Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Letter About Chores

Dear Little Man, Peanut and Sweet Pea,

Today we had a conversation about your chores and responsibilities and I am sure that you didn't grasp the whole picture, but you will one day.  I was teaching Little Man how to vacuum the couches properly and teaching Peanut to vacuum the stairs and Sweet Pea, you were using the ENTIRE spray bottle of vinegar to clean one door knob and it seemed that you doing your chores was actually more work for me, not less.  And then I remembered that I am training you for the future, the future of doing chores more independently but more importantly, the future of being a part of a team.  So after chores were done, I sat you down and we talked about the chores we were all doing.  Little Man asked when you were all going to start earning allowance and I explained that every family does this a little differently but in our family, you were not going to be paid for putting your own laundry away...EVER.  We talked about what makes a team and you all decided that working together was the most important component of a team.  We talk about Team Family all the time and so I reminded you that as a family we are a team.  No one pays me to make you lunch and wash your dishes that is a part of my responsibilities as Team Mom.  Your responsibilities as Team Kids are to go to school, try your best, clean up after yourselves and live by the family rules.  One of those rules, is that you do your chores not for money but because it is your job, your responsibility as Team Kids.  So while it is important for me to teach you how to accomplish your chores, it is even more important to me that I teach you how to be a functioning responsible member of a team, a family, without thought to monetary reward.  And it isn't always going to be fair on a team, in a family, some people will have to pull more weight than others.  Little Man, for a while you will have more chores than your younger siblings but one day you will go off to college and they will have to do all of the chores without you around to help.  But even if it is never equal, it will always be fair because we will only expect from you what we know you can give.  In life, as you will hear often, things aren't fair.  We don't want you to grow up thinking that just because you give to others, they are obligated to give to you.  You do your part, you hold up your end of all of your responsibilities and you do it because it is right and good.  Be the good in the world and be happy and rewarded with that knowledge alone.  I know you may never thank me for teaching you this, but one day I am sure that your husbands/wives will thank me and not just because you know how to clean a toilet and mop a floor. We expect you to earn your keep around here, pitch in, be a part of Team Family and while I know this may not be the way your friend's families handle chores, it is ours, for better or worse.  I think that all you might have gotten out of our conversation this morning is that you don't get any money for your chores and that you don't agree with that policy so we will work on it, together, just like we worked on your chores this morning, together.  Now go clean your rooms.


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