Crazy-busy, that’s how you describe it to friends. Your family is crazy-busy with school and sports and work and church and other activities you can’t even think of right now. In all that busyness, sometimes the state of the house slides into messy — or even downright disaster. It’s so hard to find the time to get it clean and together and nice looking. And it’s easy to feel resentful about that. Why is it always you, Mom, who is worried about it?
Where is it written that moms are solely responsible for housework? Hint: It isn’t. You aren’t the family maid, much as it might feel like it sometimes. Stop acting like it! You’re busy, too! Get the kids involved with maintaining cleanliness and order in the house and share the household load.
You didn’t make all the mess
You didn’t make all the mess, so why should it be only your responsibility to clean it up. Sure, we tell our kids to clean up after themselves, but how often do you end up doing a little more after their supposed “clean up?” They get a little sloppy with the crumbs or leave crafts supplies out. Rather than sighing and letting it pass (again — you know it’s again), get the kids involved. Insist they participate and understand what it takes to keep the house running and looking good.
Promoting cooperation and life skills
Kids, even young kids, can help out with actual cleaning around the house. Maybe you don’t want to give them free reign with a bleach-based cleaner, but they can learn other basics. And many kids like to help out! Not only are you getting some help getting the house spic and span, but you are also teaching critical life skills, including cooperation within communal living and how to perform basic cleaning tasks. These are skills your child will need going forward — it’s easier to teach them young!
When you share the household load, everyone in the house understands their stake in the state of things. They understand that if they want the house in a certain pristine state before a friend comes over, they need to contribute to that. And if the whole family works together the get the house clean and sparkling, it actually takes less time for the tasks to get done. Set a weekly time for the family to work together to do the housework and indeed, many hands will make light work.
Cleaning up isn’t just mom’s job — it’s everyone’s. Even if you are very particular about the level of clean at home, you can — heck, you should — share the household load. Teach your kids early what it means to keep a house going. Your children’s future roommates and spouses will thank you!
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