Kids & Chores

To assign chores or not to assign chores, that is the question.

In our house the answer is: assign chores.

Chores get a lot of mention on mommy blogs. Some families are pro-chores, some are anti; some parents like to pay their children for the tasks they complete, and others are just wanting their kids to contribute, no incentive needed.


(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

The Why

I want our children to take part in the care and maintenance of our home. I am not going to send them up the ladder to paint our trim or into the bathroom to fix a leaky toilet, but I do want them involved in the daily tasks that keep our home in good running order.

It’s nice to let “kids be kids”, but it’s important to teach and encourage them to take care of the home and contribute to its proper functioning.

The Chores

My children are 10, 7 and 3. My two oldest each have 3 chores that they need to complete every day (except Sundays). My 10 year old unloads the dishwasher each morning, sweeps under the table after dinner and vacuums one room in the evening. My 7 year old takes the recycling outside to our trash area, does one load of laundry and helps clean up the kitchen each evening. My 3 year old helps here and there. Her main task is to straighten the shoes by the door. (She is so funny and cute when completing this chore.)

Possible chores your child(ren) can complete:

  • taking out the trash
  • loading & unloading the dishwasher
  • setting the table
  • clearing the table
  • wiping down the counters
  • sweeping
  • vacuuming
  • folding laundry
  • feeding the pet
  • watering the plants
  • dusting the furniture

Payment with a Purpose

We do choose to pay our children each week for two reasons: motivation and the opportunity for money management. The amount of money given each week is not a lot, but they are excited to receive it. They are also learning to give, spend and save.

Our children do many more tasks around the house that are not assigned chores and not completed for pay. They clean up their rooms, put away laundry, help set the table and assist me with a wide variety of tasks when asked. We all (young and old) have a part to play in taking care of our home.

Extra ideas and Encouragement

Each evening when it’s time for the kids to complete their evening chores I play some fun music and join in the task of cleaning up the house for the next day. The kids love to throw in a couple dance moves while holding a broom or gathering the laundry.

Assigning chores and following through is not always easy. I am sometimes dealing with grumpy children; hence the music, it seems to boost moods. I don’t let unhappy kids or eye rolls keep me from asking the children to complete that which they have been asked to do. I know that completing these chores is building in them character that will last beyond these short years at home.

2 great books that inspired me and perhaps will do the same for you are:

Cleaning House: A Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma

Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruz

You should know that many of the chores you assign will not be completed to your standard. That’s okay. Encourage them as much as possible and offer “helpful hints” when appropriate. Work alongside your children when you can. Promote a team mentality and be positive. Grow together as a family as you work together to care for your home.

What about you? Do your children have chores? Share your triumphs and struggles in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,


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(This post contains an affiliate link, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through this link.)

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Which two designs do you love??

Until next time,



The Not So Busy Mom Plans Ahead

A few months ago I shared a post highlighting 4 traits of the not so busy mom. I knew that at some point I wanted to devote a single post to each trait, so I’ve been digging a little deeper into each trait as we look to live a full life without all the busy.

Just a reminder, the first 3 traits are:

Trait #1: The not so busy mom lets go of perfection.

Trait #2: The not so busy mom lets go of her need to impress others.

Trait #3: The not so busy mom considers her priorities.

Today we will be looking at trait #4.

Trait #4: The not so busy mom plans ahead.


So much busyness enters our lives when we don’t take the time to plan ahead. We don’t plan ahead, and we rush to the mall for a last minute gift. We don’t plan ahead, and we race to the grocery store a few times a week for ingredients for dinner. A weekend is filled with non-stop errands when we don’t plan ahead. Free moments in our calendar disappear. Every afternoon is a scramble, and downtime seems a thing of the past.

Planning ahead comes naturally to some, and perhaps as a struggle to others. There are many ways, though, to plan ahead, stay head of the game and be just a little less busy!

4 simple ways to plan ahead:

1. Flip your calendar before the month is up. A quick glance at the month ahead will remind you of the holidays, birthdays and other special events that await you. You can choose greeting cards, purchase presents and make sure you have all needed clothing items like tights for your girls for Easter, special shoes for a wedding, Halloween costumes, Christmas bow ties, etc.

**(I realize that if you are using an app you might not be “flipping” a calendar, but I think you remember good old-fashioned calendars that need to be flipped!)

2. Make meal planning your friend. I have written many posts on meal planning, so I will keep this short and sweet. When you plan your meals you will find that your afternoons and evenings are significantly less hectic. Don’t worry about creating elaborate meals; instead, just make a plan and enjoy the peace that follows.

For more about meal planning you can check out my posts found here, here and here.

3. Stick to your nighttime routine. Planning ahead can be as simple as planning for the next day. I wrote a post about 5 tasks to do before bedtime to prepare for the next day. Small tasks the night before lead to much slower, peaceful mornings. And who doesn’t want that??!!

4. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. These are some wise words from Benjamin Franklin. You might wonder what this has to do with planning ahead, but I guess simply stated, if you don’t procrastinate (and you get things done now) you don’t have to worry about planning ahead. When a nagging task come to mind, do it. When a phone call needs to be made, make it. Take care of the “to-do” today, and enjoy a little extra space in your tomorrow.

What about you? Are you good at planning ahead? Any advice or encouragement you can share with us? I’d love to hear from you, so leave your thoughts and ideas below!

Until next time,


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The Not So Busy Mom Considers Her Priorities

Last week I shared the first 2 traits of the not so busy mom.

Trait #1: The not so busy mom lets go of perfection.

Trait #2: The not so busy mom lets go of the need to impress.

This week we continue digging deeper into the 4 traits of the not so busy mom by looking at traits 3 & 4. Today we will look at trait 3 a bit more closely.

Trait #3: The not so busy mom considers her priorities.


A lot of our busyness can come from over-stuffed calendars and overloaded schedules. We take on commitments and lead events. We sign up for activities and participate in groups. Our children have something to do every afternoon, and we play chauffeur. Our weekends are filled with more sports, classmate birthday parties and whatever else we might find to keep the kids occupied. We get to Monday morning, and we can’t believe we have to do it all over again.

Another Way

When we consider our priorities we can better fill our days, weeks and months. When we consider our priorities our calendar is filled with the things that matter.

Let me share some of my priorities, so that you can see just what I mean.

My top priorities include:

  • my relationship with God
  • loving other people (family, friends, neighbors, people I meet, etc.) by reaching out, serving, encouraging, etc.

These priorities shape how I choose to spend my time and even more importantly, how I choose to spend my life.

With these priorities in mind, the following are the types of things you will see on my calendar:

  • lunches with friends
  • at home “dates” with my husband
  • Bible studies
  • trips to the playground with my children
  • church activities & meetings
  • walks with my mom
  • dinners with extended family
  • outreach activities in the community

I know my priorities and these priorities shape the choices I make, the way my calendar is filled and the things that fill my days.

As you explore this idea of living a full life without the busy take time to consider your priorities. Do the things you fill your time with, the things you fill your day with reflect those priorities?

When you fill your calendar, your day, your weeks, your months…your life with your priorities in mind, you’ll find your life isn’t a busy life but a full one.

What about you? Do your calendar & the activities you pursue reflect your priorities? Share your thoughts below; I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,


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Let Go of the Need to Impress Others

Those who constantly try to impress others will quickly depress themselves. ~Lysa Terkeurst

In Tuesday’s post I shared about letting go of perfection, the first trait of the Not So Busy Mom. Today I am sharing trait number 2 which is closely connected to the first trait.

Trait #2: The not so busy mom lets go of the need to impress others.


I care very deeply about how others see me or think about me. That desire is not all bad. I love God and I love people, and I want that to be evident in the life I live. At the same time, if I am constantly putting pressure on myself to impress others then I can quickly add extra busyness and craziness to my life.

As the opening quote from Lysa Terkeurst implies, you can only sustain impressing others for so long because eventually this trend will negatively affect you.

We can’t please everyone all the time, and we shouldn’t try.

Eventually we will disappoint someone.

If you feel the tendency to try to impress others to the point of way too much extra stress and busyness in your life, consider the following:

  1. We all have different gifts. Your best friend may be a fantastic cake baker, and your neighbor might be a design pro. You might have a friend who has an eye for style and a sister with super organizational skills. You are not them, and they are not you. Appreciate the gifts of others and be thankful for your unique gifts.
  2. True friends know you and love you no matter what. Your true friends won’t care if the meal isn’t perfect or your house isn’t tidy. True friends won’t be concerned about the party decorations or the appetizer table. Know that your friends love you, and they don’t need you to impress them.
  3. You don’t have to be like everyone else. We see another mom throwing an extraordinary birthday party, and we think we need to do the same. Our neighbor signs their children up for every activity imaginable, and we believe we have to do that, too. The moms at the bus stop talk about their crazy schedules, and we wonder if our simple life is boring. We are all different. You don’t have to be like everyone else. Be you. I’m guessing a lot of people will find your life refreshing and inspiring.

We spend a lot of time looking at other people’s lives. It’s the reality of a social media-crazed culture. Please remember (as many people have mentioned before), we usually share (on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) the “highlights”. We share the clean kitchens, the smiling children, the fancy date nights, the elaborate dinners and the festive birthday parties. Deep down we know these “perfect” moments aren’t really perfect and cannot be sustained, but we see the highlights, the photo-worthy moments and we try to keep up. It’s what we do.


Let’s live authentically. Live intentionally. Don’t worry about trying to impress others. Share your life (the highs and the lows) with others. Encourage your friends and acquaintances to do the same.

Let go of the need to impress and live a life that’s just a little less busy.

What about you? Do you struggle with the need to impress others? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,


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Let Go of Perfection

A few months ago I shared a post called 4 Traits of the Not So Busy Mom. I don’t limit the Not So Busy Mom to 4 traits, but I thought it was a good starting point for someone who might want to learn more about living a full life without the busy.

This week and next week I want to share a bit more about each of these 4 traits, so today we will explore more about the first trait.

Trait #1: The not so busy mom lets go of perfection.


Please know that I will always encourage you (and me) to aim high, dream big and pursue a full life. I will also always discourage you (and me) from running around like crazy, over-filling our calendars and overloading our lives. A lot of the craziness in our lives comes because we seek perfection.

I think we all know that perfection isn’t possible, but we still push ourselves and our families in ways that make it seem like we do think it’s possible.

I’ll say it again:

aim high

dream big

pursue a full life

but please, let go of perfection.

The pursuit of perfection will keep you running in circles. It will have you cleaning your house more than you need to. It will have you signing up for more events and activities than your calendar can handle. It will have you more concerned with your outward appearance than you inner spirit. It will make you stuff true feelings and fake a smile. It will have you chasing after those things that truly don’t matter. It will keep you busy, very busy.

Celebrate the ways you are progressing. Consider areas in which you need to improve. Be excited about new things you are learning. Ask for help when you need it. Get encouragement from family and friends. Share your struggles and share your triumphs. Let go of the busy. Live the full life, and let go of perfection.

What about you? Have you let go of perfection? Share your struggles and victories in this area; I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,


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