These words, I have said, to my children, this week, several times, and in a tone of voice gets my message across.
It’s the summer holidays, still, for us. We have nearly three weeks left, of the kids being at home, with me. Because I work part time and can work from home, the bulk of the childcare falls on me, in the holidays. I don’t mind it, I quite enjoy spending time with my kids and the holidays can be a relaxing time (sort of, relax takes on a a very different meaning when you are a parent, your desires become much more basic!)
This summer, I am shaking it up though.
My kids are having to work for their money and their time.
You see, I am their mum, but I am not their maid. This is their home, but it is not a hotel.
I am not the sole cleaner, cook, laundry maid, provider of goods, housekeeper and general dogsbody.
I am not running a hotel.
I will not let my kids think that the summer holidays = them sitting around, eating me out of house and home, and not doing anything to contribute.
This morning, my children were informed that if they wanted access to the Wifi, to use the iPad, Kindle, or iPod, that they have to work for it. If they want days out and pocket money to spend, they need to earn it.
A list of chores has gone up on the wall.
The summer holidays is supposed to be a break for them, but I am not going to let it break me. I am not spending my whole summer break playing maid. My mother certainly didn’t, and it didn’t hurt my brother and I! I don’t think it’s my job to clear up constantly after two human beings who can in fact, do a fair bit for themselves.
At their age, they can:
Unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, clear and set the table, load the washing machine and tumble dryer, help prepare simple meals or at least help in the kitchen, do a basic wipe of the bathroom, use a vacuum cleaner, tidy up, take rubbish out, empty bins and a few other things.
There are grumblings of protest. They think I am being very unfair.
However, the next time they want access to watch something, or money for sweets, they will know where it has come from. They will have earned it, and I will be less grumpy and resentful.
Kids need to learn. I am their mother, not the maid. I am not running a hotel or a cafe…