Monday, January 13, 2014

Burdens of a Large Family

Being that it's a new year, I always try to evaluate our cleaning routines and see what's working and what's not. 

So far I'm still loving the routine I set up for my kids. I can't seem to get through one of my older boy's head why he has more chores than his younger siblings. I have to think about ages, maturity level, and whether or not there is Aspergers Syndrome involved (which only changes it slightly). Trying to explain this a hundred times shows me it's more of an attitude problem. I'm extremely fair and NEVER EVER put a larger load on one kid because they are older and can do more.

Whenever I run into older women than come from larger families I ask them these same questions.

1. What did chores look like for you and your siblings?

2. Were they fairly laid out according to ages and did the load even out as the younger grew older?

3. Was mom the main caregiver of the younger ones or did she expect the girls to do that?

4. What were the positives/negatives of being raised in large family?

5. Are you still close to your siblings?

I'm not joking. They love talking about it anyway because often they are reminiscing. The funny thing is I hear the same thing over and over from people born into larger families back in the 40's and 50's. Most of the older siblings had to be the main caregivers of their younger siblings because mom was cleaning the house, washing clothes, and cooking most of the time. Many weren't close to their moms because mom was so busy. Many grew up not wanting any kids and if they did, maybe only a couple. I'm not sure but I wonder what some parenting articles suggested back in the day. Many girls were being trained to be mothers someday so it was considered a good thing. These days with birth control, pressure from society, or just because, many women are full time workers in the work force. When and how many kids you have is all optional these days. I have made sure to never place the burden of caregiving to my kids. Just to let them enjoy their baby siblings without it being forced on them. Often the girls beg me to change Juliet's diaper and want to dress her. I love having all my children and the burden is on me solely. Fine with me! I have enough time sharing as it is. Ha. We all do chores but the kids never touch anything of mine. I clean up my own messes I leave around and my own room and bathroom. I do the best I can! I'm sure they'll complain about something though because no parent is perfect. I'm FAR from it.

Well, I think times have definitely changed. I guess it's more important to me that were are like a team where everything is evenly divided according to ages. I found a pretty neat chore chart for me where you do a basic routine. However, you write down all the rooms in your house and then each week focus on one. Well, that's fine and all but I have many kids. If I only did dishes and making bed each day first, then only did a 1 minute pickup in each room, our house would be a disaster. I think the chore was made for much smaller families. However, it's a great concept if you just tweak it to make it fit! She picks one room a week to completely declutter, clean, and reorganize. Then pick a different room the next week. It's not overbearing and gives you 7 days to do it. I can handle that. Last week I completely cleaned out the kitchen, wiped out and bleached, reorganized, and threw out all the excess of clutter. Man, the kitchen looks incredible. This week it's the breakfast room. Next week it'll be my bedroom. So on and so on. On a hard day, If you just couldn't get it all done as far as keeping house up, my grandma always taught me to just make sure dishes are done and the bed is made. That's the same advice this lady gives.
 

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