Household Chores Equality

I grew up with a mother that always had a clean and orderly home. She was the typical housewife, at least the typical Latin American housewife, with a clean house, the manicured yard, always dressed nice, hair done and impeccable kids. Now that I’m a mom and wife I can’t really say I turned out to be exactly like my mom.

Today I cooked a healthy dinner because I’m trying to be healthier. I made a soup from scratch, which is not very common at my house. I actually boiled vegetables and took my time blending it all into a delicious vegetable bisque. To my surprise the kids loved it too. 261E4C1400000578-2968449-image-m-38_1424959351928

I can’t say I am like my mom when it comes to cooking, but one thing that really stuck with me was having a clean and orderly home. Now that I stay home and work from home I can’t function if my house is a complete mess. When I worked in an office, I would come home and clean too because I just can’t go to sleep with a messy house. Perhaps it’s a bit crazy for some, specially when you have young kids. But there is one part of my house that needs to be clean no matter what, and that is the kitchen.

The kitchen is like the center of my home. We spend most of our time in the kitchen. There is the breakfast before starting our day, then the snacks through the day, the occasional coffee break, lunch and dinner. By the end of the day my kitchen sometimes looks like a bomb exploded. This room can switch my mood from “moody” to “raging mad dog mad”.

Imagine yourself cooking a complete meal – soup, salad, entree, sides and dessert. You are all excited and tasting all the deliciousness while you cook it. Everyone enjoys dinner and now you are left with all the dirty dishes, dirty pots, a stove that needs to be wiped down and leftovers that need to be put away. I would say that most likely you don’t want to move a finger. That’s exactly how I feel after dinner. If I have cooked it I think it is only fair that my husband cleans the kitchen and the kids help pick up the table. But sometimes it doesn’t quite happen that way. I end up spending some time taking deep breaths and cleaning the kitchen. Afterall, I’m the one that can’t go to sleep with a dirty kitchen right?

Well, to all the mom’s out there that are left with all the household chores I ask you to take a moment and make a change. My goal as a mother is to show my kids that we are all equal and we all help around the house. When I grew up I was taught that only girls cook and girls clean the house. Boys were in charge of outdoor chores like cutting the grass and taking out the trash.  I told myself that when I had kids I was going to make sure everything was equal and that no matter if I had daughters or sons, they would both help out on everything around the house.

In today’s society there are still stereotypes, specially for stay at home moms. People believe that if you are a stay at home mom you should have all the time in the world to take care of cooking, cleaning and the kids. And if you are a working mom, you are expected to come home and cook dinner, take care of the kids and put the house in order. If we women continue the same patterns our daughters and sons will continue them too. It is up to us to change the stereotypes and to teach our children that a home is kept up by the whole family. We are a unit and we work together. You are doing your kids a disservice by doing everything for them. They need to learn to cook, keep their space clean and pick up after themselves. Keep in mind that they grow up and eventually will have their own homes. What they see at home now is what they will copy for themselves. So take a moment and think of what you want for your kids. Perhaps it’s not having a clean kitchen, but a peaceful home where everyone helps each other and feels at ease.