Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mom's inalienable rights!

We seem to be "blessed" with an overabundance of stuff around here. I am constantly purging and trying to sort, but we have the strangest phenomenon going on. The two little munchkins who live here seem to bring twice their body weight in junk home with them every time they leave the house. Whether it is paperwork and projects from school (not even counting the backpacks and shoes), or riding gear, field hockey gear, theater "gear", or treasures from Nana and Papa's house, it is entirely too much for me to manage. Add in the goody bags from parties, the endless tubes of lip gloss and ponytail holders, and the miscellaneous art supplies and you have a mommy ready for the loony bin! (Don't even get me started about the wa*mart bags filled with candy from the Easter egg hunts!)

I seem to be missing the gene that helps you declutter and stay that way, so I manage to get everything in its place, and then find that in a few days it is all back again. I also am apparently not the best mother in the disciplining- your- kids- to- clean- up- after- themselves, so whenever I try to get them involved there is much yelling and gnashing of teeth (mine, not the girls!). Compounding the problem is the fact that I really, really, really, like things to be neat and orderly and tend to get snappy when things aren't that way.

I guess what I am saying is that we need a change around here. If I blog about it, I will be accountable, right? So, I vow that from this day forward I will not clean up for my girls. I will insist that they take their own things in from the car and put them away. I will not pick up damp towels from the floor, and I will not put away the toothpaste for them. They will have to empty their own lunch boxes and fill their own water bottles. In fact, I think I need to come up with a whole new set of rules for this bunch, and post them somewhere. Hm, wonder how this is going to go over with the 10 and under set?


Jenny said...

Oh my goodness Kelly....I could have written this post myself! I was shaking my head in agreement through the whole thing! I'm with you on feeling overwhelmed by the "stuff" we've accumulated. It doesn't seem to matter that I get rid of things periodically. How does it grow so fast?
I sat down yesterday and wrote out a list of everything I want to declutter (even down to the hair bow drawers). I tend to get so overwhelmed by seeing the whole picture. I'm going to take it one room a day. The trick is managing Macy in the process. She likes to undo what I have done!
I understand completely about teaching the girls to pick up after themselves. I long for the day where they prefer organization over a mess. I guess it's going to take daily training for that to become a habit. I read a funny quote last night that so applies to how we feel:
"Cleaning house when you have kids is like shoveling when it's still snowing."

Somehow that makes me feel better. Ha!
Have a great week!

Bev said...

If you're reading Sally Clarkson then you're on the path to good stuff on how to parent. Teaching them now, giving them responsibility will equip them to be responsible when they are grown, after they've moved out and have to be a wife to someone. Hold firm! I certainly had those times when it was so much easier to just do it myself, but I'd remember that wasn't my job, really. It was to raise them to be capable adults, so we had groans and moans and gnashing of teeth but we survived!

secondofwett said...

Well, that sounds great and I hope it works for you...quite regularly I go off on that same tangent and I see my teens roll their eyes as if to say 'she's at it again'. I agree w/Bev, it is our responsibility....but sometimes you do get weary. Keep up the enthusiasm!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

My girl is 9 1/2, and I can tell you she'd scream some. Although I've done a TON of purging since January (and blogged all about it).

I'm in Virginia myself, and I know all about how things have exploded up your way. I'm in the southeast portion of the state.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mary said...

My major purging begins this weekend. I'm actuall taking off all next week so that I can work on clearing out the clutter and cleaning the house. I've been a little out of whack for the last several months and the house is showing it.

What a way to spend five vacation days!

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Brenda said...

I am with you!!!! Just today I sacked up and boxed up MOST of my 8 year old's stuff. She has to keep her room clean for 2 weeks to start earning stuff back. And it CANNOT all go back. There is no way. She basically now has a bed, bookshelf, desk, and 2 or 3 little toy sets in her room. We'll see how it goes.

Robin said...

I was just talking to my BFF yesterday about when school is out the summer is all about me training my kids to pick their stuff up! it's hard, and will probably take longer than a summer. But it's either that or throw out half our junk. I probably need to do that anyway.