Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Built In Worker Bees

I know a few blog posts ago, I discussed hiring a maid. And who would blame me? I've got eight classes lined up for fall (two already begun, six to go), and I am soon to be swamped in papers. 

But how much would a maid cost? $50 a week? Depends on what I want the maid to do... clean the bathrooms, sweep and wash floors, do laundry (that's what the hubby suggested, probably because he feels guilty for never doing it himself--then again, the idea of someone else washing my panties, well... that's just not a very comfortable thought for me)? No matter what I want her to do, that's a lot of time. We're probably talking more than $50 a week. So, for a little over $200 a month, I'll have clean floors, clean bathrooms, and clean clothes. 

I, cheapy person extraordinaire, have thought of a way to save. No, that's unfair. My best friend up here in Seattle showed me the way with her own system. Inspired, today I made a list of chores, from sweeping the floor to vacuuming rugs, and put prices to them. Okay, most of the tasks, from unloading the dishwasher to cleaning up the living room, were 25 cents a piece, but I did up the reward for cleaning all three bathrooms (to $1). 

I read the list to my kids. And what happened? My son went straight for the dishwasher, and while he couldn't reach all the cupboards, he still saved me about five minutes. And my beloved daughter cleaned all three bathrooms (yes, I had to show her how, but that's the cleanest those toilets have been in months--and I'm pretty anal about it). 

Will the steam under them continue? It might, especially when they get their pay at the end of the month. And in the meantime, they're learning responsibility, they are learning how important they are to the running of the household, and they are learning to serve. 

And I'm learning to let things go a little, to be done by smaller hands than mine. 

I still don't think I'll let them handle the panties, though. At least not for a while.


  1. nice, teach them youg it will benifit them more than most things in life...

    my kids do 80% of the cleaning.

  2. I've always heard that the initial excitement wears off, especially after they realize how hard it is. I can remember wanting to help my brothers deliver newspapers and getting up early to do just that. There was money to be had in that venture. I quietly snuck out of bed and watched my brothers at work my first and only morning. After seeing how much work it was I remember sneaking back to bed b/f anyone noticed. I knew if I helped that first morning I would be instantly recruited and I didn't want that. Not after I saw how hard it was.

    I think you are running a bit low on the price, however. That gives you room to sweeten the pot when they start to get tired of it. I know that I never got paid and some monitary reward would have been nice. Heck, I had a hard time getting a Please and Thank you. That is why I work at helping my 2 year old increase his use. I hope it sticks.

  3. Heather, I think you are right... but that's one reason I started so low. Honestly, though, the kids were far more excited about it than I expected. After getting NO allowance ever, they seem ecstatic about getting anything. The hardest part will be waiting until the month is over. I'm hoping a monthly payment will at least make the beginning of next month great, though, so various parts of my house stay clean.

    My kids have already done amazingly well since January working with a particular system: if they earn a start on five of seven days during the week, they are treated to Taco Del Mar on Mondays... and We've missed perhaps four weeks of TDM since I started that system. Perhaps they have more staying power than I would have expected.

    Anyway, I'll be sure to post a follow-up to let all of you know how it's going. Today's only day 4, and school hasn't started yet, so we'll have to see.