Roomba, I think I love you!
Posted by Beckie | Filed under Beckie
A few years ago I was probably having some kind of meltdown about feeling overwhelmed with childcare and doing most of the housework and my “good guy” husband surprised me with a gift that I still rave about as one of my favourite gifts. A Roomba.
This is a robot vacuum that cleans floors, and is small enough to fit under the beds, something our regular vacuum doesn’t do. The first time it cleaned under my bed, I realized that the grey covering wasn’t just a shadow, but rather a concoction of cat hair (cat long gone), human hair (Mea Culpa) and gigantic dust balls. Roomba also provides some excitement in my kids’ lives. We sometimes put stuffed animals on top and watch it spin the stuffies while cleaning. Not so funny for adults, but trust me, my kids think this is plenty hilarious.
Since I’m working part-time, hiring a cleaning person on a weekly basis just isn’t a priority right now. But I find myself spending the bulk of my free time cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping. My “Free” time isn’t really “free”, is it? But we all make choices in life, and I have chosen to not work full-time so I can be around to deal with the minutiae of our lives.
But then I was thinking, what am I teaching my kids here? They need to learn that they are part of this family and they should be helping with the house work. My husband does a lot of the cooking (he loves to BBQ in the nice weather) as well as taking care of the outside of the house. My kids do, well, not much. So I searched around on the Internet for some ideas of getting kids motivated and found this one: Set a timer for a short period of time (10 minutes) and then everyone clean during that time. So housework becomes a fun game and is seen as a positive thing by little people.
At this point my kids aren’t really co-ordinated enough to do much. What they can do is: dump their toys into storage bins, attempt to pull up the covers in their beds, and take a rag soaked in vinegar/water and swirl it around to “dust” their furniture. I seriously hope that they turn out like the young gentleman (age 6) who handed me a book the other day at the library. He said “it was on the floor”. You’d be surprised, but this is really rare. Most kids (and adults) will step over books or worse, leave their garbage lying around. I asked the mom what she did to encourage her son and older daughter to be this way and she said “I started young”. I intend to follow suit.