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Skids and No School

New_to_this's picture

Just looking for some opinions from others. We have the skids next week and they don't have school for three out of the five days. In addition to that, they also don't have school this Friday, but it's their mom's week, so it doesn't affect me. I stay at home with DS1 and I'm really annoyed that they'll be here instead of school. I can manage with having to deal with lazy kids one full day in a school week, but three days without DH will drive me nuts.

I'm mostly disengaged and let DH deal with skid-related things, but I want the skids to get off their lazy butts and help me out in the house if they are going to be here. Stuff like raking leaves/picking up sticks, helping me watch the baby, and helping with some painting, along with doing some school work. When I told this to DH, his initial response was a whiny, "but it's their days off from school!" He came around to my point of view, but said that he thought I would be more annoyed if I actually asked the skids to do chores, homework, etc. instead of leaving them alone because he generally gets annoyed with them when he wants them to do things. I can see this too, so now I'm also questioning whether I should get the skids to do anything.

On a normal school day off, the skids wake up between 10am to 1pm, come to the kitchen and make their own breakfast, then come back an hour or two later and make lunch. They'll watch videos on their phones in the dining room until I kick them out and then they go to their rooms and yell at screens until DH comes home or they'll chat me up without helping in any way. One way it disrupts my day is because DS's play area is in full view of the dining room, so I have to snack him whenever the skids eat separately from him. DS ends up eating 4 or more snacks on top of his own breakfast and lunch. I'm usually annoyed by the end of the day, so I figured if I got them to help and be productive instead, I'd be less annoyed.


DaizyDuke's picture

I'd just confer with DH each night and have HIM give them a list of things that skids are expected to have accomplished by the end of the day. That way you aren't the bad guy and YOU don't have to get annoyed because you've asked them to do something and they did not, and then have to do the whole tattling thing. If the crap isn't done when DH gets home, then he gives them a consequence.

Of course given your DH made the comment "but it's their days off from school" I have a feeling this will all be an act of futility.. but it's worth a try.

DaizyDuke's picture

I must have missed that memo that when one is off from school or work, that they should not be responsible for anything.... Hip hop hooray ho! No more laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking etc for me on weekends and holidays!

WalkOnBy's picture

I have next Friday off (Verteran's Day) and I WAS planning on catching up on stuff around the house, running the errands I can't run when I am at work and maybe some laundry.


zerostepdrama's picture

In all fairness... you know how kids are. All kids. BS11 calls them his "Lazy days".

WalkOnBy's picture

meh - my kids always had things they had to get done on no school days while I was at work.

zerostepdrama's picture

I let BS enjoy the "days off" because he is always busy any other day. Everyone needs a day off. He does sports several times during the week and during the weekend, he has his weekday chores and his weekend chores. He is in orchestra. He is in all enriched classes at a STEM school which requires projects that are very involved. So for me, I don't make BS do anything on the days off. (vacations, extended time off is different). To each their own Smile

zerostepdrama's picture


Evil3's picture

I think you're setting yourself up for more aggravation if you try to get the SKs to do anything. Just enjoy the time that the SKs are in their rooms and leave any messes for your DH when he gets home from work. Tell your DH that you need the kitchen clean to prepare dinner, so please take care of it. Put the onus on DH. If you try to get the SKs to do chores, they'll only whine, dawdle or do a crappy job anyway. Don't put yourself in the line of fire. Enjoy the times that your SKs are in their rooms or glued to electronic binkies.

New_to_this's picture

I'm thinking that I should leave the kids to themselves too. I'm still annoyed by DH's comment that it is their days off, but I should have guessed that he's say something like that. He doesn't expect anything out of them, so I'm not going to. I'll just be setting myself for aggravation, like Evil3 said. They are old enough to make their own breakfast and lunch an be by themselves. They are 12 and 16.

If I'm finding myself too annoyed at home, I will take DS out more than I usually do. I'll just have him nap in the car instead of at home.

BethAnne's picture

If I were your husband I would give the kids a list of chores a few daily ones and a couple of larger chores, noting impossible but some useful jobs that will keep them busy for maybe an hour a day or so. Then I would tell them that if they get all of the chores done then the last day of their time off school he will give them each $50 or so and they can have the day out at the mall or movies or whatever would appeal to them. That way they will be motivated, they will do a few jobs so you aren't annoyed, their dad will hold them accountable not you and all with the bonus of getting them out of your hair for a day too.

moeilijk's picture

Decide what you want, and enforce it. Nicely, but firmly.

I have DD2. If I put myself in your situation, this is how I would handle it.

I would do normal breakfast with DD2, and possibly go to the park with her first thing so the skids can sleep in. When I come back at 9.30 for morning snack, I'd wake the skids up and let them know it's time for them to come to the table. I'd stand over them until they're out of bed, then let them wander down and either make their own meal or have fruit with me and DD.

After that, I'd let them decide if they want to help with chores inside or outside, and DD will come with me to do the same. Expectations low, but enthusiasm high and no electronics. I'd check in on them about every 20 minutes (DD's attention span, lol!)

After about an hour, I'd see if they want to do more chores or if they are going to sit at the kitchen table to do homework. No electronics.

Lunchtime, they can help prepare or help clean up. Just sandwiches, usually I just bring everything to the table and everyone can help themselves. But we all sit together and chat. No electronics.

After lunch it's quiet time. They can be on their electronics or in their rooms or reading or whatever, but with minimal noise.

Then it's homework time. Just an hour or so, but I'd be sitting there with them, helping if needed but mostly keeping them on track. No electronics.

Then snack time, they can help with prep. Veggies and dip, that kind of thing.

Then they can do whatever they want until dinner.

I just realized I am assuming they are 4-10, but if they are teens maybe they have already made plans to hang out with friends?

robin333's picture

Downsouth, my DD, 16, has hours of homework daily.

Op, I still have her do chores on those off days like organizing her closet, bathing the dogs. I'm not sure about skids though.

robin333's picture

Yes. This year she's taking a very heavy load. It was the same sophomore and freshman year to a lesser extent. Most of it is relevant but the notebook checks irk me. A grade on how you organize your notebook according to the teacher?

DaizyDuke's picture

Oh mercy!! That is WAYYYYY too much skid involvement in my daily routine. This is what I would do:

Let skids sleep til
Let them roll out to kitchen to get lunch
Let them roll back to their rooms and play games or do whatever that does not involve them being in my face for the rest of the day.
Let DH deal with them when he gets from work.

moeilijk's picture

Well, I don't know how old they are, but I don't need lumps cluttering up my sofa or being stinky in the bedroom. If I were in the OP's situation, those kids are my kid's half-sibs, and I'd want them to be a part of his/her life. And part of life means get to work!

If they were teens, that's a different story. I would give them more independence but still give them responsibilities. And I would not expect to see them until lunch time!

If they didn't have an hour of homework, I'd find homework for them. Stretch those minds!

New_to_this's picture

This is what I decided. I let DH know this evening that I wasn't planning on having the skids do anything since I'd probably be more annoyed by having to oversee them. He said he had been thinking about it at work that day and his plan was that he was going to make the skids to all the stuff that I/we wanted done on the weekend. That way he would be the one overseeing everything. He would incentivize it by taking the kids to the movies in the evening if they did what was asked of them. So, they would be working on the weekend and would have the three non-school days to loaf around. He also said that I should have SD16 babysit during the week and schedule myself some annual doctors appts and do grocery shopping during that time. I totally agree with that. I think DH came up with a good solution so that the skids still feel like they got a "vacation" and I don't feel like they've been lazy blobs for the whole week.