You know, I try really hard to do as many right things on the Mom checklist as I can. I'm trying to raise independent kids, kids who know that things won't get handed to them and that they have to work a little for the positive results. I try to stomp that sense of entitlement as quickly as I see it rearing it's ugly little punch it in the face head.
However, I know I have high expectations. I don't really think this is a problem on most days. I mean, I'd love a crew of straight A students. I'd love the most compassionate and understanding kids around. I'd love for my kids to always make the best decisions possible in every situation. I do think it potentially becomes a problem when I expect my kids to be me.
That's just setting them up for failure. I should just stamp them with the "F" stamp the second they come in the door for as good as it all does. My kids are definitely not failures. Not by a really, really, really long shot. Like so long that it's crossed a few galaxies and landed on another planet.
So what's my problem? The dish job. I have four children out of six that participate in this venture. My oldest son is about to be seventeen. He's probably been doing dishes for the better part of maybe eight years now. My next older is eleven. He's been on K.P. (Kitchen Patrol) for maybe two or so... I guess we were more lenient with these ones. My ten year old has been active on K.P. for about a year. Then, my nine year old empties the dishwasher every morning (sometimes).
It's no easy task. There are eight people in my house. That equates to a friggin' lot of dishes. No joke. We have a pretty good weekly to nightly routine for the dishes. My oldest does the dishes three times a week and the other two get two nights each. We alternate the clearing of the table with the kids that don't have to do the dishes minus the kid that has his shower night that night. Normally that leaves two table clearers.
The dish job in itself involves loading the dishwasher. I very heavily EMPHASIZE the wiping of all the dishes before they go in... after all... a dishwasher is no magician. Contrary to my childrens' belief systems, the dishwasher does not cook, create and distribute food onto all of the dishes once it goes in. They do try really hard to convince me though.
They also need to wipe down the kitchen counters, the sink and the stove, wash the table, chairs and bench, clean Mallory's high chair, sweep the floors and take out the garbage. It's an involved process.
Despite my wonderful weekly routine and system for getting this job done nightly, I find myself frustrated over it every morning. The counters aren't clean. The sink stinks because there's still food in it. Dirty dishes came out of the dishwasher. I stepped in something sticky on the floor. It really is never quite right. Then I spend half my morning re-cleaning all of it.
The annoyance builds and builds and builds until I tell the boys, "I'm just going to do it myself!". They don't like that. They then try to make up for it. After I've made them their home cooked lovely meal, they ALL clear the table and tell me how much they're going to help me anyway. I just want to shout at them, "If you want to help, just do the job the way I want it done!!".
Here's the dilemma I'm in now though. I did the dish job last night. All of it. It was fantastic waking up to a nice, clean kitchen this morning. When dinner time rolled around tonight, I was not on board with doing the dishes. Not one bit. I'm exhausted. If my husband hadn't been traveling for work I know he would have done the loading of the dishwasher but he's not here. I'm sure he would have been too exhausted to though. So, it's just me. To do the whole thing. Alone. Again.
I feel like a three year old. "I DON'T WANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I do so much during the day already. I don't want to end my night with more cleaning. WTF is wrong with me? I'd surely rather them do a crappy dish job than for me to do the whole thing. I'd rather clean up the next morning after their crappy dish job than for me to get stuck with the whole thing tonight. What have I done? Am I completely stupid?
No. No. This is over. Tomorrow. Over.
They go back to the routine. They are not me. They can do them when they do the dishes at night and I'll do me when I fix it all in the morning. I got this.
But tonight... this is what faces me...............
I think I'll drink tonight and clean tomorrow.