Chores are my job, not my kids'

It's hard enough raising one teen -- but three?! Welcome to one mom's wild and wonderful life. Each Thursday, she shares the week's drama or joy in Life with 3 Teens on CafeMom.

Chores Are My Job, Not My Kids'

My husband is very particular about our home and keeping it clean and organized.

When both he and I worked full time, everyone -- my three children included -- were expected to pitch in. We never had a list of duties for each person, but everyone was expected to keep the house clean. After dinner, everyone takes care of their plate and helps out. This is still true now.

The difference is that now that I stay home, I take care of the home. So my 15 year old and 18 year old, who are both living at home, do not have set jobs. Neither does my other 18 year old, who is away at college. I make all the beds, vacuum, dust, and do the laundry and most days cook the meals. I have all day while they are at work or at school.

I have about eight hours and it only takes about two hours a day to keep things under control. I also volunteer and our local food bank once or twice a week.

I've often wondered what stay-at-home moms do with their time if they make their kids do chores. My 15 year old son Zack has just one chore: If it snows, he has to shovel the porch. Last time he just left it, and his father had to do it when he got home from work. He wasn't happy about that.

The positive thing about making all the beds and doing the laundry is that I have full access to all their stuff. Not that I'm nosey, I'm just cleaning up.

Weekly Spending $$

We give the kids money to spend each week, but we don't call it an allowance and they do not have to earn it. We found this system helps to keep us on a budget. Before we started this, they would randomly ask for $10 here and $5 there. It got out of control. Now they have a set amount each week and have to budget it for themselves.

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What's your rule for chores and allowances? Should a stay-at-home mom be solely responsible for the daily housekeeping and general chores, or should teens be expected to pitch in?

Edited by Cynthia Dermody for Big Kid Buzz in CafeMom Parenting


Previous Life with 3 Teens journals:

Driving Tests, Borrowing the Car

Dating Older Women

My Son Smoked Pot

Laptops and Lung Cancer

Too Young for Love?

Abusive Homes, Faith

Shopping and Sleeping Arrangements

Sports and Vampires

Fighting Siblings

Competing Brothers

Teen Drinking?

Meet the Kids