Revisiting the Chore Chart

Last year I wrote about a new development in my family: the creation of a chore chart. I’d written an update a week later to report that it was all going smoothly, but I haven’t said anything about it since then.

The chore chart persisted in more or less the same form this entire time. It’s really hard to believe we’ve been using it for a year and a half now. 18 months of the chore chart. But over the last while, I’d noticed something else happening.

I’ve been feeling more and more stretched thin. When I first made this new chart, I’d felt it was important to have parents be included in the mix, mainly so the kids felt the whole process was on the up and up. Being fair is important to me. The whole reason for the chart coming into being was because Denisa’s work schedule was making things too hectic for her, so putting her on the chart didn’t make sense. I took one for the team.

But as I said, the last while my participation had gotten worse and worse. I’d come home from work and do my writing, and then I’d just be exhausted. I’d feel guilty that I wasn’t pulling my weight on the chore chart. My kids stepped up their game, but even then, it still didn’t feel good. I couldn’t forget I was slacking. It was there at the back of my head, all the time.

So I brought this up with the fam a few weeks ago, and we agreed it was time to make a change. The kids have more practice with chores now, and we know what they can and can’t do better. So I went back to the Excel sheet and removed myself from the mix. Now, MC has some set chores she does every week, and Tomas and DC alternate back and forth between responsibilities for other chores.

Already I can feel a difference. I hope it sticks. I’m very motivated by checking in boxes, but that can also be a problem, as I feel really guilty when those boxes don’t get checked. I realize this might sound silly to many, but it’s an aspect of myself that I’ve been able to use to get a lot more done each day than I otherwise might. It’s just that I’m discovering I need to be cautious how much I apply it. Otherwise it can be too easy for me to always feel like there’s tons of things I need to be doing. In that case, I’m unable to really ever relax unless the slate is totally clear.

That isn’t always realistic.

In any case, yay for a supportive family and kids willing to chip in to help everyone out.


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