Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Making a List and Checking it Twice (Not Santa's List....Saturday Chores!)

I remember being in the hospital after delivering the twins and answering questions from myriad hospital staff about how I handled such a large family. Of course, everyone there was completely shocked that these twins were my 8th and 9th children. They asked how I could possibly deal with so many children and one nurse even asked if the twins were "mistakes". Yeah, these beautiful babies cuddled together in their plastic hospital bassinet, anxiously awaited for 20 years, were "mistakes"...



I just wanted to scream. But I didn't, instead addressing almost all of these inquiries by saying that my kids were huge helps to me, and that they can cook, clean and drive and I didn't know how I would handle things without them!

This questioning made me realize how very important it is that we teach our children to serve others. I really can't imagine how I would handle such a family as this, had they not been taught to work. Certainly most of the time it would have been easier to sit them in front of the TV and do it myself, but the payoff now that they are older has been HUGE!



There are many ways I try to teach our children to serve, the following example being just one...

Every Saturday I sit at my island, look around the house, and make a list of the tasks that need to be accomplished. Sometimes I cut this list into strips and have the kids draw their tasks from a mug. Other times I assign them by each child's ability. Of course, my kids shout for joy when they see this list as they love nothing more than Saturday chores. NOT. Even so, I find it so rewarding to have the kids accomplish things that need to get done, while building a work ethic at the same time. One day they'll thank me. (Oh, and thanks mom, for making us scrub the toilets every Saturday. It was great!)

Last Saturday, because we had already accomplished most of the deep cleaning in preparation for our Thanksgiving feast, we didn't have much to do once the weekend came. However, there were a few tasks that needed to be accomplished, and for some reason, I feel the desire to share my random Saturday chore list with you, crossed off and all. Here it is...(the letters by each chore are the initials of various children)



Thanks for listening.

...and now, for your holiday enjoyment... (This video is totally cool.)

15 comments:

alessandra said...

Hmmm...Hmmm...I don't know if I would like to be a daughter of yours...too much work....just kidding, no really! if you want me, but may be I'm to lazy for you, take a look at my avatar, this is me, pondering, reading, blogging....;-)

Olga Tolbert said...

Hi Jen,

I was just thinking the other day about all the chores you give your kids. And I have been feeling overwhelmed with the fact that mine are quite young right now. 3 and under. But looking at what you and your kids do, gives me hope. It may take some work to get things done, and I might have to give lots of supervision, but by the time they are 10 they should be able to do quite a lot. Already I have my 3 year old pick up the living room, and feed the dog. She does enjoy cleaning so I need to keep at it. Thanks for all the suggestions. I agree with you. If I were ever to have twins, I would rather have some older kids around to help out. Keep up the good work.

Carla said...

When people ask, I love the chance to reflect and smile. Just a little reminder HOW important MOM is. (and my family is not near as big or orderly) Thank you for sharing the reminder that it is worth it, may not show at the time, but later it will:)

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Alessandra, if you would just come over and cook me some good Italian food, that would be the only chore I would assign you!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Olga, I think it's great that you have your 3-year-old already doing chores! You are in the hard part now, but it will pay off when she gets older!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Carla, I don't know why you think my family is orderly. Big, yes. Orderly, no!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,

"If I could turn back time" (I sing Cher's song in my head all the time HA!) Boy how I would do things so differently. I am better prepared and "know it all" now, so can I start over? HA!

Terri Sayre

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Terri, that is why I love being an older mom with so much more experience than when I started out 20 years ago! My poor first child! Hopefully I'm doing better now than I did then!

Cop Mama said...

Sorry to hear that a nurse said that to you. Beautiful picture of the newborn twins. We have started to teach our little guys about chores, like putting away toys and dishes. Thanks for the reminder of how important those tasks are.

d#1 said...

asians and others who speak a tonal language have the highest rate of perfect pitch.

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Okay d#1, I could NOT figure out what you were talking about! I thought, "wow, that is a totally random comment on my post about teaching kids to work". Then.....I finally realized you were talking about the youtube video I posted! Duh! Wasn't that the coolest?

Janis said...

Wow I am not the only one that asigns chores to the kids that require them to do more then clean their plate off the table and make their beds. My kids started when they could walk. I would hand them a wet rag and they would wipe down walls as I cleaned. To them it was play at that age. Now at 9,6,and 5 they know what Momma's list means and pick their favs off the list. Today the 9 yr old exchited chose the bathroom, my least fav job

Keeslermom said...

We do Saturday chores here too. Well, really, we do daily chores, and Saturday is the big clean up. I let them do everything they can so I can get the weeks worth of school planned and organized for 4 kids. I can not even imagine trying to do it all without their help!!

Julie said...

Wow! That was amazing to read. Your list looks exactly like the ones I've written time and again with the initials next to the chores being a bit different. I've done the mug thing too. YAY! I now feel like I must be doing something right. Phew!

marysmodernhomemaker said...

I love it, kids with chores. My mom raised five of us and we all helped around the house. God bless mom. My husband's mom raised five and she did all the work. They can not cook, clean, do laundry etc. Shame on her. By the way all of us are in our Golden years.Kids of all ages should have chores based on their ability. Something only mom knows.