I’m so mean…I make my kids do CHORES!

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So I just heard, for the umpteenth time today, what a mean mother I am. This time, it escaped the lips of my older child when I had the audacity to ask him to empty the dishwasher. The mean mother comment followed the indignant huffing (I interrupted his Playstation game) and eye rolling.

Emptying the dishwasher is his new chore and he loathes it. He doesn’t feel that emptying the dishwasher is a job he wants to continue with. After slamming the dishes into the cabinets and stomping around the kitchen, he asked if he could quit. I responded with a flat out “no”. Then, he tried to recruit his little sister to help him. She laughed at him. He then proceeded to tell me that “it feels like my life revolves around emptying the dishwasher”. After I stop laughing for ten minutes straight, I tell him that yeah, I know what that feels like.

It feels like my life revolves around FILLING said dishwasher, doing piles of laundry that never end, vacuuming up the dog hair that seems to regenerate before I can even put the vacuum away, dusting the furniture so the pollen that blows in doesn’t make everyone’s eyes red, changing the sheets that the little one pees on almost every night, mopping up the spills of apple juice that no one tells me about until I am stuck to the floor, picking up the toys that escape from their owner’s rooms and endlessly cleaning the windows that are perpetually smudged.

After this litany, I was met by another eye roll and I resisted the overwhelming urge to smack him across the mouth. I then proceed to lecture him on the fact that he should be happy because I am doing this for “his own good”. Oh my God, when did I turn into my mother? Well, actually, I can’t be my mother because if I were, he’d have a hell of a lot more chores and I wouldn’t have resisted the urge to smack him.

If that weren’t enough, I proceed to say that he should be grateful that all he has to do is empty the dishwasher because when I was his age we didn’t have a dishwasher and I had to wash AND dry the dishes in addition to a million other chores. I ask how he would like it if his entire weekend revolved around doing chores rather than going to his baseball games? Great, now I’ve moved on from sounding like my mother and I sound like my father.

My son whines that this is “slave labor”. My husband points out “slaves don’t get paid”. He receives a generous salary for emptying the dishwasher and taking out the garbage, which he forgets half the time and blames us for not reminding him. It must be rough being 11 and having to remember how to defeat all those games. He has no room in his head to remember Monday is garbage night. He is also supposed to clean the dog poop in the backyard but it’s a cold day in hell when actually does that. I have to be mentally ready with a tall glass of sangria or wine on the days I remind him to clean up the dog poop. It literally takes hours of crying and carrying on to get it done. He hates doing it because the poop “smells”. Yeah, kid, I know all about smelly poop. Your diaper wasn’t full of a bouquet of roses, you know.

But seriously. I don’t give them chores for my sake. I really am trying to teach them to be responsible and learn how to actually DO these things that are necessary to survive on their own. My 37 year old husband has never made his bed or done laundry so I am desperately trying to break that cycle. His mother literally cleaned his room till he was 21. I really don’t want my future kids in law to curse me under their breath as they follow my kids around picking up their underwear.

Trust me…it would be a heck of a lot easier to just empty the damn dishwasher myself instead of revolving my dish washing around my son’s game playing schedule. It would be so much less aggravating for me to just put their clothes away myself instead of asking them to do it. Their drawers barely close and the socks are in the shirt drawers and the shirts are in the pajama drawers. It would be a piece of cake to throw out everything in my daughter’s room instead of begging her to pick everything up. The dog poop though…yeah that’s got to be all them. I’d rather hire one of those dog poop people to come clean up the yard before I do that one.

I feel like I am constantly nagging someone to do some chore and my requests are consistently met by the 3 most cringe worthy words a mother ever has to hear. “In a minute!”

EVERYTHING is “in a minute.” And “in a minute” loosely translates into “maybe sometime this week if you’re lucky”. “In a minute” is a cousin of “I don’t know” and “not me”.

Maybe I should employ the same tactic. For example, “Mommy, is my uniform ready?” My answer could be “in a minute” even though I haven’t even put it in the washer yet.

“Who’s taking me to my game?” My answer? “Not me!”

“What’s for dinner?” “I don’t know!”

But heaven forbid I answer them that way! Apparently they are under the impression that I was put on this Earth to be at their beck and call 24/7. I’ve got news for them…I’m not their servant.

Oh yeah…I’m THAT mom. The one that doesn’t believe every last thing in my life should revolve around my kids. I am not “Robot Mommy” who loses herself completely when she has kids, appalled by moms like me who refuse to wait on their kids hand and foot.

Don’t get me wrong…my schedule completely revolves around them. But my LIFE is not all about them. Don’t be shocked…I warned you I am selfish. Join me for my next blog when I tell you just how selfish I can be.

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