A new perspective on house cleaning, and cleanliness, in the midst of a family

I am as guilty as anyone of bemoaning my inability to keep my house ‘clean’ with a 3 yo boy, a 5 yo boy and a 17 month lab puppy (that is already over 30 pounds).  There times, too many I admit, that I feel prevented from cleaning, or even ‘straightening’ by one or all of my charges.  Beyond that frequently they all enjoy recreating messes and disarray that I only just righted.

I offer today, for you to think about, a different perspective.  A new understanding I have been rolling around in my head as I go about my daily (*cough* unending *cough*) chores.

I think the boys and the puppy make me a better house keeper than I ever was before them.  … ok have you stopped laughing yet?  Maybe cleaned up the coffee? 

Think about it: 

  • Before the puppy I did not sweep the porch daily or the garage daily.
  • Before the boys I did not sweep the hardwood and tile 2x a day.
  • Before kids I did not clean light switches weekly, nor doorknobs either. 
  • Before kids I did not wash walls, ever. 
  • Before kids I did not weed or do any of that stuff either (now I do it to keep busy as I am out there with them and trying to allow them to just be).

So I don’t know about you, but the addition of two children (and yes, the one puppy) to my environment has made a positive impact on my cleaning habits.  Think about it the next time (i.e. tomorrow) when you feel nothing will ever be clean again — 🙂

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “A new perspective on house cleaning, and cleanliness, in the midst of a family

  1. Carolyn

    Wonderful observations. The cleaning will always be there. The kids and the puppy won’t. Take time to just enjoy them. They won’t know if you’ve cleaned or not, but they WILL know if you haven’t spent time with them.. Love you Aimee – you’re a great Mom….

    • Thanks, The boys (NOT THE PUPPY) help with almost everything — and Big has started doing things on his own, not stuff so much that needs it, but stuff he sees me do a lot. The stuff may not be done well — often even I would not believe we just swept upon entering the living room, had i net seen it done, and seen it before — but it keeps us functional and more importnatly helps the boys learn.

      (The puppy tries to eat the broom, not so helpful, esp given her size now)

      • A swat in the nose with the broom when she does this might make her think twice before chewing on it while you are sweeping. Molly will assume the broom is starting to “bite back”. This is the same sort of disipline her mother would use with a puppy behaving “out-of-line”… and they usually squeal and yelp a bit, but as long as you don’t set to to intentionally hurt the puppy with withthe broom, it is unlikely to do her any physical harm, especially such a large breed pup. Dogs learn very differently than humans regarding disciline and you need to use their own canine psychology in YOUR FAVOR… take your clues from mother dogs, wolves and coyotes (the two closest relatives that normally live w/o human interference)… the ways in which mother canines teach and displine their offspring (and how other senior members of the pack discilpine them too) is the way in which puppies learn the best and quickest. The softer “Momma Aimee” approach that works with your kids (discussion of the problem etc.) is not really what works with dogs, young or old, and is not really appropriate with dogs and pups either. Using “mommy-dog” discilpine may make your cleaning tasks easier, quicker and more effective if Molly learns to give respect and appropriate sapce to the tools you use for the job.

      • i am not a soft momma trust me. I swat her nose and so on — she has yelped at teh broom a couple of times, but goes back to it in a minute. LOL!! She as calmed a lot but still — oy she can be stupid

  2. Crystal

    I don’t know how you do it all so well.

  3. Labs can be quite hard-headed when it comes to the learning curve. We never managed to quite break ours of growling and snapping at moving men who tried to take “her” couch and inspite of years of desentitiation training, Obsidian never got over her fear of basements either.
    Keep trying the broom to the nose (and maybe a wet mop too at times), she may just have a longer than usual learning curve… also between 4 and 7 months pups tend to go through a really stubborn stage (with big dogs staying in this phase longer than smaller breeds). They are rather like 6 to 10 year old kids who have to challenge you on EVERYTHING! It’s a pain in the rear, but eventually they do grow out of this stage, esepcially the females. (Unneutered male, teenage puppy is a whole different kettle of fish… the nose and their “guy parts” rule the boys and they never seem to completely get beyond that.)

    • all the other labs we’ve had had a much better learning curve than this one LOL. (and unfix male lab = college kid for ever, i remember that, lived it before and it is funny and annoying at the same time). Sky in 14 years never got over a fear of peope on bikes 9liek the kind you petal)

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