Cinderella, Cinderella

posted by Momo Fali on July 12, 2013

It has come to the time of year when it’s not abnormal for me to work 17 hour days; forcing my children to occasionally heat up my coffee, rub my neck as I sit at my desk to keep me awake, then walk on my back when I eventually collapse to the floor. Right now my meals mostly consist of licorice and Oreos and I’ve been wearing the same pants for three days. Enough said.

This is my busy season which means my husband and my mom take over childcare, the dog doesn’t get petted, and when my 14 year old daughter is asked…GASP…to do chores.

Of course, she doesn’t want to do chores, she wants to text, read, go to the pool, go to the movies, have sleepovers, go for bike rides, and sleep in.

And, I let her.

Why? Because this is likely the last summer she’ll have, for the rest of her life, without a job. She still earns money from babysitting and pays her own way on all of the above mentioned excursions, so she’s not getting a completely free ride. Occasionally she does the dishes and cleans the bathrooms, though the cleaning of the toilet by a 14 year old isn’t done nearly as well as it is by a 42 year old. There is an “ew” factor she can’t seem to overcome.

Even though I threatened her with laundry-folding, dinner-cooking, and endless vacuuming during my conference season, I’m really a total sucker for letting a kid be a kid. What do you think? Am I letting her off too easy while the mess piles up around us?

I can’t help but think the clock will soon strike midnight…and I want her to have just one last dance.


  • Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]

    I’m with ya.

  • Suebob

    I can see your perspective, though mine is a little different. I was my mom’s baby and she never wanted me to grow up, so learning basic adult tasks took me forever, way too long. I actually wish she had been a lot tougher on me.

  • Caroline

    Totally agree. And, really, she’s a total overachiever and a good kid. Plenty of time to crack the whip later, mama. Hang in there…you’ll get through this season. xo

  • Colleen

    No I agree with you…at 14 I think she should still get to act like a kid and have one more (mostly) free summer!

  • Arnebya

    My 9 and 12 year olds are just starting to have more responsibility on a regular basis in the house (clothes folding, dishes). But I try to temper it with letting them be. Neither is in camp this summer so I admittedly do expect the house to be in a certain order when I get home from work BECAUSE SLOBS! So yeah, you’re already teaching her money earning/spending cause and effect and next year she may be full-on employed, so…it’s fine. Because seriously, do they just not still smell the pee emanating from some unseen place on the side of the toilet by the floor when they clean?

  • tara

    Let her enjoy her summer. Being a grownup sucks. Nobody wants to do it sooner. Plus, it sounds like she has enough chores to keep her balanced and she is a good kid, so….let her off the hook 🙂

  • AlisonH

    There’s an ebb and flow in life and it’s okay to be flexible.

  • Robbie

    I strongly believe in letting kids be kids but am trying to balance that with some occasional responsibilities.

  • CyndyNewsome

    I kind of spoil my kids in the same way. They’ll have plenty of years to scrub toilets.

  • meleah rebeccah

    I think you’re 100% right, letting her enjoy this summer! She has the rest of her life to scrub toilets!

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