Day 14: DELEGATE CHORES TO THE KIDS INSTEAD OF DOING EVERYTHING MYSELF
I’m not feeling well today. My head feels like it’s about to explode, I have a nasty cough, and my skin is crawling. (Great, just in time for single parenting to commence.) I was planning to do this challenge today anyway, but what better day to delegate tasks than on a day I’ll hopefully spend resting.
Big C is 5 years old, Little C is 2. So they are more than capable of doing things that I find I’ve been doing for them. Cleaning their rooms, putting their shoes away, clearing the dinner table. The other day, instead of napping, Little C upended all 12 of her organizational baskets, leaving tiny toys and books scattered all over her room. What did I do? I cleaned the room. And why did I clean the room? Because it was faster than waiting for her to do it and because I organized everything the way I wanted them organized. No more. Starting today, she can clean up her own messes, regardless of how long it takes or if her My Little Ponies end up sharing real estate with her Dora paraphernalia.
Now let’s see who I can assign the task of running me a hot bath and bringing me some water and a magazine.
I realized today that, in my desire to be the uber-domestic engineer, I was not only unnecessarily running myself ragged, but I was also breeding perceived helplessness in my children. Why in the world have I been pouring Big C’s milk and laying out his pajamas? Why have I been clearing Little C’s dinner plate and putting her clothes in the hamper? Maybe out of habit. Maybe because I want things done quickly and correctly. Or maybe I haven’t yet admitted that my babies are growing up.
The best part of today’s successful challenge? I learned that the kids actually like being given more responsibility. Big C told me that he was going to continue pouring his own milk every day for the rest of his life and that it made him feel like he was 18 years old. But by then he’ll move on to bigger and better things. Like driving, dating, and going to college. I’m so not ready for that. For now, I’ll just treasure his new love for milk pouring.