Ever Felt Like You’re Doing It All?

I’m a mum. I’m a working mum. Hardest job in the world right? And no, I’m not looking for sympathy, jeez I made this bed I sure as hell gotta lie in it and I absolutely wouldn’t change it for the world. I mean, I adore my little family and their funny ways, it may be hard, but it’s the best as well.

But would I be right in saying that as a mum, sometimes just sometimes it can feel as though you’re having the mick taken out of you a bit. ‘Cos a mums job never really have an end of shift, does it?

Let me explain – here’s a look at my average day:

7am to 9am – It’s all about getting the kids dressed, fed and out of the house. Now I’m lucky here because both myself and my husband work from home so we both do the morning routine and it’s a godsend. Credit where credit’s due it is such a help that’s he around to assist with the nagging.

9am – 3pm – I work. I also put the washing machine on, empty the dishwasher, put clothes away, pick up clutter, do a workout, prepare dinner and do the odd bit of housework.

3pm – 4pm – I do school pick up.

4pm – 5pm – I sort out kids doing any homework they may have, make dinner, catch up on emails.

5pm – 6pm – Eat dinner with kids, wash up, sit down for a bit.

6pm – 8pm – Sometimes it’s ferrying kids to clubs, otherwise it’s bath, get school stuff ready, stories, bed.

8pm – 10pm – Make packed lunches, sort book bags, tidy clutter, put more washing away, do more washing up, empty dishwasher, work, watch a bit of TV.

10 pm – 11pm – Bed at some point.

It’s a lot to fit in, so come the weekend I’m knackered and the last thing I want to be doing is housework, because well it’s boring isn’t it…but who else is gonna do it?

Enough is Enough!

I’m fed up of being boring mummy who always has to say ‘I’m just doing this…’ or ‘Let me just sort the washing…’, I want to be part of the fun and I’m a teensy bit fed up of feeling like a slave, so I came up with a rather genius idea at the weekend…lucky dip chores.

Yep, seriously if you’re a mum fed up with being spoken to like a piece of dog poo on the bottom of your shoe, or you simply can’t stand feeling like you’re the one nagging all the time, or perhaps you think it’s about time your kids learnt to pick up their own crap, then this is the game for you.

It’s simple.

  • Write down your chores on separate pieces of paper.
  • Fold up.
  • Put into a bowl.
  • Child picks a chore out.
  • Complete chore…pick another.

It’s that easy!

So, on Saturday that’s exactly what we did and this is how we got on.

Picture the scene…hubby’s just got in from a bike ride, kids are on their tablets and mum walks in announcing “Right you lot, I’ve come up with a new game. It’s called Lucky Dip Chores”. Cue 2 smiley faces and a knowing look from the husband. I explain the rules and then to make things go a bit smoother I explain that once they’ve picked a chore I’ll flip a coin to determine which parent helper they get – mum = heads, dad = tails.

Here’s what’s in the pot:

  • Clean toilets
  • Clean rabbits
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Hoovering
  • Dusting
  • Washing Up
  • Washing
  • Put teddies on beds.

First round, Fin (8) picks out ‘Washing’ and Flo (7) gets ‘Clean Toilets’, cue lots of sniggering from Fin and a bit of huffing and puffing from Flo. My only thought…’please lord don’t let me get the toilets!!!’ But it’s OK ‘cos heads comes up for washing – Yessssss I’ve dodged the toilet bullet! Over to you Daddy!

Credit to Flo, because she donned the rubber gloves and got right on with it, grinning as she told Fin afterwards that she “had to actually put her hand down the toilet”. Ummmm yeah what do you think mummy does each week?!?! And Fin was great too, he loaded up the washing machine and I explained washing labels to him – he is seriously going to make someone a good husband one day.

Washing machine on, Fin chose his next chore – ‘Teddies on bed’ – the easiest job in there. Flo’s still scrubbing skidmarks off the pan, so he cracks on piling up the millions and millions of teddies that have amassed in their rooms (I feel a charity shop drop off coming on soon!).

And it’s all going swimmingly. Everyone seems happy, the jobs are getting done, why on earth didn’t I think of this sooner?!

But it was all too good to last and as Flo goes to pick her second choice, uttering the words “I hope I don’t get dusting”, you can of course guess what came out that pot. Yep.. dusting.

Tears.

Shouts of “I’m not doing it”, “It’s not fair”, I’m swapping”

Dad’s on duty for this one and he promptly hands her a blue feather duster from the bottom of the plastic bag cupboard (I hate that cupboard!), tells her it’s a fairy wand and that’s it she’s happy again. Well….for ten minutes, in which time said feather duster has moulted all over the floor and Flo is sooooooo over this housework malarkey. Plus the husband is wandering around, duster in hand muttering “we should just get a cleaner”.

At this point Fin chooses his third chore and rather strangely pulls out ‘eat ice cream’. Hmmmmm now I don’t remember putting that one in there. Cheeky sod has slipped in one of his own – nice try, but you gotta try harder than that to pull the wool over this mums eyes!

Fin gets ‘Clean rabbits’, which he happily does with my help and then his last chore is ‘Washing Up’, which he does all by himself with no complaints. I reward him with loads of positive words, a big cuddle and a pound coin.

Flo on the other hand has had enough. I mention the pound and this is where there’s a huge difference between the pair of them, because Fin would probably do most things for money whereas Flo…nope she informs me “It’s not worth it, I don’t want the money”. And I don’t blame her, I’d quite like to say that some days.

Oh hang on…I don’t get paid, do I?!

It all went really well, in fact way better than I imagined it would, which of course means we’ll be doing this again. And what did we all learn from this little experiment?

  • Young, naive kids will do anything if you call it a game.
  • Fin will do anything for money.
  • Flo will not.
  • Mum does a lot.
  • Dad is rather good at dusting. (Oops school boy error Dad!).
  • More helps gets the jobs done quicker.
  • Kids need to be taught these essential life skills.
  • Sometimes, it’s just quicker to do things yourself!

Give it a go and let me know how it goes down in your house, because us mums need a break every now and again, and if nothing else it’s so worth it just to see the look on their faces πŸ™‚

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