Chores Can Be Fun

Salam - Newton, Massachusetts
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
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This I Believe Chores Can be Fun

I believe in many things. As a home-maker and a mother, I have practiced one belief that worked for me.

When I decided to stay home for my children—I’ve had three boys—house chores became painful. I looked for ways to turn chores into something fun. This may not sound profound. But chores must be done to maintain the family’s clean, healthy living. I also wanted to eliminate boredom out of staying home. Here are three strategies I thought worked well, for twenty five years.

When my babies were little, I turned to baking and cooking—things I had never done before. I was a health freak to begin with. I began making my own bread—white, whole wheat, and sweet bread—you name it. I also baked cakes, cookies, and sweet and savory crêpes. My husband loved everything I baked. He would leave the house at 6:30 AM and would come home after 7:00 PM. Staying at home and baking became more fun. I waited for the dough to rise so I could punch it. Then let it rise again. The smell of bread baking was appetizing, luscious. My boys couldn’t wait for it to cool, so I could slice it. We devoured the loaf of bread in a day or two, with cheese or peanut butter and jelly.

Another venue of turning chores into fun was experimenting with cooking. Nothing fancy! But wholesome, healthy, tasty. I tried zesty chicken dishes, Irish stews, beef and veal ragouts with wine, summer and winter salads, and Italian minestrone soup. All from scratch. I needed to eat healthy, to nurse my babies and lose the extra weight I had put on during my pregnancies. Of course, I kept my husband’s dinner warm. I also found out I really liked cooking, especially as my boys grew and began eating table food. They ate well and gained muscle strength. When they went to school and excelled in sports, their teachers would attribute their strength to my good cooking. They noticed the lunches the boys had.

The best strategy I used, however, was listening to music while in the kitchen. I developed a daily ritual so to speak. Every day I would first select a CD, turn it on, then go into the kitchen, to start dinner. Chopping vegetables, sautéing meat, stirring sauces, I loved my music. I forgot my chores.

Now that the boys are grown, they’re out of the house. But they love to come and visit. They rave about my food. I still cook dinner for two and follow my ritual. I turn my music on. I even look forward to cooking. Chores are no longer chores.