I clean. I mean, I must spent at least two hours a day doing chores. Most of these chores are "maintenance," but I try to throw in one new cleaning project each day. Nevertheless, my house is generally a mess.
What do I mean by a mess? I mean that my house will never, ever be showroom ready like my sisters keep their houses. My house has clutter. My house has dog hair and ferret hair and kid hair on the ground. (They all shed; I, of course, do not shed and you'll not convince me otherwise...) Dishes are generally rinsed, but there are always some dirty dishes hanging out. I clean the ferret cages once or twice a day, but there's ten of them and they all do their business on their own schedule.
I've adapted. I clean with my nose. That is, my nose makes the priority based list for cleaning.
You might ask why I don't just give it a giant effort, clean, make the family help, and then retrain everyone. I've asked myself that question before, and, in fact, I've tried. I've made it through the giant effort stage and had the house clean for a few minutes.
The thing is, the problem, the reason my house won't stay clean, is that I homeschool. I don't mean that just as "my kids do not attend public school." Even if they were in public school, we'd still "homeschool." What I mean by that is that the lot of us are in a constant state of learning, wanting to learn, having ideas, and testing those ideas out.
For an example, on the way home from co-op yesterday, Anna said "Mom, I found some cool seeds. Can I plant them?"
I said, "Well, yes you can. I'm not sure this is the best time to plant them though."
Anna replied, " Well, I have five pods. I want to plant some of the seeds outside in the grass, some in a pot inside the house, some in the front yard, and save two of the pods for spring time. I want to see what works best for these seeds."
Well, several things went through my head before I opened my mouth. The first one, of course was, "It's not the right season." The second was, "We could look this up. I'm sure wikipedia will tell us when." The third was, "Oh my, this sounds messy."
The thought that one though was "This is wonderfully great. My daughter wants to do another science project and she came up with the question, and she came up with the parameters and the control herself." My mind went back to a book I read recently on teaching science to primary school kids, and I told myself "you must let her."
So, my kitchen table looks like this for the moment. Anna's been told she has to find a better spot for experiment. Naturally, however, the experiment started in the kitchen, because where else would you start a science experiment?