Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chores, Ugh!

I hate chores. It's bad enough when it's just you that you're picking up after. But throw in a couple of kids and a spouse and things start to get out of hand.

In our house, the laundry is never ending. Dishes can magically fill the sink between bedtime and breakfast. Shoes and socks litter the floor like wrapping paper after Christmas morning. Meals must be prepared, served, and cleaned up - at least 3 times a day. There are 3 beds to be dealt with, one of which is a crib. There are 2.5 bathrooms to clean, one of which belongs to the kids. In the course of a day, my living room can go from spotless to looking like an episode of Hoarders due to the sheer number of toys that make their way out of the bins. Even with a house cleaner helping out every other week, I never seem to be able to get a handle on it. And don't even get me started on our poor little, neglected backyard!

When you're a little kid, you do chores because you want to please your mommy and/or daddy and you think it's fun. Hooray! I put the blocks away the fastest! Did you see me, Mommy?

Then you come to your senses and start to resist the chore requirements. This typically leads to parents forcing kids to do chores through 1) threats (ok, fine, "consequences") - you can't go play until your room is clean - or 2) bribery - here's your allowance for doing x, y, and z.

Then you eventually move out of your parents' house and chores become something you do to prove that you're responsible enough to have moved out of your parents' house. For example, you vacuum and dump the trash before your parents come for a visit. Or it's something you do before a party. For example, you flip a coin with your room mate to see who has to clean the bathroom.

Then, one day, you realize that you've made a significant transition regarding chores. You make your bed, without realizing it, before you leave for work. You load, run, and unload the dishwasher without arguing with your spouse/room mate about it. You find yourself wanting to vacuum so your carpet looks nice. Your clothes are clean, folded, and put away. You may even have a houseplant or two that are still alive.

Welcome to adulthood!

It's not that chores become any less, well, chore-y. It's just that after 20 plus years, the tasks that you have despised since you were a kid have finally become just part of your day. And, like it or not, you've come to realize the importance of doing these chores. I know that it's gross and unsanitary to not clean the toilet. I know to vacuum my floors so I'm not walking around on dirt, hair, and who knows what. I know that if I want to eat off clean plates, I have to wash them. And I know that laundry doesn't magical fold or hang itself up.

And now that I'm not just an adult, but also a mom, I know why kids are assigned chores. One less bed to make, one less room to pick up, one less table to set or clear, one less load of laundry to put away, one less bag of trash to take out. I can't wait!


  1. When I grow up, I want two dishwashers (one for clean and one for dirty dishes). Then, I'll stop storing clean dishes in a cabinet. I am kinda thinking about two clothes dryers too, but I don't think this would be as helpful. LOL

    1. I would LOVE 2 dishwashers - like they have in the swanky kitchens of model homes! I may have to invest in a Roomba one of these days too...