New Mealtime "Chores"

Journey to Homemaker

Although my kids are very young (all under four) I know they need to be learning responsibility and a work ethic now. However, it is easy to say and hard to do. Sometimes it's just easier to do it yourself...or at least it feels that way. In the long run, it's much harder, both on you and your children. I swore I'd never be one of those moms, but...well, then you actually HAVE kids, lol!

One reason my house gets messy is that I'm not sticking to a schedule, then I'm running behind and shooing the kids off to bed, leaving a mess behind. The kitchen and dining area is a particular problem. The other day I bought a little Scunci steam machine. It came with a "bonus" rechargable floor sweeper. It's pretty cheap, but it's very lightweight and cordless. I thought it would be great to have my oldest son sweep the floor with it. He can't sweep well with a broom, he just ends up pushing the dirt around. But with training, he's doing a pretty good job.

The sweeper doesn't get the floor perfectly clean, but it gets it good enough. I try to have my youngest son pick up all the food he threw, and my daughter push the high chairs over to the breakfast bar. Then my oldest sweeps. I've taught him how to unplug it, turn it on and use it, then turn it off and plug it back in. The other kids love it, so sometimes they want a turn too. So far it's working pretty well. It helps that I've got them back on a schedule. They were napping way too late.

I have to mention that I love the steamer so far. It's a little bottle that you fill with water and plug in, and it comes with attachments. So far I used it to get off the stuck-on food on the linoleum (I'm not telling you how long it was there). Being nine months pregnant, I just don't have the energy to scrape that stuff off, and so the floor ends up not getting mopped often enough, because why mop a floor if it's going to have stuff still stuck on it?

I also used the steamer to clean off some calcification around the kitchen faucet, and some nasty stuff stuck inside the kitchen trash can. I noticed that while I was cleaning off the trash can lid, it did a great job. You know how plastic stuff with a textured surface is impossible to keep really clean? The dirt always gets imbedded in the texturing, and it never looks new again. Well, the steam cleaner blew the dirt right out of the tiny pores in the plastic! It looked great!

My next task is to tackle the grime in the bathtub. I've been putting that off because I usually ask my husband to do it when I'm pregnant--I don't like being trapped in a shower with chemicals. But he's been so busy, that when he has free time I have other things that are more important. We'll see how well the steamer works. If I can get up the dirt really well, then I plan on having my husband clean the tub with cleaners, then from then on keeping up with it better and just using vinegar and water to clean it. I have to admit, I was actually having fun cleaning with this thing! I wish I'd gotten it a long time ago.

Anyway, so far the cleaning routine is going well. They like cleaning up most of the time, and it makes me feel good to lay down for a nap, knowing that everything from lunch is cleaned up.

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