I remember when I was growing up my mom struggled to keep a clean house with kids more than anything else. It felt like we were always being asked to do chores, yet the house just never stayed clean…EVER! Now, as an adult, with 4 kids of my own, I wonder how on earth my mom stayed sane? After all, I’m sure it would have been so much easier for her to just throw us all outside in a makeshift tent and tell us to fend for ourselves until we could learn to clean up after ourselves!! (the thought might have crossed my own mind this past month!)
So, you’re probably here because you are dying to know HOW ON EARTH to keep a house clean with KIDS!! There has just gotta be a way, right? I mean, other mom’s do it, right? You’ve most likely walked into one of THOSE homes where everything seems to be in place, the kids have clean matching clothes, & clean faces too!
How on earth do they do it??
I think I have finally found out how to keep a house clean with kids! My life will forever be changed now. I can officially be June Cleaver, Martha Stewart, and Carol Brady all rolled into one! (except Carol Brady had Alice to cook and clean for her so she gets kicked off the list!) Here is the magic formula:
- If you have any hobbies or friends, give them up now. Keeping an immaculate house with kids will require all your extra time. Don’t worry, you’ll have your beautiful (and clean!) husband and kids to keep you company! Why would you need anything else?
- A big fluffy apron with about 10 pockets is a must. That way you can keep the cleaning wipes, baby wipes, booger wipes, tide pen, bleach pen, combs & brushes, duster, and any other essentials close at hand! If your apron is deluxe, it will have an extra-large pocket in the back to keep any unsightly trash or specs you might find lying around!
- Make sure you have a reliable TV and endless Entertainment for your children that will keep them happy and out of your hair without making any messes. After all, happy children equal happy moms, right??
- Cover your kitchen floors with plastic before every meal. It might also be helpful to buy plastic robes for your children to wear. That way, after your meal is over, you can roll up the plastic on the floor, remove the robes from your children and Whala! Your magically clean home is STILL CLEAN!! Don’t forget to invest in paper plates, cups and disposable forks, spoons, and knives! We wouldn’t want any dirty dishes lying around, now would we?
- Invest in a high-tech camera! That way, you can take pictures of your clean home and share it with all your friends and neighbors! After all, they must just be dying to see how successful you are! These lovely pictures will also come in hand when your children are all grown and have left the home. When you get lonely and start missing them, you will always have pictures of your beautiful home!
Pretty ridiculous right? Before you get all mad because you didn’t get any REAL advice for keeping a clean house with kids, let me say this. I wrote this post mostly as a reminder for myself. It seems I am always on a quest to clean my house and yet my kids ALWAYS get in the way! But then I ask myself this question, “Are my kids IN the way, or are they THE WAY for me to really learn how to find true happiness in this life? I absolutely love this quote:
“Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future.
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly.” -Thomas S. Monson (Finding Joy in the Journey)
I try to remember these words always because they bring me back to reality. The reality is that my family is the most important thing in my life, and the memories I make with them will last for eternity. Do I want my kids to remember that a clean house was more important than them? NO! I want them to remember how much fun they had at home and also how much they were loved! Chores need to be done and good habits need to be established. A clean home is a wonderful thing and brings peace to my scattered brain, yet home is also where we hang our hearts and I only hope that my first priority will always be filling those hearts with love!
When I was very young I remember reading this beautiful poem on my grandma’s wall:
So to sum it all up, I think that clean homes are nice and I would never want my kids to grow up thinking it’s ok to be a slob, but to those moms out there that might be a little bit more obsessed (like me) take a deep breath and remember that this too shall pass. Time flies a little too quickly and while a little clutter or messes on the floor are sometimes hard to ignore, we must tell them to stop screaming in our ears so we can pay attention to that which is most important. Best wishes in your every day quest to keep balance in your life!