Thursday, March 19, 2009

This Maid's On Strike

I have HAD it!

I can't seem to get anything done around this house anymore. And do you know why? Because no one can lift a finger to help out.

I spend my days picking up this and picking up that. When did I become such an idiot? Give me an IQ test and I rank above average in intelligence. But by the end of EVERY day, I am ranting that I am sick and tired of cleaning up after everyone.

Please hand me my dunce cap.

All I seem to get done during the day is, maybe, a couple of loads of laundry and filling the dishwasher. The balance of the day is spent dealing with the feeding, bathing, and caring of kids.


My house is filthy and I've got piles of work on my desk. I can't get ahead.

Now, I've heard of some moms letting their children keep their room anyway they wish. "It's THEIR room, let them express themselves."

I say bull honky. There is no reason that I have to step over things just to get to their dressers. I shouldn't risk breaking a toe in the middle of the night when I go in to comfort someone with a nightmare. I certainly am not putting up with the smell and the possibility of bugs because who knows what could end up under a pile of clothes.

My kids are responsible for keeping their rooms in order. I don't expect perfection, however, I do expect $50 Wii games to be put in their cases instead of strewn on the floor. Which of course I yell about constantly, to which I'm told, "I didn't do it!"

But it's my own fault. I lecture and threaten. But really? I'm not taking enough action.

So, my new plan? They will be reminded ONCE to put their things away. After that I will pick up said object and place it in a laundry basket. If they want it, they have to EARN it back.

I figure I waste a lot of time during the day doing their they can feel what it's like to be me.

"Oh, you want your Gameboy back? Sure, there is a load of towels in the dryer that needs to be folded and put away."

"Too bad you have Gym at school tomorrow, Oh, you need to wear your sneakers? Well, I found them in the middle of the floor after I tripped on them. Go clean up the dog poop in the back yard and you can have them back."

I think that perhaps when they see it's not easy being me they'll think twice before throwing their stuff around.


TheOtherJennifer said...

yup. Good plan. My friend with 2 junior high aged boys + husband just let it go - laundry piled up, dishes piled up, everything. She didn't lift a finger until about the 7th day when she couldn't stand it any more. Her boys are more helpful and respectful than her husband.

I like your earn it back plan. Good job!

Lainey-Paney said...

Let me tell you about about a little something that I grew up with: The 9 O'Clock Rules
(1) At 9pm, if your stuff (books, clothes, toys, WHATEVER) was not put away where it belonged, it got picked up & put into a big trash bag, controlled by the parents. How do you get things back? You earn them back through chores (which you're doing!). If it was your math book for the next day---you better scramble to talk to Mom & find out what you can do to get it back, because you had between 9pm & bedtime to get that chore done & earn your stuff back.
(2) If you put your clothes on the ironing board by 9pm, they'd be ironed for you in the morning. [that was actually my dad who would iron my clothes for me if they were set out by 9pm. it was such a treat!]

The Fritz Facts said...

That's what we do, and it worked wonders. Boo is not a messy kid, but OH MY HUNTER...he is awful. HE doens't care of his laundry sits for days. I finally told him he has one day to get it all put away. Anything that isn't put away by bedtime is mine. He lost his bowling shirt once and FREAKED, much better since then.

We also do the bedtime rule for anything else that may be laying around the house, it is wonderful. I love it!

Natalie said...

great idea! that would work great with my girls. mostly though i can tell them to go clean their rooms when i see that they are messy and they just do it. the youngest complains some, but she knows how to clean pretty well. it helps that their rooms are upstairs and that i don't have to walk past them all the time!

Stacie said...

yeah. good luck on that, let me know how it works.

amelia bedelia said...

I know just how you feel! I have my 20 year old back with us and trust me, it doesn't get any better. Your idea is great, let us know how it works out.

Chris said...

That's a great idea and I hope it works for you.

I've given up more than my fair share of times and flat out said screw it!!! After 3 or 4 days, hubby always gets irritated and cleans. It's hilarious to hear him say "I just cleaned this room!! Stop making a mess!! Pick that up!! Put that away!!"

And, is it just my hubby, or are all other hubbies usually the ones making 95% of the mess?

Kristin.... said...

Yes, yes, yes! That is my life! I have 4 kids. Two are perfectly able bodied children who REFUSE to put things away. The other two are 2, so I can't expect too much from them.

I can't wait to hear how it works for you.

This Mom said...

I have some advice that works for my house because I am sooo there with you.

1) we have a chore chart on the fridge. EVERYDAY Kids do something to contribute to keeping house clean. Email me and I will send you a copy of mine for example. ALL my kids have jobs every day but sunday from my 11 year old to my 4 yr old. they cannot play games, computer, wii or friends till jobs and home work are done. it is their choice.

2. thier rooms have to be done before school some time I let it slide til they get home then once I tell them I am checking it is 5minutes to be early for every item left on the floor. 2 socks = ten minutes. let me tell you when I start counting they come running. stick to it the first night one of my kids went to bed 45 minutes early. He was allowed to read he didn't have to sleep til bed time.

3. If I tell my kids to pick up something off the floor and they don't do it the first time, then next time I ask they owe me 10 more things off the floor. It doubles evertime I ask till they hit 40 then they start loosing privilages. The 10 things gets all the little things and trash that seems to magic appear on my floor.

Hope that helps. Good luck!!!

Midwest Mommy said...

Oh I already can't keep up with the housework...I fear when the kids get older.

Jill said...

I am loving this idea!! How young is too young to implement? Probably have to wait until Spike is at least 2 right? :-)

Elise said...

Amen Sister! Let us know how it works out!! I'm afraid I havn't got the will power to even get started on your plan of action, but I truly truly feel for your maid status... it's how I feel regularly...

Queen-Size funny bone said...

Double Bull Honkey...I go on strike a lot. I refuse to cook if the dishes don't get done.

NotAlwaysCharming said...

We are TWINS leading TWIN lives!

Bonnie the Boss said...

I think it is a great idea! Kepp us posted on the progress.

Momo Fali said...

I just want to know how you got inside my head and wrote this post for me. Seems we're living parallel lives, my dear.

J'Ollie Primitives said...

Goodwill always accepts donations of things that children do not care to take care of.

...except for pets...darn it.

Karly said...

Dude, if you actually follow through with that you will totally be my hero. Let me know how it works. I might have to try it out.

'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why! said...

Lovin' the payback-tinged ending! Seriously, that laundry basket worked wonders on us as kids. We also had a Sunday box: whatever Momma had to pick up went into a box. On Sunday we could get it back. Not before. (Occasional items like textbooks were overlooked). Anything in the box after two Sundays got given away or thrown away depending on the item.

Justice Jonesie said...

Wooo hooo!! Mother's Unite! Forget National Mom's Night Out. It's time we all put our laundry baskets out and start filling it up with precious items. Let's make it National Mother's Take Back the Night (to save our toes).


Anonymous said...

I am SO going to do this. I am SICK and TIRED of repeating myself 100x a day for them to pick up their toys, put their toys away, hang up their clothes, put the games in the cases. Sick of it I tell you!

I'm off to get the dang basket RIGHT NOW!

AmyL said...

I was so inspired by this technique! In fact, you're my hero, and I can prove it, lol. you are listed in my Heroes In Parenting project over on my blog.

Sorry it took me so long to get over here and let you know. :)