Mom’ing is hard, isn’t it? Unfortunately, this blog post isn’t going to change that. Even one that gives a list of chores for kids of all ages.
No blog post on the internet is going to tell you how to do it just right.
Mistakes occur. Regrets happen. Apologies are given.
Goodness knows I’m giving my kids LOADS to talk about with their shrinks somewhere down the line.
But I think I’ve got something here that will help you in your quest for Mom’ing success.
The number one thing I did to ensure I leveled up as a mom was getting my kids involved with household chores. And I won’t ever apologize for that.
The way I see it, I’m doing society a favor by teaching them these skills while they are young. Friends, roommates, co-workers and spouses will all thank me.
Someday I’ll be able to show my future daughter-in-law this picture and say, “You’re welcome, girl. You. Are. Welcome.”
I snapped this about 20 minutes after a friend urged me to enlist the kids’ help with the laundry.
It went down something like this:
Me at 37-weeks pregnant, working full time, with three kids and three dogs and a husband who traveled for work: waaahhhh- I have too many things to do around here! Maybe I need a maid…
Amanda: WOMAN. YOU HAVE THREE OF THEM. PUT THEM TO WORK.
Me: Who? (looks around) The kids? They’re bayyyyyybiees!
Amanda: NOPE. NOPE. And NOPE. They can fold the laundry, load the dishwasher, and run the vacuum. Give them a chance!
So I did. And she was right.
Chores For Kids of All Ages
May 22, 2011, was the day that changed everything. For my kids and me.
I kinda love that date; they kinda don’t. Oh and they roll their eyes every time I mention my friend Amanda now.
I had all kinds of reasons why I didn’t think it was a good idea. I mean, surely they’d do it wrong, for one thing.
Errr, I wish I could say I was wrong on that count.
There were some learning curves, like the time Claire did the dishes and ran the hand mixer through the dishwasher.
But overall, we found what worked for us. So I’m going to share it with you.
Here’s my list of age appropriate chores most kids can handle (if you just give them a chance!).
By the way, that’s code for “If you just make them do it.”
Kids as young as 18 months can help clean up around the house. We started Lucy a little later than the others because, well, she’s the baby and she knows it.
But she helps clean up simple spills, toys, books, and shoes around the house.
She also helped feed the pets and can set the table.
And she loves to help cook!
This is the age sweet spot. Kids are finally old enough to get involved, and still young enough to think it’s fun.
Mamas, take advantage of this age!
Making beds, watering plants, simple yard work, running the vacuum, bringing in the groceries: they can handle it.
My favorite delegation at this age was dish duty. My kids started helping with loading and unloading around six-years-old.
Because I was tired of always seeing this:
Are there dish issues and dramas? Sure. The pots and pans aren’t always stacked the way I want them to be, and the lids vs. plastic container ratio always seem to be off.
But they can do the job, and they really enjoy doing it.
Okay, so that might be a bit of an exaggeration. But the point here is that I’m not doing it.
And they are all learning that in this family, we work together to get tasks completed.
Claire will load, Seth will unload.
I’ll drop in the Cascade Complete Action Pacs and push the start button.
Details matter to me and one detail I love about using this Procter & Gamble product in my house: there’s no pre-rinse needed when using the Cascade Complete Action Pacs. That means I don’t have to hover over the kids making sure they are doing the dishes correctly. We’re all saving time and water by skipping that step, and I know my dishes will still come out clean.
Oh, now it’s getting good. This is where everyone LOVES to help. /sarcasm
But really, it’s good for them and you, to get them involved in the household tasks. Trust me on this!
Laundry is our biggest and most constant battle here.
There are six of us in this house four of us are actively involved in sports.
So, yeah, ewwww. Our laundry can get gross FAST, especially during baseball season.
I’ll start each load and toss in Tide Pods. With Tide Pods, I’m paying for clean, and not for extra water. They work beautifully in any temperature cycle too.
Luke makes the move from washer to dryer and they all pitch-in to fold.
In this age range, I add things like washing the car, taking the garbage out, cooking simple meals, cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen.
Yard work is shared by everyone, even when it comes to backyard makeovers.
Guys. I know mom’ing can be messy, and it can be hard. And for sure it can be overwhelming.
But I hope this encourages you.
Because it gets better. It really does.
Get your kids involved with the household chores (hey, they live there too, amirite?) and see how different life can be! Using products you can trust to take care of all those details that matter will help you feel confident about this step.
As for me, I’m counting down the days until even the Costco runs can be managed by someone else. Not that I mind the time alone or the shopping at one of my favorite stores (they have everything I need there!). Just that it will free up some additional time, and time is a precious commodity when you are raising four kids.
So, yeah, only 957 days to go!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)