Thursday, October 24, 2013

Messy Girls No More.

I promised myself I would never be the kind of mom that eases up with each child.
I was going to be just as tough on the last as I was on the first! you moms of more than one child know...Ha...that usually isn't the case.

For us, it wasn't so much the behaving part of raising kids we eased up on, but the work ethic part.
We were harder on our boys when it came to chores and getting tasks accomplished than the girls.

Our boys get up each day without being told. They keep their room clean. They do all their chores.
They start their school work without me saying a word. They are very diligent and responsible.
It took a lot of work to get to this point. Years of teaching and consistency...but it payed off!

My girls...well, let's just say they are the complete opposite!..starting with the morning wake up call.

I can't stand a messy house. Is it perfect all the time? No. Is it always clean? No.
But we try our best and for the most part it stays pretty tidy.
Except for one room....the girls room.

It is the absolute worst room of the house. (Or should I say...Was. ;)

There were clean clothes mixed with dirty clothes mixed with clothes their cousin had just given them.
They made their bed each day, but the clothes.Oh the clothes!
and the papers! and the rainbow loom! and the jewelry! and the trinkets! and the dolls! and the clothes!
Did I mention the clothes? Oh, oh the clooOOOoooOOothes.

For so long I let it go. I would peek in the doorway, feel overwhelmed and think..we'll organize later.
I didn't take the time to train them. I didn't take the time to discipline. I didn't take the time to teach.
I know it was just as much my fault as it was theirs. Okay..maybe a little more their fault!

They know better than to throw clothes on the floor.
But it was the lack of discipline. The lack of consistency that kept those clothes on the floor.

~Enter in Mother In Law~
I told her of my little girl clothing woes. I told her of my own laziness.
Then she saw the room.

For the first time in all of our lives I heard her say something stern to the ones she calls princess.
She told them that there was no reason for this.
She told them how much extra work they made for their Mama.
She told them there would be no Christmas gifts purchased if the room remained this way!
(if you know my mother in law...those are BIG words!)

So she tidied up a bit with me.
I worked hard with the girls the whole next day.
We sorted and tossed and swept and cleaned and rearranged and organized and gave away.

And then....with the help of my dear mother in law...came up with a solution.

You see, my girls love fluffy, fancy clothing.
Dresses and bows and fancy tights and shoes that "clamp" when you walk.
Hand them sparkles and they are elated!

However, Not while playing outside.Not while riding bikes.
Not while jumping on the trampoline. Not while running in the woods.
They like their gym shoes. They like their sweatshirts. They even like their jeans.

So...each morning after breakfast I check their room.
If there is anything out of place...even a sock!
They have to get dressed fancy with fancy shoes...and stay fancy all day long.

I know some of you are thinking...How terrible that she threatens her girls with pretty clothes!
She is ruining them. They are going to rebel against femininity and modesty and all things beautiful!

Pishposh! Think what you will! They have been keeping their room spotless! Spotless I tell you!
And guess what?..they still LOVE getting dressed up pretty!

Sometimes us parents just need a reality check. The girl's messy, messy room was mine.
I wasn't doing them (or myself) any favors by letting their room continue to be a disaster.

Teaching them to keep their room in order is more than just a clean room.
It's building character into them.

They are learning responsibility. They are learning to respect the things that have been given to them.
Someone paid for all those clothes on the floor. Someone worked hard for them.

All they have been given is a blessing and they need to know that.
It's our responsibility to teach them. I wasn't doing my part just as much as they weren't doing their part.

It feels like a breath of fresh air to walk past the room and see it clean.
They have also been spending much more time playing in it!
They are learning to appreciate a clean space too.

Happy Day.


  1. I laughed through so much of this, because I think it must be a universal problem that girls just love to go from one outfit to another without putting the first one away!! We have the SAME problem here, and you are SO right - it is MY problem, much more than it is theirs! They will never know unless they are taught, and it is pure laziness on my end to NOT be consistent. Good good reminder. *as she marches off to her daughters' bedroom*

  2. Omylands, yes!!! The clothes!!!! And Ava is only 6 and Kate 1?! We have our days of purging and downsizing and trying to stay tidy, but I'm with you; when things get out of control I really feel it is My fault. Teaching our kids to be responsible, and apply themselves, it's a constant, not a once and done!!!
    You are such a great mom, Liz. I really admire your parenting tactics and have seen with my own eyes what an amazing family you have.
    Thanks for sharing this!!

  3.! Yay for your MIL. And you. :) ~Luci

  4. Oh wow, here too!! Madison is 10 and is caring a little more but her excuse for the shape of the room is that Reagan just leaves things everywhere so it's not her fault. Reagan, wa-la-la-la-dee-da, she couldn't care in the least. Guess this mama needs to step it up and enforce a few rules around here. I kinda like your MIL's idea of no Christmas gifts, unless... :)

  5. Have you met Maddie? I think these 2 girls are cut from the very same cloth!

    You are blessed to have a MIL you can let see "the mess" and not judge YOU for it. :)

  6. You know it's big time when Grandma's holding the Christmas gifts hostage! :D

    Glad for the clean and the rest of not having the mess anymore!

  7. We have been working really hard on this as well. My girls are not allowed certain privileges unless their room is clean. Once a week we do an organize evening where we make sure all is back in the right place. Ohhh the clothes. Lately they have been playing dress up out of their closets as well and it drives me crazy.

  8. Their room was spotless when we were there! ;)

  9. hey.. totally thought i had commented here and then remembered i was on my phone and my comment wouldn't post. i must have the same phone as beth, "it hates me!" ;))

    but what a great idea here. and my favorite part was that your mil helped you come up w/ it. so cool that you have that kind of relationship w/ her to have the freedom to share and for in turn to encourage you in your parenting - that's exactly the perfect model of the older women teaching the younger and how moms/mother in laws are supposed to be! :) love it.

  10. looove this! And you girls have the most awesome clothes ever! I wish we lived closer and could have your hand-me-downs!;)