Around the time my eldest daughter became mobile, I decided it was much easier to do the household chores when she was sleeping.
I mean, have you ever tried to complete any household chore with a mobile baby or toddler around? As the saying goes, its “like brushing your teeth while eating oreos” or “it’s like raking leaves during a hurricane.”
In other words, it felt like I was accomplishing NOTHING.
In order to make my life “easier”, I started doing the dishes, the laundry, the sweeping and mopping, the dusting and the bathroom cleaning all while my children were sleeping.
And then one day it hit me. No, I should not be doing all this while they are sleeping. Instead, I should be doing the basic household chores while they are awake. And not only that, but they should be doing the household chores WITH me.
My first reason for this is completely selfish: I love naptime. Can I get an amen? Naptime and bedtime in our household are when Mommy has “me time”. I read a book, I blog, I watch an episode on Netflix and I eat a pack of M&Ms without any grubby fingers getting involved. I found that when I took the time during naptime to recharge my own batteries, I was much more effective when my children were awake.
Secondly, I want to teach my children from a young age that Moms do work. I am not only a babysitter or a nanny, I am also a cook, a maid, a teacher and a wife. I want my children to know that while they are my #1 priority, I also have lots of other tasks to balance. I want them to know that as a stay at home Mom, I do have work to do and tasks to fulfill.
Thirdly, I want to teach my kids how to do these chores. I want them to be able to do the dishes and wash their own laundry and clean their own bathroom. Not just so I don’t have to scrub the toilets, but so that they are prepared to be adults with tasks and responsibilities.
Is it easy getting chores done WITH my toddle helping? No. Does it take twice as long to throw all the laundry in the washing machine? Yes. Do I cringe when she wants to help me hold the toilet brush? Yes. Does the floor actually get swept when she is wielding her own broom? Not likely. But is all that worth it in the end? Yes, absolutely.
What about you? Do you do your household chores with or without your kids?