Painful Lessons of Working for Pay

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Last summer, I was often frustrated with how often I had to clean up after my kids.  Okay, honestly, I HATE to clean.  I hate it with a passion and the thing about staying home, is that it is ALL I do.  Needless to say at the end of the day, when the house is less than beautiful, I am not happy.

To avoid last summer’s frustration, I gave the kids more responsibility this summer.  They have their normal chores, because they live in our house, but I am also paying them to help with simple household tasks.  The theory is that they will “save” me some work, take pride in a job, and maybe, just maybe pick up after themselves a bit more.  Plus, it will give them some extra cash for the things or treats that Scott and I refuse to buy them (ie toys, video games, pretty much anything that is not a need.)

The first week was an adjustment, my son, didn’t want to do my work. However, once payday hit, he was happy with cash, so week 2 went smoothly.  Things have been going along Ok, except now, a month into it, the work is sliding.  The novelty is wearing off, and the kids would much rather play outside, go on an outing, or do anything other than their chores.

I am so tired of fighting.  I feel like I have been fighting something or other a long time.  I hate fighting.  I love peace and calm, and happiness. I will not fight with the kids.  This week, has come the “re-do.”  When the job is not correctly, then they must do it again.  Oh, it has not gone well. Once again.

I am not going to say I have handled EVERY situation every day with dignity.  I human, I am a mom, I am with these kids ALL day, everyday.  I make mistakes. However, I am teaching my kids about choices: they can do a job and do it well for pay or they can do a job and not do it well but as a customer I will not pay them.  It’s their choice, their money.  I am a realistic person and the most understanding customer they will ever have to face.

Some days, they have re-done the job right – Yay!  Other days, they have walked away and said, “This is just not worth it.” Bummer.  Well, we all have those days.  At the end of the day, I don’t expect my kids to love cleaning, I sure don’t, but I want them to understand there are things we do in life that we don’t want to do, such as take care of our house.  I also want them to understand that when working for pay, it’s important to work fast, but not too fast.  Get the job done right and keep your customer happy.

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2 thoughts on “Painful Lessons of Working for Pay

  1. I’m right there with you! Try this…do it right away in the morning. First we do the chores, then we get to do something fun like go to the pool, the park, play in the sprinklers, whatever. So far, that has worked for me. Good luck! 🙂 ur doing great!

    • Thanks! It’s funny, I do my work in the am when I am still sweaty from working out and I tell the kids to do it then (that’s what it says on the schedule.) But lately, McCartney wants to do it later, because he says he’s trying to learn “flexibility” which we have been trying to teach him for YEARS! Little turkey! But, on the other hand, we don’t get to do anything fun, until they are done and that includes the pool, park. Why do kids have to make everything so complicated??? 🙂

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