What if moms went on strike?
She and her husband agreed to let their children's dirty dishes pile up in the sink (or wherever they left them), let the laundry go unwashed, and, in general, to leave everything their daughters didn't pick up sitting right where they left it.
The result was shocking and disgusting. It took about a week for the kids to realize the filth that was building up around them. I'm not sure I would be able to handle how terrible it got in their home.
It got me thinking: how long would it take before my children would start picking up after themselves? Or at least to realize that something was amiss?
My 10-year-old daughter actually teases me about my tendencies, asking me why I'm so "zany with cleaning." That stems from the acrostic poem on my name (Elizabeth in case you didn't know what Betsy was derived from) that she did at school in which she needed to find a phrase to describe me that started with 'z'.
But the only reason I get "zany with cleaning" is because they leave such messes behind! No matter how much I nag them to pick up the stray socks left in the middle of the hallway or the throw away the granola bar wrapper instead of leaving it on the counter, the lazy messes keep happening.
Something occured to me the other day, though, when I told my son he needed to clean his room. Seriously, stuff was spilling out of his closet and his desk was heaped with random stuff. But to him, perhaps because the carpet was still visible, it was perfectly acceptable. "My room is clean, Mom!" I realized then that his perspective "clean" is clearly much different than mine.
Sometimes I probably am too picky. That is, if you consider requiring that towels are not left on the floor in the middle of the bathroom as being too picky.
Most of the time, though, I'm just trying to keep our space liveable. Is that too much to ask?