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Mother’s Day Is the Perfect Time to Permanently Give Away Chores

A dad and son cleaning the kitchen to help out with chores.
New Africa/Shutterstock

Exhausted from doing the brunt of the family chores? It’s time to delegate some tasks to the kids and give yourself a much-needed break. Here are six chores we suggest you give away this Mother’s Day.

There’s no shortage of articles suggesting nice gestures to do for moms on Mother’s Day. But rather than delegating chores away just one day a year, we propose you get rid of them forever!

To get started, schedule weekly family meetings. This is a great way to get everyone on the same page and discuss what’s working, what can be improved, and so on.

Next, make sure your family has a decent chore chart. You can make your own, buy a whiteboard chore chart, or try this magnetic chart for kids. Also, look into chore boards—they’re fantastic for organizing weekly duties.

Lastly, be consistent. Your kids will slack off if they know they can. A family needs to run like a cooperative, with everyone doing his or her fair share.

So, even though flowers and chocolates are nice, let your Mother’s Day gift be a renewed dedication to chores—for the entire year. You deserve the break!

Dishes

Children as young as 2 years old can help load and unload the dishwasher with adult supervision. Just make sure you remove the sharp objects first. You can also switch to plastic or metal plates, allowing them more practice without fearing a shattered-plate disaster.

Older kids can add detergent and start the dishwasher. You can even get a standing tower, so your shorter kids can get their hands wet while hand washing pots and pans.

Laundry

If your child can reach the washing machine and dryer, he’s capable of helping out! Here’s a great step stool to use if he falls a little short.

Every person in your household should be responsible for his or her own laundry, including the kids. Supervise them while they work, but step back once they’re old enough to do it on their own. You’re not only giving yourself a break here, but also helping your kids build a life skill.

Don’t stop at just the laundry. Kids can fold and put away their own clothes, too. They might end up wrinkled, but that’s okay. Lowering your standards means you’re less burnt out at the end of the day. That’s what we call a win-win for everyone!

Grocery Shopping

A young girl pushing a grocery cart in a store.
Syda Productions/Shutterstock

If your kids feel confident navigating a store on their own, hand them part of the list, a small basket, and let them go at it. For younger kids, let them grab items off the shelf or push the cart for you. They can even load the groceries onto the conveyer belt.

If you shop online, take turns allowing your children to practice adding items to the cart. Just make sure to stay nearby, otherwise, they might check out without you and surprise you with a cart full of chocolate and ice cream. Oops!

And don’t forget about unloading and putting away the groceries—kids can help here, too!

Meal Prep

A mother supervises her daughter, as she cooks on the stove.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

 

Do you feel like you’re slaving away in the kitchen every night? A family dinner should be a family-made dinner.

Assign someone to cook each night of the week. Also, teach your kids how to prepare easy-to-make meals. That way, you can supervise while you unwind from your day. Mothers are great at multitasking, after all.

If you have teens, they’re more than capable of cooking the entire family dinner by themselves. It takes some practice and guidance, but it’s well worth the time and investment.

Better yet, if you teach your kids about both meal prep and how to purchase what they need for it (see above about grocery shopping), they’ll know how to shop and cook by the time they leave the house.

Cleaning the Bathroom

A little girl cleaning the toilet to help out with family chores.
kryzhov/Shutterstock

We often tackle the bathrooms ourselves, fearing our kids won’t clean it to our high standards. Or, even worse, they’ll touch everything and have no respect for bathroom germs—yuck.

Obviously, a 3-year-old isn’t capable of scrubbing a toilet, but a 7-year-old is!

You can also give your kids big, colorful sponges the next time they take a bath. Have them scrub the walls with soap. It’s never too early to teach your children about multitasking! Most kids are also capable of pushing a mop around the bathroom floor. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a play battle, with sticks and soap flying everywhere.

If your kids complain about these basic chores, consider gamifying the process with a fun chore app. It can help motivate even the most reluctant of kids.

Putting Away Toys

Seriously, this is one job that should be completely delegated to kids. If it’s not happening already, it’s time to get everyone on board.

It does take some prep time to create a system your kids can follow. We suggest putting labels on bins, drawers, and shelves, so kids know where all their stuff goes. For example, you can have a bin for Legos, one for Barbies, one for toy cars, and so on.

Next, set aside time each day for clean-up. If your kids are home all day, you can do a quick cleanup before lunch, and then again before bedtime. Don’t let everything accumulate until the end of the day—if you do, those oversized towers of toys will be completely overwhelming.

Teach your children the clean-as-you-go method. They want to play with blocks? First, they need to clean up those Tinkertoys. This will help keep messes under control, while teaching them about general clutter management.


Mother’s Day is so much more than just a day of flowers, breakfast in bed, and other fun treats. It’s about reassessing how much you’re taking on as a Mom. There’s no reason to feel overburdened by endless tasks and chores. Celebrate this Mother’s Day by giving some of them away—permanently.

Jill Chafin Jill Chafin
Jill Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »

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