Kids andChores

“Mom, the bathroom smells.”

I was in the middle of frantically getting ready for work, so I fired off a few questions.

Did someone forget to flush? Did anyone get sick? Did someone spill?

“I don’t know – it just smells like pee.”

Mom, the bathroom smells. #chores #momlife #momofboys Click To Tweet

Duh, I thought to myself! Given two young boys share that room, the pee smell kind of comes with he territory. Occasionally, their aim is off, and suddenly, I have a floor or toilet seat to scour, trying to give my youngest daughter a bathroom she too can tolerate.

You know what? Time for you guys to clean it up.

My eldest looked at me with big eyes and of course, said he wasn’t the one to miss. Brother No. 2 said it wasn’t him either. I said I didn’t care.

Go grab the paper towels, the Windex, the bathroom cleaner and a trash bag. Time for you both to “man up” and do a little cleaning.

As a full-time working mom, I opted to hire someone to help with the deep cleaning once a month. Yes, it’s a luxury, but we decided it was money well spent since I didn’t want to spend every weekend trying to keep our house somewhat clean.

Still, the kids have always helped with the trash and dusting, and my oldest will occasionally vacuum.

But I’ve always handled the bathrooms. Lucky me! For obvious reasons, I didn’t want to chance one of the germ hot spots of the house to be cleaned by the kids. And I didn’t think they were ready for some of the solutions and sprays it takes to sanitize that space.

Until now.

I supervised the milestone moment, instructing them where to spray and wipe, and how to dispose of the evidence. They pinched their noses and pouted, but the job got done. And since that monumental first clean, they’ve been tasked with the pleasant job again – and again.

I am certainly not an ultra-clean freak, but I am adamant about raising young men who can pull their share around the house. My oldest son said he will hire someone when he moves out, but I told him he may need to do this for a first job, and it’s unlikely he will have the funds to hire someone to clean weekly when he moves out. Nope, learning to clean up after yourself is a basic life skill. And lucky for him, he will master it all under mommy boot camp training. Bathrooms included.

In our house, everyone pitches in. There are no “girl chores” or “boy chores.” Just chores. Grab a towel and dig in. We’re all about equality in the Rivera house.

Mommy and daddy both do the cooking and the laundry, and we just pitch in when something needs to get done. Hopefully, this behavior is one that my kids are observing, and they’ll grow into adults and eventually spouses who will be great partners.

I often say one of my goals is to raise sons that will ultimately make wonderful husbands and fathers. So much goes into that, but in my book, being able to clean a bathroom factors into that equation. We’re on our way!

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