My mom used to make my sister and me scrub our laundry room floors with a toothbrush.
Yes. A toothbrush. No, this isn’t some kind of sad Cinderella story. No, I didn’t get paid for this manual labor and no, I wasn’t in trouble. It was just expected of us since, you know, we lived in a warm home and had food on the table and were given things like clothes and shoes and Nintendo games.
OK. I paid for my own Nintendo games too. But that’s beside the point.
Yes. I hated every single second of it. There was never a Saturday morning when I woke thinking, “My gosh, I can’t wait to scrub those disgusting floors and toilets. I can’t wait to wash 8 loads of dishes by hand since our dishwasher conked out. I’m thrilled to clean the Sunday dinner plates off the table while Mom and Dad go relax. Give me those clothes to fold and put away. I’m so excited!
No. I hated it. Every. Single. Minute.
This next part is when 10-year-old, Leslie would have slapped me silly with that wash rag full of Endust.
My mom was a genius.
Yes, I said it, Mom. You were right.
We started doing chores as soon as we were able, not because we were being punished, but because mom and dad needed help. They both worked and since we were living, breathing, highly capable non-spoiled children, we too could work.
Around the house.
And we did. A lot. And guess what? I make my girls do the same thing.
My oldest is 8. She can empty and fill the dishwasher, take out the trash, clean out the cat box, clean her room, wash, fold and put away laundry, sweep the floors, vacuum, set the table and even helps a bit with cooking.
Her 6-year-old sister isn’t far behind and I prefer her floor sweeping skills over mine any day.
Do they love it? Not really. Do they do it anyway? You bet.
Here’s my truth. Hard working kids equals hard working adults. I don’t want to raise my daughters to be spoiled little girls who are afraid to get their fingers dirty. I want them to work hard now and in the future. I want them to be self-sufficient women who know how to step in and get the job done.
And the sweet little boy I’m carrying? You better believe he’ll know how to cook and clean and scrub toilets and do everything a woman does. Because in our home, we split chores. If we’re being honest, my husband is better at housework than I am. He folds laundry and has some serious floor sweeping skills too. His cooking is top notch.
You know why? His mama taught him to help around the home. She didn’t want to raise a spoiled brat either.
Apparently, kids and chores aren’t really a thing anymore. There’s a viral article going around on the internet that is bashing moms for making their kids work around the home. One lady even said, “You do not have kids to do the chores you yourself do not want to do!”
Really? I missed the memo there. That’s a benefit of having kids – so I don’t have to do all the darn housework!
But seriously, folks. If you’re good raising spoiled brats than I’m good raising two Cinderella daughters and a Prince Charming whose wife will one day kiss my feet for teaching him how to clean a toilet.
You’re welcome future daughter-in-law.
Put your kids to work. The future will thank you.