I just went Mommie Dearest on my kids. Mr. Gaia doesn't think we can assign them chores until he and I (emphasis on the *I* part) are able to set a good example and do the chores we wish to assign regularly.
The fact that I am overwhelmed by a demanding job and the chores I do stay on top of apparently isn't good enough. The fact that he isn't doing much to help, isn't good enough. Until "we" maintain the house and "set a good example" "we" can't assign chores to the kids. Well fuck that.
The kids were gone for Father's Day. I decided to surprise him with a Father's Day tomorrow. I figured part of that would be a nice clean house. But it has become enough of a sty that I can't possibly do it myself. So I assigned the kids some easy tasks - help fold the laundry, put your own laundry away. They are almost 9 and 7 - more than old enough to do these tasks.
I walked into their bedroom and the closet floor is full of clothes. I get it. I did it myself too when my mom said "go clean your room". But I didn't tell them to "clean their room" I told them specifically to put their clothes away. So tantrum #1 of mine.
"We" finally managed to get all the laundry folded and put away, so I went into their room to give them specific instructions about what to clean. See, I learned from my mom - don't give a generic instruction. There were clean sheets on their chest of drawers. I hadn't gotten around to folding them. I specifically said "these are CLEAN" and then said "fold them". I came back by a couple of minutes later and they were on the floor. Again I said "THESE ARE CLEAN!!!!!! KEEP THEM OFF THE DIRTY FLOOR AND FOLD THEM". I did a few more taskes and came back and the sheets were again on the floor but this time they were laying/standing on them. Wallering on them on their dirty fucking floor. I completely lost it then. Tantrum #2. This time they were told that they WOULD start listening to me the first time, period. I told them if I told them something was clean and then came back and found it in the floor, they would be doing all the laundry, by themselves. They will start listening to me.
I don't have high standards for cleaning. Really I don't. But I'm tired of never being able to have someone over. But, I can't do it myself. I don't make the mess myself and damned if I can clean it myself. And "setting a good example" by cleaning up after myself ala FlyLady doesn't do shit in my house. They see me clean up after myself and I swear it becomes a good excuse for them to make an even bigger mess of their own.
No more. Mr. Gaia is going to get with the program and stand back as I assign them chores. I am not the fucking maid. He feels put upon because when the house is cleaned he does do the majority of it (he is 1000x better at cleaning than I am). Well big f'ing deal. If he would just stop telling me that I *can't* assign chores to these two able bodied boys, then we wouldn't have to have marathon cleaning sessions and he wouldn't have to do the majority of the cleaning then.