I dream of one day being the perfect example of a reformed slob who never again experiences the how-exactly-did-that-space-get-so-messy-AGAIN phenomenon that’s so common in my life.
I’ve realized that may never happen. I now know what causes these messes, how to prevent them, and that it’s not the end of the world when they happen.
But I still wish they wouldn’t happen.
If you’ve been around long, you know that this past school year was a crazy one. Too crazy. As in, I’m dreaming of all the things I’ll do differently next year to be sure it’s less crazy.
Meanwhile, it’s summer. My kids are home. And I’m determined to continue teaching them ever-so-necessary-for-life cleaning skills.
The house wasn’t in the ideal shape I wanted it to be in to start these lessons. Pre-blog, this might have discouraged me from trying. But now that I have hope, I know the best thing to do is dive in and do the best I can.
So yesterday, we cleaned the bathrooms. My oldest worked in the kids’ bathroom, my middle loudly “called” the half-bath before anyone else knew what was happening, and the youngest (6) worked with me in my bathroom.
My bathroom. The one that made her say, “You and Daddy’s bathroom is the dirtiest, Mommy.”
I grunted in response to her 6y0 reasoning that this was because it’s the biggest.
I know that the real reason. It’s the most put-off-able. Being inside the room where guests aren’t allowed to go anyway, I can justify skipping this bathroom when time is short. And time seemed to ALWAYS be short this past year.
So . . . while the boys followed the bathroom cleaning checklist in the other bathrooms, we did the best we could in mine. I cleared the counters (a much more difficult task than it should be) and she stood on them and cleaned the mirrors. Then, as I had her scrub the counters (a much more difficult task than it should be), I cleaned the desperately-needed-to-be-cleaned shower. I wiped down the toilet and we called it done for this week. She learned cleaning skills, the bathroom looks infinitely better, and now it’s in a state where I can justify putting one of the boys in there with the checklist.
Here’s the most life-changing thing I’ve learned over the past almost-three-years of my deslobification process: Don’t let my failures or trip-ups or lapses-in-doing-what-I-now-know-has-to-be-done keep me from trying.
Just jump right in wherever I am, and do the best I can.
Where are you? Is your house in prime condition to teach your kids cleaning skills or do you need to jump right in and just do your best?
Be sure to get your free copy of my new e-book: Teaching Kids to Clean.