Chore Charts Are Bullshit

by Jill Veldhouse
Originally Published: 

The chore charts are back. I swore up and down that I would never expose myself to such ridiculousness again in my entire life, yet here I sit, staring at those energy sucking bastards on the fridge as they pompously stare back at me.

“Don’t misinterpret the situation, jackasses. We will never be friends.”

I put the kibosh to chore charts a couple of years ago. What was supposed to be a simple lesson in responsibility for my children turned into a vexing lesson in restraint for me. I needed a chore chart for myself to get through the whole nauseating process.

  • Don’t angrily scream at your children as you yet again define the expectations of the chore chart for the umpteenth time (every single night).
  • Don’t draw blood as you bite through your tongue trying not to angrily scream at your children while defining the expectations of the chore chart for the umpteenth time (every single night).
  • Don’t down a bottle of wine while biting through your tongue in the midst of angrily defining the expectations of the chore chart to your children for the umpteenth time (every single night).
  • Don’t collapse on the floor in complete defeat, thereby allowing your children to step on and then over you to put a sticker on their chore chart next to “the thing” that they did not even “sort of” do.

Epic whining, desperate begging, empty promises, and a countless pile of IOU’s in place of even 80% completion of any of the predetermined tasks on the list.

And don’t get me started on those fucking stickers.

Who put a sticker next to, “Don’t independently put stickers on your chore chart without your mother’s approval? Take it off. Now.”

It doesn’t come off. No amount of scratching, wiping, teasing, and/or scraping will allow you to rid that exact space of the evidence that there once in fact was a sticker there. Don’t kid yourself, what might look like a vacant space to the naked eye is without fail always misinterpreted as a clear victory in the eyes of my children.

“Yep, that’s where my sticker was. I sort of got a sticker there, see? I am awesome.”

Obviously my hesitation to go down that road again is well supported by historical facts.

Regardless, everyone deserves a twentieth chance, and my kids were genuinely very excited about getting such an opportunity.

One, because she just really wants to prove that she is responsible and sincerely wants to“help out.” Both of which she already is/does.

The other one, because she just really likes stickers.

You know how the saying goes. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, not gonna happen.”

Game changer kids. No stickers! Acknowledgement of the accomplishment of individual tasks will be well supervised and marked with a smiley face drawn with a very soft touch using a number two erasable lead pencil.

Obviously, I did it for the responsible one. She deserves it and shouldn’t be punished for her sibling’s total disregard for the whole process.

Her chart is full, every day. And she gets bonus smiley faces for extra shit that she does on her own volition.

The other one?

The other one eagerly sat next to me as we listed her expectations.

Pick your toys up without whining. With a smile, “Yep Mom.”

Do your homework without whining. “Okay Mom.”

Eat your dinner in less than 90 minutes without whining and/or sitting on your green beans.“Fine.”

Brush your teeth for more than .5 seconds without whining and/or angrily questioning the dental god’s reasoning for ruining your life. “Whatever.”

Be nice to your brother. “OMG Mom! That’s too hard! This is so not fair! I don’t even like him!”

It’s been a month.

Her chore chart is B L A N K.

Furthermore, I have removed it from the fridge and placed it at the bottom of a pile of more useless shit that sits in the corner of my kitchen collecting dust and eagerly awaiting recycling day.

“Do I get a smiley face for recycling Mommy? Saving the planet is good, right?”

Insert frowny face in permanent marker here.

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