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Do Your Kids Do Chores?! Kind of a vent...

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Sooo...I left the kids with MIL today for 4 hours.  There is a whole back story to this, but I am going to just get to the point and I can give more details as to why this seems offensive to me if anyone wants them.  Biggest point-we live with MIL, it is her home, the home DH grew up in.  We pay nearly half the mortgage and we cover some other bills-so we pay almost half of everything when it comes down to it...plus we pay all our own bills, buy our own food, and do our own cooking and cleaning, etc.  We ask her to babysit once in a while, but only if both of us are working, and we never just expect it.


MIL told the kids that the living room needs to be vaccuumed 3x a week (I have seen her pick up a vaccuum like 5 times in the 7 years we've lived with her...but we do have a dog and I should vaccuum more than I do) so when the kids said they like to vaccuum, she said they aren't allowed to and that DH and I *need* more chores to do.

Here is the break down of what my kids do: DD10.5 dishes every day, usually 3x a day to keep the sink empty.  She also folds and puts away her own laundry, and picks up after herself, and keeps her room clean.  DS11.5 does the same as that last sentence, and he is responsible for all trash-taking it out of the house and bringing the bins down and back on trash day. He is also working on being more responsible for laundry (washing and drying) but I am doing it with him still while he learns, and to make sure the washer isn't getting broken, lol.  They also take turns sweeping 3 rooms and a staircase.  They are expected to do chores as they need to be done, most of them daily, sweeping I expect to be done twice a week.  They each earn $5/week if they do the majority of the chores without complaint.  I also sometimes request additional things if something extra needs to be done.

DH does ALL outside work.  I clean the kitchen probably 40 times a day.  I clean the bathroom weekly (or close to weekly) and do whatever else needs to be done.  I also work outside the home about 20 hrs a week, DH works full time and different shifts so his sleeping schedule is awful.

When DD told MIL "mom and dad have enough chores to do" MIL wanted examples.  DD gave her cleaning the bathroom (this is always my example to them, lol..."would you rather clean the bathroom?!") and MIL told her that she actually cleans the bathroom, I don't.  I'm sure she ALSO cleans the bathroom sometimes, but I know for a fact I do it regularly.  I don't care that she wants to say she cleans the bathroom, but don't tell the kid I don't!  Lol.  So I am annoyed.

Do you think we expect too much of our kids in the way of chores?  Should DH and I do *more* chores than the kids?  MIL works full time, she is not even 50, and she spends a good 5-6 hours a day sitting on the couch watching TV.  She does clean up after herself for the most part, but she doesn't really "clean."  I am just kind of offended that she says I don't clean and that we need more chores, I feel like she thinks we just force the kids to do everything while we sit around doing nothing!

by on Oct. 29, 2013 at 8:56 PM
Replies (11-20):
KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 1:15 AM

My kids have chores, and I'd be having a discussion with MIL about how she speaks with the kids and how the adults in the home need to be on a unified front when dealing with the kids.   It only leads to confusion and plants the seeds of rebellion in their hearts.  By causing the kids to feel doubt in you and your DH, she is setting the kids up for potential trouble.

I think I'd stop asking her to babysit them very much.   I'd also be re-evaluating our home situation.  I don't think I could live like that for that long.


TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:13 AM
She literally does nothing after work. Sometimes her job requires her to work late or overnight, but then she can take more time off later. So if she works overnight, she pretty much doesn't work the next day. There is sooo much that could be done around this house, like small things. She complains about big things but if DH does it without her she complains about how he does it, so he now won't do anything unless she specifically tells him to. And instead if "thanks, that looks great" he gets "oh, you probably should have done it this way" even though he really does know what he's doing. And she never wants to finish anything, so they will do a bigger job and then she'll tell him she will do the finish work after and she never does. He replaced the front door probably three years ago now, and she still hasn't done the trim on the inside. He could do it in like an hour but he refuses to because 1)she said she would do it and 2)she won't have anything nice to say if he does do it.

The house is supposedly going to be his when she passes away, but then she also calls it her retirement. Se thinks she could sell it for like $300,000....which she could if she had taken care of it. But instead because of all the smallish jobs that have added up over the years she would be lucky to get half of what she wants. I wish she would move out and let us buy it from her but she would have to let us pay over time for it...but I swear she (and my parents are the same way) doesn't want us to get ahead in life. I swear they love that they have done better than us. It is like the compete opposite of how parents should be.

Sorry for my rant. I am just frustrated. I am looking for houses to rent at this point, I just want to leave. But I have gone through this before and I always end up letting it go because we really do kind of have it made here. But I really miss having my own kitchen, not to mention the rest of the space to myself.


Quoting irvinehiker:

My kids are 10 and 12 and yes they have chores.  They are resposible for picking up their projects/toys( a job in itself lol), putting clean and dirty laundry away, garbage out, helping set and put away meals.  They both help with vaccuuming and emptying the dishwasher when needed.  There are a lot of things I do but I am a SAHM.  Things would be different if I worked outside of the home.  I do feel it's important that we work together.  Your list looks fair and balanced.  

BTW MIL has WAY more time on her hands than I do and I am HOME all day.  Five hours of TV a day!  First of all I would go crazy bonkers watching a screen for that long, and second most days I'm doing real good if I can get an hour of down time.  Really!!  Five hours!!


TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:21 AM
I feel like it has just gotten like this over the past couple months. She really used to stay out of it, but she would say stuff to DH like that we were too hard on the kids and stuff. I am the first to admit I am not here to be their friend. She thinks relationships are so important...but the way she raised her younger boys-they visit on thanksgiving and Christmas, we don't see them any other time unless we go to them (same with mil, she goes to them when she wants to see them...and she best be bringing them something or doing something for them). So I don't think her method of being their friend worked out very well. And DH has said repeatedly to me that when we move out he won't be visiting often either. Then I feel bad for her, but when she pulls this crap I don't really feel bad anymore.

I wonder if she wants us to move out. I feel like she has pushed a little, but then she just keeps pushing. I'm not sure she could afford this house without us at this point.

And I can't talk to her. She thinks she is so much better than me, it will just make things more tense if I talk to her. When DH and I took that book away from DD. mil and I didn't speak for like 5 weeks. And that book has caused even more issues, DD just told me the other day that she thought she ruined our relationship because she started reading that book! She shouldn't even have to feel that way, but she feels guilty for doing something we weren't proud of.i reassured her that its fine and it was just a mistake and misunderstanding, but if mil had had an iota of respect for me and DH, then DD wouldn't feel this way.

Ugh. It's time to just get an apartment I think :/


Quoting KrissyKC:My kids have chores, and I'd be having a discussion with MIL about how she speaks with the kids and how the adults in the home need to be on a unified front when dealing with the kids.   It only leads to confusion and plants the seeds of rebellion in their hearts.  By causing the kids to feel doubt in you and your DH, she is setting the kids up for potential trouble.I think I'd stop asking her to babysit them very much.   I'd also be re-evaluating our home situation.  I don't think I could live like that for that long.
dont.blink
by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:22 AM
1 mom liked this

No, i think you're doing fine. I wish I could get my kids to do their chores without it being a knock-out-drag-down fight. Kids need chores to help them learn responsibility. They need to know that the have a job in a family as much as everyone else. Your mil needs to back off. I have the same problem with my parents, so I understand what you're going through.

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:27 AM
Thanks for making me not feel crazy. I think sometimes she thinks because she "lets" us live here (not for free or anything) that she has some say in how we raise our kids. She used to keep this opinion to herself and share it with DH once in a while. But now I feel like she has been saying it to the kids. And I don't think it's right. But I'm afraid if I speak up the tension will be ridiculous.

The whole book incident a couple months ago, we didn't speak for like five weeks. And the night it happened, she took all our stuff that was downstairs in the kitchen and living room and put it all in a big pile while she "cleaned." We did have stuff down there that didn't need to be, but it's a home and we live in it so we kind of have stuff everywhere. DH went to get ready for work and came back up with a pile of stuff and told me not to go down there, she was cleaning. Which didn't mean she actually cleaned anything, she just put all our stuff in a big pile. It made me feel so unwelcome, I started looking for houses that night. And met with a bank that week to try again to get a mortgage. But we still can't get one. I'm afraid it's time to rent instead.


Quoting kmath:

I am sorry but your MIL is an interfering bitch.  I really think some of the stuff she says and does is just to piss you off.  I think you have a pretty good handle on chores for the kids.  My DS is 8, he does the garbage (with a little help from me), cleans his room, he is learning how to do laundry and put his clothes away and then helps me with everything else around the house when I ask him to. 


PurpleCupcake
by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Girl...get out! It doesn't matter if her house is a card board box...if you guys live in it...She is going to complain. It's what MILs do. 

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 30, 2013 at 9:31 AM
1 mom liked this

My kids have lots of chores. - they alternate weeks for doing dishes. They each have a litter box they are in charge of. They have to do thir own laundry, they have to do the Vaccuuming, etc. I'm a slave driver..lol

AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Meh.

I maybe think that having dd do the dishes for everyone in the house, all day, is too much. That's a lot of dishes potentially. I would be more inclined to have her just do the dinner or lunch dishes. Otherwise, I do not think you guys are asking too much, no - and I'm not a huge chore fan, so that's saying something.

Your MIL is ballsy. Telling adults they do not do enough chores. Out of line. It sounds like you guys are in a pretty half-and-half arrangement, so far as living expenses go.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:22 AM

I will say she does pay more in the winter typically, because of heat.  But this year we will be ordering and paying for oil on our own since we are all home all day.  DH also chops all the wood that we use in the wood stove (which she refuses to use overnight or if no one is home).

Sometimes the dishes are a lot, and usually DH or I will jump in and do them before and/or after dinner.  And when we cook, we usually do our own dishes that we used for prep (so if I bake cupcakes, I then wash all the dishes I used for mixing and measuring).  DD actually enjoys doing dishes.  I think if she hated it, we would switch chores around because it would be miserable all the time.  DS hates dishes, DD hates trash, so they chose to each do one instead of taking turns like they used to.  I was fine with them switching, but if either of them doesn't want to do it that way anymore, we will go back to taking turns

I think if I didn't have to work, I wouldn't ask as much of the kids.  But I need their help.  I am usually gone from about 2:30-6:30.


Quoting AutymsMommy:

Meh.

I maybe think that having dd do the dishes for everyone in the house, all day, is too much. That's a lot of dishes potentially. I would be more inclined to have her just do the dinner or lunch dishes. Otherwise, I do not think you guys are asking too much, no - and I'm not a huge chore fan, so that's saying something.

Your MIL is ballsy. Telling adults they do not do enough chores. Out of line. It sounds like you guys are in a pretty half-and-half arrangement, so far as living expenses go.



TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

I talked with DH about it, and he thinks I just take it personally.  I definitely do take it personally.  We did the math and we will pay about $1000 more a month if we move out.  That is an extra $1000 a month we could put toward paying off our bills and then the lower our debt, the better chances we have of getting a mortgage.  We laid out all of our debt and made somewhat of a plan.  I'm annoyed that he doesn't want to start until after Christmas...but I deal with our finances so I can pay a little extra anytime-which I usually do, but I'm going to be paying even more.  We will do with less extras and buckle down to get out of here.


Quoting PurpleCupcake:

Girl...get out! It doesn't matter if her house is a card board box...if you guys live in it...She is going to complain. It's what MILs do. 



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