Honey, I Fired the Kids. . .and I Picked Up Some Coffee

Anyone with kids over the ages of 2 or 3 has wondered about things like chores, or allowance, or how to teach them to clean up and help out around the house. Kid’s Chores are a discussion topic around the coffee pot for moms like me.

In our house, we have gone through many different systems. We’ve done chore charts, we’ve done all day Saturday cleaning binges, while I was on bedrest with twins the kids pretty much took over the housework including the laundry.

But, at the end of last year, I was fed up.

I was fed up with dinner dishes taking up to two hours getting loaded in the dishwasher.

I was fed up with fighting during chores.

I was fed up with a living room that went weeks without being vacuumed.

I was fed up with a house that was not fit for company.

I was fed up with nagging.

Now, I grew up in the 80’s. I grew up on the Today Show. I vaguely remember seeing a mom featured on the show who had SNAPPED. She went on strike, complete with a picket line. She had other moms striking too. These moms gave up and stopped doing the mom things. Hoping. Praying that their families would step up.

I wasn’t about to go on strike. My house was already a mess. I wasn’t about to let it get worse. And, quite frankly, I’m not sure any of them would care if I stopped cooking for them. All but the babies know how to boil ramen noodles.

So, I started taking over doing THEIR jobs. I did the post-dinner cleanup. (For the record it takes about 10 minutes for me to do it, and I don’t have to whine or fight to get it done). My kitchen had never looked better. Then I took over the daily straighten and vacuum of the living room. It takes me 7 minutes. (Side benefit? Daily vacuuming has cut dusting waaaaaaaaaay down). I was already doing all of the laundry. I still refuse to take out the trash unless I am alone. I am picking up, straightening up and it takes me almost no time.

Do you want to know the best part? Firing the kids is saving me big bucks! Those little stinkers were getting paid about $90 a  month to not clean my house and fight in my kitchen. Now…they get paid nothing and I still make them clean up their rooms. It’s a win. I get to spend some time alone cleaning the kitchen after dinner… and I don’t need to feel guilty when I splurge on a Venti White Mocha. After all, I earned it.

So yes, I fired the kids. Yes, I’m probably not teaching them the right lesson. I may be raising lazy slobs. BUT, I am yelling less, which is key, and my sink is shiny… which, in turn, akes me calmer.

My apologies to my future daughter-in-laws. When my boys tell you that they did not have to wash dishes or do laundry, they’ll be telling the truth. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did!

So, if you see me around town sipping a latte, remember, I worked for it!

Chime in! What are your views on kids and chores? Have you been tempted to fire your kids? Go on strike? You know I’d love to hear from you!

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Written by Dakotapam
I'm a Lutheran pastor's wife and mom to six kids, including young adult sons down to 8-year old twin daughters. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!