So, for those of us who think that housework doesn't have to be time away from the kids, give us your tips
For years we've done the five minute clean up though we no longer use a timer. I have a list of three songs we clean to. We start with Rusted Root's Drum Trip and race around putting things away in the backroom (where most of life happens). We're supposed to finish before Ecstasy is over and then I vacuum during Send Me On My Way. The kids *usually* enjoy this and I *try* to do it daily. I have to totally micro manage though. My son (3) can clean a good bit on his own but it's like dd (7) can't see the junk
She'll stare at the carpet cluttered with toys and dressup and books and say "there's nothing else!". So I pick things up myself while suggesting things to her ("put that in the dressup, put this on the bookshelf" etc.)
I've found that a spray bottle is a joy for little kids
Too much maybe
Also, both kids like dusting. We have this long dust mop on a pole that was my dh's Grandmas. The kids love to go after cobwebs with it (lucky for them there are plenty to go around
). They also enjoy the feather duster. Wiping mirrors is also incredibly fun for my daughter for some reason.
And since I use natural cleansers the kids can help out all they want. A few days ago we scrubbed the tub and both kids helped. My 7 y/o actually said "we *get* to scrub the tub!"
I use a mix of Dr. Bronner's and baking soda and each kid got their own sponge and went to town alongside me. It's not perfect of course, but I'm greatly influenced by Flylady so perfection is not one of my goals
My dd also thinks Flylady is cool so she has a few Flylady type lists of things to do in her room. Not that she does them everyday
One of the lists is a 5 minute timer clean up with simple yet detailed instructions. She sets the timer for 5 minutes and then picks up her floor and sweeps. I help too but she's been doing this daily so there isn't really even 5 minutes worth. When the timer goes off she's done. And also, per Flylady, I don't re-do it or say she has to keep going, or tell her she didn't do it right or any of that.
I also check out Kelly's missions on Flylady to find ones that will work for my kids. The other week there was one saying to go around the house and wipe the doorknobs. Bridget did that and had fun
We haven't done any other special missions yet but that one was a hit.
I grew up in a pig sty and still get easily overwhelmed with cleaning (which is why I need Flylady). I hope that making this fun for the kids and involving them in it will help them as they grow up. I'm not trying for Better Homes and Gardens, but it's not the hole I grew up in so I'm proud of myself
It's still too cluttered for my tastes but is now more on the side of "comfortably lived in" rather than what it was like when I had PPD (which was still not as bad as what I grew up in, sad to say).
The things the kids do are not always #1 priorities (like dusting or mirror wiping) but I figure it's more important that they have fun and get used to helping out regularly in a good way instead of the "OMG we have company coming over and the place is trashed, get cleaning NOW NOW NOW" type of housework my mom favored.
So let me stop rambling and let y'all share your tips