One time when my twins were about a year old a friend of mine told me that I really seemed to really have everything under control.
I thought she was making fun of me, but she really meant it.
I'm thinking she had never seen the inside of my house.
I am a lax housekeeper. My kitchen is clean, or cleanish. All of my dishes are clean and the food is all put away, I just have piles of mail in there. For some reason my counter space begs to be covered with unread mail.
I'm not really her to talk about my mail issues. I am here to tell you that I am not very strict when it comes to making my kids clean their rooms.
I make them both do a pretty thorough cleaning about once a week (assuming they want their allowance) and every third week they have to make sure everything is off of the floor so that the cleaning people can vacuum in their rooms.
The rest of the time, unless something is really bad, I just insist that they clear a path from their door to their bed if they want me to come tuck them in at night. Plus that way if one of my kids gets up in the middle of the night they won't break their neck tripping over abakugan or a barbie.
It isn't like we live in filth. They are not allowed to have food in their bedrooms. Nobody is. I don't have a lot of rules. I don't really like rules myself so why should I go around making rules that I don't really care about?
Take making the bed for an example. I don't make my kids make their beds. First of all, they are five years old. Second of all, who cares? You are just going to wreck it up again in 12 hours. Why bother? If I plan on choosing my battles I choose fighting about eating vegetables and brushing teeth. I'll argue with my kids about not hitting each other with light sabers. I don't really care about a made bed, and if you can find your shoes in the morning, I don't really care where you put those.
Unless they are in the middle of the hallway. I don't want to break my neck going to the bathroom either.
The bottom line is this: How can I force my children to keep their rooms neat and tidy when my own bedroom is a wreck? It looks like some one's dresser exploded in there. I have one laundry basket in my room and it seems to be full of everything except laundry. I've got my old laptop in there. I have no idea what to do with it. I have a box containing about 200 Draft Day Suit bottle openers with the url spelled wrong and close to 400 Sarah and the Goon Squad key chain bottle openers that are spelled right. There is a pashmina that belongs to a friend of mine that I borrowed about a year ago that I keep forgetting to return and a couple of toys I confiscated from the children all in the laundry basket. My dirty laundry is mostly in a pile (or three) on my bedroom floor.
I can't remember the last time I really made my bed. Unless I am changing my sheets or trying to sell my house it just seems like a massive waste of time. How can I justify being a hardass about something that I don't even do myself? It isn't that I don't wish my room was cleaner, I just have priorities.
Clearly blogging about my messy bedroom takes precedence over actually cleaning it.
Maybe my kids will rebel against me by being neat and orderly teenagers. That would be awesome.
If you aren't a fan of the clean house, like Sarah, leave your link here. If you prefer things neat and tidy, leave your link on Rita's post.
More from parenting