Oh man! Don’t we all wish that was a thing? I will age myself with this next comment, so you young ones, Google “The Jetsons.” I’m waiting for everything on The Jetsons to become reality!!
Push a button and Boom! Dinner is ready.
Push another button and Bam! Clothes washed, ironed, folded and hung up!!
But until that day comes, and man, I hope I’m not too old to enjoy it, it’s mom’s and hopefully dad’s responsibility to ensure the house is running properly.
Over the last break from school I noticed how much I do that my kids are more than capable of doing.
Why have I not taken advantage of the small humans? I mean after all, that is why I had kids!! Just kidding, sorta.
We all know kids need chores. They need to learn to be responsible. They like being helpful and feel accomplished with a job well done.
So why, as I stand over a sink full of dishes with four baskets of clothes waiting to be folded at my side, are my kids plopped in front of the TV?
Honestly, it’s because I’m OCD about how my dishes go in the dishwasher and because I like all my towels folded the exact same way. And we won’t even start with the closets! (Rainbow order from tank tops, short and then long sleeve, and dress tops hanging in a different section. And they all have to hang front-facing.)
My daughter thinks as long as the dish fits somewhere in the dishwasher it’s okay. The nerve of her! And she doesn’t think washing them before stacking them is necessary.
My husband told me I’m not allowed to complain about having to do everything if I won’t accept help. He started the laundry a few times when our youngest was first born. He didn’t do it right. I was in a state of total OCD panic. I mean, did he even add Downy and the laundry booster beads? Were the whites being washed in warm water? I’ve also been caught refolding the towels when he had so graciously folded them.
So he stopped, which backfired on me.
I decided after missing the first 45 minutes of family movie night, every night for a week, that something had to give. And that something was ME!
Does that mean I let go of my desire to have my dishes cleaned properly? No, it means I spend time teaching my girls that dishes have to be rinsed properly, and, certain items fit better in specific places, which means you can utilize the space more efficiently.
I taught my girls how to fold towels (the right way), but if they fold a kitchen towel the same as a bath towel, I let it go.
If there is a casserole dish on the top rack, but all the dishes fit, I thank them and we run the load.
If something really, truly needs to be redone, I show them the proper way.
We try to teach Godly principles of doing things with all your heart, mind and soul. From homework to housework.
This does come at a cost.
No, we do not pay for chores. You live here. We are a family unit. We work together to keep OUR house running smoothly.
But, our kids earn rewards like screen time, one on one time with mom or dad, friends spending the night, picking what we eat for dinner or the next game on family game night.
Yes, they get money, for reading books.
I encourage all my other OCD mamas to stand back and take a deep breath, but let kids learn. Let it go when it’s not done exactly your way. Celebrate that it’s done!!
Grab a book, some chocolate, and enjoy the fruits of your actual labor, laboring.