Yes, I’m technically a stay at home mom. I do the all the laundry, the vast majority of cleaning, just about all the cooking, the daily chores, and what sometimes feels like everything. I’m sure most of you do, too. That said, I don’t feel like this means that others in the household can simply ignore the little things that should be part of a family working in harmony. I don’t get a paycheck for being the maid, but sometimes I feel like I should.
The wee ones (my husband, too, but especially the wee ones) tend to leave books and toys and clothes and other detritus scattered throughout the house. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tripped over a shoe left in the middle of a random floor. They are great about helping with chores when I tell them they need to do so – they’ll empty the dishwasher, put away laundry, clean the playroom, and the like. Remembering to hang up their coats when they walk in the door without a reminder each and every time? Not so much. Putting books back on the bookshelf once they’ve finished reading them? Ditto.
The last straw for me came when I walked into the bathroom this morning. I’m used to seeing hangars on the floor. I’m used to random pajamas or socks or yesterday’s clothing on the floor – and they must pick up those items. This though? It’s a whole new level.
Why yes, yes that is a book on the bathroom floor. And apparently a dinosaur had to come read it, too. I’m not sure what was going in here, but I’m pretty sure it was responsible for the delay in getting ready for school this morning. The daily admonitions and reminders to pick up clothing are not sinking in. It’s time to hit the wee ones where it hurts.
We’re implementing a new fine system as of today. For each room where clothing is left lying on the floor – whether clean or dirty – I will be collecting $0.25 from a piggy bank. While the wee ones don’t truly have a good concept of money, they hate giving it up. And $0.25 isn’t too much money, I don’t think. I did something similar when I wasn’t able to open the garage door the vast majority of the time because of coats dumped in front of the door, and I only collected $0.75 before the wee ones changed their habits and now hang up their coats where they belong.
So maybe I really am a housekeeper. After all, I’m collecting a salary for it now, a quarter at a time….