Oh no! It's a messy house again!
Here's why you shouldn't stress out.

Oh no! I have a messy house all of a sudden! When I get discouraged by setbacks, here's a little pep talk that I tell myself. Maybe it will help you, too.

Every now and then, after a number of very encouraging days my kids have been happily chipping in, I'll turn my back for 30 seconds and suddenly find my home is a disaster area. That is when the doorbell will probably ring, with an unannounced visitor (awesome!).

At times like these, I try to remember the simple secret to a spotless house despite the children:

  • live-in housekeeping staff, and...
  • a governess
That doesn't sound so hard, does it? Well, ummmm....

Seriously, though, sometimes, I look around at our house and it's just not working. The laundry's not put away, somebody left their dishes on the table, and the kids aren't listening because they're having some petty argument inside the couch fort that I didn't realize they had even built. These moments happen in every house. Every. House.

When things fall apart in our home, I can usually attribute it to a lapse in consistency . So I take a deep breath, and I return to the chore charts and cleaning checklists that I know do work. That plus remembering to modify my expectations , and I usually can get my motivation back. Having family chores means that there is some give and take.

Here's something else that's important: my house is never absolutely perfect because it's such a priority for me to include my kids in the family chores. Hopefully as my kids get older, the house will get nicer and nicer as my kids get more and more capable. But for now, I'm making a choice. Just now, for example, my youngest just came up to me with his underwear on his head, and I'm not going to worry about it.

So when you get discouraged (not if! When!) every now and then by a messy house, remind yourself that the reason we use all these checklists and chore charts is not to live in a perfect, spotless house. The purpose of our system of checklists and chore charts is to give your family a way to live together in balance, sharing the workload, but making time for fun together, too.

Go to Chore Charts from Messy House