Sunday, February 5, 2012

Do I Need a Reason for Wanting my House Clean?

It is bad enough that the dog is on to me.

Now it's the kids.

Perhaps I went a bit too far with my breakfast speech.

"Not one rear end will touch a chair, couch, or bed until this house is clean.  No complaints.  No whines of hunger.  No dilly-dallying.  If you finish a job, come to me to get the next one.  Good things will not come to those who need to be hunted down."

I then handed out the first round of chores. 

After Giant was done cleaning his room, he asked, "Are we cleaning because we have people coming over for dinner?" 

As if.  We are cleaning because the stars have aligned with our schedule, and we have a (mostly) full day at home for the first time in three months.

After Phoenix finished scrubbing the TV room floor, he asked, "Are we cleaning because we have people coming over for dinner?" 

Whatever.  You are cleaning because you love me and want to make my dream of a clean house come true.

After Buttercup finished dusting the downstairs, she asked, "Are we cleaning because we have people coming over for dinner?"

She simply got an eye-roll that I have perfected from watching her.

In my heart, I am an obsessive neat-freak.  I love clean.  When Phoenix was a baby, I scrubbed the kitchen floor, on my hands and knees, every single day.  With the birth of each child, the purchase of the farm, and the onset of my ailments, I have had to give up on some of my compulsiveness or go crazy.  After my sixth child, my goal is to have a house that's not gross.

It's not all up to me.  Hubby is very good about doing the dishes every night.  The kids have been doing chores since they were itty-bitty.  All of the big kids know how to scrub, wash, and clean most things in the house.  The little kids have jobs they can do, too.  It is very important for kids to have chores, to learn how to take care of a house, to have some ownership in the running of the household. 

Throughout each day, the kids are expected to clean up after themselves; make their beds, squeegie the shower door, clean up the games they play, etc.

They each have at least one outside chore:

Phoenix takes out the compost and collects eggs.
Buttercup feeds and waters the chickens.
Star is in charge of collecting and taking out the trash each day.
Giant waters the dogs and takes out the recycling.
Turken feeds the dogs.
Cuckoo puts the eggs in the cartons.

Plus, they need to do any random thing I need, like set the table, watch a little boy, sweep the floor.

All told, they spend about 15-20 minutes on chores each day.

Oh, and the three oldest have to do their own laundry.  But only because I got tired of finding clean clothes in the dirty laundry basket. 

Real cleaning either gets done by me during the weekdays, or by the kids when we are actually at home on the weekend.

All very reasonable.  Although, several mothers have told me that they use us as an example/threat for their own kids.  When their kids moan about having to do chores, the mother comes back with, "Be glad you live with us and not on the farm with them!  Those kids do real chores!"  Not sure how I feel about that.  I'm leaning toward not liking it so much. 

As for yesterday's massive clean, heck yes we were cleaning because we had friends coming over for dinner!  Do you think I would be wasting spending my one day off taking the stove apart if we DIDN'T?

We don't "entertain" like people on House Hunters always claim they do.  ("Oh, this would/would not be a great space for entertaining."  Who actually says that when they are buying a house?)  The cleaning and cooking takes it all out of me.  I expect our guests to entertain me.

I invite people to our house to ensure that my house gets clean.  End of story.

And the kids can just be glad it isn't Grandma coming over.  Then there would be some REAL cleaning going on! 

 Have a lovely day!


  1. Hahaha! I'm glad somebody else uses guests as motivation to clean too! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. Oh Coop. I love it, love it, love it.

    As always.

    Guess what my kids were all doing this morning on our day off?

    ANyway, thanks for linking this up with the TALU!

    1. You and I, we are a whole lot alike, much to our children's chagrin. :)

  3. Oh you are my kind of mama - LOL. My youngest kids are 6 and 4 and we are trying to establish cleaning rules with them too. It's funny, I have one kid who runs around like a Ninja but as soon as I ask him to do something he doesn't want to do, he starts slumping and dragging his feet, telling me his knees hurt. I laughed when your kids asked if someone was coming over. Mine do that to me too when I clean a lot. hahaha

    1. I have one just like your Ninja. The rest of the kids are on board when I tell them to do something, but that one. I had never seen a person whose shoulders could slouch down to his knees until Star came along. And he has the pouty lip and big sigh to go along with the shoulder slouch.

  4. I apparently need to invite people over more often - I'm good about most things, but HATE doing the bathroom and washing the kitchen floor!

    1. I'm not good about most things, and I really hate doing the bathroom, too. Five boys and all...
      I've been on your blog, now that my kitchen is up and running. I'm making a list of things to try!

  5. Hilarious! Anytime there is cleaning at my house, my kids say the same thing...they want to know who is coming over. I mean, why bother otherwise?? The laundry and dishes get done and the occasional vacuum, but, there are so many other things that I want, I mean, need to do. Ha!

    1. Long lists of things that "need" to be done! No need to waste time scrubbing, for sure. :)

  6. Love it! My son sorts laundry and folds all the socks. But I think if he had to completely do his own laundry that he wouldn't wear a clean pair of pj's EVERY night!!

    1. Oh, we have fought that PJ battle around here. Drives me batty. Almost as batty as when I find STILL FOLDED clothes in the hamper.


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