Meanest Mommy Award

Meanest Mommy Award

The boys are leaving for five weeks next week. They will be spending a good period of quality time up in Montreal with their Dad and their Canadian family. I am looking forward to some time without the constant fighting, talking, shopping, cooking, cleaning, homework, bedtime routine. I am. Two days in and I will be missing them fiercely.

I have a lot to do while they are gone. I have to get Aryeh packed up and ready for Aliyah. (He’s staying here and working). I also have to fumigate their bedrooms.

Teenage boys seem to be allergic to order, and their rooms tend to resemble pig sties. They occasionally clean up (ie: move stuff from one pile to another and put all clothes in the laundry, dirty or not). They spray deodorant to mask any teenage odors, and they febreze their carpets…. but I never feel like their rooms are up to my standards. I try to be un-involved unless I see things that I absolutely cannot ignore – but I try to just close the door and walk on by.

This week I told the boys that while they are gone, anything that is out, on the floor, in a pile, messed up, not put away etc will be thrown out. They need to leave their rooms in a pristine condition. I will be going in to scrub and clean and vacuum and wash windows and air out the shtunk, but anything I find lying around is hefker and will be tossed. They will have had 8 days to comply with my instructions or else they will face the consequences.

Apparently this makes me a demanding mother, a mother who is punishing her children by making them undertake this gigantic task. Point out to the kids that if they kept their rooms clean and tidy this task would not be so gargantuan – falls on deaf ears.

Our kids have too much stuff. I wonder what they would actually miss if it were to disappear from their rooms.

To the people that say I should just turn a blind eye and let kids be kids – if they paid rent or mortgage or contributed to the upkeep of their residence they have the right to keep their rooms as messy as they want. You don’t contribute, you have to toe the line. It may sound harsh, but how are kids ever going to learn otherwise?

Do you have a once a year clear out? Or do you trust the kids to keep their spaces clean?

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8 Comments

  1. Lady Lock N Load says:

    And if the boys paid rent you would allow them to keep their rooms how they like it, and you would close their doors and walk on by?

    • HaDassah says:

      If they paid what a non-family member would pay to rent out the room, then probably. Hard to say for sure on a hypothetical. But seeing as they are in school with no source of income, and I am not about to charge them rent, they have to meet my expectations.

  2. Lady Lock N Load says:

    When I was in high school I boarded by a family. I was expected to keep my room clean.
    For your boys who do work and earn some money, they either clean their rooms or are charged for “room service”.
    Actually, I don’t think this is about money at all.
    I think it is about teaching about responsibility and consideration to others. (and not living like a pig oink oink!) You are not a mean mom and your future daughter in laws will thank you.
    Just a hard time of year to have the boys clean up as they just finished school and are on vacation mode! And it is so beautiful out (can you blame them?)
    I would offer an incentive…a slurpie, hot dog at our kosher Seven Eleven. A little honey goes a long way!
    Well, good luck and happy cleaning! :)

  3. S.A. says:

    If I were to get rid of one if Bella’s stuffed animals, which are always all over her floor, she would notice. You will probably have better luck with your boys.

  4. Alice says:

    It’s not just boys! For six years my daughter attended sleep-away camp. The day she left for camp I cleaned her room. Each year I filled up to five trash bags. I never tossed anything that I knew was important to her. She never missed a thing and was happy to come home to a clean room.

  5. Melissa says:

    Totally different b/c I’m a girl and all, but when I was a kid my dad had a strick rule that all dolls had to be dressed. Any that were ever seen naked outside of when I was playing with them would be thrown away, even if it was in my room – but visible. It took one of my favorites getting tossed once to realize that he meant it and I never left them undressed again.
    I learned that my parents rules meant something and they didn’t just tell me things to tell me, they told me b/c they meant it. It wasn’t an idle threat. I like to think that once I knew that as a general principle, I was more prepared to listen to and follow their rules overall.

  6. Lady Lock N Load says:

    Did he chop off the dolls nose before tossing, all for the boss style?

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