The Free Ride is Over

One of the occupational hazards of being a homemaker, especially when all the children are in school, is that you get used to doing the household chores by yourself.

That’s not to say my house is, or has ever been, fabulously immaculate and ready for Better Homes and Gardens. That never happens around here. I settle for reasonably sanitary, not-much-to-trip-over, laundry done and dinner on the table.

But now that the kids are getting older, I can really see where I’ve been lax–making sure they do their chores.

I have posted a chart this week for them, on which each child is responsible for 3 things each day (not including cleaning up their own personal messes). They have a “big” household task, a “daily” household task, and a daily “bedroom” task. Less than half of those tasks have been done this week.

The problem is that my responsibility does not end at writing out this chart–I have to make sure things get done. (And sometimes it is just faster to do them myself!)

So, this morning when I came downstairs to find the back door open (the Big Kids were up late last night), the kitchen a mess from Middle Sister and BFF’s late-night-snack, cans and glasses still left around from Wednesday night when Big Brother had 2 friends stay the night for a video-game marathon, and trash not taken out, I took matters into my own hands.

Nintendos have been confiscated. Wii games have been confiscated. And the “internet bomb” (settings for our router that will cut internet service to the computer the kids use) has gone off.

Plus, TheDad has added an extra chore to the list for today: weed the front weed patch flower bed before he gets home.

So if you hear wailing and gnashing of teeth today, it’s my kids. It’s not going to be pretty. But they have to learn that households don’t run themselves, and that’s the point of doing the chores.

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