Now There's A Novel Idea

As Sam and I were driving home from the mall today we caught a segment of talk radio that was discussing The Messies Manual. They had the author on to enlighten everyone as to why they needed this particular book to educate the masses.

The masses being the rest of the family besides mom.

My husband was all "you need to listen" and "just shut up and hear what she has to say" while I made snide remarks about how the kids just didn't grasp my vision for a home that wouldn't be condemned by the FDA. He seemed to miss the part, though, where she said that the husband needs to get on board and do his part, too.

And then she hit upon the most basic truth in the world. Mom wouldn't be so frustrated all the time if the rest of the family realized that it was their job to help with the housework. She's deep, no? I was sure to elbow Sam over this one.

But here's the problem. Getting the kids to see the vision. I cracked the whip just the other night about the crap laying around the house (the kids crap, no less) and one of the kids had the audacity to ask "why do we need to clean up? It's not like anyone is coming over." Can I tell you that I went ballistic? Will you judge me for that confession? Because that's what happened and I'm having a hard time sugar coating the truth. They just don't get why we need a clean house. They don't grasp the fact that actually walking on carpet is way better than walking on crap. (Not literal crap, but some days it's not a big stretch.)

The author said you need a vision. I have one. It involves a large garbage bag and collection of things that aren't picked up. Sam said he didn't think that's what the author had in mind. Maybe I'll put him in charge of housework and projecting a vision since he seems to have all the answers.

24 comments:

Flea said...

Oh girl. This is at the heart of so many marital arguments here. But I'm a messie too. The Hunny has taught the children some basic cleaning skills. Great strides are made when we have TV free weeks. Getting mom on board is our problem. :( I'm with ya. Kinda.

Jennifer said...

I had to laugh that you went ballistic. On Sunday as I was trying to get the kids out the door for Church, and I was trying to get out the door for Work, I noticed that the house was a HUGE disaster. Plus the kids were acting like animals, and it wasn't a nice morning. I *sort of* felt bad on the way to work (where my mom met me to take the kids to church) when Johan said, I know you are very mad mom. I know because you said alot of bad words today.

My idea of cleaning though is a trashbag, and they know that when I get to the point of being tired of seeing a mess, I will take the trashbag, pick up EVERYTHING on the floor, and inthe trash bag it goes. And they have no say so in what is kept and what is trashed. If they wanted a say so, then they should have cleaned.

My husband is the same way, only worse. I have a love/hate relationship with how he cleans. I love it because he does an awesome job, but I hate it because he throws stuff away and doesn't ask anything about the paperwork etc, so he throws away a ton of stuff that I need.
~Jennifer

Debbie Yost said...

That conversation is eerily like one I had with Diva this weekend. She asked why she had to clean-up, is the cleaning lady coming? I said, no, I just want a clean house. She said, well I don't. I told her when she paid the mortgage and had her own house she could keep it as messy as she wants, but I wanted her to go clean. I also have the same vision, a giant garbage can or a giant garage sale!

ALF said...

We used to ask my mom the same thing about why we had to clean for "no reason". Now I clean like a mad woman for no reason at all.

Michelle said...

I'm with you... although we are lucky enough to have cats who will periodically chew treasured toys, and that seems to be a bit of motivation for my wee ones.

That and Mommy tripping over the giant Thomas roundhouse just inside Mister Man's door. "Oh! Sorry! Sorrry!" as he rushes to move it back under the bed.

Somehow, though, it seems like I'm with all the rest of you where I'm definitely the primary cleaner!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Man, if everybody was crapping all over my house, I'd throw a fit, too. As it is, I have a toddler who is pretty good at cleaning up for herself (considering her age) and a husband who is nowhere near as good at cleaning up after himself, even I pretend he's two-years old.

Andrea said...

OH dear! Do all kids have the same manuel? Mine say the same things!! And can you believe that they too don't think they need to clean? Oh, I think every mom around the world would life a stress free life is the children would just say, "yes mommy dear, I will do that right away mommy dear!" But then I wake up and all I hear is, "AHHHHHH, I can't do it my arms are too tired!" LOL!!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Every day I have to tell my 14 year old to brush his teeth and make his bed. 14 years! OMG... lolol

Leanne said...

Oh girlfriend I am so with you. I'm also so tired with fighting with everyone in my family about it.

Thanks for the post, I'm glad at least to hear that I'm not alone...

jessica said...

oh boy, i feel like i'm barking ALL THE TIME about picking things up - at everyone. for THEIR junk.

caramama said...

Ugh! I feel your pain.

This is actually half the reason we have a cleaning person come in every other week. It forces us to pick up so that she can actually clean. Whenever my hubby says (and he often does), "let's just cancel her this week" I freak out cause that means that things will stay a big, giant mess. Luckily, I can blame my allergies for needing her to come every other week.

Good luck getting everyone on board!

LaskiGal said...

My husband can be the neat freak . . . I'm all "The mess will be there . . . but the time we have will not." He doesn't always dig my laid back philosophy. But, I can't complain. Or, I TRY not to . . .

Becoming Mommy said...

Yeah...between my digging, carrion-dragging mutts; my hubby who treats the house like his own personal construction zone; and the tot who likes to empty EVERYTHING...

Our house should qualify for FEMA releif.

pb&j in a bowl said...

I was cleaning the other day, and Maddie asked "who's coming to visit?" I like a clean house, but my family just doesn't get it. My newest rule is if I ask her to clean it more than once, I take whatever toy and give it to GoodWill. I've only had to do it once. I hope she remembers.

utmomof5 said...

I am so glad you went ballistic!!! If my kids had said that I would be on the news for having killed them all. Good Luck with the "vision" and let us know how it goes!

Bia said...

My boys do that, too! And when I take the time to cook a nice meal, they want to know who is coming over for dinner. Huh.

But we do have this rule, though: every night we pick up everything that had been used or played with during the course of the day. Every. night.

Of course it starts all over again the next day . . . but at least we wake up to a clutter-free house!

Fannie Mae said...

Gah! Between the kids and the husband I don't know who's worse!

Queen Mommy said...

I think you may be on to something.

Shellie said...

I am so with you on this one, I'm having a heck of a time convincing my family of the same things. Ballistic mommas, unite!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Confession noted and I even like you more for it. I'm seriously considering emancipating myself from the whole brood about now. And I hate to add to things you have to take care of-- but I did it, I made my goal! Your box is packed and waiting for the AF to take it away!
Happy Weds. to you:-)

brandianndesigns said...

i am so with you. i typically clean with a trash bag, but alas, my son is only 9 months so i can see where that is headed.

my hubby does try to help, unfortunately, his version of help clean is to put everything into little piles. not actually put them UP where they go!

the last couple weekends we've been away from home and when we got back he did empty the suitcase. yes, he actually PUT AWAY the clothes, and even went to the extreme of hanging up the ones that needed it. i didn't even have to ask him to.

i nearly fainted.

Colleen said...

I plead the 5th.

But at least when I clean, I CLEAN! Justin? he kicks the toys and junk out of the way, which is how Cooper ends up with rawhides to chew on and we're searching for whatever abstract non-Thomas train for three hours for Gavin.

Sniz said...

I just forwarded this to my husband. Yesterday, I reached my limit. the sloppiness has been spinning out of control around here, but yesterday i lost it and the kids are going to feel my wrath for a good long time. :-)

TTYS - Sniz

Oh, BTW, I think I need to get that gardening for dummies book.

Big Doofus said...

It's nice to see that our family is going through something that's normal. I'm the other half of Miss Sniz, by the way. I think we've seen for a long time now that things need to change in our house. I think it needs to start with me.