When it comes to parenting, there is something I learned very early on after Oakley was born. There is no right or wrong and there is no handbook or manual. You have to do what is right for your family and your children. In my blog posts, I share things that I am proud of and mistakes I’ve made because I’m not perfect and I don’t think this would be enjoyable to read if I only shared the things I do well. I like to share what I’m passionate about and thoughts that are currently on my mind. Lately, it seems like Oakley has grown up right before my eyes. She learns something new every day and becomes more and more independent. It is amazing what they can do and what they understand at one year old. I’m constantly surprised by the things she does and I want to share what has been on my mind lately as we enter her toddler years. I think that what I want to share today is especially important if you live on a farm. As our farm grows and Oakley grows, there will become more and more tasks to complete and animals to take care of.
Oakley trying to open the dryer from the wrong side haha
I never really had set chores growing up. My mom just gave me different tasks to complete throughout the day. With that being said, I’m really not that big on the word “chores.” I think responsibilities is a better term. Chores sound like something you’re forced to do whereas responsibilities are things you understand you need to take care of for a good reason. There are some areas in my life that I like routine, but in most aspects of my life, I enjoy change. That’s why I think it’s good to switch things up. I’ve seen multiple cleaning charts where Monday is for dusting, Tuesday is for the bathrooms, Wednesday is for vacuuming, and so on. That type of schedule will not work with my personality type. In fact, I’m not even sure I would be able to stick to a schedule like that longer than a week. I think it would become monotonous to me, but if that works for you, all the power to you! This is why I don’t think I will expect Oakley to do the dishes every Monday or dust her room every Saturday morning. Although I do like to wash our sheets on Sundays. I hope that Oakley will wash her clothes, clean her room, do the dishes, etc when she sees that it needs to be done.
As Oakley gets older, I don’t think she will have set “chores,” but I do want to raise her to be responsible. I know that more often times than not I will most likely have to ask her to do something as she will probably be busy playing or making plans with her friends, but I want to raise her to have a strong work ethic. I think that begins now. One may sound young but her mind is a sponge. She wants to help me with everything I do and I love it. Sure, it may take me longer to cook dinner, do the dishes, or vacuum, but I like to think that I am teaching her to be responsible, so it won’t be like pulling teeth when I expect her to pull her weight around the house or take ownership of her belongings as she gets older.
Right now, she loves to help me do the laundry. When I ask her if she wants to help switch the laundry, she marches into the laundry room and leads the way. She has learned how to take the lint screen out and she loves to look inside the dryer and take the clothes out. While I am folding the clothes, she tries to take all of the clothes out of the laundry basket or throw the folded clothes on the ground. More often times than not, I end up folding the laundry twice but she thinks she’s helping so I’m okay with that. She also likes to help put her clothes away. If I tell her we need to feed the dogs, she walks over to the dog food container and watches me scoop their food. IIn fact, if she hears the dogs barking, she will walk over to their food container and call me to come feed them. Most of the time, I feel like she is supervising me lol. She likes to push around the vacuum and hold the dust pan. She may not fully understand the concept of not walking through my pile after I sweep or not unfolding already folded clothes, but she is learning and participating and I understand that this is the age responsibility begins to develop. Most of the time when we pick up her toys, she wants to dump them right back out again because she thinks it’s a game. My house might not be the cleanest it’s ever been, in fact, it’s far from that. It takes me a lot longer to get those things done with a toddler but Oakley doesn’t care to sit in front of a tv and I enjoy her company, even if it is counterproductive sometimes lol. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nights where I stay up and clean after she goes to bed or I clean during her naptime, but I include her in these “chores” while she’s awake to teach her to be responsible. If I only cleaned while she was asleep or acted like she was always in my way, I think that would teach her to despise doing simple tasks that need to get done. I think she wouldn’t want to learn how to clean or do yard work. Right now, these things are fun to her and I can tell she is proud of herself when she helps me. I usually tell her, “Thank you for helping!” and she smiles at me or claps. I love that Oakley is independent, willing, and determined. She wants to be in on the action, and I can’t wait to see how these qualities will play out later on in her life.