Mean Mummy

Yep, it’s true! I am one mean mummy…well if you asked my kids I am.

I feel like I am forever fighting a losing battle with clutter and mess and toys and I am at the end of my tether with it. So I have decided to get tough!!

For weeks I have been on at the children about keeping their rooms tidy and putting toys away that they get out. Did my continuous asking and moaning get me anywhere? Of course it didn’t. I would spend hours of my day tidying up after a 6.5 and 5-year-old who are more than capable of putting things back in their place only for everything to be pulled out within minutes and my pleas to tidy up falling on deaf ears.

Last weekend saw me at breaking point. I’m 5months pregnant, our house is cramped as it is with the 5 of us and a dog and a new little person is arriving in just a few small months. We need to do as much as we can to maximise the space we have for at least another year before we can move.

The children were asked to help tidy away and tidy their rooms for the umpteenth time, but as per usual their selective hearing kicked in and nothing got done. So mummy got mean!! I went out and brought storage boxes and packed up every single toy that belonged to the older 2 ready to store them in the garage. The only toys remaining in the house are those of A’s, who at 19 months old actually picks up after herself as well as taking her plates/bowls to the kitchen after she’s finished eating!

Has this method worked? So far it doesn’t seem to have sunk in. Do you think perhaps I’ve been too harsh on them? Considering they hardly get asked to do anything!

How do you encourage your kids to help put things away and help around the house?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amy
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 10:20:24

    Yes my kids are expected to help tidy up after themselves. Well… I expect… it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like lol. Their bedroom is frequently a complete pit and only occasionally will I get in there and do it for them. I quite often find myself sending them upstairs as soon as they get in from school to tidy up… and because it doesn’t get done from one day to the next (or gets wrecked within minutes after they have done it) they spend quite a lot of time up there which has its upsides at times ;). I don’t really let them have toys downstairs all that much. They have to take them back up with them at bedtime so the only toys we have downstairs are T’s and I’m able to tidy most of those away. The biggest problem I have is actually T’s bedroom which he doesn’t yet use so at the moment it’s more of a general dumping ground but that’s not the kids’ fault – it’s mine. One day I will muster up the courage to go in there and do it properly!

    As for whether you did the right thing – absolutely!! I’ve done it before – a whole big toy box full of their toys got put in the loft for a good few weeks and they had to earn them back. I do also expect them to set and clear the table and load the dishwasher and they’re pretty good at doing that.

  2. Confessions Of A SAHM
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 16:15:32

    Glad you don’t think I have been too harsh on them. They are never asked to do much. Keep their rooms tidy, Plates/cups in the kitchen, pick up toys, make sure their washing is in the laundry basket, all shoes where they should be and coats and bags hung up. Now at 6.5 and 5 they’re pretty easy tasks….yet they are unable to do them.

    They have also spent a lot of time in their rooms lately, and have been told they will do so until they are tidy. K and A share, but its K that pulls everything out. I wish their rooms were big enough to have their toys up there and out of my way. Definately asking for a specified playroom in our next house! hahaha x

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