I hate cleaning house. I only do it because I have to and I generally try get The Man and the kids involved because I do not want to clean up every body's mess all by myself. The Man is usually really good about helping on the weekends but he is so tired and worn out from his work schedule and lack of sleep during the week that he doesn't do much during the week.
The oldest boy is supposed to do a chore every day but rarely gets one accomplished between school, homework, dinner, and practicing his instruments. I am quite lax on him about the chores because I think that the school work and practicing the instruments is more important. I never had the opportunity to learn to play an instrument when I was a child so I am thankful he gets the chance to learn two. He also has a bad attitude when I ask him to do anything and when he does do something he puts very little effort into it and it usually isn't much better than it was before. How do you get an 11 year old boy to understand that helping out in the house is important?
The little two boys don't quite get what chores are. I try to get them involved with helping but if I am not right there helping them they make more mess than the help is worth. I can hand them wet washcloths to help wash fingerprints off walls and if I walk away they are smacking each other with the rags. I will help them start cleaning the toys off their floor in their room but if I leave the room for any reason they start playing and pull out more toys. I have taken toys away for them being left out and it doesn't seem to affect them. What are some easy chores for little kids (5&3) that they really cannot make too much mess with?
The baby of course cannot do much at this point. It would help if she would play peacefully in her playpen for a little and not cry when I walk out of her sight so I could get a whole lot more accomplished.
I struggle on how to implement the family's help so that I am not the only one who is stressed out about it all the time. I read a few blogs about large families (much larger than mine) and they seem to have figured out how to limit the "stuff" their kids have and they home school so there are more helping hours. I don't home school mostly for my lack of strict structure and my oldest son's attitude. I would love to be that great mom who was able to home school her children and get everything done around the house as well, but I am not.
While I know my house isn't a pigsty or a disaster it is cluttered and always looks too lived in for my liking. I do not know how to combat this. I can figure out how to get rid of "stuff" but new stuff seems to just come in to replace it. I am really hoping that as my children age that the house wont look so messy to me all the time.
Do you have children who are great helpers around the house? How did you get them to be involved without the attitude? Do you have some suggestions on how to get everyone involved without too much arguing and complaining?