Tag Archives: cleaning

My Awesome Boys!!

It’s Friday, a day that I traditionally spend in the kitchen, whipping up delicious food for Shabbat – chicken soup and home baked challahs etc. My boys have hungry tummies and very much appreciate my cooking. (It’s all the extra love I put in). Poor KoD doesn’t get to enjoy my Shabbat cooking very often, but soon enough that will change and I will be chasing him out of the kitchen too to stop him from “taste testing” like the boys do.

We like to have our house clean for Shabbat – so that we can welcome the Sabbath Queen in the right spirit. Usually I have laundry going at the same time as I am cooking – and once I am done cooking the kitchen gets scrubbed.

But we have a lovely sized apartment and no cleaning help. So that means that all the boys have to pitch in whenever asked. It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. Growing up we had a chore list, and it rotated. That way there was a fair division of labour. I am not as organized as my mum was, so it’s always a little different. But the boys know better than to complain. Sometimes they will collaborate on chores to get them done quicker.

Squiggy likes to clean the bathrooms. I don’t know why, but I can see he has pride in a job well done. I hate hate hate cleaning the boys’ bathroom. Those of you with sons will understand why. So, that has become his job by default. A funny – today he felt a little lazy and I could see he needed motivation. I told him he’d better use some elbow grease. He looks under the sink – Ima, where’s the elbow grease??

Lenny gets to do the living room / dining room and does a great job too (when he remembers to actually move the furniture and sweep under it). He also loves to go to the store for me to pick up items that have been too heavy for me to carry, or that I forgot.

They are all dab hands at folding laundry and putting it away. The oldest two even know how to work the wash machine. HockeyFan loves to wash the dishes, and this afternoon he organized the refrigerator – apparently he put the yogurts in alphabetical order. He always asks me what else he can do to help.

ChatterBox is only 7 and as such I am not expecting too much. He gets to match up the socks, and organize his toys, and put away his Lego. Taking the recycling down to the garage is his job, and he gets to set up the candlesticks for Friday night. He loves to set the table for the Shabbat meals and does a fantastic job. The kids all take it in turns to help me serve the meal, and to clean up. They fight about whose turn it is to help. “It’s not fair, Ima, he helped you last week. Please can it be my turn?” Sometimes they will insist that I remain seated for the whole meal, so they can serve me.

It’s now 330pm and I am exhausted. There is one more load of laundry to be folded, and then I think I will take a nap. The house is sparkling, the aroma of delicious food is wafting through the apartment, and soon we will be showered and dressed in our Shabbat finery to welcome Shabbat with the lighting of my candles.

I am so blessed – I have the best boychikles in the world.

Shabbat Shalom.

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We don’t care about stuff like that

Is this a kid thing, a male thing, or just other people?

My son called me yesterday from school while I was out running errands. He had wanted to bring a friend home in his lunch break to install a program on his computer. (He got a hand me down computer from another friend this weekend.)

I said that the house was flying, and I really didn’t want him to bring anyone over until I had had the chance to organize and clean it. Plus his bedroom was not exactly in a welcoming state either. He told me that he doesn’t care about that kind of thing, that it only matters to me, and that they won’t notice the mess. Plus his side of the room was fine. (Hmm, his definition and mine don’t gel. Interesting).

I still put the kibosh on the whole idea. I explained to him that I wasn’t comfortable having any guests until the house met my standards of cleanliness and neatness. He thinks I am crazy. When he says that boys don’t care about mess, he is certainly right. (I just sent him back to his room to pick up hangers off the floor – how can he not notice that they are there? In plain sight!! Argh!)

Would you have done the same or am I obsessed with cleanliness as the kid claims I am?

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Solutions for this Mom!

A while back I asked you what worked for you in cleaning your house. I finally figured out a system that works for me. I work on the cleaning in 15 minute increments and then reward myself with 15 minutes of online time, TV time or reading time or just veg out time. I find if I break it up into segments it doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming. When you have a whole house to clean one thinks it will take forever. But it is surprising how quickly you can get it done when motivated.


Another thing that works is ….. panic! Erev Shabbat (Friday) comes every week and I like the house to be spotless for the Sabbath Queen. This past week my two oldest boys were home from school by 12.30 and although they were desperate to Wii or watch TV or do something else mindless to tune school out, for two solid hours they dusted and swept and mopped and helped with the laundry etc. And they did it without complaint. Of course it had to be a competition about who did more and who did it better, but they were involved and their help allowed me to finish the cooking and baking and to welcome the Sabbath Queen with a smile instead of an exhausted grimace.


I also have found that now that I am rising early to go jogging it is not as difficult to get motivated in the mornings. Add to that the fact that I am back on coffee – its win-win for everyone.




I have recently become an unemployed person, who therefore had to let go of the housekeeper. Being at work – it made sense to pay someone to use their time to clean so I could spend my spare time with the kids.


Now all the cleaning and laundry is down to me. I find that I lack the motivation to get it done. Laundry is no issue – I hate shlepping to the laundry room, but I love folding warm laundry, and the boyz are old enough to put their own stuff away. But the cleaning and the sweeping and the mopping and the dishes – ugh! The kids keep their rooms neat-ish, we have inspection a few times a week. That helps. But everything else – it’s just too overwhelming.


So how do you all get the cleaning done, without panicking ten minutes before the kids come home that the breakfast dishes are still on the table? (slight exaggeration)


Oh and I tried FlyLady a while back. Nope. Doesn’t work for me.