Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Child Labor Laws

I'm so excited to finally be entering that fun stage of motherhood--kind of like a secret club!

Yes, my firstborn is finally at the age where he can actually help me when he endeavors to help me!

It's awesome.  I'm starting out with little things.  No longer am I the envious mom on the outside who watches in total surprise as my other mom-friends nonchalantly ask their oldest to do complicated tasks like serve food to younger siblings, help out in the car, or even--now I haven't quite made it here yet, clean the kitchen.  Yes.  It is true.  Some kids actually help their moms with complex tasks that involve breakable items!

Now, my kids have their own chores, but I try to limit them to stuff that actually ends up being helpful instead of stuff that will take 5 times as long for them to do and result in frustration for both of us.  For my six year-old, I stole the chore idea of wiping down the sink and toilet with Lysol wipes and emptying the bathroom trash from one of my mom-friends.
Go figure, he loves to do it, and I love not having toothpaste caked to the sink daily.  It's win-win.

My four year-old is another story-- her one chore required of her daily is just to clean up after herself in the toys department, and that doesn't come about without lots of whining and complaining about phantom leg maladies and crippling fatigue.  It's a work in progress.

But the real corner was turned this week-- I realized that, in my big new Expedition Beast, where I have to climb in the backseat to reach the 3 year-old's seatbelt-- I can have him buckle and unbuckle her.  This was a major revelation.  This morning I hopped into the front seat and marveled.  No climbing into the back??  No twisting my clothes all around whilst hanging halfway over seats?  No bruises from contorting my body in ways it's not supposed to go??  Not even hitting my head on the ceiling, messing up my hair and breaking my sunglasses!!  I just couldn't believe how wonderful that felt.

So as I ruminate on my new ease of existence, I think greedily back to the mother of all kid-chores... the kitchen...

*Choir singing, light shining from heaven*

Perhaps someday soon.....


  1. I just heard about a research study that clocked children's "free time" at 44 hours per week and their daily contribution to their family home...8 mins per day. I'm thinking its time to up the anty ladies. My personal goal is to get them to clean up after themselves and do a daily chore of some sort whether its windows, bathroom, or kitchen and that they clock 30 to 45 mins a day on contributing to the home and i pay them for it each day depending on their contribution anywhere from a quarter to $2 and now bc they have some money I can charge them for bad behavior! talk about win win. I'm ecstatic. "I'm going to charge you a quarter if I have to repeat myself." "You can earn a dollar if you help out with chores for 45 mins."