| August 11, 2015 | 0 Comments


We have an unwritten rule in our house that who ever doesn’t cook, does the cleaning up of the kitchen. We kind of fell into it and pre-kids it worked well as we took in turns cooking most nights, which also meant there was more variety in meals as we have slightly different tastes. We also shared most cleaning jobs equally… vacuuming, bathrooms, washing etc

But as the years have passed (14 years of marriage today!), including moving countries, new jobs, two kids, career advancements, a redundancy, building a home based business (or two) and buying and selling houses, the natural progression has been that I do all the cooking during the week and hubby takes over on the weekend, as he is not home until after dinner most nights and if you are a parent you know that when the kids want to eat, they WANT TO EAT NOW!

And as far as the house cleaning, I usually do a big clean once a week while hubby takes the kids out to the pool, or a walk or something… he’ll help every now and again with the bathrooms or whatever and maybe do some washing on the weekends because he has run out of jocks and socks. Apart from that there is my regular day to day stuff, like sweeping floors, wiping down tables, cleaning the kitchen etc.

To be clear. I HATE cleaning, especially bathrooms… and I will avoid it until it is absolutely necessary. Problem is the necessity is increasing but my willingness to clean is not.

I live with 3 boys and I have come to believe that it is a genetic disability that boys/men just don’t see mess in the same way as us girls… or is it conditioning? Nature verses nurture?

Clothing is discarded where it is taken off, shoes are kicked across the room, bags are dropped in the entry hall.

Train sets are constructed in the doorway and promptly forgotten about, Lego projects are built, played with and then dumped in another room. Books are read and discarded on beanbags, on the stairs, in my bed… football boots, cricket bats, dress-ups, board games…

IMG_2817 OMG

[… and this is a good day]

Then there are the crumbs… toast is made, don’t worry about a plate, the bench will do… jars left open with knives in them, crumbs on the floor, the couch, the beanbags…

I could go on and on.

I didn’t grow up in an untidy house, but it wasn’t spotless and I have clear memories of being told to clean my room as it was a “pig sty”, much the same as I tell my kids now. Mum would leave long lists of chores she wanted completed by my sister and I.

But god forbid if I ask the kids to help me clean up – *eyeroll* “It’s not fair” “It’s not my mess” “Why do I ALWAYS have to do EVERYTHING!” *door slam* *mutter, mutter, mutter* “You are the WORST MUM in the WORLD!”

Oh really?!!

They have no f**king idea!

But in all honestly I know I only have myself to blame. They learn from what they see, I see it as a chore I hate, so of course so do they! I get it!

I should have instilled earlier that they put away a toy before they get out another one, I was too relaxed, would rather just do it all at once than little bits here and there.

My problem is that I’m a perfectionist. I want my house to look a certain way, straight out of a Freedom catalogue… but I no longer have control.

If I buy a funky yellow pot stand for the stairwell it will end up on hall floor outside the toilet where I will trip over it in the dark. My colourful cushions that look amazing in the lounge window seat will end up at the bottom of the stairs as a landing pad. The carefully styled bedding in the guest room will end up dragged into the kids room to make up a fort. The Mocka side tables will end up covered in vivid because the pen bled through the paper that was being drawn on. The framed kids drawings on our bedroom wall will end up being tagged by the child who drew them, along with a wall in almost every room in the house. The amazing second lounge that I am itching to buy cool furniture for (once I have the cash) has been turned into an indoor football pitch…

Some days all I can hear coming out of my mouth is “Nag, nag, nag… blah, blah, blah!”. I have tried every incentive in the book, I’ll think I have found my kids currency but it never lasts long. They don’t miss what I have taken away, or they forget what they were saving for…

Will it change, will they start to care? Will they start pulling their weight?

I really wish I could see into the future.

*So what is the Secret? Please tell me because I don’t know!!

What do other parents do?
Do your partner and kids do their share around the house?
How do you delegate?
Should I just get a cleaner?

Note: Husband if you are reading this… yes I know you do! I really do appreciate all you do around the house so this is in no way a rant about you. OK! Oh and Happy Anniversary my love. 😉


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