When I was a kid, I thought being a stay at home mom was the ultimate gig. I mean, you just watch soaps and run the vacuum every now and then, right? I never really understood that you had to clean a shower (doesn’t it really get cleaned every day when water runs on it) and ovens are self cleaning… easy peasy!
As a working mom, I came to understand just how big the job of managing a household REALLY is. The cleaning duties are endless, humans really are disgusting – just take a look at your dusty baseboards or blinds. Then there’s dirty toilets, windows, walls, sticky floors, coffee spills, cleaning out the fridge and hey how does one family create SO MUCH TRASH?! I always thought that I would assign my children their chores and they’d happily do them. So now I have yet another task on MY list – making THEIR list, checking it twice, and re-doing their sloppily completed work (and if your child can actually do a DECENT vacuuming job, you must deserve a medal… I have a feeling mine just turns it on for 5 minutes and shuts it off again!).
We have a “traditional” household where my husband takes care of the outdoors and the “fixing” chores and I do… everything else, it seems.
Then there’s the mental load that typically falls to the moms/household CEO’s. Kids’ schedules and signups, haircuts dentists and doctors, birthday party planning, the aforementioned chore charts, permission slips, feeding, clothing and bathing children, playdates, extended family care and coordination and so on.
Since most families in the Lower Mainland have two working parents, we asked on Facebook who took on the bulk of the “domestic duties”, and it sounds like a lot are in the same boat (Roger gets the choice of mopping or vacuuming!), but a lot of Pulse FM listeners also have systems worked out with assigned chores and responsibilities – and a team attitude. Lots of us have the kids trying to help out too. Some swear by housekeepers so they don’t have to argue about it, but unless they’re coming to pick up dirty socks left under the couch EVERY.SINGLE.DAY it’s tough to keep up with.
Of course, it’s not about keeping score (I tell myself) but a happy balance… and possibly lowering our standards just a bit.