As a mom you have a pretty thankless job, right? It can feel like you are the only one cleaning up after everyone else.
It’s almost like your husband and children have special vision that only allows them to see clean spaces and no messes!
Early in my marriage, I used to clean up after my husband all the time and I started to grow resentful. Then when my son came along, it was like double the mess.
I knew I had to make some changes, cuz this Momma wasn’t going to keep cleaning up after everyone all the time.
Here’s what I did and you can do too!
By the way, make sure you grab the free Balanced Mom Checklist to help you care for your home and yourself!
Stop cleaning up what others can do for themselves.
One day it occurred to me that I was doing things for my kids that they could do for themselves. Ever since then, I take a mental note of things they should be doing.
I know how easy it is to just pick the toys up yourself or clear the dishes from the table. You could do it 100 times faster and you don’t have to listen to complaining!
But every time you do things for your children that they could do for themselves, you are sending them the message that they don’t have to clean up for themselves.
Instead of doing it yourself, let your kids know what you expect of them. Even toddlers can be responsible for cleaning up their toys.
It takes lots of work and repetition, but in the long run it is worth the time and energy it takes to train your children how to clean up after themselves.
Related Post: How to Get Toddlers to do Chores
Speak up. Your family can’t read your mind.
Wouldn’t life be easier if your children and husband could just read your mind?! I mean, “Pick up the toys. Put the laundry away. Sweep up the mess you made.”
The reality is they don’t know what you are thinking, and sometimes you have to be super straightforward and ask your spouse to help or tell your kids to help.
It amazes me what messes my family will literally ignore while it drives me crazy! The truth is they don’t see things they way I do. What looks like a chaotic mess to me, doesn’t look like one to them.
If I want it clean I either have to clean it myself or speak up and ask someone else to do it. I’m a big fan of people taking care of their own messes. If a child spills a drink, that child gets a towel and dries it up.
If another child gets cracker crumbs all over the couch, that child vacuums the crumbs up.
The next time you see a mess that needs to be cleaned up, don’t just clean it up yourself, speak up and get the others in your home to help.
Stop cleaning up unnecessary messes.
I used to get SO upset with my husband. He has this habit of leaving his socks on the floor beside his bed.
Every morning I would pick up his socks and put them in the laundry as I complained and mumbled under my breath. “Why doesn’t he just pick up his socks! Why do I always have to clean up after him!”
I finally realized, he never asked me to pick up his socks. I was the one putting pressure on myself to pick up his socks.
He wasn’t leaving his socks on the floor every day just to spite me and create a mess for me to clean up. If he weren’t married to me, he would do the same thing.
So I stopped picking up his socks. Guess what happened?
He eventually puts his socks in the laundry basket to get washed.
Yep. He knows the only way to get clean socks is to put them in the hamper.
At first, it was really hard for me to see the socks on the floor day after day. But I’ve learned to just ignore them. They are his responsibility, not mine.
As long as he keeps his socks on his side of the bed, I really don’t need to clean up after him.
What is something you are cleaning up, that you don’t need to be cleaning? As you go through your day, take a mental note of things you are doing that aren’t necessary.
Remember why you are cleaning up after everyone.
Whenever I start to feel irritated with the messes around my home, I have to remember the reason behind the messes.
Every dirty dish, sock on the floor, lego stepped on, muddy shoe print mopped – they represent people. Precious people you would give your life for.
Change your perspective and see past the messes to what they represent. Melissa Michaels calls them beautiful messes in her book Love the Home You Have (affiliate link).
If you feel yourself getting upset as you clean up, take a moment to breath and think about the reason why you have a mess in the first place.
Then ask whoever is able to help clean up the mess and finally, don’t clean it up if it isn’t necessary.