Monday, December 29, 2014

The Choring Curve

The thing about chores is, they are chores.

There is no system that will get around this. You can put purple stickers and happy unicorn balloons all over it and yet there is that nasty compost bucket still waiting to be taken out.

One does need a system, of course, but eventually the system grows old or wearisome. The choreishness comes uppermost. Then it's time for a new system.

It won't work forever. It won't get rid of the choreishness of chores. But it will help.

Chore systems work on the following curve:

Week 1: Enthusiasm for shiny new system. Considerable cooperation and only minor amounts of griping.
Week 2: Shine comes off. Griping begins.
Week 3-4: Agony. Chores are horrid and everyone wants to quit. Mother's will is still firm, though, hopefully, allowing things to proceed to:
Weeks 5-28: Routine. Chores get done, system works OK.
Weeks 28-end: Fraying. Chore system gets increasingly shrugged aside, fragmented, or just not followed. Mother gets distracted and cranky. Children are mysteriously nowhere to be found.

I used to have this feeling that if only one were truly virtuous and consistent, one would never need a shiny new system, one could just follow through on the same one, world without end, amen. But I think this was an error. Everything has seasons, ebb and flow, novelty within familiarity.

And now is the time of the new chore season. I relieved the kids of doing the hauling things outside chores (which they detest during winter, whereas I love the chance to go outside in any weather) and distributed more dish handling among them, which I could happily do less of. Today is the first day of shiny new system, and Duchess did a fabulous job on the breakfast dishes while I enjoyed my breakfast and Facebook.

The shine will come off. But it was nice today.

1 comment:

Heather VanTimmeren said...

In this, the 32nd week of our home school year (grades 2nd & 5th), I believe the curve applies equally well to shiny new curriculum. As much as I want to instill a love of learning in my children, we're in the "let's just get this done so we can go to the pool when it opens in a month" stage of things. Oh, well.