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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 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 (21-30):
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:45 AM
1 mom liked this

Hey, if she likes dishes, have at it. I hate the suckers, lol.

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

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:


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

by Group Admin on Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:57 AM
1 mom liked this

 My kids are 4, 6, and 8.  And they have massive chores!  LOL

DS8: does a load of laundry each week (we do 8 loads per week, so it's just the single extra load), loads and empties the dishwasher once/day, puts away his own laundry each day, Sweeps the cement porch and the upper stairs once a week, and cooks two breakfasts/week.

DS6: Loads the breadmaker every morning, sets the table for each meal, puts away his own laundry each day, sweeps the wooden porch and the lower stairs once a week, and cooks 2 breakfasts/week.

DS4: Sweeps the balcony and the stoop each week, puts the plastic dishes away out of the dishwasher each day, gets the mail each day, puts away his own laundry each day, and "cooks" breakfast once a week.

Plus they each have their barn chores... feeding chickens, collecting eggs, opening the hay feeder, moving the goats from paddock to paddock, weeding/raking etc.

IMO kids need chores that help make the household run.  Part of learning to live in the adult world is learning that the chores are necessary.

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 12:18 PM
1 mom liked this
It all sounds fair to me. We expect our kids to do those things too....with out allowance.

I would be upset if I was in the same situation. Just tell MIL how you feel and tell her to please keep those comments to herself
by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 12:18 PM
1 mom liked this

Speaking of which, I need to get my kids to do more chores,lol. Most days it's just easier to do it myself but then I need to realize, I'm doing them any favors by doing that.

by Silver Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 1:53 PM
1 mom liked this

I definitely don't think you are crazy.  She might be, but you have every right to be pissed off at her.  She is acting like a spoiled teenager more than an adult.  If I were you I would be looking into renting a place.  It might take you a little longer to be able to buy your dream house, but it is better than the stress and bull you have to deal with at her house.  Good luck to you!

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

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. 

by Bronze Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 2:09 PM
1 mom liked this

My kids do almost the same chores as your children do, Destinay is 10, and Thailee is 11, other than the chores you listed, Thailee cleans the counters after dinner, and Destinay wipes down the table after dinner. I think it is fine the way you do things and your MIL needs to stay out of it.

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 2:16 PM
2 moms liked this

Sounds like you are doing a good job doing what you are doing. My kid has chores... Does his own laundry, cleans his bathroom, vacuums upstairs and stairs one day a week, vacuums downstairs and the stairs another day, does all the trash and recycle responsibilities, makes his own lunch and breakfast, picks up after himself, keeps his room clean, and keeps the classroom clean as well. I expect a lot from him, he's 11 yr and he does most of it without complaining. He does not currently get an allowance, but my husband and I have been taking about starting one.

by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 2:54 PM
1 mom liked this
Mil needs to back off...mine do and don't. Since I'm somewhat of a control freak and have to do it my way I do most of the *house work* they are mostly just responsible for themselves and their stuff, keeping their own bathrooms tidy ,I do a detail about every 3 day.
by Platinum Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 3:56 PM
1 mom liked this
I will straight up admit my kids do more than anyone else here. Lol Missie and Cole (Missie kitchen / dining, Cole living room /front hall both playroom) are in charge of the entire downstairs. We clean or pick up at least twice a day. I do bathrooms and heavy cleaning. They also do walls and baseboards once a month. They change the laundry, and put it away. We are also moving to them folding more. They are also in charge of breakfast and lunch. I do dinner but Missie likes to help with that. I make them clean their rooms when they get messy enough. They are home most of the day. It's not taking up a lot of their time. They also don't get paid.
by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 6:41 PM
1 mom liked this

I'd go crazy living with that woman. :)

My kids have chores. We have a set and it rotates, but some chores they all have to do. Like making their bed, brushing their teeth, their own laundry (we help with machines but they bring it down, sort it, move it to the dryer, and fold it and put it away). They take turns with dog feeding, picking up dog poop (we supervise this), sweeping the kitchen, vacuuming the living room, getting the mail, taking out the trash & recycling, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning out the van... yeah. We give them a lot of chores. We also pay them, but if a chore isn't done right, or they complain, they get a strike - and that means they lose $1 come payday. They don't complain too much.

That isn't to say I don't do a ton of course but I don't really consider them "chores." I vacuum, mop, do all the food planning/shopping/preparing/cleaning up, clean the kitchen several times a day, clean out the fridge, vacuum the van, pay the bills...

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