Mother Goes on Cleaning Strike

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. weary / ˈwɪər i / (v) – to become tired or exhausted

    Constantly organizing her children’s things has wearied the mother.

  2. clutter / ˈklʌt ər / (v) – to be in a disorderly manner

    The boy’s room was cluttered with toys.

  3. have had enough / hæv hæd ɪˈnʌf / (idiom) – to get tired of something

    The mother has had enough of her child’s tantrums.

  4. offbeat / ˈɔfˈbit / (adj) – different from the usual or the normal

    He still decided to follow his father’s offbeat advice despite not knowing what to expect.

  5. put (someone) to bed / pʊt tu bɛd / (idiom) – to assist someone in getting into bed

    When I was a child, my parents put me to bed at 9:00 p.m.


Read the text below.

A mother has gone on strike because cleaning after her children has wearied her.

Heidi Hamm, a writer and mother of three, took to her Facebook page Her View from Home, which is dedicated to motherhood, to express her frustration about having to constantly clean up the mess left by her children from playing. In her post, she shared a photo of her children’s untidy playroom.

According to Hamm, her husband found her arranging Lego blocks cluttered around the playroom one night. Instead of giving her a hand, he simply advised her to shut the door. After realizing that she has had enough cleaning after her children, she decided to follow her husband’s offbeat advice. She added that the time she has spent organizing her children’s toys took away opportunities for self-care.

Hamm defined self-care as indulging in simple luxuries. These include eating chocolate, letting the children watch shows on Netflix as she sips on her hot coffee, spending quality time with her husband after putting the children to bed early, and simply shutting the door of their bedroom. A lot of parents expressed their gratitude to Hamm for her honesty, and some are considering to follow in her footsteps.

On a similar note, social worker Jessica Stilwell also went on a week-long strike a few years ago to show her three children the importance of cleaning after themselves. She explained that she wanted the best for her children, and letting them depend on her would not do them any good. She also shared her concern about raising a generation of individuals who would rely on others to do things for them.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the two mothers’ decision to go on strike is justified? Explain.
• How can parents train their children to become more independent?

Discussion B

• In what other ways can parents practice self-care? Discuss.
• How can parents strike a balance between prioritizing self-care and looking after their children?