This week I'm posting as part of the 5 Days of Mothering & Homemaking series. My series is on cleaning and getting your children involved (or more involved). To view the other 21 contributors and their topics, go here.
I would never admit this had someone else not done it first. I do not like cleaning. But I don't like a dirty house either--probably worse then I don't like cleaning. It's something I really have to talk myself into everyday. One of the biggest issues I have with cleaning is that it never ends.
I don't ever finish the laundry. The dishes are never done. I was raised on chores so you'd think this is something that I would have grown into, right? Nope. I was just the opposite. When I moved out, things were done my way--which was like, never. When I had my first child I had a little more motivation because now it just wasn't about me. But as we added more children, it became increasingly more difficult to keep up. Throw homeschooling into the mix--that's it!
So, as you read this, know that I am totally talking to myself. Sometimes I need to give myself a little "pep talk" to get motivated and set new goals.
One thing I have grown to dislike is clutter. Clutter means more cleaning, and we all know how I feel about that. So, the clutter must go. My goal in life is not to constantly organize and re-organize stuff to make it fit.
My purpose isn't only to train myself into new habits, but to also train my children. My eldest two have a couple of chores they do each day, but overall, it's not much. I struggle with enabling. There, I said it. It's easier for me to just do things for them then it is to train them to do it themselves.
In retrospect, I'm telling them they don't have to clean up after themselves or they are incapable (which I know isn't true). So, my goal is to empower them to be successful.
Starting today, and for the next month, we will all be focusing on keeping our bedrooms tidy; beds made, stuff off the floor. My job is two-fold; keep my room tidy and bed made, and inspect the children's work. I can probably handle that. I hope.
If you're up for the challenge, I invite you to join me. For the rest of June, simply have your children contribute to a new responsibility in the home.
The question is, how do I keep my children motivated? Threatening doesn't work (trust me). Neither does yelling. One thing I have noticed in the past is the satisfaction of having a clean room. Children actually delight in a clean room and are more apt to play and spend time in it. Surprise, surprise.
Something I need to remind myself of, and maybe you need this to, is that goals on paper and goals lived out never look the same.
My mind plays these tricks on me. I'll create a goal, and in my head I see us meeting it with ease. But that's just not reality. There is always a battle, a delay, a struggle to push through. Always. I tend to forget to add that to my imagination when I'm dreaming up this perfect life.
Let's let go of perfection and work toward progress.
This process isn't just about cleaning, though. It's about teaching our children that life involves work. That's just the way it is. They cannot grow up to believe that everything will be handed to them, done for them, or work in their favor 100% of the time. This type of thinking could really blind them to reality.
What chore in your home do you (or your children) struggle to keep up with?