Helping out

When I went to work in an office (I left over a year ago – that’s hard to believe!), my life was predictable. I went to work from Monday to Wednesday, then on Thursdays and Fridays I was free to do what I wanted. In reality, that meant I was free to do housework and run errands. Not exactly relaxing, but it kept the house ticking over and running relatively smoothly.

When I first went freelance, I knew I would have to work every day, but the work naturally fell into a pattern of me being busier at the start of the week, with more of that free housework time left at the end of the week. But, as I hoped would happen, I’ve got busier with work, and paid work will always take priority over housework. Which means housework either doesn’t get done often enough or I will be stomping and moaning around the house on a Saturday morning, cleaning the bathrooms and muttering (not exactly under my breath) about how I hate cleaning and I shouldn’t have to clean on a Saturday.

All I’ve ever wanted is a cleaner. Seriously, I HATE cleaning. Hate it.

But I won’t live in dirt and mess either, so generally the cleaning gets done to a certain extent. I’m nervous about making the leap and getting a cleaner. My income isn’t guaranted. I still get a few days, even the odd week, when I don’t have much work and couldn’t really justify paying someone to clean my house. Plus, while the kitchen is being done, it’s not really practical to have a cleaner anyway.

But the solution wasn’t far away. In fact, he was sat on his bed watching a film.

My son likes one thing more than films. It’s money. He needs money to fund his endless DVD habit. He also needs spending money for his forthcoming trips to France and Holland. But he doesn’t have any, what with spending it all on DVDs.

So I’m paying him to do the hoovering. And he’s being very good about it. He gets on with it without complaining and does a passable job. He’s learning some important skills as he hoovers – about looking after himself and a house, about taking responsibility and pulling his weight and about the value of money (and that it doesn’t grow on trees).

While he’s getting these valuable lessons, and some cash, the rest of us have a clean house to live in and I’m not risking lots of money on a cleaner. It really is a win-win.

As an added bonus, simply doing the hoovering seems to be energising him. By being more helpful, he seems to want to be even more helpful. One day recently he helped at the Scouts jumble sale, did the hoovering, did the grass cutting (another paid gig Daddy Dad has offered him) and even found time to go for a run.

I’m really pleased to see my son doing his bit for the family and his maturity in doing it without complaining (he didn’t learn that from me!).

Hoovering, Cleaning, Son

Mum of Three World

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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35 Comments

  1. I am the same! You’d think working from home would mean more time to clean, but no! In fact Im worse now than ever! Ha ha! It’s nice to be able to put washing on and outside but I can’t really spend hours doing housework! Glad you’ve got a helper! In fact, how much does he charge and will he do mine??! Jess x

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    • Ha ha, he’s pretty reasonable! It’s a real balancing act to get it all done, that’s for sure! x

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  2. I think I need to get my eldest involved in the cleaning! When I worked full time I had a cleaner and I loved her 🙂 It made such a difference to our week. Now, I really can’t justify one, but with the 3yo to run around after, I never manage to keep on top of it all myself… Definitely time to try getting some help! Well done to your son for stepping up, it’s great to see them take responsibility for something x

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    • I would still love a cleaner! One day… It’s really hard to keep up with cleaning. I’m so pleased with my son. x

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  3. Wow I am impressed! My lot would be complaining, money or not. That is a great way of getting kids to help though and I am a big believer in getting them to do jobs; their future wives and husbands will thank you for it I have no doubt.

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    • Absolutely! I think it’s really important for them to see what goes into running a house. I’ve been really impressed at how he’s done it without complaining.

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  4. I am pleased that you have finally got some help around the house, even if it does mean paying! It sounds like it has been good for him to have the responsibility.

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    • Thanks very much! I’m very impressed with the way he’s taken it on. I’m happy to pay for it. If I’m prepared to pay for a cleaner, I don’t mind paying my son at all!

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  5. You’ll know exactly how thrilled I am to hear this! I think there’s so many valuable lessons for him to learn here – that money doesn’t come without work for one 🙂 Well done you (and him of course). x

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    • Thanks very much! There’s still more I need help with, but this is a good place to start! I hadn’t realised how many benefits there were to him (not to mention me!), until he started doing it. Hopefully it will help him out in the future to learn about money, responsibility and housework now. x

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  6. All my kids help out with housework. I’m basically bribing them with goodies/money but both parties are happy with the arrangement so it’s all good 😉

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    • It’s a very good idea! I wish I’d done it sooner! Thanks very much for commenting.

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  7. How fab, I agree with Suzanne, lots of lessons for him to learn with this, and you get help with housework…win – win!

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    • Thanks very much, it definitely is a win-win! I should have done it a lot sooner, really.

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  8. Well done to your son for helping out with the chores – it’s such a good life lesson. For the record, I absolutely loathe cleaning here as well!

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    • Glad it’s not just me that hates it! I’m really impressed with the way he’s taken it on 🙂

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  9. Bravo to you! What a great idea and one that I think I will have to try out as soon as my son is a bit older. I’m not sure I trust him to do too much yet but at 9 years old I think there’s ‘something’ he could be doing for his pocket money. I can see how it encourages him to do more because when you get praise for doing a good job hovering, I guess it makes you want to do more helpful things to get more praise….genius! xx

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    • Thanks very much! I’m surprised at how easy it’s been to get him to do it. We should probably have done it years ago! I also have a 9 year old daughter, who helps out with a lot of things without being asked just because she enjoys it, but my 11 year old son doesn’t!

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  10. We try to do this with our eldest. He has to empty the dishwasher daily, clear the table after dinner and hoover the stairs and landing once a week. Unfortunately he doesn’t do so willingly and has to be reminded if he wants his money he needs to do his chores!

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    • I guess doing jobs every day must feel like more of a hassle for him. My son knows he has to do the hoovering on Friday or Saturday and he has to fit it round whatever else we’re doing, so has to organise his time.

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    • Thanks very much, that’s just what I thought! It’s worked out remarkably well!

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    • Thanks very much, it’s working well so far! 🙂

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  11. I remember when you left your job – what a long way you’ve come since! So glad to hear it’s been a successful move. Great idea getting your son to help out with the hoovering. Have a lovely weekend!

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    • Thanks very much! It’s been such a good move to give up working in an office. Have a good weekend too!

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  12. We attempted to put in place a rule for the kids where they only got their pocket money if their rooms were tidy. We’ve been a bit rubbish at policing this though so they get their picket money and still have very messy rooms!

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    • I’ve done the same here! My younger son’s room is a real tip and I’m still giving him his pocket money 🙁

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  13. That’s such a great idea, and well done to your son. I think it’s so important for children to learn the value in this kind of thing. Sounds a great solution. x

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    • Thanks very much. It seems to be working well so far 🙂 x

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  14. Win win! It’s good for kids to get to know about the value of money and that it doesn’t grow on trees… unfortunately.. LOL!

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    • It certainly is! Thanks very much 🙂

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  15. Love it, i used to get the eldest to babysit and paid him the same rate he got from baby sitting the neighbours children, however now it is claimed i made him look after his brother ALL the time

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  16. What a bloody brilliant solution! And hats off to your young man for doing that, I think giving them jobs like that teaches them about work ethic and the value of money….. and it means you don’t have to hoover – WIN!!!!! x

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  17. I gave up on housework a long time ago, can you send him over here ;0). What a great plan when housework really is at the bottom of the list when trying to juggle everything else. I’m glad by helping out your son is learning some valuable life lessons along the way.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)
    x

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