I wrote this post months ago. I am not sure what exactly set me off but I knew I had to sit on this post for a good, long, while. I’m pretty pleased I don’t remember who was making me crazy but I do know that I had to write this post.
As we quickly approach the beginning of school, this may be a good time to re-evaluate what your child’s responsibilites will be. They are one year older and one foot taller (in some cases). They ARE ready to take on more chores.
Let me help you along with these few words of ‘encouragement’ (read, kick in the butt)…
I am not sure what is going on with some parents. I just don’t get it. Its 2014, right? We don’t live in the 1950’s or the Victorian Era, right? I’m just checking… I like watching Downton Abbey but we aren’t living it today… are we?
I know PLENTY of really great, sane, solid parents. They juggle a job (working at home or in a office, school, hospital etc.), managing the kids in multiple activities (soccer, volleyball, swimming, hockey, dance, music, kumon, etc.), maintaining their home all somehow holding on to their sanity. You know who you are so I will not mention your name *Cough..Pam… cough*.
But then there are a whole other set of parents that I don’t get it.
Why are you letting your kids (little and adult alike) and spouses rule the world around you and make you miserable? Miserable to the point of having a nervous breakdown, sad to the point of giving up hope, overwhelmed to the brink of exhaustion.
One moment I want to give you a big hug, comfort you and tell you it’ll be alright. “You can handle it”, “You’re not alone”, “Kids will be kids”, “MEN!”…”WOMEN!”. Then the next minute, I want to slap you upside the head, shake you by the shoulders, speak to you s.l.o.w.l.y so you understand (o.k. not slap you because slapping is wrong).
Because as much as we live in a world that likes to think that we should do it all, I don’t have time for those that think that they should, could or need to DO. IT. ALL.
STOP THE MADNESS… your kids, your spouse are all living breathing human beings that can HELP YOU.
If you need to do 10 loads of laundry and you don’t know where to start? Ask the people that are producing THAT laundry. They are too young, you say?
Guess what, that spouse that helped you miraculously produce that child prodigy can help.
Children can also help at all stages (except when they are babies).
Taking baby steps (pun fully intended): Get your toddlers and small children to help sort the clothes.
Children CAN learn how to load the washing machine, measure the detergent and push a button or pull a knob (you can make sure that the right settings are on).
Children and teens can also fold laundry and put it away… yes, they can put it away…
The floor and/or the laundry basket is not where clothes belong… they belong in closets and drawers and bins and closets (I think I said that already).
Why are these life skills… yes, I’ll spell that out for you – L.i.f.e. S.k.i.l.l.s – so important to learn? Because one day they will move out of your house… yes, they will leave home and they will have to do laundry and… guess what?…fold it and put it away.
They WILL NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO HIRE A MAID UNTIL THEIR MID-THIRTIES… you know it, I know it, they just don’t know it yet…
Teach your kids to:
- make dinner
- set a table
- serve dinner
- clear the table
- do the dishes
- and clean the counters
Teach your kids to:
- put their clothes in the laundry hamper (not the ‘laundry’ floor)
- teach them to sort: lights (or whites), colours and darks. Also delicates and hand washables (that don’t have to be hand washed, there is a setting for that on the machine – look for it, you will find it).
- show them how to load a dryer and point out that spandex shorts and sports bras should be hung to dry… teach them that wool sweaters are rolled between towels twisted to get out the water then they are laid out flat to dry.
- help them carry the clean laundry basket upstairs but make THEM put away their clothes
Teach your kids to:
- clean a bathroom (the whole thing, not just the sink), scrub a toilet, wash a floor, clean a tub
- pick up the garbage from every room, place it in a garbage can
- then take it out to the curb
- how to sort recycling items
Teach them to:
- sweep and clean a floor… (on their hands and knees if they have to get a bad stain out)
- how to clean a fridge (yes, this one skill will make a huge difference when they live in a house with 4 other people in university)
If you don’t teach them they will not learn… they will struggle…
they may get a job sooner so they can afford a housekeeper . Who am I kidding that doesn’t happen for most people until they have kids, two jobs and a small inheritance from their granny & granddad.
My last few weeks have been filled with women that need to have better support from their spouses and their children. They just don’t know that this is part of being a grown up: asking,
no demanding, asking again that they get help from the other people in their household.
I ask you: why do they get to do whatever they want and YOU have to tackle everything else?