14 May 2016


So today I realized that I was quite annoyed at my family.

When The Reluctant Farmer is home he is - justifiably - on his time off. He works away for two weeks at a stretch, and when he is home he does a lot to help out. But his two kids are also here, and the work load far more than doubles. The kids just hang out with their dad and play… Which is a good thing (and something I feel jealous about because I didn’t get to do that when my kid was small for assorted reasons, most of them out of my control).


At 12 and almost 14 they are way big enough to be doing more.


I’m not policing chores and asking for help every day and paying attention to who did what and so on… I’ll still be the guy tracking all of what needs doing and that’s exhausting.


I clearly need more help and the Small People need the experience of contributing to the household as well.


When things aren't working you need to look at process and infrastructure - something needs adjustment.

I made a list of chores I am willing to hand off. I rated them with points, more points for bigger jobs. I told my husband that he gets to set the target each kid needs to meet, and I made magnets for each job with the chore title and points (on puzzle pieces my friend had given me - perfect!).

You do a job, you put the magnet in your square.


You can volunteer for any job that has a magnet available - I made enough to spread out the jobs and vary the amount of effort required. Since the kids are here two weeks at a time (with a couple of days back at mom’s in the middle during the school year) the target will be set for the two week stretch. Being an idiot can result in an increase. Doing extra will probably be worth something but haven’t worked out the details yet.

I’m hopeful.

I figured that rather than fuming silently it was better to just attempt a solution - I knew my husband agreed in principle that the kids needed to be doing more, but we hadn’t had any real process that worked.

Maybe this will.

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