Are you a parent of small people? There’s little doubt that children are naturally messy creatures. Yes these small humans who inhabit our homes, otherwise known as our darling children ensure our residence will never again look like an IKEA magazine. Sigh. With children comes random pieces of plastic on the floor, windows that have permanent finger prints and mountains of washing that appear to breed over night.
Lately I’ve been reading over the job description of ‘parent’. I must have missed the part that said ‘maid’. Underneath it read nurse, counsellor, teacher, mentor, taxi driver to name just a few! Here’s the crazy bit – all for no pay, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.Thankfully the perks of the role include unconditional love and kisses.
After three lovely Son’s I have grown clever, some would say a little bit sneaky. If you have little people making a mess then you’ll understand! Pay attention readers, I have some secrets to make your life easier.
It’s not slave labour to encourage your little people to help maintain the running of their home. It’s pretty smart actually. It’s unfair for one person to rush around doing everything whilst the kids lie around throwing empty raisin boxes or dirty socks on the carpet. Grown ups it is time to take action. We were here first!
The number one piece of advice I can give you is to start encouraging them to tidy up when they are young. A three-year old is easier to persuade than a hormonal and pampered fourteen year old!
Now let’s be clear, by maintaining a home, I am not suggesting an unnatural and obsessive level of cleanliness – think ‘home style magazine’ spreads. This is an impossible ideal when you have children. If you do have a clean and organised home with children can you tell us your secret please? Can I hire you please? Or are you endlessly and furiously cleaning every hour of the day from 6am to midnight? We’d love to know where you find the energy and motivation?
A good place to start is their bedrooms. Often I will say to my kids, ‘It’s a race, let’s see who can tidy their bedroom the quickest?’ A bit of healthy competition can be used in your favour. Just think – one less room to tidy. More time to do what you want to do!
Of course all clever parents know, blackmail works wonders, ‘If you don’t clean your bedrooms I wont be dishing out pocket money!’ That is usually followed by a dart to the bedrooms. Perfect!
The secret to success? Make everything a game. Make it part of daily life. Give your kids a chance to be responsible for their own living environment. Setting a good example yourself by keeping your own bedroom and living space tidy.
And last but by no means least, teaching awareness that their parents actually need a helping hand. No parent is super woman or super man, some days we need a little help! It’s a tough gig this parenting business. Your family working as a team and supporting each other is not to be sniffed at. After almost eight years in this parenting world – I now gladly accept all help offered!