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!
Well...as 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!
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.