Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mommy hack, again.

I'm a mommy hack, we all know that. First I give my kids cheesecake for breakfast...

Here is another reason why.

I don't give my kids chores. I've tried in the past but I'm not good at reinforcing it.
They do make their beds and help feed the pets...and they do 'stuff' fairly quickly when asked. So, why write it all down, right? If your kid clears dishes, helps set the table....thats good, right?

Apparently not.
You see, I've been told they won't be responsible if they don't have 'chores.'

As in 'a list of chores.'

Someone told me that having chores makes you a better person and this 'someone' had chores and turned out GREAT!
BTW, this 'someone' lived on a smallish FARM.

COME ON...everyone has chores on a FARM...even the animals have chores on a farm. Even on a smallish farm.

So I made up a 'chore list' to appease this person and to be a better mommy, instead of the slacker I am.

Then I called the kids, my darling, sweet, helpful, energetic, bright eyed kids.

Then I started reading the 'list.'

Granted, the list wasn't much more than what they already do, I added stuff like 'weeding' and 'scoop poop.'
But it was IN WRITING...it may as well have been in blood.

Curly Girl got all teary and slumped down in the couch cushions.
Ripstick Boy got this half slitted eye-look and pretended to be disinterested.

My other half sat there smiling.

I said to the kids to not get worried, they do this stuff anyway.
Then after I went over it, I asked if they had questions.

Yeah...about a million.

They started with the..."but how will we make extra money if that is a regular chore now"...
Then they pelted me with "what ifs"...."What if I'm sick?" "What if I have tons of homework?" "What if I'm at a sleepover?"

You get the idea...

I answered questions, I calmed nerves....I needed a drink.

But overall, it went well so I thought maybe this isn't such a horrid idea. Maybe I AM a slacker mommy.

Then Ripstick Boy went into a different room to watch TV without saying a word.

Then Curly Girl went to take a tub so we could condition her gorgeous curly hair and KEEP it gorgeously curly instead of frizzy.

Then she started disrobing. Then she looked up at me. Then she started to cry about 'the CHORE LIST.'

I asked her why...after all, she does EVERYTHING on the list anyway.

She said "I do those things because I love you and I WANT TO....not because I HAVE TO."

Yeah, that did it....

So....You know what I did...

Yep, I ripped up the list...

So, I'm a mommy hack.

My kids will probably grow up to be horribly irresponsible and probably jump off a cliff because someone told them to...all because they don't have a "list of chores....."

20 comments:

gin said...

Your answer is in your post. They do it because they want to and they love you. Come to think of it, we did not have a list of chores either for our kids. In fact never called it chores. They just knew the sooner we got the stuff done - like dishes, garbage, pets, picking up the yard, etc the sooner we were free to go and do other stuff. Of course had to ask or tell more than once sometimes, but that was a lesson in itself. With 3 kids under 5 years old, ours turned out pretty well to be loving, responsible, hard working, and great to be around. I wouldn't have changed anything!! Sounds like yall have a great track record! Enjoy your family!!

sisjulie1 said...

I don't think the list is important. What is important is they have responsibilities in the family and it sounds like they do!

mandapanda said...

I never had a list of chores. As a child, I often had friends tell me that I was very lucky and that they wished my mum was their mum. As I saw how their parents treated them, I grew to love mine even more. I learnt to be respectful, disciplined, and love my fellow man, all without a list. I love and respect my parents for the way they brought me up. I'm sure yours will too! You did the right thing tearing up that paper!
Manda. xx

Sarah C said...

Your post made me so happy and so sad at the same time. I really HATE it when people tell you how to parent or go about your life! Now granted, I am not a parent, but there are plenty of kids in my life! My husband and I are true believers that you do what works for your family. There is no need to drill your kids to do chores if they do them already. I cant believe how insightful and honest your daughter is. I am so glad that she felt she could be honest with you and that you listened to her...isnt that whats important in life...not lists!

Beth said...

I give my kids chocolate cake for breakfast.

And, if the kids are happy with doing things for you it's good enough. I leave the utensil basket from the dishwasher out and wait for one of the kids to put the utensils away. One or the other - or both at the same time - do it by the end of the day. They're happy because they think I 'forgot' it there and they are helping me - and they get a quarter. I guess I'm as bad as you are & I'm so happy to be in your bad company - Beth

annemarie said...

I would have ripped it up also - I feel the same way as you do and my son and daughter grew up to be responsible adults - one is an engineer and the other a teacher. I think when they do something because they love you, it means so much more. If they do it because you are standing there with an iron fist, they will resent it and you. Remember Val, your kids grow up way too fast - treasure every minute as you will miss them dearly when they make their own way into the world. You are doing great - just look at your two angels! You have a happy family and that is #1.

Aunt Pitty Pat's said...

Oh Val, I could never see you as an enforcer like that. Your way to sweet and it always shows in all the photographs how happy and well adjusted your babies are. You are always sharing the wonderful things that you and your children do. You are one of the best moms that I know of. You spend loving time and energy with them. They are learning just fine how to be adults from you. You and the children are always doing things for your community. They never ask for anything in return, just a sweet thank you. Your children are learning how and what it is to be a good adult, just by your love and gentle guidance. They mind, they want to be with you, they even get upset with you. Your children are lucky that they can say how they feel and you truely listen like a good parent. I give you big kudos for trying a different way ...but like they say if it ain't broke don't fix it. I am appalled that someone would stick their nose into your childrens lives like that anyway.... Give that person my what for would you!!!! Well my sweet friend your children are on a great path to be wonderful adults. Continue to love them, guide them, play with them, and most of all pray with them. You are a wonderful mom... I wish I had one like you!!!!
Hugs sweet friend!!!

Stephanie said...

I love this post! In looking back, it just seemed too hard to get my kids to do chores and follow lists. But, hey...they all turned out okay. The other day, I noticed my daughter had a "honey do" list on her fridge for her new husband. I asked her how that was working (maybe I should try it too). She said he never really looks at the list. I have always found that nagging works best!!

Stephanie

P.S. I just received your wonderful package! Thank you so much!!! I LOVE them! I posted a picture on my blog. Thanks again!!

T=ME said...

You melted my heart with your post. I never gave my kids a to do list and they aren't in jail or anything bad. What happened to, Ask and you shall recieve? Tell this farm person to "go suck a egg"........just kidding! Hugs, Terri

SweetT said...

Well, I guess I am a Mommy hack too. My daughter doesn't have a list and probably never will. However, she is always willing to help, often does "chores" w/o me even asking, and is an all-around great kid.
Congrats to you for tearing up the list!

Zoƫ said...

You have GREAT kids do not let others talk you out of that!!! Good job ripping the list up!

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

I'm a rotten Mom. We don't have an actual chore list. My kids know their responsibilities and when they need to have them done. One time we mentioned the word chore and everything went crazy. We had meltdowns all around. Once we skipped the word chore, everyone calmed back down. I guess "chore" is a dirty word for kids.

We don't give the kids allowances either. The big kids have jobs and take care of their basic needs. Our youngest (9) earns "brownie points" towards purchases. When he is extra good or does extra things to help out, he yells "Brownie Point"! If I agree we discuss what he did right (or wrong) and figure out how it works towards a reward in the future.

T=ME said...

LOL

Giabella Designs said...

I agree with the kids....... It is always easier to do those things because you WANT not because you HAVE to. I would have ripped it up too!!! At least you tried...........

susan said...

you go mommy!
way i see it is...if your kids already do it and do it because they love you and WANT to...nuff said!

fairychildheirlooms said...

Val, I hate it when people try to guilt me into raising my kids "their way". I agree with these other comments that you did the right thing in ripping up the list. I say it's always, always best to listen to your own heart when it has something to do with your own individual family. you know your kids and what they respond to. maybe the farm girl responds best to 'chores' where your family responds best to loveing encouragement. keep doing what you know is best for your little sweeties!
Missy

Rannyjean said...

Val, do life your way! My grandchildren know everyday when they go down to the basement to play games, do homework or watch television that if their laundry hamper is full of clean clothes, to take them upstairs and put them away. They know on Saturdays to vacuum their bedrooms. They help anytime they are asked and they receive $10 per month. They can earn extra sometimes and the can loose money sometimes. We don't call them chores, we call them responsibilities. Now, where did I put that list??

Kellie said...

Good for you for going your own way, Val! You're kids sound like mature well adjusted people already! Hey, my parents never gave us "chores" ...we just did what was expected of us to help around the house and we all turned out fine!

Chatelaine said...

We never had chores as children and we turned out just fine. Don't listen to other people. Do what's right for you and your family.

Why should someone else tell you how to raise your kids? Sounds like you're doing great!

LittleRed said...

What timing! I just had the discussion with my 7 year old how it's not really fair to expect mommy to do all the jobs in the house.....that everyone needs to do their part....and all that. Perceptively he pointed out that dad doesn't.......so I'm thinking....I need to find a way to fix that too:) Now if I could only find a way to make that happen HMMMM It sounds like your kids are doing just fine to BTW.

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