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July 20, 2014

Sharing Memories Week 29: Chores- What Kid Loves 'Em?

Sharing Memories Week 29: Chores- What Kid Loves 'Em?
"Housework" by AKARAKINGDOMS
Join us for Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey We focus on memories of our parents, grandparents and others. We write for our children and grandchildren, that the memories are not lost over time. I hope you are keeping a journal, whether it is private or public, and joining us as we write our memoirs.

The prompt for this week (Week 29) is Chores- What Kid Loves 'Em? 

Did your parents make you do chores as a kid? What jobs were yours? Did you get an allowance for doing jobs around the house? Did your Mom and Dad run the house in a traditional fashion with boys doing "boys' chores" and girls doing "girls' chores"? Mine did.

I had an older sister and two older brothers. We did chores based on traditional gender roles - my brothers took out garbage and mowed the lawn, while my sister and I set the table, did dishes, and so on. My sister had to do a lot more than I did - she was responsible from the age of 10 for looking after me in the mornings (I'm 5 years younger) and getting me ready for school. She also had to make sure my brothers and I got breakfast during the week. Mom made a huge pot of oatmeal on the weekend and it got reheated every morning on school days.

My sister also had to iron my dad's white work shirts, start supper before my parents got home from work, and help Mom with other jobs. Both my parents worked during an era when most moms were at home taking care of the kids and the household. 

We didn't get any money for these jobs, it was just expected of us. I don't remember having to do much more than set the table for supper, clear the table and dry dishes while my sister washed them. We fought constantly (but quietly) while doing chores together. 

When I was a bit older I helped with the laundry, mainly because I loved putting the wet clothes through the wringer! But I don't remember being told I had to do it. I don't think the work division was equitable in our home. It seems to me my sister was expected to take over the traditional housewife role as much as possible.

Mom wasn't big on housework and she did as little as possible, and didn't make us clean our rooms or make our beds. It wasn't like she did it for us, it just didn't get done. She didn't care if our rooms were messy and our beds unmade. It was great as a kid but as an adult both my sister and I quickly learned that we didn't really know how to clean a house! Sure we knew how to dust and run a quick vacuum but that was it. We had never learned the finer points of household cleanliness. But don't worry - if you come to visit me, I know now how to do a thorough cleaning! 

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