Errrrrrybody Wants To Get Paid…

They complain there are no jobs out there. Then they are finally given jobs and they perform slovenly on the job, but still expect to get paid. They bitch, moan and complain about the working conditions and the boss. They continue to do pretty much nothing, but still expect to get everything. Then they decide they aren’t getting paid enough to do nothing, because someone else is getting paid more – even if that person does more work and comes to work more often.

Errrrrrybody wants to get paid….

It’s exhausting… and although it sounds like it came directly off Fox News, it didn’t. It’s chores and allowance in the DeLoach home.

I have been attempting to institute a chores and allowance policy in my home for some time now. Unfortunately it had not come to fruition before the merging of the homes. So now it’s double the trouble as everyone tries to find their place in our new normal.

And finding a place in the new normal is even harder than you would imagine… for instance, sitting down for dinner last week we heard, “But that’s where I ALWAYS sit…” Fighting ensued and we had to assign seats at the dinner table. In the car on the way to the lake the other day we had an issue with the mi-fi. Everyone wanted to use the wi-fi, but Joe’s mi-fi only allows for five devices to connect at once. Between us all we have two ipads, two ipad minis, and four iphones… so someone will always be left out. How do we decide who gets to connect?

Trying to find their place in our new normal…

Chores are a whole other issue… with six people in the house now there is more mess, but there are also more people to actually do things to keep the mess from accumulating. But how do you teach old dogs new tricks????

After doing everything in the house on my own for the past nine years, I realize now the disservice I did for myself by not getting my children to do more things on their own. I have always encouraged independence and they have been able to fix their own breakfast or pack their own lunch for years, but I have never made them do even the simplest of housekeeping. Maybe that was my way of trying not to rock the boat since they have already been through so much… who knows? But for some reason I have never insisted on putting their clothes in the hamper or putting their glasses in the dishwasher. I was the phantom cleaner who would sneak into their rooms in the dark of night and pick clothes off the floor and take glasses to the sink. As a result, I have never given any type of allowance, but they are getting older now — they want MONEY.

It’s more of a challenge than you would think to assign out specific tasks when you have different family members who are in different homes part of the time… Do my children get more since they are here more days of the week? What expectations are family-wide and what expectations are specific to each child? It is starting to look like my son will be in charge of the trash cans and recycle bins – getting them to the street and back on Tuesdays since Joe’s son is not with us on Tuesdays. Joe’s son will be in charge of getting the trash and recycling TO the cans outside when he is home. My daughter is responsible for getting the mail and feeding the cat food and water. Joe’s daughter is responsible for getting the newspaper and feeding the cat milk. They are all expected to sort their dirty clothes, make their beds and keep their junk out of the common areas of the house.

I cannot begin to express just how wonderful it feels to have help around the house. Overall life in general feels so much better when things in the house are put in their proper place. That’s something I am not accustomed to because when I was the only one doing anything, nothing really ever found its place. Not because I was lazy, but because one person doing everything in a house this big means that not much was getting done.

If you are newly separated or divorced, I encourage you right now to teach your children basic housekeeping skills – no matter what their ages. I have been doing everything alone for so long that I didn’t know what it felt like to actually have help. And it feels GOOD. It’s amazing how cleaning doesn’t seem like quite the tedious chore when you have someone helping you.

So give them jobs. And set up expectations of how those jobs will be done. Reduce wages for jobs that are not done well or if too much supervision is needed for the job to be done. No entitlements and guarantees… no bailouts. We aren’t going to encourage a culture of dependency. We are creating the opportunity and we will reward hard work and saving.

Ok, so now I sound like Fox News again…


One thought on “Errrrrrybody Wants To Get Paid…

  1. dr. kevin leman has some helpful advice on chores/children/expectations and how to handle it when they don’t do it (in lieu of nagging)… for instance, ask another child to do it and subtract money from the original child’s allowance and pay the second child, etc…

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