5 Chores Impossible To Do Efficiently with Small Children


On the weekends I always have to catch up on all the housework including the endless piles of washing that need to be washed, dried and then the worst part – folded. I hate folding washing with a passion, for me it is one of the most tedious aspects of housekeeping and I always end up with massive piles that get dumped on the bed and grow into an insurmountable pile that some refer to as Mount Washmore. But what is worse than humongous piles of washing that you need to fold? Trying to fold it with little helpers.

You all know what I am talking about. The mini ‘helpers’ that continually unfold the washing that has been folded, that think it is there to be tossed up in the air like confetti, that grab it and put it on their head and run around squealing and that ‘help’ to put it away while dropping it all down the hallway floor like a trail of crumbs.

Like this:

impossible chores

Don’t you just love your mini helpers that make what used to once be easy efficient household chores into the battle of the century?

Here are the other 4 household chores on my list that are impossible to do efficiently with young children …


Trying to stop them standing on the lid and tipping the whole thing over is the first challenge, then it’s a race to get all the sharp knives out before they stab: A. Themselves; or B. Their brother/sister/dog/you. Then come the small hands passing you the breakables quicker than you can put them away while simultaneously trying to ‘load’ the dishwasher with dirty dishes before it is properly unloaded and slamming the door shut while the drawers are still out sending the whole lot crashing into the back. I deem this chore perfect for husbands who get home before you or once said child/children are in bed.


Ah, vacuuming. The preparation of clearing all the floors in order to vacuum that the mini me’s deem the perfect opportunity to dump their whole box of Lego/blocks on the floor and spread them around for good measure. Or open the vacuum cleaner and tip the contents of the vacuum bag all the way down the hallway. Or yell ‘my turn!’ over and over while trying to take the handle off you. Or if you are reeeeeally lucky they are scared of the sound of the vacuum and cry great huge sobs the whole time screaming ‘TURN IT OFF! NOOOOO!’. I only know this because I have the child who does that at Nana’s but at home he loves the vacuum cleaner. Strange child. Unfortunately this is one chore usually unsuitable for post bedtime and so you just have to suck it up and endure it. And then they usually tip a whole bag of chips out on the floor straight afterwards anyway, so really, why bother?


Usually they see this as the perfect opportunity to either jump on the bed or hide under all the blankets and play peek-a-boo.


How many times have you had to try and clean up spilt sugar or flour, fished broken egg shells out of the mix or better yet, had to clean up broken eggs off the floor that they took great pride in smashing while you had your back turned? Or they stand at the oven screaming they want a cookie and don’t understand that they need to actually cook and then they need to cool down before they are able to be eaten? Then you spend the next 40 minutes with an inconsolable child trying to explain this to them while they think you are the meanest mummy in the whole wide world trying to hold out on them and not let them have a cookie (that probably has broken egg shells and an extra helping of sugar/flour/baking powder in it anyway).

Yep, thought so.

What would you add to this list? And what is your least favourite chore?


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32 thoughts on “5 Chores Impossible To Do Efficiently with Small Children

  1. Thank you! You have reminded me why I should be happy my three kids are now teenagers. But then there’s a whole new set of issues…filthy rooms, towels, food & cups littering every floor surface, school bags dropped in the middle of hallways and the ever present ear phones when you’re trying to talk to them about something…

    1. We don’t brave going away enough for that one yet but we are planning to buy a tent soon to camp this summer so I’ll try and remember that!

  2. This made me laugh a lot – it is exactly the same in our house. Trying to tidy up any section of the house just seems to attract the attention of my twins, who immediately start undoing what ever I am clearing up!

    1. Double trouble too, that must be fun! One could be throwing the washing around that you are folding while the other empties the drawers you are trying to put it in 🙂 I usually get the ‘I help you mummy’ while he simultaneously undoes all my hard work and the ‘No! I help!’ if you try to distract them with something else. And I only have one helper because the three year old takes the opportunity to swipe the remote and sneak to the cartoon channel.

  3. I don’t think that there is a household chore which is easier with kids around!! My solution to the Lego problem, is to make a major announcement the evening before vacuuming is done. Anything left out is GONE!!

    1. Haha, that’s one way I guess but the problem is that Lego is expensive! So to follow through would be an expensive lesson and probably backfire when you end up having to pay for more at a later date. Unless they are the rare breed that actually listen! 😉 In which case that is brilliant!

  4. Mine hated the vacuum when little, so I had to sweep instead. Which was ok because we didn’t have carpet then.
    I always found mopping hardest. Keeping them still while you waited for the floor to dry was hard work.
    Still is really 🙂

  5. No young ones of our own yet, but I’ve done a lot of baking with my step and OH. MY. GOD. It’s kind of excruciating, especially since we’re usually baking something for a birthday or special event and it needs to get done on a time frame and look halfway decent. On the flip side, discovered her penchant for wiping counters, cabinets, windows, etc.

  6. ICLW #10 Visitor. Ha ha *snort* … what chore isn’t harder with little ones? Grocery shopping with anyone over the age of 3. Grocery bill goes up with all those things that magically end up in the cart. Goldfish, Cookies, Apples, Oranges, Cupcakes? Where did those come from? And why are they upside down? Ha ha ha ….

  7. Oh my god, that’s too funny! Folding the washing is one of my FAVOURITE chores. I like to do it after the kids are in bed. I take the laptop into the bedroom and watch TV series on DVD. Working my way through Entourage at the moment!

    1. I remember making that fairy dough or whatever it’s called when you mix flour and oil together. Do not make it! It stained my deck something chronic! Bad idea. Bad.

  8. Loved this post! On the vacuuming front my use to wail and scream now at 19 months he will stare at the hoover and then clap once I have finished. Very bizzare but at least I am being applauded for my cleaning efforts!
    Kiri recently posted…The Weekly List 10.07My Profile

  9. Ha! Nodding throughout. I try and avoid these things at all costs anyway but doing it with my little helper makes it 100 times harder! With the dish washer in particularly, you put one thing in, he closes the drawer and shuts, I open it put one thing in, he shuts it and so on. You get the picture! Haha 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xxx
    Hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…The List week 44My Profile

  10. Yup, completely agree here too. The trying to Hoover while they help you is very hard and the sweeping the kitchen floor never works as littlest then grabs the brush off me! Ach well, better leave it a mess then! 🙂 x

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