Welcome back to JEI (Just Enough Info) with The Zelie Group!
This week we're talking chores - for mom, for kids, and housekeeping services.
Per my usual, I have opinions! Lots!
1. What chore should you be doing now instead of answering this question?
I normally write here during two situations: 1) we're in the middle zone while the laundry is in the dryer and the kids are on an independent projects/morning recess, or 2) it's naptime and I have to be silent in my teeny-tiny apartment or I'll ruin it for everyone. I don't mess with naptime...
So at this moment, my chores are either done, are being done, or cannot be done!
It's both great and terrible. There is always something I'm magically not getting to.
I have developed really good systems for getting my daily chores done. Cooking, dishes, laundry, sweeping are so programmed into me that I start to do them automatically. I can trust my hands to handle those without too much worry.
But the bathroom!
It's SO NICE when it has been recently cleaned, and it really truly only takes 15-30 minutes to do it if I'm also scrubbing the tub. But I will come up with tons of things I'd rather do.
Yesterday I actually scoured the stove, scrubbed the subway tile in the kitchen, and beat and aired ALL THE RUGS instead of cleaning the bathroom for 15 minutes. I literally spent an hour doing everything else but that bathroom that would have taken a quarter of the time.
It's a flaw....
2. Do your kids have chores? If yes, what’s your chore system?
I start giving them "jobs" as soon as they are capable of following directions. So about 9 months or so.
They initially are just putting away their own toys and books. By which I mean they throw toys and books into bins. Sometimes the right ones.
Now, at 2 and 4 years old, they can:
- Put away their own clothes in their dressers, and put away some of the household laundry
- Help set the forks and napkins on the table before dinner
- Pick up their own toys and books
These are the things they are expected to help with everyday, but there are lots of odd little chores they do depending on the work of the day.
Often I'll give them a little job out of whatever I'm doing. Putting away mixing bowls while I'm unloading the dishwasher, wiping down surfaces while I'm sweeping, putting the paper/cardboard in it's recycling bin while I do the glass/plastic, etc.
Giving them jobs that mean something lets them contribute to the good of the family on an age appropriate level and teaches them practical skills. Even for jobs they can't directly help with yet, like fixing the toilet or canning, I have them observe and I talk through what I'm doing.
We don't really have a chore system beyond me repeating over and over that "it's laundry time!" or "setting the table time!" and "clean up time!" at regular points every day.
3. If someone gifted you a housekeeping service, would you use it?
On a regular basis? Probably not. Mostly because I feel like I have the day-to-day stuff pretty under control.
There are times when I would really use it. Namely: right before a new baby is born, postpartum, and before moving.
Having homebirths means I get really intense about cleaning things when I'm in my due window. But it would be really nice to have someone else fulfill my weird need to have the bathroom scrubbed at all times while 39 weeks pregnant.
Last time we moved, there were so many deep cleaning things that kept popping up that I just did not want to deal with AND pack AND supervise tiny humans.
When the above situations are not happening, I keep on top of things by doing deep cleaning on Ember Days. That translates to four times a year.
The Ember Days are supposed to be for fasting and prayer, and we do that too, but I like the concept of getting rid of the physical clutter along with the spiritual and mental clutter.
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Next week's questions on self-care for moms:
What is your mom beverage of choice?
What do you do to relax?
When was the last time you got away with girlfriends or alone (and the grocery store does NOT count)?