Thursday, April 23, 2009

cleaning house

After the birth of our first child I was a sweaty mess and could barely find the time to tidy up the household let alone run a comb through my hair. I had zero interest in becoming a Stepford wife. Perhaps it was due to my dishevelled look and hearing me constantly complain about the piles of dishes sitting in the sink that my frustrated husband brought home another woman. A cleaning lady. And I love her more than you can imagine. She comes over once a week to clean the home top to bottom including stripping down the beds and washing and folding laundry.

But I am breaking up with her.

Last week my son was making a mess of his toys and I asked him to tidy up. He said B..... will do it. I realized at that moment that the luxury of having someone to help us clean was sending the wrong message to my young child: that he doesn't need to be responsible for his things because someone else will take care of it for him. Jacob will be 3 this summer and I don't want him growing up with this sense of entitlement.

So this week I told him that as a family we are now tidying up the house ourselves and his job was to help. The chores he likes to do are parking his toy trucks against the wall, wiping down the table, filling the front loader washer, finding and matching his socks and putting his clothes away. And this kid believe it or not loves to vacuum. I have regained the sense of satisfaction that I am taking care of my own home without having to pay someone to do it and I am finding the house is neater because we are staying on top of cleaning everyday instead of leaving it all to the one day a week. And Jacob is learning lifelong skills, the concept of family teamwork and responsibility... and that is worth more than spotless floors and streak-free mirrors.


  1. yeah, i dont want my kids to grow up with that sense of entitlement either. your writing is great! i am going to have to "publish" your blog more..its hilarious!