The 'hero' mom who went on cleaning strike for six days (and documented the mounting mess to teach her kids a lesson)
21:03 GMT, 10 October 2012
A mother who went on a cleaning strike for a week and lived to tell the tale has revealed the 'disgusting' mess that ensued, all to teach her children a lesson.
Jessica Stilwell, the mother of three girls, 12-year-old twins and their 10-year-old sister, did no 'picking up, tidying, cleaning, clearing, reminding or nagging,' for six days, documenting the mounting mess in photos on her blog.
Mrs Stilwell didn’t actually tell her children she was going on strike, she just woke up last Monday morning and stopped. And though she continued to cook , pack lunches, and do laundry, so long as it was sorted, by day six, the girls had had enough.
On strike: Jessica Stilwell, a mother of three girls, went of cleaning strike for six days and lived to tell the tale
It all began on October 1st, after the exhausted mother spent a weekend at the family's Alberta home alone with her children while their father, Dylan, was away playing golf.
It was a typical weekend of running errands and going to sports, but when Mrs Stilwell sat down for the first time all weekend at 11pm and looked around, she realised none of the house's mess was hers.
Mr Stilwell told Today: 'When I got back to the house on Sunday night when my wife declared that we, as parents, were going on strike. “We're going to stop cleaning up after the kids.” she said. I said, “Ok, I support you 100per cent”'.
Before: The Stilwell home in Alberta before Jessica went on cleaning strike
After: On day four of the strike Mrs Stilwell chronicled the deterioration of her home
So she stopped doing all the chores and tasks that her girls should have been doing for themselves, like cleaning their own dishes, picking their dirty clothes off the floor, and tidying up after their after school projects.
On her blog called Striking Mom, Mrs
Stilwell spent the week chronicling the deterioration of her home, an
outlet, she says, that strengthened her resolve.
'I wanted to clean [the mess], but I'd made a choice to leave it alone, she said.
The rules: Mrs Stilwell did no 'picking up, tidying, cleaning, clearing, reminding or nagging,' for six days
Mounting mess: As days went by, the mess multiplied, the house turning into 'a pig sty'
'If I hadn’t done the blog I wouldn’t have lasted more than a day, maybe two. The only way I stayed on this was by telling myself that’s going to make a funny post for that night.'
As days went by, the mess multiplied. Olivia, 12, said: 'It was a pig sty. There were plates on top of plates.'
Mrs Stilwell added: 'The kept saying,
“why aren't we cleaning up” And then they'd push their dirty cereal
bowl from yesterday towards me and ask why it was still here.'
Sisters: Mrs Stilwel's daughters, 12-year-old twins and their 10-year-old sister, lasted six days before the strike was called off and they cleaned up 'as a family'
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Sneaky strike: Mrs Stilwell didn't actually tell her children she was going on strike, she just woke up last Monday morning and decided to stop
Role model: The mother (pictured being given a high five by Matt Lauer on Today) has been lauded a hero by other mothers
'I'm pretty strict and my kids have responsibility and accountability in the home, but it was slipping because our family is so busy.
'I don't want a generation of kids that are entitled and don't have real life skills to be well rounded adults,' she said.