I was at a friend’s house recently, it was a beautiful impeccable house, as we left someone (not me before you ask) spilt something. No stress from the house about the mess. I remarked ‘looks like you better get the vacuum out’, he shrugged and said ‘the cleaner will take care of it’.
This got me thinking, the biggest part of my evening after getting the children to sleep is spent on tidying an cleaning up the house.
When I say cleaning up the house I mean cleaning up their playroom and the trail of the toys that have made it everywhere else – there’s very little cleaning of the any other rooms except the kitchen. The weekends are interrupted until the house is in a clean enough state to leave. I’ve been trying with limited success to get my kids to tidy up after themselves and take some responsibility to at least keep their toys tidy – it’s not easy putting this across to a three year old and a six month old, but alas I persist.
Whether they help or not I want them to understand that the house does not magically clean itself up, like in Sleeping Beauty, as much as I love the animation, I’ll do my best to make dispel the myth of brooms and mops cleaning the house unassisted.
The original animation from Sleeping Beauty where rooms clean themselves, cakes get baked and clothes get sewn – with a little Disney magic
Although I prefer the idea of a robot cleaning the house, I think it could be educational for them to learn about programming a robot and mechanics as probably more time will be spent repairing the robot.
Nice short of the cleaner robot from Wall-E, maybe more feasible than magic?
I can definitely see the benefits of having a cleaner come in, although I worry that the cleaner’s work will be rendered redundant in under an hour and it would be a colossal waste of time and money. But speaking as a working parent how much time do we really have during the week, especially if there are other things we need to be doing?
Is spending time cleaning the house after they are asleep the best use of your time?
A couple of times I gave up on trying to keep the house clean and let them wake up and come down to a mess, just to see how they would like it. I jettisoned that idea as they were suitably unaware of the mess.
I asked some other parents about this, they said that if for nothing else clean up the house just so your kids don’t get used to the mess.
What I’ve learnt to do now is to speed clean, I seem to have built up enough muscle memory to move faster around the room and developed a higher tolerance of particular toys not going in the box/drawer that is designated to them – now everything goes in the closest box.
Do you have a cleaner, do you recommend having a cleaner? I’m considering it now as the boys are getting older they need more of my time and attention. It’s hard as I’m not the kind of person who can leave the house a mess and start reading to them. I’m not sure it will get any easier, I’m well aware having been a teenager that getting them to tidy up after themselves may get more difficult as they get older. What I’m thinking might work is to teach them good habits now so they can take it through with them as they become teenagers. I am deluding myself here, once they become teenagers will every impulse of right and wrong invert itself on their thirteenth birthday?
How do you get your kids to tidy up after themselves or are you much like me spending the best part of the evenings cleaning up after them? I have started to play youTube or my favourite podcasts on my phone as I clean up in the evenings now. It doesn’t make the cleaning go any faster but does make the time more fun and less of a chore.
Thanks for reading, please use the comments below to share your experiences.