Chores Chores and No Chores

When I was a child I was not required to do any chores. My mom would tell me to clean my room, I would say I’d do it and then she would end up doing it for me.

I do not want a repeat performance of this behavior from my son. I want to start introducing him to household chores as soon as he is able, but I don’t know how to do this. I’m not sure what age he can understand what a chore is, and that he is responsible for doing it.

Additionally, my house is in a constant state of chaos and disarray, so I could use all the help I can get. I can’t wait until this kid can help out.

On a similar note, with just my boyfriend and I, we are having a difficult time managing the household duties. For example, I’ll try to bargain with him when there is a huge task to complete like a sink full of disgusting dishes that have been sitting there for three days:

Me: “Babe, I’ll do half the dishes if you do the other half.”
Him: “Okay. Cool.”

What happens: I end up doing ALL the dishes, which I believe is entirely unjust!

What I want to know is this: does anyone have suggestions for the following things:

1. When do I introduce chores to my kid?
2. How do I keep house clean?
3. How do I break down the chores so that I don’t feel like I am doing EVERYTHING myself?

Any pointers?