It's so crazy to me that I'm writing a post about Sailor doing "chores" right now when it just feels like a matter of months ago that this child was a blob of an infant who did nothing but nurse, sleep, and poop. How can she already be put to work as an actual helpful member of the family? Well we're definitely on the young end of kids' ages that would make sense to be covering this topic alongside the rest of the Real Talk With Real Moms bloggers but much to my surprise (and delight), Sailor has been starting to do things that could sort of be described as chores, so here we are. But we're definitely very new to this one, so I'm surely going to be looking for insight from my fellow moms who are also posting on this subject today! Be sure to check out their thoughts too:
Growing up, my chores were very much a part of my daily routine. I was expected to make my bed, keep my room clean, and help out around the house. On weekends my sister and I had more involved chores like folding laundry, helping with cleaning, and whatever else my parents needed done. Not that we were put to work all weekend, but we'd definitely have a list of a few chores that we did NOT want to do, and then we were able to enjoy ourselves for the rest of the time. Now I see how valuable those rules were to making me a contributing member of the family, and someone who understands as an adult what it takes to run a household.
Sailor is at an age where she loves to mimic what she sees us doing, even if she doesn't quite understand the purpose of everything. Her new thing just this week is pushing the kitchen chairs up to the sink, and getting up there to do "dishes" which entails trying to drink the soapy water out of whatever cups are in there and splashing everywhere. She'll do it for an hour and LOVES it. We've discovered that if she feels like she's helping out, she's much happier than if she's just being told to play or read her books. So I've started actually asking her to help me out. Picking up the makeup brushes and putting them away. Gathering all her books on the floor and putting them in the basket, etc. Having little receptacles around for her toys and books has been perfect because she will start to clean up on her own as an activity. She's perfectly happy to spend her time taking toys out of a bin only to put them back in. Obviously this is awesome. I try to let her know how much I "appreciate her help" and she's pleased to get the affirmations. She may be too young to understand what it really means to help out but I feel like we are teaching her how to make herself useful and for right now that feels like a win.
If any of you mamas have older kids I would love to hear how you start to incorporate chores as they become old enough to actually get stuff done, and what it means to do chores in your family!
Dress by Elm Street Textiles (my mom)
Photography by Ashley Burns