If you need more help with chores around the house then this post is a must-read.
Learn how to get your spouse and kids to help you clean, without nagging, by following these practical tips.
How to Get Family to Help with Chores
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I can’t even count how many meltdowns I have had at home when chores and just everyday life would become so overwhelming that I would wake up screaming and full of anxiety.
Even with just a family of three, it seemed as if I had way more on my plate then I could handle.
I would spend hours a day just maintaining the house and trying to catch up with all my other responsibilities such as school and work that I would end the day exhausted, stressed and less than enthused about life.
Things were getting bad for me and it was affecting my mental and emotional health as well as my relationship with my family.
Then I made few changes in my home in regards to cleaning and keeping up with chores that dramatically changed my family’s dynamic for the better.
I am less stressed now then I have ever been and I would like to share these tips with you in hopes that it will help inspire change in your home and make things a little easier.
1. Let your husband choose his responsibilities.
Ladies, let’s face it. Your husband will probably never, ever clean to your standards. It could be due to his upbringing or personality type but whatever the case may be you have to accept the fact that he may not be a master dishwasher or a person who does well with cleaning up after himself.
When I asked my husband about his messy habits he replied that it just doesn’t cross his mind and his messiness wasn’t intentional. He was aware of how hard I worked with maintaining the house, but when he tossed his dirty laundry on the floor it was a thoughtless act and not out of spite.
When given the choice, he honestly preferred to take out the trash, tend the lawn and maintain our cars. This came easier for him as he enjoys being outside and find these types of chores less “mind-numbing”.
With that being said, you have to learn how to “be ok” with a less than tidy spouse and focus on what he can do right but it always begins with a open discussion on what chores he can and are willing to do without constant reminders.
If having a discussion with your spouse leads to no where, you can try reading, “How Can I Be Your Lover When I’m Busy Being Your Mother?” a brilliant book on the complexities of marriage and role dynamics.
2. Assign age appropriate chores.
With a toddler at home, getting her to clean up after herself can be challenging. She can easily destroy an entire room single-handedly in less than 5 minutes, I swear!
However, after the dust has settled I can get her to clean most of her mess by asking, “Would you like to help mommy clean?” which she cheerfully picks up a couple of things as I show her were to place them.
This is what I consider to be an age-appropriate chore. You can’t and shouldn’t expect small children, especially those under the age of 5, to be super clean neat freaks.
Therefore it is best that you fully analyze your children, their personalities and what chores around the home that they can easily do without you having to fuss at them.
For older children, it would best for you to write down chores and allow them to choose 2 or 3 that they would be willing to do. When they have a have a choice in responsibilities in the home, then they are less likely to fuss and do them half-halfheartedly.
3. Create a chore chart.
Creating a chore chart is as simple as grabbing a sheet of paper and writing down all the household chores that need to be taken care of during the week. Having one will help you organize your thoughts and will make it easier to view each task objectively. Use your chore chart to break down chores into bite-size chunks by room, day of the week or priority. By doing this, you can ensure that you and your family are on the same page with daily or weekly responsibilities creating less fuss and confusion.
4. Give acknowledgement and praise.
Give praise often and always show your appreciation when your kids or spouse cleans up without asking. This is positive reinforcement and will make them feel good about helping around the house. Do your best to not criticize their work or go after them. You want them to always think that their efforts around the home are appreciated. Doing this often can lead to them wanting to take on more responsibilities
5. Be patient.
The habit of cleaning takes time to build so you have to be patient with your family as they create momentum in their cleaning efforts. Being patient includes not yelling or fussing at your spouse and kids if they forget to clean something a certain way or constantly reminding them to finish a particular chore throughout the day. If you would like to have a chore finished by a certain time then express it but allow flexibility.
6. Take a day off.
It’s perfectly OK to take breaks and rest. Cleaning up your house should not be the most stressful activity of the week. Choose rest days to actually relax and not worry about the house being spotless. When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, just stop. It is not worth the stress, as it will spill over into other parts of your life.
7. When all else fails, hire help.
Sometimes, it’s best to have a helping hand around the home and believe it or not hiring a cleaning service to visit your home one day out of the week or month is enough to greatly reduce the stress of cleaning. Hiring cleaning services has an average cost of between $25-35 an hour, this amount can be easily budgeted out of the family’s income by setting aside $10-20 a week to have someone else clean your home while you spend the day relaxing and enjoying the day with your loved ones.
Do not allow yourself to become stressed with cleaning. It’s a task that not many people enjoy doing but has to be done for health and sometimes mental reasons. Love and enjoy your family for who they are and never allow a pair of dirty boots or socks create a wedge between you, your spouse and family.
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