Um, sort of.
I’m actually gonna be talking out of my neck (I’ve always wanted a reason to use that expression!) on this entire post because I haven’t a clue about how one actually ensures their children grow up to be neat and tidy.
Let me tell you a little story about my mama.
She’s what I like to refer to as
someone with a cleaning disorder a neat freak. She’s been that way since the day we met, and probably even before that.
She always swore that she would never allow her children to live in filth and that she would ensure that they grew up to be clean people who love cleaning and being clean.
I don’t know if that was her life goal or anything, but that’s how it felt when I was growing up and being forced to slave away every Saturday morning while my pals were out hitting the mall and picking up boys and other such fast things I’m probably happy she saved me from now. I whined, I cried, and I promised her and myself that I would live in squalor as an adult.
I won’t say that is exactly the case, but she can count me (and even more so my younger brother) as mom fails* because I’ve been known to go to bed with a sink full of dirty dishes. And a basket or 3 of unfolded laundry. And a big fat muddy foot print by the door. And a dust bunny or two behind it.
I’m not gonna throw myself under the bus here (I like to make people think my house is always sparkly), but I am NOT a cleaner. It grosses me out, it’s not fun, and I hate it. In fact, I’m allergic to it (most cleaners actually make my hands break out into a weird, peely rash)!
So, I do just the things I absolutely have to in order to survive, and then I complain to my husband that he doesn’t help out, and yell at my children to do the rest.
I’m actually interviewing housekeepers this week (I enjoy being clean, I just don’t like getting there) to stop the madness!
But, I don’t want my Dudes to grow up and enter the husband pool as lazy, unable-to-care-for-themselves brutes. And, I don’t want their future wives trash talking me either.
So, I am at least teaching them a few things about caring for themselves, and their belongings…
Dumb Mom’s Guide to Raising Able to Work a Mop Dudes
1. Start with their bodies. We are in the I-hate-showers-even-though-I-smell-like-the-inside-of-dog’s-butt phase of life. I don’t tolerate it and I MAKE THEM shower. And use soap. And SCRUB. Sometimes, I even make them go back in if they fail my smell test. And if worse comes to worse, I go in there and clean them myself! Ten year old and six year old boys don’t really like that. Can’t keep a room straight if you can’t even keep your own tail smelling fresh!
2. Make them care. By threatening to throw away every single toy you step on between your kitchen and the bathroom. Okay, some would say that’s a bit harsh and that a lecture about being appreciative would work better. I say later for that, it’s about shock and awe at Casa de Dummies, and it works. Threaten to trash a transformer and all of a sudden those super-tired-I-can’t-move-lazy-bones Dudes are hustling to put those toys away. Mom score!
3. Lead by example. And yes, the example can be that if you aren’t gonna clean it yourself, you better be able to hire someone to do it for you as living in squalor is just NOT an option.
4. Make it fun. By singing the clean up song? This actually does nothing for me, but they seem to like it. Turn the whole event into a race with chocolate as the prize and they are all over it.
5. Relax. You know, once the cleaning is finally done.
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- Second Prize: A Copy of the Book Over 100 Helpful Household Hints
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This contest is PERFECT for me!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GreatCleaners. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the Arm & Hammer Brand.
*Dear Mom, Don’t freak out over this. You can’t win them all, ya know. Besides, I (and to a lesser extent, the brother) am awesome in so many other ways. And, while I don’t particularly excel at cleanliness or even being straightliness, I’m good at all kinds of other stuff. And also, I’m happy that you didn’t let me run the streets like so many of those other girls. I woulda been completely fine with just staying home and watching TV or um, knitting, or pretty much anything other than cleaning. I mean now look, I can’t clean or knit. XOXO, your eternally grateful, no-streetwalking daughter!