I take my role as a mother very seriously. My goal is to raise givers rather than takers, confident, friendly, assertive girls who will be able to take care of themselves and others should the need arise.
I’m proud to say that Amy and Amelia are responsible for their laundry. They sort, they pre-treat, they know that if they want clean outfits for the coming week that they need to have it finished and folded by 9:00 p.m. Sunday. Sometimes they forget to transfer their last load to the dryer. That’s always fun on Monday morning, but, enh life lesson, right? I started this because frankly, doing laundry for 5 people sucks. I. Hate. It. I resent it. It makes me very cranky. It’s better for all of us when I’m not cranky.
Both of my children can cook basic dinners. The menu is limited, with chili-mac being their magnum opus. Still, they’re at ease in the kitchen. They like to cook and are interested in meal planning. My children are capable of getting their own lunches and snacks and breakfasts, which means I don’t have to do it. It’s nice.
I’m not breaking any child labor laws here people. These are life skills. I’m not locking them in the back room forcing them to sew sleeves into dresses (although… both girls are fairly competent with a straight stitch and a sewing machine). They like being able to run the dishwasher and clothes washer and dryer. They like fixing dinners for the family. It makes them feel accomplished and important. I like it because I’m lazy.
I urge all parents to give their children responsibilities. Teach them how to do laundry. Make them responsible for the whites. Something they can’t mess up. Whatever. Teach them how to make a quick snack. Find something age and personality appropriate for them to do. They’ll be proud of themselves and their abilities, and it’ll be one less thing you have to do.