Most of my recent posts seem to be about special events or other cheery, "yay me" topics. But yes, there is a real life and real work here too. A good Saturday morning is one that contains no outside activities so we can get a good start on the weekend chores. All the children except Rebecca have their duties. I have some chores of my own, the most important of which is keeping the children on track with theirs.
Yesterday was a good Saturday, and it looked like this:
Children: Ready bedrooms for vacuuming. Vacuum main level, vacuum upstairs. Take furniture and rugs out of kitchen and vacuum to ready for mopping (It's a big kitchen.). Empty all trash. Clean the guinea pig's cage. Wipe toilets (4) and clean soap dishes. Wash bathroom sinks and mirrors (3). Reorder kitchen after mopping. Sort and put away laundry. Clean litter box and move it to the basement for the cat with a broken fibula (poor Emma).
Mom: Mop kitchen. Hound Supervise children. Wash and dry laundry. Nag Encourage children. Help the little girls clean their room (includes pulling things from under beds and desks, looking in drawers, and getting rid of everything from paper scraps to rocks). Tidy my own room. (Not really--my room is always immaculate--I just wrote that to make you feel better--as if!)
Jobs still needing to be assigned: Vacuum stairs. Wash tub and showers. Dusting. Any takers?
There was a time when I did all our cleaning. The kitchen was kept clean, but there was NO dusting going on, and precious little vacuuming and mopping. I started training the children, and at first it seemed like more work than doing it myself. They did not vacuum as well as I do, but they were doing it more frequently, so I learned to count it as good.
As the years have passed the training is paying off. There is no way I could get all our current Saturday morning work done by myself. And the daily chores are helpful too, even when they're not done perfectly: taking out the compost, feeding the pets, setting the dinner table, emptying the dishwasher, sorting the clean laundry, and cleaning up after dinner (putting away food, clearing and wiping the table, vacuuming the kitchen, and washing the dishes).
Monitoring work, especially new tasks, is the key to getting it done right. I don't always follow through as much as I should, but the better I am at teaching, the more satisfactory the results.
There is also a "chore culture" here, if you will. Chores are part of the rhythm of our family's life. Everyone is expected to help, and knows it. It took a while to get here, but I like this place.