Involving Kids In Household Chores

It took my daughters and me over 2 years to get used to our life without a live-in maid, since our live-in maid of 4 years returned to Indonesia for good. My daughters have had at least a maid at any one time all their lives to care for them until 2 years ago. In 2005, we had 2 live-in maids. That was the year Sherilyn was born.  Alycia was only 14 months when her sister was born. And I was still holding a full-time job.  Thus we hired 2 live-in maids.

We have had  live-in maids for over 10 years, way back to even before Alycia was born. Life back then with a live-in maid was such a luxury. I’ve had my minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep each night and never had to worry about having to do any house chores.  All that changed 2 years ago when our live-in maid decided to return to start a family in Indonesia. Since then, I am only limited to a maximum of 5 hours of shut-eye each night. Every single school-going day, I’d feel zombified.  Some people don’t really need to sleep while some cannot function without sufficient sleep. I am the latter.

Ever since kakak Dyah left in August 2012,  I have never liked the idea of cooking and eating at home.  Cooking means having to wash the dishes, clean the kitchen, mop the floors, dry the clean dishes and keep them. I was terrified and tired of the whole freaking process.  When kakak Dyah just left, I tried the daily home catered food but stopped short just after a month. I actually tried twice  and in both cases, I was already sick of the food on the third day!  I still remember during my second try with another home caterer, I  gave the food away to the guards at our condo everyday for the entire month!  Instead, I cooked simple yet delish food that the girls loved.  Gradually, I started to force myself to cook every day – at least once…. all for the love of my girls.  Beginning this year, which is the second year sans a live-in maid, I began to get the hang of cooking.  I then cooked twice a day!  Gradually, I have also learned to condition my mind to ‘like’ washing the dishes and accepted the fact that our kitchen is too small to ever fit in a dishwasher.  Though we have a part-time maid coming in almost 5 days a week, she however, is not very reliable in terms of attendance.  And we cannot push every single chore to her as we have a limit of 4 hours each time she works.

Over the period of 2 years, my girls have learned to accept that doing chores after each meal is COMPULSORY… and that chores are a part of their meals – like dessert! 😀    Looking back, I am very glad that my girls and I have come to where we are now.  When kakak Dyah just left, we ate out a lot.  Now, we are eating more at home.  The girls now know that  after each meal, they are to bring the dirty dishes to the wet kitchen.  The drama queen’s duty is to wash the dirty dishes.  Alycia’s duty is to wipe the chairs, dining table and pick up food from the floor.   Cass’ duty is to wipe the clean dishes and keep them.   And my duty is to wash the pots and pans (STILL HATE THIS CHORE!)  mop the floor, throw the garbage and everything else that needs to be done.  In fact, the girls prefer to eat home more than eating out and don’t mind flexing their limbs to help out, though they would bicker when they work.

Drama queen at work just now…

Alycia cleaning the table till it’s sparkling clean!  She’s a clean freak just like me 😀

Do you rope in your kids to help in the household chores?

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Involving Kids In Household Chores

  1. I don’t think anyone would disagree that this the certainly the way to bring kids up by teaching them responsibility and how to truly participate in being a family. Irks be terribly when in Malaysia I see parents go out and they have a maid who carries the kid around for them. Honest to goodness! Is this the new “hands-off” way of parenting? I was so mad I told my aunt under my breath that if one cannot be looking after one’s own child, then don’t fornicate! How sad for that kid.

  2. Hey Mummy – Sherilyn washing the plates deserves 2 thumbs-up and a lot of hearts too! Isn’t dish washing more labour-intensive than wiping the dinner table? I hate washing the dishes so I feel for your little girl 🙂

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