I thought I had finally discovered THE ultimate way for the girls to clean their room. Three weeks in and it was great! And then my oldest daughter comes out with two gigantic boxes filled with stuff.
Me: Where did you get all that stuff?!?
Oldest DD: Sisters were hiding stuff in the closet.
I was so upset. I felt like another idea I had gotten (from Pinterest, or a blog, or a book) had failed again. And I felt like a failure. Again.
But the next day I realized that all too often it is easy to see the bad in things rather than the good. I started to think of all the good things they had done the past few days:
- My kids had been at least cleaning the main part of the room.
- They had been making their bed in the morning.
- There was no trash on the floor OR in the closet (so something was being put where it belonged).
- They had pretty much been following the rule of no toys in the room, so what was in the closet was pretty much just clothes.
- They have been keeping the other areas of the house they were responsible for clean.
It was so easy to see the failures and feel like a failure at the time. But when I step back and make a list of all the GOOD things they had been doing, I see that there was just one tiny snafu in the new cleaning plan – I needed to be as thorough in my inspection as I wanted them to be in their cleaning.
I know you have heard the idea before of keeping a thankful journal. But I am starting to realize the importance of keeping one to help me remember that while some things I try may fail, I myself am not a failure.
There are three things I found that might help you keep track so you can look back and remember.
This adorable free printable. Yes, it was created for thanksgiving, but we can give thanks every day. This is small and portable.
This one is also free, and also portable.
And then my favorite, the One Thousand Gifts app (also free).
With my phone, I take a picture, and some text, and have a scrollable and searchable collection. I take pictures of clean rooms. When I think my children are not cleaning, I can search for the word clean and see that they really are better than I give them credit for. When I worry about homeschooling, I can search and scroll through the pictures of them reading, the field trips, etc. and see they are learning. You don’t have to take a picture everyday, but it sure does help to have those handful of pictures to remind me of the good job they have done.