My family knows how this house hold operates on the weekends especially on a Saturday, and when they act in shock when I remind them, I am annoyed.
On Saturday, I like to wake up have breakfast with my husband and daughter, do our household chores, shower/change; head out to accomplish the to-do/errand list, and then enjoy what’s left of the weekend.
So, this Saturday, after breakfast, I tell my daughter “honey, can you please do your chores so we can knock it out-of-the-way.” She of all people knows that when I am saying something, I am saying it for a reason.
She says: “I don’t want to. You never told me I had to do them.”
Mind you she is kicking and throwing her body around like she’s doing a new dance move.
Me: “Well, I don’t want to do mine either, but I have too! Remember, I made a list for you a couple of months ago that has your chores. You can find the list in your night stand drawer.”
She says: ” Why, do I have to do them? I don’t understand why I have to make my bed when I am just going to mess it all up when I get in bed in a few hours.”
Me: “You need to clean your room we have lots of things to do today.”
I am really trying to stay away from saying BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!
She says: ” You don’t understand how much stuff I have to do? I have to make my bed, pick up my clothes, pick up my toys, open the curtains. That is too much stuff and it takes a long time.”
Me: ” Of course, I know what your duties are and how long it takes to finish them. I used to do them. Now, I’m not asking you to do them, I am telling you. So put a smile on your face and do them.”
As she is pouting and storming off, I think to myself, I am going to make a list of all my chores and have her compare her list to mine. She needs to see what I have to do. So, I immediately start writing down all my chores.
5 minutes pass and she comes back to me and says “I am done and I am going to play on my iPad.”
I stop her in her tracks and tell her that I want to show her something.
She says: “Gosh! What, now!”
Me: ” You know when I tell you to do something, I am telling you for a reason. I think you forgot that I told you 30 minutes ago that you have a hair appointment and we must run out here shortly. I expect we will be gone the rest of the day and we wont have time later to do our chores. While you were cleaning I wrote down some of the chores that I have to do and how long it usually takes me to complete these task.”
She says: ” I don’t need to see the list. I have more things on my list and it takes a long time.”
Me: “Let’s compare your list with my list and see what you have to complain about.”
I start going through my list telling her that I have to clean 2 bathrooms and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour for each bathroom.
I go into details describing some of the task like: scrubbing the shower walls and tub, clean the sink, scrubbing the toilet, mopping, trash, etc. etc.
By now, I can see that she realizes her little list of things isn’t so bad.
I continue on naming other chores: washing clothes, vacuuming, dusting, clean the kitchen, so on so forth.
Me: “See honey, my list is way longer than yours but you don’t hear me huffing and puffing when I have to do these time sucking task. I just do them because it must be done. Otherwise, who is going to do them?”
I also have 2 reasons why you do these task.
1. You need to learn about responsibility.
2. I need your help. When you clean your room that helps lift some of the weight off my shoulders.
She says: “I understand.” You know mom, I can help you make your list smaller. You need to start giving dad chores.”
Me: “Well honey, you see that I don’t have the living room or folding clothes on my list. That is your daddy’s chore.”
We immediately look at the couches and see a mountain of clothes.
She says: ” Mom, daddy left the house before doing his chores.”
Me: “Yes, I know. I guess I need to have this very same talk with daddy.”