By Mei Yee
The second tip I want to share about avoiding the single parent burnout is about cleaning. Sorry, I don’t have any hacks to share that magically makes things clean itself… I have looked into it though.
There is no age limit to when you should teach your children to help clean. And while their cleaning may not be as perfect as you want it to be, let them help. If they are older, and you trust them to clean something on their own then let them. If they are younger, let them help you and you can show them how to clean so when they are older they know how to do it.
I actually have been one where I will say, “no I will just do it”, especially when I want to avoid fighting with my 12-year-old. I would always decide between if I wanted someone else to do it and fight them to do it, or just do it myself even though I am drained.
What I try to tell my children is that while yes, I am their mother and will take care of them, I am not the only one in the house who makes messes. And therefore, I need help cleaning. Which that seems to have changed my 12-year-olds attitude towards cleaning. (Not completely but we do not fight about cleaning like we used to.)
Whether you ask them daily to do something or give them a chore chart, it does help. And maybe this is already something that you have been doing. We had chore charts before too, however we didn’t stick to them. I felt that I shouldn’t have to remind them if they have chore charts. That was because I forgot they are only children and doing chores are easy to forget, because they really don’t want to do them. (I get it, I don't either.)
Even if you give each child one chore a day you will see how it helps. For example: Thursdays my youngest is to get the trash from the bathroom and put in the kitchen trash. Where my oldest is then to take the kitchen trash out to the trash bin. They also know where the trash bags are to replace them as well.
I try to have them do chores where there is a chain effect. One can’t do their chore until the other does theirs. Another example would be like on Sundays my oldest is to pick up the toys from the floor so my youngest can sweep. Yes, my youngest sweeps with the vacuum, they both voted it to be this way as she loves to vacuum and my oldest does not.
I am not saying to have your kids do all the cleaning, but you shouldn’t have too either. We need help, and who better to help than those who help make the mess. And them even doing one thing daily has helped me out a lot, as I see it as two less things I have to do that day.
Less things on my list, less stress, more time with my girls!