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Am I Teaching My Kid to Be a Slob?

I’ve never been particularly tidy. As a teenager my room was messy and disheveled as is typical of kids that age. That sloppiness continued into my college years. I like to think that my habit of keeping a desk littered with papers and empty cans of Diet Mountain Dew was one of those quirky qualities my roommates loved about me, but in reality I’m sure my messy ways were undesirable.

I had less than half a year between my husband and I signing the lease on our first apartment and the day we brought our son home, and I spent most of that time trying to learn what it meant to manage a household, to maintain a somewhat clean home. After all, soon it wouldn’t just be my husband and I exposed to the piles of shoes and dirty laundry and unwashed dishes. 

I’m kind of embarrassed to say that my sloppiness has only marginally improved. I married a man with a similar approach to chores, in that he prefers to put off approaching them for as long as possible, and two slobs do not a clean house make.

We’ve spent the last year renovating our home and all the saw dust, piles of tile and wood, and stray tools have made it more necessary than ever to keep things orderly. Because of this, I’ve made a conscious effort to give my cleaning habits a total re-haul.

I was in the kitchen this morning wiping down the counters when Anders came in and stopped to watch me work.

“Mom,” he said, “what are you doing?” He sounded truly puzzled.

“I’m cleaning the kitchen. What does it look like I’m doing?”

“Who is coming over?”

“Huh? No one’s coming over. Why do you ask?”

“Oh. I just figured since you were cleaning that meant someone was coming over.”

My kid thinks that if I’m cleaning it must mean we are expecting company. That mortifies me. I want our house to be a place my kids can be proud of and bring their friends for a visit. I’m never going to be a perfect housewife, but I do need to fire up the vacuum cleaner and pick up a scrub brush more often.

Do you ever let the household chores fall by the wayside? Do your children call you on it?

Photo credit: Morgue File

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