The 6 Most Hated Housecleaning Tasks (According to My Teen)


There is nothing like staggering to the bathroom in the middle of the night, barely awake, legs wobbly, and discovering that the last person to use it — which, in this case, would be my precious Girl Child — failed to replenish the toilet paper. Again.

The only thing that can jolt me out of my sleepy stupor in the wee hours of the morning is annoyance. Lucky for me, I’ve learned to keep a secret stash tucked away so that I can teach her a lesson by leaving that paperless brown cardboard roll dangling right where it is for the next time she makes a dash for the ladies’ room.

 When asked why she can’t seem do these basic tasks around the house, she admits that she’s not as enthusiastic about committing them to memory as she is some other things. You know, like fun stuff. Duh Mommy.


The sad part is, this child begs and begs for a dog. A dog? Seriously? I have a ton of things to do around the house already and trust and believe, I am none too eager to add sopping up doggie puddles to it. I already spend three quarters of my time cleaning up after its would-be owner.

In an effort to woo me into empathizing with her lackluster, half-hearted housecleaning attempts, Girl Child has created this list of most hated around-the-home tasks. Her mission is to convince me that, if she didn’t have to do these things, she’d have time to care for a dog. I humor her, not letting on that she has about as much chance of getting a pet as I have of dunking in an NBA playoff game. Here’s her list of grievances, nonetheless:

6. Carrying groceries into the house
Her: They’re heavy, you buy too much at one time, the handles hurt my hands when I carry the stuff upstairs, and I don’t feel like going out to the car to get them, especially now that it’s cold.

Me: If you’ve eaten in the past week — scratch that, in the last 24 hours — you need to put that food energy to good use. But if you want to eat again in the next week or the next 24 hours, I’d highly recommend that you go get those bags.

5. Putting away laundry
Her: I have so much stuff, I can’t find places to put it all.

Me: That can be remedied one of two ways. Whatever’s left on the floor or some other random part of your room can be donated to someone who would be happy to find a place for it. And with Christmas coming up, we can make sure that you escape the burden of getting more pesky clothes and shoes and jackets that ultimately give you more work to do come laundry day.

4. Scrubbing the shower
Her: But I just cleaned it! How did it get dirty again already?

Me: Funny, I find myself saying the very same thing about every other part of the house. Still, somewhere along the line during those half-hour showers, you surely must’ve noticed funk making a reappearance. The rule is she who spends the most time in the shower is the one who should be charged with spending the most time cleaning it.

3. Cleaning the toilet
Her: It’s so gross. It’s… the toilet. Ewww. 

Me: I was counting down the days until I didn’t have to keep the joy of tidy bowl maintenance to myself. I’m so glad you’re 13 now. (I usually give her a little pat on the head for encouragement.)

2. Organizing her disaster of a bedroom
Her: It’s my room. Why can’t I keep it the way I want it? 

Me: If you want to rent that room out from me, that’s cool. I could use the extra money. But as long as you’re not paying a red hot cent towards one of the many bills it takes to maintain this address, you will manage to keep the section of the house you’re responsible for from looking like a minefield.

1. Doing the dishes
Her: Why are there so many dishes whenever it’s my turn to do them? 

Me: I purposely design each meal to be crafted with as many pots and pans as possible, just to make your teen life a little more pitiful and sad. It’s like hazing but without the danger.

Do you give your kids housework tasks that you hate doing yourself?

Image via Foxtongue/Flickr

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