Slave Labor

While I was sick, my mother-in-law was helping out and she said something that stuck with me. She said that we were slaves to our children.  That it was too much to keep up with them.  They didn’t pick up, they made a mess while you cleaned up another, and someone constantly needed something and was whining about it. It’s enough to run a person ragged and wear them down so they get sick (like with meningitis).

She had a point. I’ve been saying it to myself for months. They’re wearing me out and I can’t keep up with them. Plus, it makes me resentful of them that I have to cater to their every whim when they’re old enough to be of some help.  While I was drugged up recuperating, I had a moment of crazy highness clarity. They are old enough to help. They should be helping. The only thing missing was my commitment to it. By that I mean, not doing something I asked of them  if they didn’t do it fast enough and insisting they do as they were asked.

So, I decided to initiate a plan. Not only did they need to pick up their toys and make their beds, but I decided they needed to do some real chores around the house too.  They can and they should help me out.  My thought was maybe if I had them help clean other things, they’d realize if they made a mess, they’d have to work harder to clean it up later.  So far, it’s actually going pretty well.  I think maybe the extra expectations and extra chores makes them do a better job on the easier ones, like picking up their toys. So, here’s the list of things I’ve had my 4 and 6 year old do.  The two year old is off the hook mostly, for now.

  • Pick up toys– all of them and put them where they belong
  • Make their beds everyday — I have to resist re-making Sammy’s, and I do
  • Clean their own room weekly — all the stuff out from under their beds and off the floor
  • Put their own folded clothes away
  • Take out the trash and recycling — this requires some supervision of Ella and results in a lot of whining from Sammy, but they do it
  • Clean the toilets — Again with supervision, but they can use the toilet brush just fine
  • Clean their own sink — Sammy only does this one
  • Clean the mirrors — Since I use microfiber cloths with water only, no chemicals and  I think they’re starting to appreciate how hard sticky fingerprints are to get off
  • Feed the pets — even Penny helps with this one
  • Clear their dishes from the table


It’s really making a big difference in them and me. I think the extra responsibility is good for them, plus it really does help me out not to have to do everything.  I’m less tired and I don’t spend my whole day cleaning up after them. Plus, now I’m not the slave labor, as it should be. :)

Do your kids do chores? What do you have yours do?

There’s still time to enter my Space Bags giveaway if you haven’t already.  Great for getting organized.  And stay tuned for after Labor Day. I’m going to have a virtual 31 party where someone will win something from 31 and you can buy their great bags and totes and there will be some special savings!  I’m super excited! Should be fun!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

About Jessica Anne

2 Responses to “Slave Labor”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Jen @ Lita's World
    Twitter: litasworld

    GREAT idea and GREAT post…I’m going to share this post with some of my friends!! Glad you’re feeling better!
    Jen @ Lita’s World´s last post ..Meatless Monday – Pesto