Sunday, January 4, 2009

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

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 four copies; 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 extend 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!

Until next time...


  1. Bathroom duty, hehe. Yes, I'm 12.

    As a child, my brother and I would have designated chores, some of which would change each year (cleaning the bathroom and living room, taking out the trash and sweeping the floors). I didn't like chores, but I liked knowing exactly what I was to do. Now, my roommate and I have done something similiar as she doesn't like to dust and I don't like to vacuum. It's my job to dust the living room and her job to vacuum it. Works for me!

  2. I like calling them details...I'll be using that, thanks. =)

    I've been thinking along this line myself and just need to actually make the routines up and then post them. This would eliminate the kids saying they don't know how to do something.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Oh, and for your poll, I make resolutions but more in the form of goals.

  3. I really like knowing what I need to do, too. I also like knowing what I'm doing for the day, including dinner - if I know what I'm making for dinner that morning, the rest of the day is smooth sailing :)

  4. Iva...I agree with you! They just need to know what to do! I have done chore charts with my kids for a few years now and it is great. One of them loves to do laundry, one is good with putting away the dishes out of the dishwasher and my little one likes to clean the bathroom...go figure! I make them do a little of all the different chores just so they "know how"! They are very good about doing them even when I am gone for the day.
    My oldest said one day that he didn't know when he should run the dishwasher or wait for more dishes. He said it was nerve racking for him to play the dare game of should I or shouldn't I? He didn't want to get in trouble, but he truly didn't know when to run it. I was amazed by that. But they are often in a quandary of making the wrong decision... and then we get upset with them! I told him to use his own good judgment and run it if he thought there were things in it that we might need for the next meal. Haven't had a problem with that since.
    Good post... and I am long winded today! Sorry.
    Glad I came over and caught up with you!

  5. Oh bless his heart! He doesn't want to get in trouble. LOL


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