Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Parenting Tip Number 465

I've been just a little busy lately. You know, nothing much. Just that kind of RUNNING LIKE A MADWOMAN for the last few weeks. It's just the way it is when you work for a church. Fall is busy. There are a million details to attend to, and it's all urgent. I love my job, I'm happy to do the things that need to be done. But, I'd been so preoccupied that...

my house had become one of those GARBAGE HOUSES you see on tv!

I'm from a long line of fine working class folks, we just don't pay people to clean our houses. And we're trying to save for college for three boys. So to pay for a house cleaning makes sense in my adult brain, but I've not been able to DO it because my ancestor brain is completely opposed.

And my dear husband, and the organized one who lives here, is in Korea. I thought it might be nice if we had a house that looked like a house and not a transfer station when he got home. Thought it might be nice for him, but it's overwhelming for me! Completely overwhelming, to look at all the shoveling, um......I mean cleaning that there was to do.

So, I live with these good kids. Good young men. And they are willing to help. No, they don't always see the monument to the laundry gods that their clothes hamper sometimes becomes, and they don't see the clutter and dust and tortilla chip crumbs. They just don't. But if I draw a map and set up the GPS directions to the messes, well.....then they always are more than willing to do their part, or more than their part. And so I made a plan and they stepped up.

Here's the parenting tip part:

Got a big job to do? Make a plan. At 7pm I called to the far ends of the house "hey guys, we're gonna clean for a half hour starting at 7:30 and eat dinner at 8. Sound OK? "sure" "fine" "alright"

So at 7:35, I mean come on-- they're teenagers, we started cleaning. I laid out a list. Bathroom: mirror, sink, counter and toilet as well as floor. Living room; dusting, vacuuming, organizing and general crap removal. Front hall. Stairs. (why is it that the stairs become everyone's inbox in a two story house!?) And then, dinner.

It was a phenomenal success! Huge success. Our house is pretty clean! The mom who lives here feels pretty good. The young men like the order and the lack of layers of dust. And we had a nice dinner together after the cleaning, too.

Really friends; make your children clean with you. It's totally worth it. And what would have taken me two hours to do alone happened lickety split tonight in a half an hour. That really just rocks my world. Yes!

And just because my husband has been completely waylaid with standby travel plans in Korea doesn't mean it's not worth it to have cleaned the house. Nope. Last we heard he was going to fly direct from Seoul to Los Angeles on Korean Air. But from what I can gather he's delayed in Seoul (actually, the airport is in Incheon). Guess we'll just look for him when we see him coming. I can't wait.

And....the house is almost, kind of, if you don't look to closely......


1 comment:

b said...

Cleaning with the kids is so great...the work gets done so much faster...sometimes they are doing such a great job I get distracted by something else that needs to be done, bills, lesson planning...They seem relatively ok with that, but when they catch me checking my email...well...I am busted (as I should be!!!) What a great family you have!!!