Saturday, October 16, 2021

My dear tween and teenage kids,

I read this online and it really made sense to me and spoke to a lot of my frustration with parenting "tweens" and "teenagers." I am starting to feel like I have four of them right now ... that's a lot at once.

You know I love you beyond measure, but we must discuss something and I need you to hear me or your mom just might lose her sanity.

There’s a difference between “chores” and “maintenance.”
Why are we discussing this you ask? Well, because the other day one of you sighed big and said “I didn’t know we had to do chores today” when I asked you to hang up your wet towel that was crumpled on the bathroom floor. So, I feel that we need to straighten something out.
Chores are when you snap on rubber gloves and dive deep into scrubbing the bathrooms. Chores are when you pull out the vacuum and make even lines across the room. Chores are when you ring out a mop and rub it all over the floor. Chores are what we do as a family once a week.
Maintenance is when you – ready for this? – hang up the towel you just used after your shower. Or put the clothes you just wore in the hamper. Or your cereal bowl into the dishwasher. (And then wipe up the dribbles of milk from the counter.) Maintenance is putting the milk back in the fridge, your shoes in the mudroom bin, and your coat on the hook. I don’t need to go on, you get it…
Know, my dear children - I don’t expect you to be perfect. You all know I’m not! But I am asking you to shift your mindset, even if it’s only a little.
Chores = big actual cleaning
Maintenance = the small daily acts of putting the stuff you just used away
You might someday make enough money to be able to hire a cleaning company to do your “chores” (dream big!), but you will FOR SURE have to do “daily maintenance” until the end of time. So, it’s important that you learn that skill set now.
Thanks for listening to my words. I love you to the moon-and-back, forever-and-ever. You are my everything and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you - except hang up your bathroom towel.
Love, Your Mom

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