Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homeschooling with Tots, Part 2

Last time I talked a little about what I do to try and involve and distract my tots when trying to do school.  This time... well, it is confession time.

I am a terrible house keeper.  I hate cleaning. When I was growing up I had parents who were very particular about cleaning.  I will share with you a little story to emphasize this.  One day my mom told me to vacuum when I got home from school (I was probably 10 or so).  I took out the vacuum and saw that funny dial thing on the bottom.  I had no idea that it was for the level of the carpet.  I figured when I moved it I was making it suck everything clear down to the floor when I changed the setting.  Yeah, not so much.  When my mom got home, from a very stressful day I am sure, she chewed me out for not vacuuming.  She could see the vacuum marks on the floor, so she said I must have just run the vacuum over the floor without turning it on.  Seriously?

Yeah, I never forgot that.

I love my mom, God bless her soul, but she was very strict about clean, so when I grew up… well... I let it go.  

Now, don’t get me wrong, a messy house drives me nuts!  I get stressed out and grumpy.  But what I try to do is let it go during the day.  I try not to get too stressed out if Sweet Pea pulls all the (clean) cloth diapers out of the basket and tosses them all over the living room floor. 

We have a few moments a day where I will ask someone to help me straighten this or that.  The kitchen is another matter.  The big kids do help me with this, but since we make so much homemade stuff we really need to keep up with the kitchen.  This helps maintain a bit, but believe me, my house is COVERED in toys all day long.  


If you know the source for this, please let me know, the Pintrest link was not working anymore!
I saw this sign on Pintrest a while back and it is too true.  It is something that should be hanging on my living room wall.

Every evening while I am making dinner we do our major clean up after the day.  Again this is easier because I have older kids.  But my 7 and 5 year old do a great job cleaning up the living room, especially if I peek in on them.  I have to admit their rooms take them about three times as long and I sometimes I have to send big kids in to “help” them, by watching and guiding.

So I am not the one to give advice on this.  I have just learned to let it go.  Once upon a time I had an immaculate house.  Everything was clean, dusted, and shiny.  I even had ironed napkins.

Then I had kids.

One day, sooner than I probably even imagine, my house will be like that again.  And it will only be because all my babies have moved out.  I will miss the mess and be begging my kids to bring their kids over.

So try not to worry about a clean house.  As the saying goes, "Cleaning a house with little children is like shoveling snow in a snowstorm."

Trying to homeschool, have a clean house, and retain your sanity is well, for me, impossible.  Moms have to have down time too.  Whether that is spent on the internet, knitting, sewing, blogging, whatever, moms need time to do something for themselves every day too.  Some people love to clean (Oh Lord, why couldn't I have been born with that trait?), but  I truly think this is vitally important for moms to have things they like to do and have the opportunity to do them.  Like I said, I like having a clean house but I have learned to put it down on the priority list.  If we don't vacuum the living room one day, it will be ok... so long as there are not tiny chocking hazards, mind you. If there is a mug in the sink over night, some tothpaste on the bathroom counter, a basket of laundry that needs to be folded... it will be done.  Even if it is tomorrow.  Or the next day.

Family is the most important thing aside from God.  Your sanity should be a pretty close second.  If that means folding that laundry or reading a chapter from a book, then you do that.  Stress is not allowed.  And if you have it, give it to God.  Allow Him to stress for you.


I would like to leave you with this poem I put to music years ago.  I sing it to my little ones at least once a day as a reminder to myself...

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep.
I am rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

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