Monday, September 1, 2008

An Open Letter to my Children

This was written about 2 weeks ago to both of my kids. One has taken heed and has tried to "clean up his act". The other is oblivious to the world around her and I take total and complete blame for her insensitivity and selfishness. Perhaps a public embarrassment will help. Perhaps not. Perhaps it is snarky of me to post this. At this point I have come very very close to the point of giving up. I don't want to reach that point, but truly I can see it on the horizon.

A letter to my children

Hi, I am your mother. I am not your housekeeper, your personal assistant, your laundress or your slave.

I have loved you from the moment you were conceived and will continue to do so until I no longer exist on this earth.

I am usually at your beck and call. Have I once refused a request from either of you? I have shown you both a penultimate amount of respect, and consideration. I request a modicum of each in return. Why is it that when I make a request of you, I get eye rolling, sighs and grunts in response?

You are both adults and should be able to do basic things to keep yourself and your surroundings in good repair. A bare minimum of upkeep in this house is requested of you it should be of no shock or take anymore than a minor bit of your energy to comply.

A. Do not put your dirty dishes in the sink or leave them on the counter. Put them in the dishwasher. If the dishwasher is full and clean, empty it. If it is full and dirty, run it, then empty it.

B. Do not leave your clothes (or the clothes of your children) lying around anywhere in the house other than your own bedroom. Dirty clothes piles should not exist in the hallways, or the bathrooms. No one else wants to pick up your dirty underpants.

C. Leave the towels in the bathroom. There is no reason for a towel that you did not purchase to ever leave the bathroom. If you happen to mistakenly take one out or send your child out in one, take the extra three steps to put it back when done.

D. If you use something, put it away. That includes anything used by your offspring or your significant others.

E. When doing your laundry, be considerate of others. Do not leave the house with laundry in the washer. Do not leave your dry laundry to live in the dryer. It is very inconvenient to others to expect them to finish your laundry for you.

I realize you are not children and do not expect you to do “chores”, but I expect you to pick up after yourselves at all times and to be responsible enough to see something that might need to be done and do it.

I also realize that my having to remind you of these simple exercises of adulthood means that I have failed in a part of my parenting you. I accept that. I have made many mistakes while raising you and I guess this is one more. But this is your chance to be better than me, to make your life better for yourselves, better than I have made it for you. Take this chance and run with it.



  1. Well, I understand the frustration and hating to pick up after other people, but on the other hand I'm 40 and still a slob myself. I don't feel like a failure as an adult or that my parents did anything wrong. Underwear on the floor once in a while isn't so bad... I am kind of happy not to be a super-neatnik, rooming with other semi-slobs.

  2. No, a public embarrassment won't help. I live my life the way I choose and raise my daughter the way I see fit and I will do the same with the twins. I'm sorry you don't agree with how I do things but maybe if you respected me more as a parent to my child then I would have more respect for you.