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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 (31-40):
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 30, 2013 at 6:56 PM
I swear she thinks the kids do everything and DH and I just sit around doing nothing. But she sees us cook and clean, obviously we do the grocery shopping (ok, DH does it usually), we both work, pay our bills. I do have some downtime, and I think it's well deserved. Schooling the kids is a full time plus job, and I work outside the home, and I cook and clean. I do plenty. I don't need anyone making my kids think they do more than we do and that DH and I need more chores.

Ugh. I am going crazy, but then I look at our student loan debt and know that staying here means we can pay it down and then buy a house. If we move out, we literally will have no extra money at all. I also have worked it out so we can do some little extras, I don't have a super strict grocery budget so if we want Oreos, we buy them. We can order a pizza or go to the movies without worrying about not being able to pay some bills. I have been really poor in the past, and I enjoy not worrying so much.

DH says I just need to not take it personally, and that I also need to remember I am not inferior to her, I have made better overall life choices and I'm a good person. So I have to stop letting her judgements and little comments get to me.


Quoting hipmomto3:

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...


momoffour.
by on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:06 PM
1 mom liked this

YES THEY DO CHORES AT HOME!!! in what other way can you teach them to be responsible, and care for a clean house???. My kids do dishes, empty trash cans, put dirty clothes in the laundry room, my oldest son (16 years old!) mawn the lawn, they dust, sweep and my daughter (12 years old!) cleans the bathroom: sink, toilet and shower. A clean house is a responsibility of everyone as a family, and I don't give them a penny for those chores!!! they have food, clothes, education, toys, video games, tv, a bed, vacations, we go out to eat once every week!! We love them (I have 4 kids), but chores is a way to teach them to be useful not useless!!

Jlee4249
by Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:11 PM

 First, no I don't think your kids are doing too much... (I will say, though, one kid having to do the dishes three times a day while the other just has to take out the trash has always bothered me.) 
Second, you should move out.  YOu keep mentioning that she probably wouldn't be able to afford that house without you.  She calls it her retirement... so let her try to sell it.  If she can't, she could try to refinance it, which should lower her monthly mortgage payment, AND she'd be able to put your husband's name on the house, ensuring her promise of handing down the house to him.  If she doesn't then you know.  Seven years is a long time to put up with that for the idea of her passing on a house that has ever been confirmed (in print-- like a will).  Having a hefty down-payment can assist with being elligible for a loan.  Buying a foreclosure that needs a bit of fixing-up helps, too. 
Why don't you all make a list of all the chores, day-to-day maintenance of the home.  Sign that woman up for a few.  Switch every month.  That way no one feels like they're doing more and feeling resentful.  And it would basically make her do something as a part of the family instead of just sitting there waiting for everyone else to do it for her. 


TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 30, 2013 at 7:25 PM

You have some great points and ideas.

The kids used to switch the dishes (every other day) and trash/recycling (alternating weeks), DD enjoys doing dishes and DS loaths them, so they decided together to each do one chore, I don't really care as long as it gets done, but I did say that if either of them is unhappy with how it is, we will go back to alternating.  Also when that switch happened, I felt DS then didn't have something daily, so he is taking on more laundry responsibility, with my supervision.  And DH and I also do dishes, especially when we cook a big meal or bake or something that uses a bunch of dishes.  And I'll do them randomly as well.  I also ask DS to do more of the little chores that I used to alternate more (letting the dog in/out, feeding him, wiping down the kitchen counters, etc).  So I am still trying to keep it fair and have DD not feel like she is stuck at the sink all day while DS is having fun.

Part of me thinks the possibility that we could move out would make her change things up a bit, because she knows it would be more difficult without us.  And why does one woman need a 2000 square foot home with 2 acres of land when she doesn't pick up a vaccuum or know how to start the lawn mower....a chore list would be a good idea, but she would be sooo offended if *I* made a list of things needing to be done and told her to do them, lol.  DH thinks she wants to see us just take it over and "prove" to her that we are capable homeowners.

We are planning to pay down some student loan debt so we can get a mortgage, and chances are we would buy a foreclosure, or at least a fixer upper.  We won't be taking a huge mortgage...we are fairly responsible with money except for those damn student loans...we took way too much, we never should have even gone to college to be honest.


Quoting Jlee4249:

 First, no I don't think your kids are doing too much... (I will say, though, one kid having to do the dishes three times a day while the other just has to take out the trash has always bothered me.) 
Second, you should move out.  YOu keep mentioning that she probably wouldn't be able to afford that house without you.  She calls it her retirement... so let her try to sell it.  If she can't, she could try to refinance it, which should lower her monthly mortgage payment, AND she'd be able to put your husband's name on the house, ensuring her promise of handing down the house to him.  If she doesn't then you know.  Seven years is a long time to put up with that for the idea of her passing on a house that has ever been confirmed (in print-- like a will).  Having a hefty down-payment can assist with being elligible for a loan.  Buying a foreclosure that needs a bit of fixing-up helps, too. 
Why don't you all make a list of all the chores, day-to-day maintenance of the home.  Sign that woman up for a few.  Switch every month.  That way no one feels like they're doing more and feeling resentful.  And it would basically make her do something as a part of the family instead of just sitting there waiting for everyone else to do it for her. 




hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

I hate doing dishes. I'd scrub toilets every day as long as I didn't have to do dishes! IDK what it is. I don't mind any other cleaning or type of chore. I just hate those dishes. So many of them! So difficult to configure them for maximum efficiency! Such stress!!! :)

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 31, 2013 at 7:32 AM
I hate dishes too!! But DD actually likes doing them! Whenever she seems stressed about it or there is a bunch from cooking, I do them because I don't want her to end up hating them like I do!


Quoting hipmomto3:

I hate doing dishes. I'd scrub toilets every day as long as I didn't have to do dishes! IDK what it is. I don't mind any other cleaning or type of chore. I just hate those dishes. So many of them! So difficult to configure them for maximum efficiency! Such stress!!! :)


Jlee4249
by Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 5:24 PM


Quoting TJandKarasMom:

You have some great points and ideas.

The kids used to switch the dishes (every other day) and trash/recycling (alternating weeks), DD enjoys doing dishes and DS loaths them, so they decided together to each do one chore, I don't really care as long as it gets done, but I did say that if either of them is unhappy with how it is, we will go back to alternating.  Also when that switch happened, I felt DS then didn't have something daily, so he is taking on more laundry responsibility, with my supervision.  And DH and I also do dishes, especially when we cook a big meal or bake or something that uses a bunch of dishes.  And I'll do them randomly as well.  I also ask DS to do more of the little chores that I used to alternate more (letting the dog in/out, feeding him, wiping down the kitchen counters, etc).  So I am still trying to keep it fair and have DD not feel like she is stuck at the sink all day while DS is having fun.

Part of me thinks the possibility that we could move out would make her change things up a bit, because she knows it would be more difficult without us.  And why does one woman need a 2000 square foot home with 2 acres of land when she doesn't pick up a vaccuum or know how to start the lawn mower....a chore list would be a good idea, but she would be sooo offended if *I* made a list of things needing to be done and told her to do them, lol.  DH thinks she wants to see us just take it over and "prove" to her that we are capable homeowners.

We are planning to pay down some student loan debt so we can get a mortgage, and chances are we would buy a foreclosure, or at least a fixer upper.  We won't be taking a huge mortgage...we are fairly responsible with money except for those damn student loans...we took way too much, we never should have even gone to college to be honest.


Quoting Jlee4249:

 First, no I don't think your kids are doing too much... (I will say, though, one kid having to do the dishes three times a day while the other just has to take out the trash has always bothered me.) 
Second, you should move out.  YOu keep mentioning that she probably wouldn't be able to afford that house without you.  She calls it her retirement... so let her try to sell it.  If she can't, she could try to refinance it, which should lower her monthly mortgage payment, AND she'd be able to put your husband's name on the house, ensuring her promise of handing down the house to him.  If she doesn't then you know.  Seven years is a long time to put up with that for the idea of her passing on a house that has ever been confirmed (in print-- like a will).  Having a hefty down-payment can assist with being elligible for a loan.  Buying a foreclosure that needs a bit of fixing-up helps, too. 
Why don't you all make a list of all the chores, day-to-day maintenance of the home.  Sign that woman up for a few.  Switch every month.  That way no one feels like they're doing more and feeling resentful.  And it would basically make her do something as a part of the family instead of just sitting there waiting for everyone else to do it for her. 




You're an adult, as is he.  You don't, or shouldn't have to prove anything.  Everyone knows how to clean up after themselves and how to maintain a lawn.  If something comes up, you either look it up online or hire a professional. 
There should be no reason for you all to take it all over, while she just enjoys you folks paying off her mortgage with nothing to show for it in the end... That's renting.  You've stuck with it for this long on the chance that she might sign the house over to you... the same house she plans on selling.  IF you're ok with the whole concept of renting--investing your money into someone else's pocket, then keep at it.  
As for the chore list, divide them up by however many people are in the home.  If it comes down to four chores each, then hand her the list and tell her she can have first pick.  Just let her know that she thinks you all need to do more chores, and you want your kids to have some too, but since this is more of a roommate situation, you expect her to help out just as much as you: that's why everyone gets the same amount of chores. 

Koltie6
by Member on Nov. 3, 2013 at 8:00 AM
1 mom liked this
Our children have many chores. Each one cleans their own room and . My daughter does her own laundry. She also cleans the kids bathroom and helps wirh cooking. My 12 year old son takes out trash and feeds all animals in the house and barn. He is also responsible for cleaning all animal pens.
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Nov. 3, 2013 at 8:53 AM
At this point, we have no choice but to rent. We have tried every possible route to buying and because of our student loans it just is not possible. So we would rather give our money to family than a stranger. And for us to rent a place we are happy with, we would pay around $1000 more per month when all is said and done. So we would rather use that extra money to pay down the loans and hopefully be able to purchase our own house within two more years. Two more years sounds long but I know how fast it can go. And I think it will be worth it to get rid of the debt.

She would seriously be so offended and laugh at a list. I wish she was more willing to be a team but she still sees DH and I as children. We really cannot force her to see otherwise. So we will just keep doing what we do, we will ask her as a complete last resort babysitter and hopefully we won't have to do it much longer.

I do appreciate the advice. And the reminder that we are adults and have nothing to prove makes me feel better so thank you very much for that!


Quoting Jlee4249:


Quoting TJandKarasMom:

You have some great points and ideas.

The kids used to switch the dishes (every other day) and trash/recycling (alternating weeks), DD enjoys doing dishes and DS loaths them, so they decided together to each do one chore, I don't really care as long as it gets done, but I did say that if either of them is unhappy with how it is, we will go back to alternating.  Also when that switch happened, I felt DS then didn't have something daily, so he is taking on more laundry responsibility, with my supervision.  And DH and I also do dishes, especially when we cook a big meal or bake or something that uses a bunch of dishes.  And I'll do them randomly as well.  I also ask DS to do more of the little chores that I used to alternate more (letting the dog in/out, feeding him, wiping down the kitchen counters, etc).  So I am still trying to keep it fair and have DD not feel like she is stuck at the sink all day while DS is having fun.

Part of me thinks the possibility that we could move out would make her change things up a bit, because she knows it would be more difficult without us.  And why does one woman need a 2000 square foot home with 2 acres of land when she doesn't pick up a vaccuum or know how to start the lawn mower....a chore list would be a good idea, but she would be sooo offended if *I* made a list of things needing to be done and told her to do them, lol.  DH thinks she wants to see us just take it over and "prove" to her that we are capable homeowners.

We are planning to pay down some student loan debt so we can get a mortgage, and chances are we would buy a foreclosure, or at least a fixer upper.  We won't be taking a huge mortgage...we are fairly responsible with money except for those damn student loans...we took way too much, we never should have even gone to college to be honest.



Quoting Jlee4249:

 First, no I don't think your kids are doing too much... (I will say, though, one kid having to do the dishes three times a day while the other just has to take out the trash has always bothered me.) 
Second, you should move out.  YOu keep mentioning that she probably wouldn't be able to afford that house without you.  She calls it her retirement... so let her try to sell it.  If she can't, she could try to refinance it, which should lower her monthly mortgage payment, AND she'd be able to put your husband's name on the house, ensuring her promise of handing down the house to him.  If she doesn't then you know.  Seven years is a long time to put up with that for the idea of her passing on a house that has ever been confirmed (in print-- like a will).  Having a hefty down-payment can assist with being elligible for a loan.  Buying a foreclosure that needs a bit of fixing-up helps, too. 
Why don't you all make a list of all the chores, day-to-day maintenance of the home.  Sign that woman up for a few.  Switch every month.  That way no one feels like they're doing more and feeling resentful.  And it would basically make her do something as a part of the family instead of just sitting there waiting for everyone else to do it for her. 





You're an adult, as is he.  You don't, or shouldn't have to prove anything.  Everyone knows how to clean up after themselves and how to maintain a lawn.  If something comes up, you either look it up online or hire a professional. 
There should be no reason for you all to take it all over, while she just enjoys you folks paying off her mortgage with nothing to show for it in the end... That's renting.  You've stuck with it for this long on the chance that she might sign the house over to you... the same house she plans on selling.  IF you're ok with the whole concept of renting--investing your money into someone else's pocket, then keep at it.  
As for the chore list, divide them up by however many people are in the home.  If it comes down to four chores each, then hand her the list and tell her she can have first pick.  Just let her know that she thinks you all need to do more chores, and you want your kids to have some too, but since this is more of a roommate situation, you expect her to help out just as much as you: that's why everyone gets the same amount of chores. 


No_Difference
by Silver Member on Nov. 3, 2013 at 9:16 AM

 My 9 yr old has to do dishes at least twice a day, clean "the kids" bathroom at least once a week, sweep and mop the kitchen at least twice a week, keep her room clean, and help pick up shoes in the foyer when she notices the pile is getting too large outside of the closet, and has to help put away her brother's clothes and her clothes.
My 4 yr old has to wash the kitchen table every night, do put away the silverware and plastic ware, help wash windows, clean his room each night, and vacuum the living room at least once a week (since he can and actually likes to), and helps fold clothes when doing laundry
They do what I consider to be surface cleaning, while I do the deep cleaning and all outdoor work. Hubby does nothing unless I pitch a fit for him to help out. I didn't mind before so much while he was working, but now that he's not... *sigh*

I feel you too on living with in laws. I lived with my inlaws for a year, but they moved so we were on our own, and then we moved in with my parents for a year before hubby joined the army and we moved again. I will NEVER live with either set of parents EVER again after those two brief years. If they came and lived with us, that'd be different...well not my mom...my brother and I are already looking into what old folks home we can afford together to stick her in.... My mom is under the firm belief that Jamie doing dishes once a day is too much work for someone her age, and when I try cleaning up, she says I'm being like my sister-in-law (which is supposed to be an insult). There is no and enver will be any winning with her.

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