By BERN MORLEY
Here’s something the Parenting books don’t tell you – children are messy.
Not once was I told to prepare myself for the constant and general untidiness that my life as a mother would become. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful kind of messy, in fact, to me, an untidy house is a sign of a lived in and much loved home. This doesn’t mean that at the end of each day I don’t sit down, look around myself and wonder out loud what the name of the hurricane was that appears to have ripped through my home. I then set about taking stock, cleaning up and preparing myself and the house, for the next day – so we can do it all again.
For instance, it is insanely fun to make pancakes, popcorn and playdoh with my six year old son. What isn’t as much fun however is finding and removing petrified playdoh that has been ‘lovingly’ left for the cat underneath the couch. I also wasn’t quite prepared for the minefield of Lego and muddy football boots and unidentifiable substances on the television screen. Again, I know this is a beautiful signature of my boys’ busy and frantic lives, I am just astounded at *how* much mess two little humans can make. Also, I’m fairly sure at no stage did anyone alert me to the fact that the beautiful bedroom I had painstakingly designed for my 13 year old daughter as a baby girl would one day be nothing more than a utensil wasteland for our family’s forks, teaspoons and inexplicably, vegetable peelers.
And for so long I have simply gone about cleaning up these untidy areas myself, never requesting help and it never crossed my mind that I should simply ask my children to help me out. This of course, is my fault. I let it get to this point. I have three children, of varying ages and flavours and often, it was just easier and quicker to do it myself.
I’ve decided though that it is time. Time not only for them to start helping out, but also time to be rewarded for their efforts accordingly.
My husband and I sat down and determined the chores that were done on a daily and weekly basis that the kids could easily do and make our lives a little easier in the process. We came up with the following tasks: