A fellow blogger asked me how I managed things with 5 children. I told her in our home, daily chores for the children are a MUST. I tell my children they are very much a part of this family and an important part at that and their help is needed. That's just the way it is. They aren't perfect....they do have to reminded to do their chores but we do have a chore chart that they have to follow . The older 4 children each do one of the chores listed below daily. By the end of the week everyone has done everything on the list.
1. Straighten & vacuum living room & load and run dishwasher
2. Straighten & wipe counters, stove, & table, sweep kitchen floor
3. Straighten & vacuum computer room, piano room & hallway
4. Straighten kids bathroom , sweep if needed, wipe counter, sink, clean mirror if needed,
5. Straighten shoes & sweep the entry way if needed, put all clean dishes away.
The older 4 do all of their own laundry & keep their rooms clean. I do have to help my 7 yr old some.....because he tries to rush through it & doesn't do it properly but he's learning. My 2 yr old doesn't really do chores( She usually just leaves a path of destruction behind her : ) But she is learning. I try to have her help me with cleaning and she really likes it....asking for more to do.
I do most of the cleaning which consists of mopping the floors, cleaning the 2 ~ 1/2 bathrooms, dusting, wiping down the appliances, etc. The kids do have their own bathroom....sometimes they clean it, sometimes I do it and sometimes we work on it together. We don't follow a strict time schedule .......they do know for example though that if there is a dirty kitchen, stuff strewn all over the counters, a sink full of dishes, and clean dishes in the dishwasher that need to be put away.........it's not likely I'm going to be able to make dinner in that mess : ) Speaking of dinner my girls & sometimes my boys are almost always helping in someway to prepare dinner. Just recently I was out somewhere, running late. I called home and asked my husband to tell the girls to make the fried fish for dinner because if they waited for me to get home, dinner would be late. The knew exactly what to do because I taught them to help.
We just went grocery shopping today & they even help with that. I gave my 14 yr old son half of the grocery list and he got all of those groceries. They help with every aspect of shopping. It's so funny just about everytime we shop a cashier comments on how helpful my kids are. Putting the groceries on the conveyor belt, loading the bags in the cart etc. As I write this it reminds me that I need to let them know how important and helpful they are.
One of the most important things I've learned having a larger than normal family (or just having kids in general) is that even though my God given job is to serve my family, it is not my job to be their servants. Trying to be a supermom , doing everthing myself around the house without expecting the childrn to help out doesn't make me a good mom, it only makes me an exhausted & burnt out mom with selfish children that don't know how to do anything for themselves.