If there’s anything that I despise more – apart from the New England Patriots – it’s having to do housework. Even with the labor-saving devices, and they really are labor-saving when you consider the old ways, it’s dull work and full of drudgery. The presence of children only makes it more frustrating since everything just gets dirtier that much quicker. So if I hate it so much, why should I actually bother doing housework?
There are actually some compelling reasons.
- The reality is that a dirty house really is a breeding ground for health problems, especially for small children who still haven’t fully developed their immune systems yet. Kids exposed to higher amounts of dust and dirt are likelier to develop difficulty with asthma than kids who reside in a more dust-free house. Likewise, kids are always bringing in new germ variants and will wander through the place leaving colonies like England in the 1600s. These will be picked up by you or the other family members and next thing you know, WHO and CDC are quarantining your place and foreign embassies are issuing travel warnings to your neighborhood.
- It honestly becomes embarrassing to invite people to your home when the carpet is obviously coated with animal hair and the bathrooms haven’t been touched in weeks. This is coming from a guy who isn’t really concerned about appearances. When the kids get older and become aware, they’ll also become embarrassed and unwilling to invite their friends over.
- A relatively neat house – vacuumed, dusted and with most things properly placed/stored – does give a sense of order and stability to the home and by extension, the kids. There’s going to be clutter with children and more cihldren generally produces more clutter, but keeping it under control provides a sense that things aren’t out-of-control.
- Kids learn a huge amount by simply watching their parents and if they see that the parents are responsible and able to manage the household, they’ll have a sense of what to do when they’re older. When they are older, you can teach them how to handle some of the chores by themselves and just provide some oversight to assure that things are done properly. Seeing Dad demonstrate some discipline will help set the tone of exercising their own self-discipline when they’re older.
I truly do dislike housework and several thousand loads of laundry have taken the blossom off of the rose, but it’s important that it continue to happen. So tomorrow, I’ll clean my bedroom and bathroom before heading off to take care of other responsibilities. And I’m going to crank up the classic rock when I do.