“Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC’s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built. She is JUST everything to everyone. And society would JUST fall apart at the seams if she, and her fellow moms, failed in any of the tasks I outlined.
Yes, she is just a mother. Which is sort of like looking at the sky and saying, “hey, it’s just the sun.”
- Consider all the chores that need to be done, broken down by rooms and/or spaces. (living room, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, outside, garden, etc...) Write them down as soon as you think of them. Keep a list for a week and add to it anytime you remember another task.Example: In the bathroom, I wrote down the following chores:a. Wipe countertop/Scrub sink and sink fixturesb. Clean mirrorc. Wipe toilet with disinfectant wipe, scrub hinge area with brushd. Clean inside toilet with cleaner/brushe. Scrub bathtub/tiles/fixturesf. Sweep/mop
- Determine how often each task needs to be performed. (Daily, once a week, twice a week, etc.) Don't forget outdoor chores!
- Prayerfully consider who in your family is capable of accomplishing each task. Remember that your children require patient training and accountability. Please don't discount their abilities or potential. They want to emulate everything mommy does! Take advantage of their play. Invite them to sort socks, load the dryer, sweep the floor, and help you do the dishes. A little extra effort in training them when they are young, will teach them the very important message of, “I can!” Lavish them with your praise.
Divide the chores between everyone in the family, so that no one is over burdened. If you have very young children, Mom and Dad will still have the bulk of the chores. I encourage you to re-evaluate this list every year. New chores can be shares with children who have grown in maturity.
- Now, write or type each family member's name on a piece of paper and list the chores they will be required to accomplish along with how often the tasks need to be done.Katie, age 5Sort clothes whites/colors ( twice weekly )Bring soiled clothing to the laundry room ( twice weekly )Set the table for dinner ( daily )Fold wash clothes and hand towels ( twice weekly )Help Mommy and Daddy load the dishwasher ( daily )Pick up toys in Living Room ( twice daily )Tidy bedroom ( twice daily )Put away toilet paper in bathrooms on shopping day ( once weekly )Help put away groceries on shopping day ( once weekly )
- Next, decide when you want the chores to be done. I have discovered that two chore periods a day, keeps the atmosphere in our home much more tidy and relaxed. We do our chores once in the morning, and then again after dinner. Experiment to find what works for you. Choose times that seem sensible for chores. We do chores after breakfast and Bible are done in the morning, and then again right after dinner.Now look at each family member's chore list. Divide their chores into the time frame that you have decided upon.
Note: In our family, I have designed a routine for the weekdays and one for the weekends that includes yard work or tasks that require a team.
Once you finalize your task routines, type up a list complete with boxes to check off as they accomplish each chore. Slip each list into a page protector and post it on the refrigerator. Attach a dry erase marker to make it easy to check them off. For very young children you can use pictures to depict a chore, rather than words.
- Call a Family Circle to introduce the new routine, explaining its necessity and encouraging everyone that they are a vital component in making home feel and function better.
- Take a few weeks to train children in the chores you have assigned them. First show them how to do the chore, then do it with them. Finally, release them to do it themselves. Encourage their successes and gently correct their mistakes. Regularly inspect their work. Require them to repeat the chore if it is done poorly. Use encouraging words and celebrate every little success.
- Be prepared to tweak your routine and chore assignments as necessary.