Holy Moly I’m going on strike from motherhood for a bit. Well, that isnt exactly true. Motherhood itself is fine. I don’t have a problem with that part of it at all… It’s the running the household and picking up after people that I have an issue with right now. And it’s those things that I need a break from.
Know what I mean?
Now, those of you who know me know how much I hate cleaning. Like, I hate it with a passion.
I am a NEAT freak though – which means that usually things are thrown into a cupboard or shoved into places that I am too scared to mention, all on account of me saving myself from a case of frazzled nerves.
Not even kidding. Mess makes me anxious. I am weird like that.
But cleaning???! Let’s be honest, I am not the best at that. And I hate it.
So yesterday in my motherhood magician-ness, I managed to steal some time from the kids (thanks Channel 22 for zombie-ing the frick out of my kids) and I revved myself up to clean the house from top to bottom. “Come OOOOON!” I shouted at my own reflection as I tried to find the motivation to haul the vacuum out from underneath the stairs to get cracking on the mess that is my life. I mean my floors.
Now, we kinda shove the vacuum into the back corner underneath the stairs near the power point so that it can be charged in between uses because there is nothing effing worse than finally finding the will to vacuum and having the damn thing run out halfway through. #FarkThat.
And because it was shoved all the way back I banged my head on the way in to get it, and again on the way out. I do that every single time. You would think I’d learn after the one millionth time of doing it, but nope.
Fucking Motherhood. Or… um… Cleaner-hood.
I vacuumed all of downstairs… um except for the rooms where I have to open doors to get into, like the downstairs toilet, the laundry and the pantry. I figure less dust gets in there because the doors are closed, right?!
*insert crickets here*
I then did the stairs and headed upstairs to do up there. The thing is, upstairs is carpeted. Downstairs is tiled. And this means that downstairs was a relative breeze, but that upstairs sucks ALL of the dust into the carpet.
So, I worked up a sweat vacuuming and then subsequently dusting the house. I did.
And I hated it. Cleaning is dumb.
But by the end of the day when I looked around my house, and saw that it actually looked nice, I felt a sense of satisfaction, pride and accomplishment. And then, 30 seconds later, the TV turned itself off, and the kids came alive.
I don’t know how it even happened, but all of a sudden food was all over the floor (NO-ONE WAS EVEN EATING, I’M SO CONFUSED….), dust had resettled itself all over the surfaces, and the kids had rearranged all of the family photos down the hallway to make a racetrack they could toss cars around in. Groan. Sigh. Spew.
I don’t even know if The Girl Babe even knows what a race track is, but boy oh boy she was just happy to be involved and help make a mess. Sigh.
I was so annoyed about it – about how fruitless a task cleaning has become since we have had kids who just like to mess it up before the duster has even gone back in the cupboard. So much so, that I decided that I was going to go on strike. A motherhood-farking cleaning strike.
Well, for the time being anyway.
Because it shouldn’t JUST be up to me to do it, it should be up to all of us. We ALL live in this house, and just about everyone else in this house seems to create the mess more than I do… It’s just that no-one else seems to care.
And that lack of care may not actually be what it looks like. It might be purely because I take charge constantly and straighten up the house when there is shit everywhere for my own peace of mind, and my sanity.
And it might be purely because they know I will so there is no ownership over the mess. It might be just a habit.
But fellow mumma’s, its time for this shit storm to stop.
It’s time for my family to get their hands dirty too (literally) and help share this load that they were each responsible in creating. Even the baby. Yup, her too.
So today I got up and instead of straightening up all of the things, I just tried to relax into the mess and the chaos.
I realised that things will still need to be cleaned by someone – for the health and wellbeing of all of us… And so I tried to come up with a plan for the whole family – to get them involved and interested.
And since I think the kids are too little to understand pocket money, and I don’t know if I agree with that anyway, because…well… no-one pays ME to clean the house that I live in, so I decided to purchase one of those charts that we could display in the kitchen and that would help everyone know what to do each week.
Well, most of us will know what to do. Some of the shorter folk in our family still cannot read. Sigh. That sucks.
And if our tiny people actually achieve their allotted chores for the week then we will do something fun for them on the weekend. Something of their choosing. Coz we all deserve a little bit of fun in our lives too.
But I am hoping that this chart, and the implementation of it will help them understand responsibility, ownership, care, and also rewards. I want them to be good participating thoughtful humans, contributing equally in the world, and not relying on others when work needs to be done. But I do also want them to enjoy their lives and know that its not all about work.
Plus I want to enjoy motherhood again for the actual mothering side of things. I don’t want to just focus on all of the damn mess all of the time.
So it starts here… It starts with us. We have to be the example in all things. And by teaching them the importance of contributing and the concept of helping one another, we each can share the load of the life we live together. A bit more freaking equally.
Have you started chore charts in your house? Have they been successful? Leave a comment below and tell me all about how you have found it. And if you have other suggestions on how to get the family to pitch in then I would love to hear them too xxx