do – help each other, without any expectation of reward or compensation.
This is not to say that we don’t reward them sometimes, we do. But it is random and infrequent, which makes it all the more meaningful to them. Also, sometimes, we will give them the option of doing a special job for money.
Now there are lots of lists on the internet of age-appropriate chores. I really like this one here, from Focus on the Family. However, we honestly never followed a suggested list. We just knew what we were working on in the home that day, and found a way to include our children, from day one. We started getting intentional however about having the children help around age 3.
For the sake of not writing an entire novel on the evolution of chores in our household, I’ll tell you how it looks in our home today, for our children ages 6 & 9.
We now have a weekly chore routine. We do the same chore each week, Monday through Saturday. Outside of necessary dishes, we do not do any work/choring on Sundays. I keep track of our chores on a master schedule that I printed and laminated, and keep on our fridge. This provides me a complete overview of our week, that includes our daily routine/schedule, our meal planning for the day, as well as our chores for the day.
It’s not fancy, but it is functional. I do not have a separate chore chart or system for the children, I just tell them what our chores are for the day first thing in the morning. They have gotten very used to the routine and know what to expect. We all work together to complete the tasks.
Example: “Clean Kitchen” We all get a cleaning rag. While my son (9) wipes down the cupboards, my daughter (6) wipes down all the appliances, while I wipe down the backsplash and counters. Then they work together to unload/reload the dishwasher, while I do a quick clean n’ toss in the fridge (wiping down the shelves, tossing old items). For “Clean Bathroom”, my son wipes down the bathtub, while my daughter wipes down the counters, while I clean the toilet. I save my “deep cleaning” for Saturday, which I typically do myself. These are more in depth chores like rearranging/cleaning out the cupboards and pantry, cleaning out the attic/basement etc… We use all natural cleaning products in our household, mostly for the health benefits, however, also so I do not have to worry about my children being exposed to chemicals while they help out.
I’ll add a quick note on laundry – laundry is washed and dried almost daily in our house, however, it just goes into a (large) basket until Tuesday and Thursday, when the children and I sort it and put it away. As for dishes, we deal with dishes immediately after each meal.
3. If someone gifted you a housekeeping service, would you use it?
Honestly, this answer changes depending on the season. Our busiest season for appointments for our daughter tends to be fall (did you see my appointment schedule for this week in the photo?!) and spring. During those seasons, I would bawl my eyes out in gratitude if someone were to give us a cleaning service. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wished for a house cleaner. There is nothing more exhausting then to spend your day traveling, sitting in hospitals, dealing with doctors, only to return home at the end of the day mentally drained in a way that you can’t begin to understand unless you’ve had a sick child, and have to face a counter full of dishes, dusting, laundry, a dirty toilet etc…
However, in the down times, I do not tend to feel the desire for a house cleaner as much, because I am better able to keep on top of things. So, during those seasons, I would rather see someone else in need receive the help.
And now I’m off to hang out some laundry. ‘Till next week!