A mother fed up with her kids’ inability to clean up after themselves decided to do nothing about it.
As dirty dishes piled up in the sink and hills of smelly laundry turned into mountains, Jessica Stilwell kicked back and documented the growing filth on her blog, "Crazy Working Mom: Diary of a mother on the brink of snapping!"
It began when she let her husband, Dylan, in on her plan. She wasn’t going to clean up after anyone except herself. And she purposefully didn’t let three daughters—12-year-old twins Olivia and Peyton and 10-year-old Quinn—in on the plot.
When the children failed to clean out old food from their lunch boxes, Stilwell sent them to school with the only clean containers she had left—bags originally intended for the family dog’s poop. She snapped photos of the house’s deterioration as she kept busy with manicures and glasses of red wine. Her youngest daughter cracked on Day Four.
“My little love broke down in the kitchen tonight as she was trying to rinse a glass to use and began to cry,” Stilwell wrote. “Through her sobs she said, ‘I don’t wanna eat out of pooh bags anymore. I don’t want paper plates or beer cups for breakfast. Can you please help me clean up?”’
Just six days after starting her strike on Oct. 1, Stilwell declared victory in more ways than one. Not only had her daughters agreed to begin cleaning up their mess, but her blog had gone viral and generated tons of global attention.
Moms everywhere commented on the blog to praise Stilwell’s tough-love experiment.
“As a fellow social worker and self-ascribed "mean mom" I loved every word of this,” Klin commented. “Creative parenting at it's finest. My children have been warned.”
This week, Stilwell has just come back from a whirlwind trip to New York which included a sit-down interview with Katie Couric.
“Could I ever have imagined this? Absolutely not. It's very overwhelming,” Stilwell told the Edmonton Journal.
Stilwell’s Facebook is private, but the Canadian mom has preserved the entire strike on her blog.
Photo by Jessica Stilwell