She Can Do It all

She Can Do It All

This job list is from when I was about 11 years old.

Saturday mornings were for cleaning when I was a child. Mom worked in the morning and then went grocery shopping. Michelle and I were left at home to get our chores done.

I remember that my responsibilities not only included making my bed and cleaning my room, scrubbing sinks, and toilets, and vacuuming the house but also motivating my sister to get her jobs done as well.

THAT was the challenge!

Of course, if I had done my work and ignored my little sister, I could have completed my required responsibilities in about 2 hours. But NO….it was much more important to me that my sibling pull her weight.

What ensued was lots of yelling and arguing. I know that one of us (me probably) would call mom at work to tattle and complain about the other being lazy or bossy. I’m sure that mom LOVED this Saturday’s telephone ritual.

Then, after her morning of work and playing telephone referee with her children, my mom would spend hours grocery shopping (and other errands, like antiquing) often coming home between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. 

Now, I’m not sure why exactly it took her hours to shop at the Piggly Wiggly, but it did postpone the inevitable quarrel at home and it gave Michelle and me the ability actually to complete our chores. After we spent the morning mostly arguing, and bugging one another, the knowledge that time was ticking away and mom was now done with work and could be home at any time motivated us to get our stuff done.

Yeah…and what you may ask what were my little sister’s jobs that I got my undies all in a bundle over?

She needed to make her bedroom neat and dust the family room and living room. DUST!

Dusting. That was Michelle’s significant contribution to the housekeeping. I’ve included an image of one of mom’s lists for me of my responsibilities. What is crazy is that even this list is incomplete. There were more expectations that my dad had for me.

I was the one in the family who mowed the lawn weekly and washed the car when asked. I know that Michelle was too young to mow, but I don’t remember her ever helping me wash the car…

Now, when Saturday morning rolls around, I still view it as the time to clean and tidy up the house. Now there is no fighting or phone calls. Usually, I straighten my bedroom, get Craig’s and my laundry going, and vacuum the house (I actually enjoy vacuuming). My kids are responsible for the state of their own rooms and for other chores that they choose. The house rarely is dusted…no one likes to do it. Bathrooms are done to the standard of the person performing the task–not me.

My home is rarely “House Beautiful” but I’ve given up the stress of being the main motivator and cheerleader. 

I’m a lot less bossy. I yell less.

You know, what makes everyone a lot happier, is when I realize that I really CAN’T do it all. Our house isn’t the neatest…or the cleanest…

And. that’s. okay.


Who is Lisa


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