Today was one of those days.
You know, one of those days where you feel like banging your head against the wall.
I am one of those moms who rather than patiently sit back and let her kids learn how to do certain tasks......I jump in out of frustration and time and do the tasks myself because, ONE. I am able to get the task done a LOT faster and, TWO. I like things cleaned and organized a certain way.
I have not helped my kids by doing this.
Instead, I have a thirteen year old who doesn't know how to wash his own clothes. A ten year old who at one time mistook Palmolive soap for Cascade and filled the dishwasher cup full of it.....not once, but twice (in the same wash load) because she thought she didn't add enough soap. A nine year old who would rather go to her room than to help clean.
Thankfully, I now keep Cascade drop-ins for the dishwasher. But this doesn't solve the rest of the problems I have created for myself in not teaching my kids simple household tasks they should be able to do by now.
I have come to a point where I have decided I want change. Not just a little but a lot. I am tired of unrolling dirty socks before putting them in the wash. I am tired of tripping over backpacks by the front door. I am tired of shoes being scattered everywhere (and yes they do have a place to be put) and the morning rush of, "Mom! Where is my other shoe?!"......followed of course by a reply of, "I don't know, probably wherever you left it". I am tired of toothpaste stuck to the sink, towels and laundry in the floor and water left dripping in the bathtub. I am tired of glasses of milk filled to the rim for Oreo dipping and then poured down the sink. I am tired of telling them to clean their room every day and they don't listen to me, that is until they receive a phone call from a friend to go somewhere and then magically their room can be clean in ten minutes. Oh how I could go on and on.
I love my children. I love them dearly. But these are just a few of the things that need to change here in our home. It isn't their fault....that falls on my shoulders for always "wanting to hurry and get it done".
So today I decided things would be different. I decided rather than me cleaning their bathrooms that they are perfectly old enough and capable enough to do it themselves. Spencer did pretty good.....he has cleaned his bathroom before. The girls however.......lets just say it took a lot of patience and a few laughs here and there.
Natalie and Katie share a bathroom. I divided up the cleaning tasks to be even. Believe it or not they were fighting over who got to do certain jobs. Katie wanted to clean the mirror. Natalie wanted to mop the floor. They both shared the rest of the tasks such as, scrubbing the bathtub, the toilet, putting things away, taking laundry to the laundry room and cleaning the sinks.
What would have taken me about 20 minutes to do......it took them over an hour.
That is where the wanting to bang my head against the wall came in.......it was taking FOREVER.
But my good laugh for the day came when Natalie started mopping the floor.
She mopped by the right side of the toilet (which is right next to the tub), then mopped by the door. I told her she needed to mop by the left side of the toilet and that she had missed it and explained to her how to start mopping at a far corner of the room and mop your way out of it.
"OK Mommy" she said.
Then she climbed from the doorway to the tub.....walked along the edge of the tub, all the while holding a dripping mop, and then stepped on top of the toilet (and yes the lid was closed).
"What are you doing?" I laughed and asked her.
"Well Mommy, I didn't want to put feet marks on the floor where I already mopped!".
I had to laugh, it was hilarious. She was standing on top of the toilet mopping the floor. Then I came to my senses after laughing and realized this was Natalie.......Natalie standing on top of the toilet mopping. She is the clumsiest of the three of our kids. The one who is always falling and getting hurt. The one who can trip just walking. So I helped her down and helped her mop her way out of the bathroom.
So for today I feel like I accomplished something. I feel better knowing I stepped back and let our kids do certain tasks rather than taking over so I could hurry and move on to the next one. I learned that there is certainly a creative way to do everything, including mopping a bathroom floor.
To my darlings. I love you.