Friday, October 26, 2012


If dispatches from the 8th grade trenches are to be believed, when it came time for everyone to go around the room and answer–en Espanol!–what chores they did around the house, my 13-year-old son was the most overworked in his peer group.

He loads the dishwasher. He takes out the garbage. He sweeps the kitchen floor. He sorts and folds the laundry after it’s been washed. He takes his younger brother to school in the mornings and he babysits both his siblings in the evenings when we go out. He also, on those rare weekend mornings when my husband and I try to sleep late (i.e. until 9!) has been pressed upon to produce a toaster waffle or a bowl of cereal for the younger two.  But the fact is, my son doesn’t earn a red cent for doing any of those things.

No one who lives in our apartment is paid for contributing to the maintenance of our household. I don’t get paid for cooking or changing the sheets or putting away clothes or keeping track of the bills, my husband doesn’t get paid for doing the laundry or carrying groceries home or fixing light bulbs or snaking the bathtub drain, and my youngest two don’t get paid for dusting (though thank God for All of a Kind Family and their button game!). So why should my eldest be paid for hefting his share of the load?

It gets worse. Not only are my children not paid for work they do inside our home, they don’t receive an allowance, either. I.e. not only do my three kids not get money for something, they don’t even get money for nothing!

Read my entire piece at: