I was brought up by a mum who did everything for me. I tidied my own room and laid the table and cleared it, but that’s about it. My brother did less than I did.
And so I do everything for my children. It may be my downfall, but if I’m honest with myself, although I moan, I actually wouldn’t really be happy if I wasn’t making the kids’ breakfasts and clearing up after them. It may also be the reason why I’m actually a bit crap round the house. I find cleaning and tidying difficult and the end results never seem to be as good as other people’s.
My husband was brought up to do a lot for himself. He even did his own washing as a teenager. He got himself to university and back every holiday under his own steam. So not only is he better at cleaning and tidying (although not washing) than me, he is also a firm believer in kids doing things for themselves.
As my weekends are almost entirely dictated by my sons’ sporting activities, I get up quite early to go for a run before they set off. As I don’t actually want to get up in the middle of the night, I time my return home to be fairly close to their departure time.
I get back to find boys in kit, probably without socks, slumped in front of the television. Despite instructing my husband to sort out boots, drinks, snacks, suncream, gum shields, money and shin pads before I go, none of this is evident.
Husband emerges from the shower the second they need to go and starts barking instructions at the boys. Then gets very stressed out at the lack of boots, drinks, snacks, suncream, gum shields, money and shin pads. I point out that I’d asked him to get those things ready while I was out running. But apparently he shouldn’t have to do that. It’s the boys’ job. They should get their own stuff out.
I didn’t get my own stuff out at 7 or 10. I doubt my brother got his own stuff out at 17. As the sport is very much a Daddy thing, I think Daddy should get this stuff ready. But there’s no prizes for guessing who does.