Looking Back: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
This post was originally published January 4, 2009.
About a year ago, I guess, I decided that I was going to put my family on a laundry schedule.
I booted up the computer, opened up Word, and set to work.
My schedule was simple: Mondays were for sheets and blankets, Tuesdays were for the Man Beast's and my clothes, Wednesday were for Baby Gurl's and the Boy's clothes and Saturday was a catch-all - all clothes that needed to be done, were done on Saturday. Thursday, Friday and Sunday were No Laundry days.
After I spent 30 minutes making my schedule pretty, I printed out fourcopies; one for each bedroom and one for the laundry room.
I then directed my brood to the schedule and explained when laundry would get done. I also explained that as part of chores, I expected laundry to be put in the laundry room. I didn't expect much but I was pleasantly surprised.
To this day, everyone in the house has the schedule memorized by heart!
I figured I was onto something so since my ink came in the mail today (I ordered online since it's so much cheaper), I would get started and move this schedule bit to other chores in the house.
Today, I made a Kitchen Duty list, a Bathroom Detail list (because bathroom duty would sound a little too gross) and a Kitchen Rotation (I also have to make up a bathroom rotation, but I haven't gotten that far yet).
On the Kitchen Duty list are a list of tasks that need to be done. This is to remind whoever turn it is to clean the kitchen exactly what to do (so far only The Boy and I have kitchen duty. Baby Gurl helps unload the dishwasher, but as of yet, this is the extent of her 'kitchen duty'). The Bathroom Detail list similarly lists tasks that need to be done in the bathroom.
The are going to be posted tomorrow after church. I plan on putting the lists in their prospective rooms. Since the bathroom tends to get a little soggy, I'm going to place the Bathroom Detail list in a page protector.
I think all too often, us moms complain because we don't get help around the house. I feel that a majority of the time the reason we don't get help is because the other bodies in the house don't know what to do. But it should be obvious!, you might say. Well, of course it's obvious to us. We're the ones who do it all! But it might not be so obvious to the rest of your troupe.
My suggestion to you is to make sure that your family knows what is expected of them, give them the tools to remember (I use the lists, but you can use whatever you want), show them how you expect the task done (to this day, The Boy gets weekly lessons on how to fold my towels. There is a certain way I want them done and he still hasn't gotten the hang of it. So I calmly show him and his sister how I expect it done. One day, I hope it sinks in.)
There isn't one good reason why us moms should be doing all the work around the house. We're doing a giant disservice to our family! Our daughters aren't learning how to run a household, our sons aren't learning how to take care of themselves and our husbands are left in the dark concerning all household tasks-what if something happens to us? Where does this put them?
Grim, I know...but a sad reality.
I suggest we stop being martyrs and let our families help us around the house. Let them take pride in where they live by giving them the tools to take care of it.
You get help around the house. They learn valuable life skills. It's a win-win scenario!