Managing a home is a lot of work. And it’s the type of work that is never complete. I pay bills one month and as you can imagine, the next month I pay the same exact bills. The dish washer seems to always be full and even though my kids are little they still expect three meals every single day – and snacks on top of meals!
Its a lot of work. The only thing that makes running this household easier is the help from my
I have learned that kids are capable of much more than we give them credit. I once saw a meme that had a picture of a washing machine that read – if your kids know how to work a smartphone, they can learn how to run a washing machine. And although I see those tasks as being completely different (lets be real – most toddlers know how to work a smartphone and I wouldn’t let them near a washing machine!) I understood the underlying meaning. Kids are capable. But it takes consistent and deliberate training which can often seem not worth it. And I’m aware, for many it’s not worth it. I have found peace in having kids do chores that may not be to my standard, but it gets done without me doing it.
Take laundry as an example. I despise laundry. I’m pretty good about getting clothes in the washer. I’m decent at moving the clothes to the dryer. And if I’m being honest, I’m mediocre at getting the clothes put away in a timely fashion. In come the laundry minions. Hallie is old enough she can do her laundry from start to finish. Hunter is almost there as well.
But there’s a lot of laundry on top of that. This is how the task is completed. I do several loads of laundry and the baskets get dumped out on the floor of the living room. Sometimes, a load is specific to one person, like Hallie and it isn’t dumped in the pile.
Everyone starts sorting by making piles for individuals around the room. Once the piles are sorted, they sort their own piles. They also sort for the littles who are still little young, although Cannon is getting there. Once their piles are sorted, they go to their rooms to put it away. This is where control is relinquished. Their shirts are hung in the closet, but everything else goes in drawers, buckets or under bed containers. Pajamas are never folded. They get thrown in a bucket. Shorts are rarely folded. Instead they’re usually laid flat and stacked which means the first time they pull the bottom pair out of their drawer its a mess. And socks are occasionally sorted. And all of this is okay by me, because I didn’t have to do it. I don’t care if their pajamas are wrinkled. I don’t care if they can’t find their matching socks when they need them, and yet they never wear mismatched socks. The only thing I’m concerned with is their shirts and they’re hanging them in their closet (every which way and sometimes only halfway on the hanger).
I explained this process to someone a while back and they thought I was crazy. Here’s a fact: If you are particular about your laundry habits – this would be your nightmare. But when I look at managing a household, I look to see where I can streamline tasks and if I can teach my kids to work at the same time its an added bonus. Don’t get me wrong, this still takes a long time. I’m amazed at how long they can stretch out laundry day. But it’s not my time they’re wasting. It’s their pool time, or friend time or anything else they’d rather be doing.
The best part is when they come to me looking for their clothing and they get the same answer every time, “I don’t know, where did you put it?” 🙂
Our kids do their laundry too and I love it! Age 5 or so is when they started. They wash, dry, and put it away on Saturdays. It doesn’t bother me if their clothes are wrinkled. They’re kids and they don’t care, ha ha, so I’ve tried to let that go. I have taught them how to “magic iron” in case they do want wrinkles out, lol. Squirt with a squirt bottle, shake it out, and either hang up or lay flat to dry. Viola! 😉
As a youngster we all had Saturday jobs in the home. Cleaning windows, dusting, hoovering, laundry ext. We didn’t get pocket money for it, it was part of our contribution to living in the home. To be honest back then I grumbled most Saturdays, but when I left home I was really glad of those housekeeping skills.
You are giving your children a valuable lesson that will last them a life time.
I love this! I handed over to my own kids the task of doing their laundry when they were around age 9. I’ve had to let go of some of my perfectionism and they aren’t always wrinkle-free (especially my son!) but it has been a win-win in our household. It’s amazing how much time it frees up in my week to focus on other chores and it gives them an important responsibility. I too, love it that it’s not my fault if they can’t find an item of clothing. 🙂