Cultivate Theme

When I was little, I went to Girl Scout camp over the summers. The week-long camps were at a really nice facility with a huge mess hall filled with square tables that sat 5-6 girls. After every meal, the entire table would pick Popsicle sticks with chores written on them: Wash dishes; dry dishes; wipe down table; sweep floor; table runner (who got the washing bins for the table and put everything away afterward).

We would pick our sticks, do our chores, and the mess hall would be cleaned within about 15 minutes.

I never thought about how brilliant that set up was until I reached adulthood: The chores were randomly picked, everyone did their fair share and everyone knew what the responsibilities were.

I know I have a family of three, so the chore-by-Popsicle-stick method may not work for us, but what about larger families? After all, the biggest disagreement in household chores these days does seem to revolve around doing the dishes.

I admit that I don't like doing the dishes, but they are not my least favorite chore. I also think that if you keep up with them throughout the day (rinsing them and loading them in the dishwasher), they are more manageable. My husband, who once worked as a dishwasher and read the instruction manual for our dishwasher more thoroughly than I did, is more particular about the dishes in our household. So, if anything, he probably wishes I did the dishes better than I do now.

I am thankful that my husband and I do not argue over the dishes.

I believe in dividing labor in the household according to ability as well as whomever has the strongest feelings about it. In other words, if one member of the household is more particular about the way a chore is done - be it the dishes or the dusting or the bathrooms - then that is the person who should do that chore. Otherwise, you'll have a hard time living up to your partner's standards. Hopefully that is modeling good behavior for our son, who has to learn how to do all these chores so he can be a successful adult.

What's your least favorite chore? Tell me in the comments.

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