Do you need cleaning help?
Which one of us hasn't felt like a maid in our own home? Sadly, most women don't get the cleaning help they need from their kids or husbands, but it really doesn't have to be this way and I'm going to show you how to get the help you need.
The real reason husbands and kids don't pitch in is our own fault! Seriously, if we don't ask for help when we clean, or assign chores to people around us and follow through on this, they go along their merry way while we do all the work.
What do I mean by follow through? Go on strike and refuse to do it for them. I never would have thought this would have worked, but it does. I went on strike for a weekend... no cooked meals, no washed clothes, no washed dishes, etc. My family realized the load of household responsibilities I was shouldering all by myself and began helping.
I was partly to blame for my oldest child not helping. I made the mistake with her in waiting too long to have her do chores and clean up after herself. Since it was just her and I for a long time, it was easier for me to do everything. What a big mistake that was.
When I got married again and started to have more kids, the chores, laundry, and housework just snowballed on me. I could not do it all by myself. I was tired, resentful, grumpy, and the house was still a mess. It was a pretty sad that someone like me who could "handle it all", just couldn't do it anymore. I was in serious need of cleaning help and I wasn't about to hire it out when I had able bodied people around me.
"Am I the only one that can change out the toilet paper? Mama isn't the only one who can change out the toilet paper you know!" I screamed from the bathroom one day. I think my family thought I had finally lost it, but I decided right then and there that this situation was not only unhealthy for me, but the kids too. I set out to develop a plan to get everyone in the house involved in helping out.
This was pretty tough as my husband is set in his ways and wasn't taught by his parents how to clean up for himself. When he moved out of the house on his own he always had a maid! I was determined to not become his maid. My plan was simple, he knew I liked things clean and a certain way, and so did he. He was assigned with the outside of the house and to take out the garbage. He takes care of the yard, the pool, and takes out the garbage and even enjoys getting outside to do his part.
He took over the vacuuming and moping the floors in our home when I was pregnant. He had to do the floors as I couldn't. That is until I got pregnant with our third child and we got a Roomba, then he quit doing the floors.
I also started out small with my oldest and increased tasks as she got older. For instance, she started out folding and putting away her own clothes. She then graduated to setting and clearing the table. Now if she wants to earn money, she's responsible for a lot of cleaning help by dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning bathrooms.
My oldest toddler has started helping me by getting diapers and other things that I need for the babies. He has taken over setting the table and absolutely loves it. I have also worked with him on his table manners and he has become quite the neat eater and even cleans up his own crumbs!
So, to sum it all up, absolutely refuse to be anyone's maid and ask for cleaning help. Your kid's future spouses will thank you for it. It is so important to teach your kids and husband to clean up after themselves. This saves wear and tear on you and teaches them a great life lesson to take responsibility for themselves.
Be sure to write things down and post notes for chores. Use a white or chalk board to post chore lists and have kids check them off when they're done. You can even set up a system where they earn money or stickers for doing chores. Just remember to do whatever works for your family.
Set age appropriate tasks for your kids. For instance, a toddler can set the table, a five year old can sweep, a pre-teen can do the dishes.
Remember that this may take a while for your family to catch on, but keep the faith and have patience with them as you are breaking old habits. Keep reminding them (some may need more reminding than others). Just keep it up and refuse to be a janitor, maid, or even a waitress for that matter.
And, most of all, when they do good, let them know what a great job they are doing.
For more cleaning help, check out chores for kids to get your kids to help lighten your chore load around the house.