Sunday, August 7, 2016

Why I need a clean house

Well, cleanish anyways.  There are messes here and there, dusting hasn't been done very often and if it weren't for my oldest loving to mop, it would fall into the wayside as well.

I came to the conclusion, more recently, that I need to have my house somewhat clean.  Why?  Because it causes less stress.  I've heard the phrase that once you have kids you never have a clean house.  My thought is, why?  Why can't I have a clean house and have kids at the same time?

It seems to make the day start out better and run more smoothly when I can come down the stairs and have a clean common area.  I just wish that I could keep up with the kitchen.  No sooner do I get it caught up, than it looks like my cupboards threw up all over the counters.  I hate to admit, that sometimes when it gets that way, I walk in, look at it, and walk away.  Sometimes, it's too much and it stresses me out more.

I sneak in quick bathroom wipe downs when I can, like while waiting for the shower to be ready or while my oldest brushes his teeth or while I wait to make sure my youngest has truly fallen asleep.  It's been an expectation that toys are cleaned up at the end of the day before bed.  It is something that started with my oldest when he was little and didn't understand the concept of picking them up. With time, we can now tell him to clean them up and it gets done.  That's not to say that sometimes, toys are left out.  Like after he has been working hard to build with Legos or we've created a really cool train track (which usually stay out for a few days).  But overall, it's picked up most of the time.

I will admit, I love the look of a freshly vacuumed floor.  Don't know why, maybe because while waiting for my first son to arrive I would vacuum every day just to give myself something to do.  But I love it.  I love to vacuum.

Now that my oldest is three, we are starting to get him involved more in helping with the cleaning.  Like I said, he loves to mop, always has.  In fact, when he was around a year and half we shortened the swifer just so he could do it.  Now, he will get it from the stairwell and just mop, sometimes with a cloth and sometimes not.  We are also getting him to help with the dishwasher, loading it and unloading it.  These are a part of his chores (more on that in a later post).  At some point we will add in cleaning other areas.  He likes to help, so while he does I am running with it and letting him help out as much as he is willing.

I remember a conversation that happened between some other moms and me a few years ago.  The topic of having a clean house came up.  Some of them said that they had just given up.  To them, it didn't seem worth trying to clean, just to have their kids destroy it all again and yet were frustrated that it wasn't clean.  Keep in mind all our kids were about one and a half at the time.  That was their perspective.  If they didn't want to try, that was fine.  I still wanted to have a relatively clean house and could manage it most days.  However, what got me the most, was when one made the comment, "if your house is clean, than you aren't taking care of your child and ignoring them".

Whoa, wait a minute...if I have a clean house, then my child isn't being taken care of?  Normally, someone saying stuff like that doesn't bother me.  But this time, it really made me mad.  I can have a clean house and a child who is well taken care of.  Not only taken care of, gets the attention needed and is thriving..

There is nothing stopping us from letting our kids join in.  I remember that when T was little, I would dust while he played.  Sometimes he would stop and want to dust too, so I would give him a cloth and just let him go.  In fact, it's important for them to take responsibility in the place they live.  They help make the messes, they can help clean it up.

With time and consistency, letting our kids join in while cleaning they will get the hang of it and may end up enjoying it as well.  So you see, you can have happy, thriving kids and have a relatively clean house.

For me, I feel more at ease and comfortable when things are relatively clean and least in the common rooms.  In the long run, it works better for everyone's mood when you think about it.  And through it all, my kids are happy and thriving.

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