I work, my kids do chores, do yours?

So I am in Starbucks (no big shocker to anyone), and I should be working on about 10 different things when another mom strikes up a convo with me on chores.  Do your kids do them?  What do they do?  What happens when they don’t do complete them?

I hate answering these types of questions because they are so personal.  I like to keep my expectations for my kids’ behind closed doors because it really just opens up a big can of worms.  I feel bad because possibly they don’t do as much as your kid or vice-versa.  Then, there is the compliance issue.  ‘Who is the better parent?’ comes to mind right away when I think about who’s kids are happy to get it done when it comes to chores.  Mine are not always thrilled.

My kids do chores.  I actually have pretty high expectations for my kids at home, and to be honest, my standards have only grown since I started at this little venture.  When I was home full-time, I wouldn’t say that I was more patient (because believe me, I wasn’t), but I had time to bargain, cajole, and explain why to my kids over the chores.  Now, I quite simply don’t have that luxury.

I WANT to be able to spend my time with my kids helping with their homework, hearing about their school day, cheering them on at their game, and watching movies.  I don’t have the time (nor the desire) to repeatedly ask them to do something that could have been done 10 minutes ago if I was not explaining why.  This vicious cycle just contributes to a bad mood and takes away from what I really want to be doing with my kids.

This is where the problem starts because this is my opinion and prerogative and not yours, so when you ask me and I tell you that I am not patient or understanding, I look bad.  Then, I start to feel bad.  You either feel so much better than me because you are understanding and forgiving and nice and probably did not say to your kids’we are finished with the diapers as of today’ like I did….and so the catty moms come out to play.

I would rather talk about my bikini wax or the great void I feel without my dad or something else.  Just not chores and what you and I both do in our own household.  It is easier to say and endure judgment about my grooming preferences over the fact that ‘yes, my kids put their own laundry away, and no it is not the way I would do it, but I do expect stuff not to be thrown in the drawer.’

I am not a parenting expert nor do I play one on TV, so I cannot speak to what the appropriate chores are and are not.  I cannot make a bold statement about how to handle participation when it comes to chores like Doc G.  I can only tell you about me and my kids.  My kids who have been know to mutter, ‘Mom is type, type, typing again’ under their breath.  Yep, my kids do that.  They also love being in the inner-circle on the braduct(s) and watching Shark Tank and pretending to give me a pitch.  They adore seeing the blog posts that include them.

It is a balance just like everything else.  My kids are so happy for me.  They celebrate me one second, and the next want me to drop everything and give them my undivided attention.  Some days the see-saw of being a mompreneur is terribly off-kilter, others it is just right, and more often than not, it leans a little one way and then the other.  That is in my house where I still load and unload the dishwasher every day because I have not given that out as a chore yet.  Your kids may do that, I don’t know.  I will probably envy you if they do, so I don’t ask.  I just worry about what works for us and making my deadlines that I am now so overdue.

I don’t really have a list of tips or tricks at the end of this post other than it all works out, and I think sometimes what most moms crave is to hear: ‘You are doing fine.  You are doing a good job.  We all struggle with whether we are doing the right thing.

I think not to question ourselves and to always believe that we are doing everything just so is a false sense of confidence.  So, I say to myself – put the javelin down, no sparring allowed, but be open about my foibles and questions and concerns because it may lead to added comfort (for me and you).


{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Debra September 19, 2012, 3:33 PM

    I totally agree with you. My children are 5 and almost 3 and the each have chores, appropriate to their age. My 5 year old is responsible to make his bed, keep his room clean and help take out recyclables. My almost 3 year old feeds the dog (with supervision) and both my kids are expected to put their dishes in the sink and throw away their trash after any meal or snack. As they get older they’ll get more chores. I think it is important for them to know that they have to help out and do “their part” in the family to keep the house running. As parents, I’m not their servant or slave (and they’re not mine either), but they are expected to have responsibility and accountability in our home.
    Debra recently posted..What’s In Your Purse?My Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld September 20, 2012, 3:35 PM

      I find myself saying – ‘This is not a hotel, and either way – you can’t act this way in hotel.’

      like the saying ‘their part’ ~R

  • Dr. G September 20, 2012, 2:21 PM

    What a great way to look at the important issue of kid-work, and more importantly the issue of mom-support. How do we talk to our friends and colleagues about our parenting struggles and triumphs without that competition? I think by having confidence and keeping that open mind. Thanks for laying it all out so clearly!
    Dr. G recently posted..By: Raising Boys World Q & A with Doctor G. Topic: MovingMy Profile

    • Rachel Blaufeld September 20, 2012, 3:38 PM

      can we check competition at the door to starbucks?

  • Janice Schwarz September 28, 2012, 9:07 AM

    My kids aren’t even 3 yet and they’re learning to pick up their toys. Real chores will certainly happen as they get older. I did chores when I was a kid. If I didn’t do chores, I didn’t get allowance. Definitely a motivator!

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