I have a confession to make.
Part 1: I cleaned the bathroom today (big whoop)
Part 2: It was the first time I’d ever, ever cleaned a house-bathroom on my own.
Sure, I’ve cleaned bathrooms before, at work and such. Though not very well, since no one ever showed me how to do it.
Since my mom worked (she has a lot of reasons, I think it boils down to the fact that she never trusted that my dad wouldn’t leave and that she wanted more money than he could provide) full time, they fought about who would manage the housework. How it was divided. In the end they decided to hire someone.
Now, first of all the company that they hired did a real crappy job of cleaning.
Secondly, I was about 11 or 12 when this occurred and I only dusted and cleaned the windows. I would have been willing to learn more, but was never taught.
So the result was an unclean house and an adult moving out for the first time who couldn’t really cook; didn’t really know how to wash dishes (or even load a dishwasher); didn’t know how to vacuum, sweep, or mop; clean the kitchen, or bathroom; and who didn’t know anything about regular maintenance (like cleaning the oven, or washing doors).
Or, to sum it up, you had an 18 year old living with roommates who knew how to dust and clean windows/mirrors.
All in all, I felt pretty worthless when that picture became clear.
I just can’t understand, now, how not making me do housework has benefited me in any clear way. I’m rather ignorant when it comes to housekeeping, I felt like an idiot when I ‘fessed up to my roommate that I didn’t know how to clean X and had him show me, and I have issues with laziness and discipline becaues I didn’t have a chance to develop either when I had someone to help keep me on track (“nag”).
And, I wonder, how many children are being allowed to “roam free”? How many parents are frowned upon and critizised for making their “babies” do a little work around the house? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Abuse is one thing, but letting the kids slack (or worse, taking all their time up with activities… that’s another post though) is too far in the other direction. Is there a happy medium? Can children be taught basic housework without it being “child labour”? or some such nonsense. Surely.