Yesterday I walked past the lounge room and saw leftover fish and chips scattered across the floor.
"Can you guys pick those up?" I asked juggling a freshly bathed baby under one arm and pyjamas and nappy supplies under the other.
"Yep, come on guys let’s help your mum out and pick these up," said my husband, standing up.
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Helpful right? Innocent phrase uttered without thought.
Except I immediately I felt an intense anger arise.
"No, you're not helping ME out. Believe it or not I’m not the maid. I don’t get paid. Picking up mess is not actually MY job. You are helping yourselves and our family out. Thank you."
I know people would roll their eyes at this or even perhaps think 'at least they are helping, it's not a big deal.'
But words are a big deal.
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So many times I hear this:
"Come on kids, help Mum out by doing the dishes."
"Help Mum by cleaning your room."
“Give Mum a break and put your toys away."
"I helped YOU out by popping the groceries away."
"I’ll do the dishes for YOU tonight."
"I cleaned the house for you while you were out."
All extremely helpful tasks. Except by using these phrases all other people hear, including my own children, is: "Your MOTHER'S JOB is to clean up and by doing these tasks we are doing the extreme FAVOUR of helping HER by giving HER a break from HER job."