My whole life I was taught that making a mess was part of growing up. When I was little the messes I made were picked up by my mother, she was a homemaker also. When I got older I was allowed to help my mom with the dishes and dusting and what ever else she let me do. I thought I was merely her little helper, little did I know that this was what she did daily to keep a happy home. I remember getting older and not wanting to ‘help’ any more, but then I got paid to help. Awesome deal! Um, no what had happen was it became my job, only is it a chore when I didn’t want to do it.
Keep in mind I am not a tidy person, this I know and don’t mind. I have always been messy but I like to,think of it as disorganized creativity. Yeah, that theory worked from when I was a kid to mid twenties. I have kids now and messy is not really working much more. They are old enough to destroy a room mere seconds after I have sweated and sometimes bled to clean it up. This I what I called a cleaning stalemate. My children were younger and it was harder to make them help. But now, they are 2 and 3 and I do make them help, they find it fun and I let them keep all the shiny coins they find. Sort of like allowance, but never enough shiny coins to actually buy anything.
I don’t give them hard chores, mostly picking up toys and things off the floor and putting the, in the rooms where they belong. For some reason they feel in the doorway of a rooms counts, but that it pretty good for young kids. They help load and unload washing machine and dryer, they can only unload the dishwasher of the plastics and lids. But when they are very bad I have them wipe tables and floors, I have even done this in stores. It is quite amazing what kids retain, I can ask them anywhere if ‘they want to scrub floors’ and they promptly say ‘no mame’, this seems to be the best form of punishment I have come across so far. The down side is I am a ‘mean mommy’ but the up side is more cleaning gets done.
I do love dearly when they help me clean, granted sometimes they end up making a larger mess than actually helping but it is a new thing that I am doing. I never realized that something we all teach our kids is to try to be neat and tidy, granted many of us don’t want to be tidy and organized but we all have our breaking point where we buckle down and clean.
I really hope that my kids like to be have clean places just like my mom, because I don’t mind the dirt and mess as much. But for now I will take a page from my mothers book of life and clean, clean and clean some more. Who knows if I stick to it long enough I might even have the same standards of clean that my mother has. But for now my break is over and I must finish the family room, I just dislike our hardwood floors. They are such a pain to keep clean, large area rugs are defiantly in my future.
Happy Monday and happy reading.