January 27, 2013

An Experiment Of Epic Proportions …

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Have you ever said any of the following things either in your head or aloud?

  • If I have to do one more load of laundry . . .
  • I am so tired of picking up after my kids . . .
  • All I ever do is clean the house and then watch it get messy again . . .
  • So-and-so {fill in your child’s name} please make your bed, pick up your clothes, shut the fridge door {fill in chore or every day task of your choice} . . .
  • I do not like scrubbing the toilet or the pee that surrounds it at all . . .
  • There is just too much stuff everywhere, all the time . . .

I have! I say many of these things, multiple times a week. I feel like I am a pick up machine.

Owlie takes every cushion AND pillow off the couch and chairs at least three times a day. That means I replace them 42 times a day. He is also a chronic toy dumper. The toy he wants is never at the top of the basket, but always at the bottom. Clean up is not his friend.

Big C has a room in the basement which I choose not to see more than three times a week. Those three times I do see it usually include laundry (both clean and dirty) on the floor, towel (wet) on the floor, bed -unmade, body odor – present and accounted for, papers wadded or folded up and placed on all horizontal surfaces. It is not even at all close to awesome.

RedDog is a hider. He hides stuff everywhere. Under the bed, behind the bed, on the bookshelf, in pockets, in pockets of pants shoved under the bed, anywhere and everywhere he can imagine. He is also the great half-doer. Anything he is asked to do he does half of.

Hannie B. tries on multiple outfits a day, all of which end up on her floor and then get put in her dirty clothes even though she’s never worn them.  She has a toiletry issue {she IS a teenage girl, afterall} in which her toiletries multiply, divide and then never get put away.

My kids are rock stars. My kids are amazing and funny and smart. But, my kids are also going through a very busy, MESSY phase. And I’m so over it.

So today, the experiment begins. All those things I said up at the top of this post have propelled me to action. Starting today, for ONE WEEK, I am not going to do a load of laundry, take out any trash, pick up a single item my kids leave around, remind them to do any of their basic or not-so-basic chores, or clean up their messes.

NONE OF IT. FOR ONE WEEK.

We are going to see just how bad it can get before they can’t stand it any more. We are going to see how disgusting this house can be before they decide ON THEIR OWN to take responsibility for their personal space and their role in this family and home.

Yep, I’m totally going to stop being the mom.

And then a week from now, we will either be living in a complete pigsty and I will find that the only reason any one does anything around here is because I am a nag . . .

OR

My kids will surprise me and actually do something without being reminded.

I have taken pictures of my entire house in its cleanest state to show you tomorrow.

And then I’ll take pictures at the end of the week.

It should be fun. At least for me, because I don’t have anything to do this week!

PS. Please pray for my Hubby. He is on board for this experiment, but it is going to be VERY difficult for him. I have promised that our room will remain a tidy safe haven for both of us. :)

Do you think I’m crazy?

16 comments:

Sharlene said...

Hard for your husband???? I think it's going to be near impossible for you.
My prediction (based on a similar thing with my children... and husband - I love him with all of my heart but he's blind to mess). No one seems to notice. I'm the only one it drove insane. Be prepared to be disgusted by how nasty your house can get before your children decide there is an issue. Mine have yet to ever see an issue.

Aiketa said...

I think this will be a hard experiement for you and Travis both. But I hope you kids realize about the situation when there will be nobody picking up after them. I hope it doesn't happen, but I fear that they might not notice...

I'm talking about my own experience in my flat with my flatmates. I don't think I'm a really clean nerd person, just normal clean. But there are many things that I wish they didn't leave in the middle or clean after... Like leaving the dinning table full of crumbs or other food rest after eating... or the kitchen counter dirty after cooking... For some time I stopped cleaning after them, hoping for them to realize that it was dirty. They never did, and my sanity was about to leave me... So I'm still cleaning after they do the mess.

I'm just hoping for the day I can aford a place of my own. I can assure you that it will be so so clean!!! :D

Apis Melliflora said...

I have eperimented with this too. I was not nearly as bold as you. I only did the experiment with laundry and toys.

And, sadly, I was unable to make it through the week. The state of the floors in our house became too difficult for me to manage and I spent as much energy restraining myself from picking up as I would have if I had picked it up. So I caved at the end of day 4.

Here's my current strategy: I now declare random periodic pick-up times before screen time is allowed. And then I say "I'm happy to do this for you and I charge $2. You've got 15 minutes before I consider myself hired." Sometimes I add "Whining to me adds an extra .50 cents."

Can't wait to see and hear about your experiment!

MelancholySmile said...

So brave!! I'm the neat freak of the family-- I think every dish would have to be dirty and every item of clothing would have to be soiled before any one in my household would take note. And by then I would be dead of anxiety anyway. :) do your kids know you're going on strike? Or are they completely oblivious? Can't wait to see how this pans out!

Angie said...

If this works I must know....I have a touch of OCD (inherited from both parents) and I can't stand it if the shoes aren't lined up let alone just in the closet.

I feel your pain; I like to believe my kids aren't slobs but Lauren is doing everything to prove me wrong. My only solace is that I have banned them all from the main floor bathroom which has since stayed cleaned (although constantly under construction). Good Luck my brave friend, and perhaps we should plan in advance for some "therapy". Lunch?

Margy said...

Good luck with this! Can't wait to see how it turns out at the end of the week!

The Queen Vee said...

I have a feeling they will not notice a thing. Looks like there will be a big clean up at the end of the week. Good luck.

Stacey Gerlach Moe said...

Good luck. A week is a long time. Maybe you and the hubby should go stay in a hotel for the week. Hee-hee. I don't know if I could do it but I can't wait to see the before and after photos and to hear how it goes!!!

JulieB said...

Maybe you should read them Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores, Mama Bear does the exact same thing. Ok, so your kids are a LITTLE old for the series....but it does work in the book! :) Good luck.

Tina Lewis said...

I absolutely love this! Gonna try it too!

Anonymous said...

oooh, can't wait to see how the experiment turns out. Stay brave!

Anonymous said...

Sam, I hope you have lots of distractions this coming week so that you won't cave in to the "accumulation." You are not the first to think/threaten to do this but you just might be the first to succeed.
Good luck.
Linda

barnhurst said...

Hi Samantha,
I love this idea! If my kids were a little older I might just join you in the experiment this week.
I hope everything turned out alright with Hannah and her school troubles. Not knowing all the details, I had several teachers test my standards in school as well and my heart hurt for her and you as I read that blog post.
Hope you are all doing well.
Becky

christy said...

Wow! You are a brave woman. I know for me it is I that would be tortured by the mess and the kids wouldn't care or notice. I can't wait to see how this experiment turns out. We went on a "system" this fall to introduce our kids to the family economy and they now have to pay for all of their own things with money they earn doing jobs around the house. It's not a perfect system but our productivity has increased a great deal. I'm doing less work. If you're interested in details, let me know. I can recommend a good book.

Can't wait to see the results.

Bells said...

Wow, you are brave! Good Luck!

Sue said...

Your description of Big C's room is reminiscent of Matt's room in high school when I lived with your family in 1995. :)