The everyday life of an everyday woman with a passion for writing, and a dream… Mommeeeee! I need help wiping! Oh yes, and five little kids.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cleaning Condundrum

My kids have been pestering me lately about ways they could earn extra money.  This has caused me a bit of a dilemma.  I don't give my kids an allowance at this point, and any of the jobs they could do are already part of their chores list.  ( I know I'm a mean mom ) Anyway, so I finally came up with a couple of jobs they could do to earn a few cents here and there.  One job is, we acquired some former city property adjacent to our lot which we now want to landscape, but is full of weeds.  I told the kids I would pay them a dollar per five gallon bucket of weeds pulled. ( I thought this was a killer deal)  Well, they were all gung-ho this morning, but as the job took longer than 10 minutes, they began to peeter out (except A-M who did do one whole bucket)  The other jobs I listed were clean all the windows on the suburban, clean the sliding glass door inside and out, and wash the front door and garage door inside and out, and I would pay 25 cents per job.  I figured those were pretty easy jobs, so I wasn't going to pay  a whole lot.  Who knew it would take my son 45 minutes, a whole roll of paper towels, and nearly a bottle of glass cleaner to do the sliding glass door!  Not to mention, constantly pointing out the finger prints he continually, blatantly missed.  *sigh* And here enters the cleaning condundrum.  I can now see why some moms don't teach their kids to clean and just do it themselves....It's EASIER! At least at first.  The time and effort it takes to teach them how to clean , then continually point out the spots they missed, babysit them to make sure they actually do it, the whining, and then to have the job only look halfway decent (if your lucky) when it's done is beyond disheartening (It also doesn't help that I'm a bit of a neat freak and my expectations can be a little high). Yes, yes, I know it'll all be worth it when they are older and I can give them a chore and they'll know how to do it the right way and I won't have to worry about it, but it would sure be nice if there was a magic wand to wave over their heads and with a bippity boppity boo turn them into Merry Maids.   Now that would brighten my day!


  1. Totally feeling your pain. McKenna is determined to earn $10 and through the hassle of it all I am tempted to just give it to her. But of course I wont... still rather tempting though!!

  2. I am so one of those guilty moms who does everything herself just so that it gets done correctly and without telling the kids to do it 25 times!
    I have recently decided they are old enough to clean their own rooms now and have worked on that.
    And just so you know, we don't do allowances yet either. So it's all good. :D

  3. Mommy rule # 1: Never do anything for a child, they could do for themselves. Operative word "could." Hang in there, it will pay off. Hugs, mom

  4. A wise friend told me once that the goal is to work yourself out of a job. Sounds like you've got a good start, but 25 cents . . . . . I'm not sure it would be worth it for very many, even if they are young!