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Raising a Family That Does Chores With No Pay and No Gender Roles

June 11, 2018

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If you ask my kids who cooks at home they will say we all do and if you ask them who mows the lawn they will say we all do. My house has no gender roles when it comes to chores and basic maintenance of taking care of our home. It is a collective effort. Well except the trash that is one thing I rarely take out and leave to the boys, haha but it is not because they are male it is because trash is one of those things that grosses me out. To be perfectly honest my husband is better and faster at cleaning than I am. He picks up fast, gets every crumb off the counter and vacuums and mops without leaving anything behind I am more of the vacuum the baseboards and dust type of person so we compliment each other well.

My 13-year-old is in charge of mowing the backyard, feeding the dogs, doing dishes and taking out the trash. Since I am a SAHM I do pick up all day and I am the main cook, but I also mow the front yard and if something needs to be fixed when Anthony is not home, I do my best. My husband, of course, is the cliche money maker but he does so much more he will cook at least twice a week, picks up in the evening since he knows I pick up all day, edges the lawn and we split the laundry evenly. Basically, someone starts it and the other will finish since we always forget haha! My littles get put to work too, they feed the cat and we have a cleanup time and they try their best. It may not be perfect but we feel that exposing them to cleaning is better than them being clueless.

Many families I know have house cleaners and landscapers and when I mention all the things Adam does they are amazed. Truth is we can’t afford it although it would be nice so we can spend more family time together, but I think of it as a way of teaching our children to take care of a home, recognize that it is not only the moms that do the cooking and cleaning or the dads just mowing the yard and using tools, and it is part of our family time.

I was well catered to as a child my mom cleaned my room and did my laundry, my dad worked and cooked so I never had to do anything. When I moved out on my own it was a struggle and my husband had to teach me how to cook and do laundry. It was then I figured out my parents didn’t prepare me for real life and that I needed to teach my kids before it was too late. In the past year, I learned how to mow the lawn and use power tools because I was tired of waiting for Anthony to come home just to hang a shelf. Anthony, on the other hand, came from a single mom home and was taught how to cook, clean, and just basically take care of a home. Heck, he can also use a hair straightener. It was because of him I wanted to teach our kids that taking care of a home should have no gender roles.

Cooking, cleaning and doing laundry I feel are valuable life skills everyone needs. I do not want my kids to be late in the game like I was so I know it sounds far-fetched to many when I tell them my kids do dishes, do their own laundry, mow the lawn and clean their own bathroom without pay and I sound like a lazy SAHM but this is what we want our kids to be able to do on their own when they leave the nest. Hopefully, they will be a perfectionist by then and when they have a family, teach them all the same things.

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