Am I the only mother out there that feels that sometimes, it just isn't worth it to teach those darling children a valuable life lesson? As I try to teach my kids to be valuable, responsible, contributing citizens, I often feel like all I'm really doing is driving myself crazy!!!!
I have been trying harder to get my kids to take some responsibility around the house. How fun. Ideally, before school, the kids will get dressed, make their beds, clean their rooms, practice their piano, finish their homework, eat, brush their teeth, and help clean up the kitchen. That may sound like a lot, but please be aware, that I am doing most of the work... making lunches, doing dishes, doing hair, constantly remind them of what is next up on their to-do list, etc. Also, when they are moving like they should, we can get it all done with time to spare for cartoons. However, when they are not moving like they should (which, is a majority of the time), I spend most of my mornings yelling and making threats. Yesterday was just such an unproductive morning.
After begging, pleading, and whatever else mom's do in the morning as they try and get the kids ready for school, I finally told them (and by them, I mostly mean the twins) that I was sick of them leaving their work for me to finish. Therefore, if they left for school without the kitchen being clean, I would have to clean it, but that would mean, I would run out of time to do my jobs, so they would have to do it. As it happens, yesterday was laundry day. So, true to my word, I spent all day washing the clothes so they had a nice big pile to fold when they got home. I told them they didn't have to fold mine and Dave's. After hours of weeping and wailing, and an occasional fold, B announced they were done. I would like to show what he considered done:
I think the only clothes that had actually been folded were the ones that I had walked by and taken care of. When I told him this wasn't done, he let loose telling me that I never help, etc. I reminded him that part of this exercise was to show him that I already do plenty around the house so that when I ask him to do small jobs, he shouldn't complain because it is still nothing compared to my jobs. I then started looking at the "folded" piles and noticed that 1/2 the clothes were in the wrong piles. When I told them they needed to go back through them and make sure the right clothes were in the right piles for each person, L quickly jumped up and yelled, "You don't do it right either. One time you gave my panties to CK and now she won't ever give it back, so you do it wrong too!!!" I then told her that if I do such an abominable job, she clearly felt like her skills were better so she could take over. She stopped with that argument, but it didn't get her working again.
Finally, at 7:30, I was done and sent them to bed (they got home from school at 3:30 and that's when they started--and yes... they got sent to bed early). I then finished folding the other 2 loads, and cleaned up their mess. I know I really should "teach" them another lesson today, but I just don't think I have the strength! I remember when I was little my mom and her friends talking saying it was always so much more work to have us help her than to just do it herself. I could never believe it because after all, if it really was easier, why was she making us do it!?! I can now understand, of course, and so I thank my mom for her life lessons. I guess I can just take comfort in knowing that in 20 years, my kids will appreciate all these "playless" days as they were forced to slave away. I think I will also enjoy seeing them have these struggles with their kids!!!
2 years ago