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Chores, Schmores, Mom Is Not the Maid

Family Helping Chart

There are times it seems "Mom" is spelled "Maid," so it's time for some retraining here. My dear little ones, and the dear big one, need to lend a hand without my nagging all the time. They do help when I ask, but I want the help to be more automatic. They live in the house, too. So... we're trying yet another chore chart for our house...

You know what really makes a chart important? Lamination. It goes from a flimsy sheet of black and white to a glossy, important document, encased in a hot-rolled plastic pouch for all the ages to come. Laminators are my favorite toys. Sharpie pens are next in line.

To make this chore chart more eye-catching, I added a sheet of red to the back. The idea is for this chart to do my nagging for me. Even I don't like the sound of my voice during a nag fest.

So the basic structure is that the Daily section has to be completed every day, plus the chores listed for the corresponding day. In my ideal world that plays in my head, all this, plus a good amount of outside time, will be accomplished before any screens start glowing in their faces.

Daily chores include loading/unloading the dishwasher, folding and putting away laundry, making beds, and picking up and putting away, also known as PUPA. My mom always abbreviated that on her chore charts as PUPA, so now it is PUPA in my house too.

Throughout the week are other house chores that only need to be done once a week or every other day. That includes dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, taking trash to the curb, cleaning the bathrooms, and the various loads of laundry.

For laundry, Kara in particular, asked if she could help. So one day, I showed both children how to put in the Borax and detergent. We circled all the normal settings with a Sharpie. As long as they remember to check pockets before throwing clothes in the wash, they're good for operating the washer and dryer.

Rabbit trail: I write on lots of my appliances with Sharpies. It's very efficient for instructing another operator in the household. I've marked up my all my sewing machines. Saves time looking up the manual constantly. This is the second washer and dryer I've marked up. I'm more interested in using my own equipment, and making sure my family can use it, than worrying about aesthetics now or resale value later.

Anyway, I'm hoping this beautiful, wonderful chart will help my household run for more than two weeks, which is the record for any of our beautiful, wonderful chore charts to be effective.

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