Monday, September 10, 2012

Cleaning House

Over the past two years, I’ve tried to fit in many of my errands and cram in my household chores when the kids aren’t with me. I’ve tried to maximize our time together and take some of the guilt off of my shoulders. This routine hasn’t worked for me. Time apart becomes packed with work and coaching commitments, zooming from store-to-store in my running gear to pick up food and household items, and I’m left scrubbing toilets, vacuuming, dusting at late hours … or ... I'll admit it ... it just doesn’t get done.

Yep. I have had many of you fooled for so long. I am not always Super Mom. I do not wear a cape. Though, I try.

After a recent conversation with another single mother (who has since remarried), she made me realize that these are things that my kids need to realize are a part of life.  A part of life for children that live in one household ... or two households.  Life isn’t always full of playdates, outings, lazy days and life experiences.  There is stuff  that you don’t want to necessarily do.  But that has to get done.  And everyone should take a part in it … not just mom (or dad).

Little Dude likes having responsibility (when he has a good moment), and has often enjoyed cleaning with me on my days off.  But I’ve never had the whole family involved (even when I was married). Until yesterday. 

I am fortunate that The Boyfriend enjoys helping out around the house (usually much more than myself). On Sunday morning, we took the kids on a little cleaning adventure around the house. He gave the Little Dude the toilet brush and a can of Pledge. After much resistance, I showed Little Diva how she incorrectly put away her clothes the week prior and showed her how to refold it and put it away. She helped me Windex. The Boyfriend cleaned bathrooms and organized the garage. I cleaned the floors and did the laundry.

And in a matter of ninety minutes … the whole house was cleaned.  It would've taken me at least a half day to do this all myself.

Everyone had the rest of the day to play.  To relax.  To spend time together.  It was awesome.

And, the house was clean.

So, I've been scouring Pinterest for some creative strategies to get the kids involved in the cleaning process.  Here are some good ones, that I hope to try.

Make it a game (HERE)
Chore charts (HERE)
Chore punch cards (HERE)
Money makers (HERE)
20 chores that toddlers love (HERE)
10 ways to make cleaning fun (HERE)


  1. Granted my daughter is a little older (10), but the money is what gets her. She has her chores that she just does because she lives there too. But she also has a list of "extras" she can do to earn extra money. And a lot of times her and I will go around the house together and clean or she will be outside with her dad doing outside chores. I used to always think I was the only one who could clean things "right", but now I am just happy if they get done! :)

  2. My kids do it for the money, too. Though I will admit my younger one loves the swiffer duster with the telescoping handle. She could dust all day with that thing!