Whoever coined this phrase was seriously delusional. While I can only speak for myself, if my house embodied these verbal statements I wouldn’t consider myself a good mom but rather one who clearly wasn’t utilizing all of her resources (hello….the kids need to pitch in and help to keep things clean – I am not a maid service and the last time I checked there my magic cleaning wand was on the fritz). And knowing how messes make me crazy (that’s my OCD kicking in) I am pretty sure that such a scenario would result in a crazy mommy, not a good one.
While I understand the importance of the message – that of leaving the housework til later or putting aside chores in general so that you can spend time with and enjoy your children now while they are kids, there needs to be a happy medium. And sometimes that happy medium actually means getting the kids involved in the cleaning process so that at the end of the day everyone can sit down together and enjoy each other’s company. I believe it’s important for children to have chores and a stake in maintaining the household. It teaches them responsibility and fosters their growth and maturity. Hell, if they learn to appreciate the efforts it takes to clean up their rooms and toys and maintain some order, maybe they won’t be so inclined to make the monumental messes that they do. I mean, there is no mystical cleaning fairy that comes in after the fact and magically restores our house to a state of “neat and orderly.” It’s just me – plain old mom who is of the belief that instilling within her children a basic understanding of the importance of pitching in is fundamental in their development as human beings.
Now ask me how it’s working out in myself household and I will confess that it’s not without its challenges. I get the moans and groans when I remind them of their responsibilities but they do what is asked of them – eventually – sometimes even with a smile. And it’s not that I ask all that much of them. I ask for them to make their beds, keep their rooms neat, clean up whatever toys they take out, put their dinner plates in the dishwasher, and feed the dogs and cat. We are in the process of discussing adding some other basic chores but haven’t quite gotten to the implementation phase yet. We will get there soon enough, especially since they are getting older and more able to help out. In fact, my older son is already asking to mow the lawn….YES!!!!
So, finding time to clean and maintain your house shouldn’t be as difficult if everyone pitches in on the level that they are capable of ….you’ve just got to use your resources….