I told my husband last week that I know why our grandparents used to send our parents to play outside ALL day. It was so the house would stay clean for more than 3 minutes. I literally feel like I am constantly picking up, making a meal, or cleaning up a meal. Can I get an AMEN? I am so lucky that I have a husband that fills more than his fair share around the house but I also require my kids to pitch in. We have started giving Merritt more responsibility and paid her when she did a really great job without complaining.
Here are some ways I have my family pitch in because let’s be honest I can’t do it all:
My Husband (without being asked):
- He does ALL the laundry. I mean washes, hang dries, folds and puts it away (except for fitted sheets, he hates those and I love them)
- He cleans up every night after I cook
- He gets the kids out of the house so I can clean
- When we have school, he makes packs Clay Thomas’s lunch while I am at the gym
- He takes out the trash ( I don’t know that I have taken more than 10 trash bags out since we got married almost 8 years ago)
- He helps pick up every night
- He handles all the bills and keeping the mail cleaned up
Don’t go yell at your spouse if they don’t do these things. But have a conversation with them about ways they can help around the house. Give them options. I don’t mind cleaning but I can’t do it with the kids on top of me. So he can clean the whole house or watch the kids. Figure out the chores that you both don’t mind doing and go from there.
Here is a great guide to what your kids can do at various ages.
- Pick up their toys. Create systems that allow them to know where toys should go and clean up will be simple for them. It has also taught them to not make a huge mess.
- Take clothes to the laundry room. This is a simple chore they can easily accomplish at a very young age. We don’t have laundry baskets in their room. Everyday clothes go straight to the laundry room since we do a load of laundry every day.
- Merritt makes up her bed now.
- They help put away clean dishes. I keep their dishes in a drawer close to the floor so they can get out their own plates and bowls for mealtime but they can also put it away. They also love to put the silverware away.
My kids are also learning there are consequences to their actions. If they don’t do what is asked they get screen time taken away. That is something they really enjoy and missing that once or twice they learned their lesson. We also tell Merritt that we are a family and families help each other. Which I think is the most important lesson. She is learning to pitch in and help for the greater good of her family. Even if she didn’t make the mess she has to still help.