Did I cry when my son was born? Meh. Did I weep when he started packing his own lunch? YES.
By Kirk Pynchon
Babies are cute and all, but when it comes to chipping in around the house they kind of suck. Sure, smelling your newborn’s head is better than smelling fresh-baked cookies (something you never thought you’d say before kids), but that pales in comparison to actually having your kids help clean up after making said fresh-baked cookies.
To put it bluntly: When your children get older and are finally able to pull their weight around the house, you will start to love them more in ways you never imagined. And it’s a beautiful thing.
Did I cry when my son was born? Meh. Did I weep when he first figured out he could pack his own lunch so I no longer had to do it? YES — huge, alligator tears that lasted for most of the day that left me an emotional wreck.
But, hey, that’s just me. I’m an old softie. And while an Instagram pic of your brand new baby is pretty great … a photo of a your middle schooler’s clean bedroom is even better. #NoFilter needed.
Come on; if you’re a parent, you know the deal. You know that you are basically at your kids’ beck and call 24/7/365. It’s like babies are pampered movie stars and parents are the put-upon personal assistants. Actually, it’s worse. At least as an assistant you get some leftover swag every now and then. As a parent, all you get is the unwanted crusts of unfinished grilled cheese sandwiches and dirty underwear balled up under a mattress.
And as such, you probably understand that the moment you no longer have to do every single thing around the house is like a min-vacation. I mean, it’s no trip to Fiji, but if I had to choose between a child who can dry dishes and a vacation to a tropical island, I’m gonna go with the whole dishes scenario. (I think … wait a minute … okay, yep. I’m sticking with the dishes.)
Remember when you were a kid and you were convinced that your parents assigned you chores just out of pure sadistic pleasure? Well, you were right. Giving your kids chores to do is fun, but not for the reason your punk self originally thought.
The pleasure comes from actually getting some help. The pleasure comes from not being the only line of defense when it comes to everyday tasks. The pleasure comes from working as a team to accomplish those household responsibilities that no one wants to do.
Some people may see a kid making their bed as just an everyday chore, but do you know what I see? Freedom. Freedom from one less obligation that I am required to finish. And that freedom is honored, respected and, more importantly, cherished.
So what do I do with all that freedom? More chores, of course.
There are always more friggin’ chores.
This article originally appeared on Babble. For more from Babble, try:
Photo credit: Getty Images