MOM-ents: Housekeeping Math
Meghan wonders why having 2 extra pairs of hands makes housework take five times as long.
Basic housekeeping math goes like this: if you skip two chores on Monday, and two chores on Tuesday, how many chores will you have on Wednesday? The answer: fifty. I don’t know how slacking on one day multiplies your work over ten fold for the next day, but that is the way it works.
Keeping the house livable is like treading water. You never actually get anywhere and you never get to rest, or else you are a dead man.
Add to this my kids (God bless them) want to be helpful, so a chore that takes me five minutes will take fifteen with their help (just another way housekeeping math is different than regular math). Add this to the fact that I hate all things housework to begin with, doubling and tripling the time spent on it is a nightmare.
Being the awesome mother that I am, I want to encourage their interest in helping out around the house, so I feel bad when they come to help and I don’t include them. This is why I try to sneak off while they are busy so I can empty the garbage or dishwasher without four extra little hands.
Have you ever tried to empty a dishwasher while being completely silent? It is not easy. As soon as the first coffee cup hits the cupboard shelf I hear 2-4 little feet padding rapidly into the kitchen.
Ironically, Ryann can hear me take the lid off of the garbage can from upstairs in her bedroom, but can’t hear me ask her to put her pajamas on until the 1500th time I ask.
For most tasks around the house, I try to include things that they can do. If I am cleaning the counter, Ryann can wipe up her play kitchen and the kitchen table. If I am cooking, she can pour things into the bowl, mix, etc. If I need to clean the bathroom, she can scrub the bowl with a toothbrush while I do the mirror (I wish). Matthew loves to push the dirt around with the broom and is in charge of all tupperware organizing in the kitchen.
I know that I didn’t invent these ideas, and I don’t know how old they will be before I will never have to clean the kitchen floor again (one of my most despised tasks). When it comes to chores I hate, I would rather ask/bribe/threaten them as many times as it takes to avoid doing it myself no matter how long it might take. Until then, I will be in the kitchen with the lights off cleaning out the fridge in silence.