My girl's done chores since age ONE – pals say it’s too much but it’s her duty as a female… meet the UK's toughest mums

MUMS and dads were suitably impressed by Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain’s admission earlier this month her children took the bins out and ironed – and, no, they don’t get pocket money in exchange for their chores.

On Sundays Musa, 14, Dawud, 13, and Maryam, 10, do housework for three hours, she told the Daily Mail.

“They wipe the skirting boards, do their own washing and even clean the washing machine filter,” the mum says. “The boys know how to iron their shirts, cuffs and collars. I haven’t ironed for years!”

It’s a far cry from most parents who run around after their kids and can only dream of having the help Nadiya has.

But not so Summer, Colette and Kalinka who started teaching their broods how to help out when they were babies.

“We’re the UK’s toughest mums,” they say.

My girl, 3, has been doing chores since 1 – friends say it’s too much but she was born female so it’s her duty

Lifeguard Summer Thompson, 21, is single and lives in Bromley with daughter Luna, three. She says:

As a child I started doing chores in my early years. 

I’d get the table ready for dinner before moving on to helping with preparing it and I’d do my own washing.

That’s why I’m a massive fan of children starting out as early as possible in learning how to do housework.

Luna’s always done chores – she doesn’t know any different. When she turned one she started doing them with me.

I’m a strict mum. She’s never had sweets and only eats healthy treats such as bananas, crackers and cheese, breadsticks.

One of the first jobs she learnt was putting her washing in the machine. It was like a game and she loved it. After the cycle had finished she’d take it out and put it into the tumble dryer.

When Luna gets up she has to make her bed. At breakfast she’ll prepare her bowl of cereal. Afterwards she’ll put it in the sink and wash it. Her dirty items go into the laundry basket. She doesn’t do my laundry – just her own.

Luna’s always done chores – she doesn’t know any different. When she turned one she started doing them with me.

She knows if she plays with her toys she is responsible for putting them away.

Throughout the day she helps me wash up and make the table for each meal.

I don’t let her touch raw meat but she does cut up the veggies for us to cook. She enjoys it and we chat at the same time. She gets to learn the names of all the veggies too. Luna's favourites are cauliflower, broccoli, carrots.

Some friends criticise me for not letting her enjoy a normal childhood. Of course she gets time out and plays with her favourite toys.

We’re really close and love spending time together. Why not be house proud together at the same time?

Just as children should know how to read and write they need to know how to clean and cook from a young age too.

Luna is an asset to me and is a well behaved girl. Like most kids she can moan sometimes and might have the odd tantrum over doing a job but she usually cracks on with it.

It’s a good idea to do this with our children from an early age. Luna needs to be confident doing housework – and that includes cooking, cleaning and running a house – from a young age as she will need to do these things in her own home and look after her children when she’s older.

Just as children should know how to read and write they need to know how to clean and cook from a young age too. As parents it's our job to get them ready for the responsibilities of adulthood.

She does get a prize sometimes but I don’t want that to be reason why she is doing it.

My friends say it’s too much and I’m not letting her have a childhood but at the end of the day she was born female. She will be a mum and a wife and needs to know this.

My sons, 3 and 5, do the vacuuming – I’ve never picked up the Hoover

Teaching assistant Collette Arora, 39, is married to mortgage adviser Sumit Ahuja, 41, and lives in Dunstable, Beds. She has two sons Shaurya, now five, and Ranveer, three. She says:

I started doing chores with my kids when they were both one. I have instilled the idea in my sons that we as a family are a unit. That means we must help each other with housework.

I started making them do it as a game and likened it to playing. They would enjoy polishing the television and folding their clothes. They liked doing jobs that grown-ups get to do.

Today both boys have their daily tasks that they know they have to do. Some such as dusting, vacuuming, folding clothes they do with some help.

Many they can do independently including loading and unloading the washing machine, cleaning the table, emptying the dishwasher.

Every morning they make their bed. When they first started doing it I wouldn’t stress too much over how straight their pillows are but now I do. My eldest is capable of doing it properly. Today if the pillows are crooked I correct them.

After each meal they clean the table and put their dishes into the dishwasher. They sometimes fight over who gets to spray the table with cleaner and wipe it off.

I started doing chores with my kids when they were both one

The boys work as a team to empty the dishwasher after a cycle. It’s rare they’ll break something but if they do, I tell myself this is how they learn.

They also take part in keeping on top of the general cleaning including vacuuming and dusting. They aren’t bad at dusting. It’s not 100 percent perfect but they are getting there.

They like loading the washing machine, both of them know the start button and my eldest can program the timer. 

Their favourite job is cleaning the toilet floor because they get to do this with their daddy as he makes it fun and they do it together.

Shaurya will put things into the outside recycling bin. It’s too tall for my youngest one. But Ranveer gets to do the food bin as it’s well within his reach.

I’ve also taught my older son how to chop vegetables. He loves cooking, he’s a role model to his younger brother who now wants to do it too.


In the past I stressed the importance of doing the chore rather than how it is done. But as they are growing, the focus is shifting to how well it should be done.

Sometimes I do hear “mum it’s boring!” but I’m a strict parent. I’m disciplined and repeat my mantra that "we have to help each other."

My husband is very supportive with this style of parenting. He not only cleans the bathroom but does the vacuuming too. 

I’ve never switched on our vacuum cleaner. My boys enjoy explaining to me how to use it. My husband now jokes they’re better at housework than me.

As a child I didn’t do chores at home. I come from a family where my mum did everything. I want my sons to be independent. They need to enter adulthood knowing they can do these things for themselves.

When they stayed at a friend’s house recently she called me the next day. She was amazed they brought their plates into the kitchen – they did it without being asked.

I taught my children how to do housework at one – if they can walk they can help out

Housewife Kalinka Williams, 38, is married and has two children Ruby, eight, and Aleks (cor) seven. They live in Pinner, North London. She says:

My children started doing chores as soon as they were capable. My rule of thumb was when they could walk at home, they could do chores at home.

They were on their feet at 18 months and I immediately started to teach them to tidy up their toys and put their things – clothes, cups, chairs – away.

I’m an Army wife and at times it’s like being a single mum. When my husband is deployed overseas I am looking after our children round the clock for months at a time. 


There is barely a year between them and for the last eight years there hasn’t been a single day that I’ve been without the kids, it's like raising twins.

So I set boundaries and made it clear that we’re a team and work together. In the early days I’d give them rewards to motivate them but that isn’t necessary anymore.

When they were toddlers I didn’t want them using chemical based products in their bedrooms. It’s the same in the kitchen too. I got a nail scrubbing brush and my son loves using that to clean the sink.

They’ve always been able to chop food but I adapt their cutlery. So Ruby will cut a banana with a butterknife, not a sharp one.

My rule of thumb was when they could walk at home, they could do chores at home.

As toddlers they were wiping counters before they could talk. I made it fun and I gave them wet wipes to do it so they got the idea of how to clean. Then we got onto setting the table, including cutlery and taking care not to break anything.

They’ve been folding and putting away their clothes for years. We started it as a game. It was the same with bed making too. But the trick I’ve found is to do it daily so it becomes a habit. While it took a while to get it perfect it is the effort that counts.

At first my husband thought I was too harsh with them. But when we go to see friends everyone comments on how helpful and useful they are around the home.


They help out unprompted and do things such as making me a fruit salad or a sandwich.

Everyone always says how well behaved they are.

I’ve no regrets starting housework with them as toddlers especially as they make me so proud today.

Previously, this mum makes a chore list to trick her kids into doing jobs and says her house is the cleanest it’s ever been.

For more parenting stories, this mum transformed her lounge into an amazing campsite with paddling pool and fire after their Easter holiday was cancelled.

And this mum shared the clever way she dip dyed her daughter’s hair using crepe paper – and the colour is amazing.

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