Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cleaning Chart for Tired Zombie-Cleaning Mommies

Sometimes I feel like a cleaning zombie.  I just walk around all day in a haze, cleaning up everything in my path.  By the time I get the kitchen cleaned up, I turn around and realize the kids have pulled all the toys out of the cabinet.  By the time we get all those cleaned up, my daughter has decided it's time to change her outfit and pulled out all the clothes.  Generally I ask them to help, but even when they agree to help it's sort of like using a small cocktail napkin to clean up a gallon of milk.  It's just not going to cut it.

So, imagine my surprise when I came home the other day and my sitter told me that my daughter had helped her clean up the house.  And she gave me that look that said, "Truly, she really did help this time."  It turns out that my sitter made a chart for her that worked wonders!  She took the time to explain everything to her and drew the pictures and then allowed her to check things off when she completed them.  That was the trick I daughter really enjoyed being able to check off that she completed the task.   

I really loved this idea because it helped improved her self-esteem by helping her realize how helpful she could truly be, and then I got to kick my feet up and return from zombie-land for a short time. 

I hope you'll consider checking out my book, co-authored by best-selling author Susan Case!  It is called 
The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble, and Motivated to Learn.  If you have ever tried to cook dinner while your kid clings to your leg and cries, this is the book for you!

Kids behave better when they are given challenging projects to work on, which will in turn give you more free time to do the things you really need to do, like washing dishes, paying bills, and relaxing so that you can be a better Mom!  You can hear us talk about this theory in this interview about the book:


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  1. Katie, I saw this on Pinterest this morning and just laughed and laughed, but I'm going to try it! We totally need the "put the cushions back on the couch" checkbox.

    I posted this old Sesame Street video on my FB page the other day when I was feeling like the cleaning zombie:

  2. ooooh. Can I have your sitter?

  3. Love this. Children really like checklists - makes them feel like they are accomplishing something -(don't we all need that?) and builds self-esttem. Great post!

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