Hope for My Kids??

Hope for My Kids at

Last week, as we were barely hanging on in the midst of final-week-of-rehearsals craziness, I was experiencing what you might call . . . despair.

A toilet had overflowed because a child claimed there was no toilet paper left in the house and had therefore chosen to use a paper towel.

Even though there was toilet paper in the house.

Actually, there was toilet paper in the cabinet four feet away . . .

That, plus tripping a few more times than normal, meant I was in a why-oh-why-can-I-NEVER-ever-get-the-whole-house-clean-at-the-same-time funk.

Saturday morning, in an attempt to regain sanity, I declared it was Bathroom Cleaning Day and gave out assignments. The boys took care of their (particularly scary) bathroom, the girl cleaned the half-bath, and I did the master bathroom.

And that was when I saw a little glimmer of hope. My 12yo declared that he and his brother did NOT need the laminated Bathroom Cleaning Checklist anymore. They KNOW how to clean a bathroom thankyouverymuch.

Well, okay.

I’m not going to argue that one.

And I felt a little bit better.

My despair comes not just from my house turning disastrous once again, but from the fear that my example to my children has once again failed. That there’s no hope whatsoever for them to NOT struggle like I do.

But the focused (though not necessarily consistent) efforts I’ve made have paid off. They know how to clean a bathroom. And they know that they know how to clean a bathroom.

Keeping it clean? We’re still working on that whenever mama remembers to work on that.

And then? After cleaning her room on Saturday, my daughter told me  that when she woke up on Sunday she noticed her room was messy again.

“So I did a five-minute pick-up!”

Be still my Slob Mama Heart!!!

I honestly hate that I can’t be the Slob Blogger who gets it together once and for all and then tells everyone else how to be perfect too. But I can say that even in the midst of continual failures, fits and bursts of focused child-training and just keepin’ on keepin’ on is worth it.

My kids are watching me. They watch me succeed, they watch me fail. And then they watch me get up and start again.

Hope for my kids pin

And since it’s getting close to the time of year (SUMMER!) when I focus on teaching my kids cleaning skills, I’m putting Teaching Kids to Clean (an e-book in PDF form) on sale for all of May for only $3. Just use the code: SUMMER14


Summer of Clean Final Bathroom Report

Here’s the short version of my final report on how we did cleaning bathrooms this summer:

The bathrooms were thoroughly cleaned several times this summer.  If I hadn’t been purposeful about continuing to train my kids to clean them on a designated Bathroom Cleaning Day, they likely wouldn’t have been cleaned at all this summer.

The long version:

I really hesitated to say that last part.  About how we might not have cleaned them at all if Tuesday wasn’t Bathroom Day and how even that probably only happened because I was determined to hone their Potty Scrubbing Skills over the summer.

But it’s true.

Summer, no matter what my vision is for it at the end of May, no matter how much I realistically prepare myself for its lack of scheduled-ness, always flies by so fast I can barely catch my breath.

We thoroughly enjoyed the summer.  I look at those four(ish) bathroom cleanings as a success.  In my past life, it would have been completely the norm to awake with a start sometime in September and realize that I had no recollection of ever cleaning the bathroom in a month that started with a J.

How did the kids do?  Well, my 6yo still isn’t capable of cleaning a bathroom on her own, but she is one fabulous helper and rather fun to work with in my bathroom.  (Except when she repeatedly points out that my bathroom is the dirtiest.)

The almost-9yo and 10yo are both capable of cleaning on their own, but they do need supervision.  Meaning, extra eyeballs that notice things like never-wiped back-of-the-toilets.

Overall, I’m calling it a success.  The reality is that they cleaned the bathrooms.  More than twice.  And that means they practiced those skills we’ve worked on before, and got a little better at them.

And hey, that’s a headstart for me as I attempt to get back on my own cleaning routine next week.

Did your kids learn any bathroom cleaning skills this summer?


(Don’t forget that you can still get my e-book, Teaching Kids to Clean, for free right now!)

Summer of Clean is Almost Over (Laundry Report)

HOW does summer fly by so quickly?  It’s been another fun year and my kids are crazy-tan, in great shape from swimming like maniacs almost every day, and sad-as-can-be that school starts next week.

While we’re having Summer’s Last Blast this week, I thought I’d report on how our Summer of Clean went.

First, let’s talk laundry.

Mondays were Laundry Days.  Not that we EVER finished all of the week’s laundry on a Monday, but I can say with confidence (based on pre-blog experience) that if we didn’t have a designated Laundry Day, I’m not sure we’d have been fully clothed most days.  As it was we USUALLY had the basics we needed.


Did they learn how to do laundry?  Honestly, they already knew how (from previous Summers of Clean).  With a few reminders, the ones who are tall enough to reach the controls were immediately able to pick back up.  It was nice (especially when I was sick) to be able to say “_____, go change over the laundry please” and he knew how to do it.

Did we achieve Laundry Perfection?  Far from it.  Most weeks, at least one pile of the least necessary clothes stayed in its sorting pile until we had to move it out of sight because someone was coming over.

Am I satisfied?  Yes.  It was summer, and summer is crazy.  Having a designated day for laundry kept us out of total chaos and I consider that an accomplishment!  And the main goal, which was . . . teaching kids to clean . . . was accomplished.

Not that I want to send them off any time soon, but I do feel confident that the boys will be fully capable of handling their laundry once they’re on their own.

Did your kids learn any laundry skills over the summer?

(And don’t forget that you can still get my e-book, Teaching Kids to Clean, for FREE.  It will likely only be free through Labor Day, so be sure to click here to find out how to get your copy!)

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