I don’t know about you, but it seems as my children get older, the messier they become. I entered my house the other day, and I immediately had to go into soldier mode. Just to get to my kitchen from the garage, I had to jump, turn, and twist to avoid all the mines (toys, bags, shoes) in my way. Now, I know what you are thinking: Why didn’t I just pick up the stuff as I walked? Well, I had an arm full of gear my children had left behind in my car.
Once I finally made it to the safe zone, I dumped the jackets, crumpled papers, and forgotten lunchboxes on my island. Relief flooded me, until I took a slow survey of my home. In the time it took my darlings to run into the house through the kitchen and living room, and then upstairs and down again, my house became a war zone littered with unforeseen pitfalls I knew my husband would succumb to when he got home.
My first instinct was to start picking up the mess while my children played loudly a few feet away. If I am being honest, this is our typical routine. We get home; the girls go play until I clean up and get dinner ready. Lately, I have been mom, nanny, and housekeeper all rolled into one. It was expected that I would clean up after them.
I believe that part of the reason is because it was and is what I was used to as well. I wish I could tell you I just fell into this routine; but really, this routine was pressed upon me by my parents. I remember growing up and seeing my mom doing all the work while the little ones cluelessly played the day away. Then, for a while, I was the clueless little one. But now, I am the woman of the house expected to cook and clean while my little ones play.
Standing in my kitchen surveying my war-zone home, I am determined to break with tradition and teach my children to be better stewards of their time and stuff. Stay tuned for the tips and tricks I employ in my next blog, called “Simple Ways for Your Kids to Learn How to Tidy Up After Themselves.”