I am not the tidiest person in the world. I fully admit this fact! I have my reasons for this that I may go into further another time but it is safe to say that I am no domestic goddess. I do however try to at least be a little bit organised. When we moved into our new house last year I was determined that the bedrooms were going to be calm, organised and tidy spaces worthy of Instagram. Bedrooms, in my opinion, are safe spaces and I suppose I had an idealist view of how they would look. Fast forward 5 months and it has become apparent that I was clearly off my head when I imagined that scenario! The girl’s bedroom currently looks like there was an explosion in a toy factory.
I had such good intentions when we bought our first house (we had previously rented). I wasn’t going to allow our home to be overtaken by clutter and mess. With 2 girls sharing a room, I knew that I had to have an organisation system and so a friend of mine made me some vinyl stickers to go on the storage boxes that we already had. It was a genius idea! Every toy had a place and the girls would know exactly where everything belonged. Call me naive but I honestly thought that it would work. I honestly thought that a 6 and 3 year old would actually give a damn about putting toys away! Yes, I admit it… I am an idiot. At this exact moment in time those carefully labelled storage boxes are strewn carelessly across the floor. Barbies lie in a heap, their arms and legs akimbo, a silent scream of desperation on their perfect faces. Jigsaws are scattered around the room, now forever missing that final piece. Toys, so thoughtfully chosen by family and friends, disregarded and forgotten about. It honestly makes me want to scream!
I may not be the tidiest person in the world but I do care about my belongings and so I don’t understand why my children appear to view their toys and other items as disposable. I am forever being heard to shout the famous last words “you won’t be happy when Father Christmas doesn’t bring you any toys this year because you don’t look after the ones you already have”. It is an idle threat though and everyone knows that! Come Christmas morning my living room will be covered in wrapping paper, the same as every other year and no amount of threats will change that. I do however need to change the outlook of the children with regards to their belongings. I do not want to raise spoilt brats who think that it is ok to discard possessions and leave them in a heap to be stood on and broken just because they can’t be bothered to tidy them away. Taking away toys and technology doesn’t seem to work and no amount of coercion or bribery has any effect. After a week of asking them to tidy up the mess themselves and then offering to do it together, I just end up admitting defeat and tackling the destruction myself.
I have been told that my children are too young to tidy up themselves and that I am expecting too much from them. I have even been told that I am mean! I do not think that they are too young though. They are old enough to get the toys that they want out of the box that they live in and so, in my opinion, they are old enough to put the toys back in that same box. I am not asking them to sweep the chimney (we don’t actually have a chimney but you get the point)!
Now I understand that there are worse things in life than a messy bedroom but right now the messy bedroom is stressing me out. I need to get it sorted and not be back in the exact same position 3 days later because believe me, if I stand on one more lego piece I am going to lose my mind and the neighbours won’t appreciate the language or blood curdling screams! I thought that the organisation I had in place would be enough but I didn’t factor in the world’s most stubborn child and a 6 going on 16 year old. What is the return period on your own children? Have we passed the full refund stage? I guess that until I find a fool proof way to keep my house tidy or my children, by some miracle, dramatically improve their attitude, I am stuck muttering “for f**k sake” under my breath whilst throwing naked, plastic bodies into a box.
Do your children keep their rooms tidy?