Recover from Years of No Structure: The Chore List

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People need structure; not just children. For years, I’ve argued that I wanted my son to enjoy his childhood, hence the reason for not being so hard on him when it comes to chores and helping out around the house. After 14 years, I’ve finally come to the realization that I’m not doing anyone any favors.

Running Out of Time

With just a few short years left before my son reaches kidulthood, he’s armed with a Mom & a stepfather-ish type figure (who can be more of a brother sometimes) who do almost everything for him. In addition, he’s tasked with only a bit of chores at his father’s house when he visits every other weekend or so. Structure must be accomplished with regularity or habits. Unloading the dishwasher twice in one week in between weeks of not unloading the dishwasher does nothing for a child, or for an adult for that matter.

That Was Then, This is Now Then

chores

When I was my son’s age I was taking out the trash, doing dishes, doing laundry, cooking, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, mowing the lawn and more. There were daily chores and weekly chores. I dreaded Saturday morning’s vacuüm cleaner alarm clock. If I didn’t do my chores, there were consequences. There was no allowance. I was part of the household and I was required to contribute.

My son, on the other hand, wakes up between 10 a.m. and Noon-ish on the weekends, which is normal for a teenager, but by allowing him to sleep in and not giving him a list of chores to contribute to the household, I’m causing myself MOUNDS of stress. This completely negates trying to allow my son to enjoy his childhood. What kind of child enjoys a constantly stressed out Mom?

help with chores

Why can’t I have just ONE DAY per week regular HELP with the household chores? I bring home the turkey bacon, darn it. I’m taking back my MOM card. The same goes for the S.O.

Two THREE things that grate my nerves:

  • THE TEENAGER SAYS: It’s not my {trash, mess, plate, cup, towel, poop <– cat litter cleaning}
  • THE S.O. who can’t turn 90 degrees and put the trash in the trash can instead of on the kitchen counter {after he’s done making dinner, drinking a canned soda, eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups}
  • My sour attempts to prompt the teenager to learn how to prepare his own meals when I’m home (i.e. Saturday or Sunday breakfast, lunch or snack) simply leave him waiting until he just can’t take it anymore. This usually occurs between 2 and 4 p.m. At which point, he comes to me and exclaims how hungry he is. By this point, I’m starving, too. The tough love trick isn’t working.

Last night, I began creating a chore list using Chorebuster.net. Chorebuster is a free web service that automates daily and weekly chore lists for you and your family. It’s even good for those with roommates.

chorebusters

After entering in all 3 family members and preset/custom chores with difficulty ratings and frequency, I believe the service will fairly schedule chores for ALL family members. From the teenager and the S.O., I often hear about fairness in scheduling. “You never walk the dog” or “The teenager needs to help more” or “That’s not my {trash, mess, plate, cup, towel, poop}” or “I already unloaded the dishwasher once this week”. No more whining!!

I’m not so keen on the fact that I have to make breakfast and lunch tomorrow (among other things), but on the other hand the teenager has to do the laundry and the S.O. has to clean out the interior of my car, both tasks I abhor. At the end of the day, I find that we all make excuses about everyone else’s workload or lack thereof and we get very little accomplished this way. It only causes strife. If we all see each other contributing by doing chores that were randomly assigned by a computer, I believe we’ll start to see some uphill movement in morale and overall satisfaction.

A little bit more about Chorebuster…

  • Chorebuster is a web-based program
  • An Android App is available
  • You will receive a weekly chore list via email and can opt to receive daily chore lists via email by individual
  • A small donation ($2 minimum) helps keep it running and helps Moms, Dads and roomies everywhere (a bit more less) inSANE.
  • A donation will give you more features such as the ability to prioritize tasks by morning, afternoon and evening. This is great for pet tasks.
  • I look forward to using Chorebuster to teach my teenage son necessary life skills for kidulthood and beyond.
  • I look forward to using Chorebuster to make certain chores “TEAMWORK”

I have used Chorebuster in the past, but not to its full potential. I was very pleased with the service before, but now that I’ve reached a point where I need it to return to sanity, I LOVE IT!

A Tip from the Daughter of a Chore Nazi

chores

One of the most valuable tips I’ve learned and I’ll leave you with, is that sometimes you must sacrifice a bit of quality to get the help around the house you NEED. If you want the dishwasher loaded a certain way, you can try to show your youngins’ or even the older ones, how you do it. However, you’ll find that it’s not so easy to convince anyone that they have to reorganize the contents just to fit that one last piece.

Train a little, but take what you can get! You’ll be much happier if the result is clean dishes that you didn’t have to do VERSUS ensuring that you’ve maximized your dishwasher space to its ultimate potential using Mom-Geometry aka Momometry equations. If your water, electric or gas bills skyrocket, then perhaps a bit more intervention is needed. Being a helicopter chore mom, decreases a child’s desire to help around the house.

So, relax a little and take the help! I highly recommend Chorebuster to help you do the trick.

Another Disclaimer: Sometimes, I write about the things I love just for the heck of it.  I did not contact Chorebuster, nor did Chorebuster contact me to write about them. The donation I gave, though minimal, was to recover from the years of stress I’ve caused myself by not instilling the value of household chores via family contribution.  Whether or not I engage with a company prior to writing about them, I’m always HONEST! I have not been paid or encouraged to write about Chorebuster.  I’m just a Mom who is desperate to find solutions for her family and share the wealth with others out there like me!

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Melissa enjoys saving money, making extra money from home, sharing her opinion on products and entering sweepstakes and giveaways! She is the mother to a newly turned teenager. Recently diagnosed with an auto-immune disease she shares her journey to go gluten-free and eventually observe the Paleo Diet.

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