Clear Mind, Clear Home

Ate Hale reads a book and Chantry plays Lego in the living room.
Ate Hale reads a book and Chantry plays Lego in the living room.

Nobody likes to live in a house that’s a complete mess. When you have kids as young as 9 and 5 years old, it is inevitable to sometimes see your home as if it were ransacked. Maintenance can be difficult especially if you’re alone in the mission to a cleaner and more organized home. Having no helper around, you will need the help of the members of the battalion, your family, to fight the eyesore, the mess, that keeps on trying to dominate your territory.

Having been raised by a mother who was obsessive-compulsive in terms of cleanliness, I have experienced the pros of living in a sparkling clean house and the cons of being scolded for not being as clutter-free as expected when I was a child. There were times when we had helpers and there were times when we didn’t. I understand why my mom had to hire one as household chores were no joke! I used to belittle these chores until I experienced how it’s like to be depending on no one else but myself.

Navigating the reality of maintaining a clean home has made me realize that I cannot do it all alone in a family of four with two young kids who are always ready to start a mess brigade! Erwin has a role to play. In any little way he can, he needs to help. (Thanks to Erwin. He does and tries his best to help. And if he doesn’t, he’ll get a reminder from me!) On the other hand, girls should not be treated as if they were princesses who will always be served all the time. Proper training should begin as early as now—while they are still trainable, not when they’re already grown-ups.

Dining Area
Home Decor

“You can’t teach old dogs new tricks!” When kids have developed a habit until they hit puberty, it might just be difficult for them to unlearn it and teach them new ones. So, the best time to start teaching about cleanliness, responsibility, self-reliance, and being organized is now.

Simple tasks such as putting their empty dishes back to the kitchen sink, picking litters on the floor, and returning their toys back to their boxes after playtime are all a huge help when done by them. Our household chores have become easier because my kids accepted these tasks positively, without complaint. Kids are kids but they will not forever be kids, so it’s just right to teach them these tasks to develop a habit and build self-reliance.

The challenge is to move further beyond these responsibilities so that they will learn new life skills that will become more useful when they finally move out.

On this relaxing Saturday afternoon, it is time for us to enjoy the ambiance of our home. Chantry plays her Legos. Ate Hale immerses herself in a book. Classical music plays in the background while Erwin prepares our meal. I give myself a nice break, a lazy weekend to enjoy, and do my hobby.

Clear mind, clear home. Thank God for holding this family together even during this pandemic.