Tuesday, May 11, 2010

'Ours' work.

My house is neat -on the surface any way and in select rooms. The living room, dining room and kitchen are always spic and span. This is because my youngest loves to keep things looking tidy.

Woe betide the person who leaves a butter knife on the counter or library books on the table.
If you peek into the bathroom-things can look a little grubby until I get in there and clean-I can't stand a dirty sink, a questionable toilet.

Dust, well there is often a layer of it on all the furniture but the hardwood floors are always dust free because junior likes to wield a broom as part of her self imposed unschool daily tasks.
My room; clothes everywhere due to a lack of closet space (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).
Kids rooms? Oldest -let's just say she lives in a 'contained' disaster zone mess-the mark of great intelligence and genius (that's her story and she is sticking to it). The other kids? They share. Middle kid has all her clothes meticulously folded in her dresser, books neatly stacked on a shelf, personal possessions in a neat row.
Junior, although tidy downstairs is messy in her own room.
So who picks up the socks? Who cooks the meals? Who does the laundry who does the dishes?
Oldest does supper dishes (we don't have a dishwasher). Middle does laundry (with a lot of prodding and nagging). Husband fetches.
I basically pickup the slack. Somedays more than others. I often feel like I am doing more than my motherly share but slowly I am seeing progress with the housework -which I refer to as 'our' work-all our work, everybody's responsibility.
The expectation has always been that they will help. I find it wrong to live in a household and not do your bit. I know there are lots of people who let their kids off the hook saying that they only ask them to help out if it is absolutely necessary(as in the need is irrefutable) but I'm not one of these people. I have no intention of being the family slave.
Now if only I could be joyful about housework-more meditative. Tips anyone?


Anonymous said...

I have young kids and i often wonder about how to have them help me do housework without compromising my unschooling values.
I think it's really good to accpet their help even when they are likely to make a mess of things because then you are installing the idea that house work is everyone's responsibility. I try to be joyful about this; or at least, not complain. It's just work that has to be done-like tooth brushing.

HB said...



Have you seen these? A different way of looking at these things- might be interesting to you both!

rfs said...

Thanks HB. I'll be sure to take a look at the links.

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