This post is about cleaning and using your kids. If you have no kids, you may want to stop reading here. Unless you have nieces, nephews, or you bribe your friend’s kids.
Being a Stay at Home mom is easy. Seriously. I lounge around all day with my kids, making endless messes. We watch tv, play outside, and generally do fun things. The “wife” or “mom” duties rarely get done until the last minute. The last minute meaning someone is on the way over and I just received a 10 minute phone call warning, OR my hubby is on the way home. AAHH. Mass chaos as we “try” to clean. Junk is now being thrown in drawers, we are pretending to do a whole day of work in mere seconds, AND dinner is just being started. THIS MADNESS DOESN’T WORK!! Who am I kidding? It sort of does.
Being a Homeschool Mom is freaking ridiculous. I have no time to do anything. Well, I don’t when we are doing school work in the mornings. By the time the afternoon rolls around, I am either still teaching or I am exhausted. OR I am driving a child somewhere. If I am exhausted, we are not cleaning. If I am still teaching, I am obviously not cleaning. If I am driving somewhere, well clearly I am not cleaning.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I had an “ah-ha” moment. Okay, it wasn’t an “ah-ha” moment. It was me coming home to a house with 3 kids cleaning. Marty had all 3 of them (11, 6, and 3) working. And not just your regular picking up of the clutter. One was wiping down baseboards. One was dusting. One was vacuuming. Seriously? I had to do a double take. He looked at me and said, “I don’t get why you try to take it all on yourself. Let them help you.”
Fast forward to yesterday. I was walking around the house and I was happy. When the house is full of clutter and completely disorganized, I lose my mind. It really does make me unpleasant to be around. However, if the kitchen, den, and dining room are clean and organized, then life if good. My bed is made first thing every morning and the kids have got on board with that in their rooms. I will admit that the office/homeschool area isn’t always in great shape. It’s clean but I will find random sheets of paper and crayons laying around. Those things I can’t be mad at. All of them love art. Their rooms aren’t perfect. We still have more toys than we can “store” in their rooms but it’s okay. As long as I don’t step on a freaking Lego, we are cool.
The moral to this story is put your kids to work. My 3 year old dusts and wipes down baseboards. She’s short so it works out better. KB also has to pick up all of her and her sister’s toys and put them back where they belong. Rea likes to dust as well. But she can pick up trash and wipe down counters too (none of the kids use chemicals). Bubba is a huge help. He will vacuum, put up the dishes, pick up Lu’s waste in the backyard, helps me clean up after the girl’s when they revolt, cleans the cars, etc. He is amazing. I didn’t want to put my kids to work. However, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t get anything done.
But don’t let me fool you. I have a Dyson Canister Vacuum as well as an iRobot Roomba Vacuum. They were both investments I made years ago and we are still going strong. The iRobot runs every morning and then sometimes again in the afternoon. We use the Dyson a few times a week. That all depends if Lu’s hair is all over the place.
If you are wondering where our “stuff” is, then you should read
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
The book is amazing and it opened my eyes to the junk that is laying around. I recommend it. I listened to the audio version through my library’s app.
Do your kids clean? If so, what are their chores?