A friend recently passed along an online article by author Meagan Francis, who wrote a great book called “The Happiest Mom.” I love how this writer lets us peek behind the curtain of her real life. We moms tend to compare ourselves to each other, and some women use those comparisons to beat themselves up and drive themselves nuts in a futile quest to be a “super mom” (as if such a thing even existed.)
Meagan’s article is titled “11 (Totally Not) Shameful Ways to Slack Off Around the House,” so I will happily join the movement with seven of my own not-so-deadly household sins.
1. I only sweep up what the dogs won’t eat. Yes, I have a broom and I know how to use it. But I don’t see any reason why I should spend time sweeping up fragments of corn chips or brownie crumbs when we have two dogs who are thrilled to eat them. Everybody wins.
2. I don’t lose sleep over wrinkled sheets. My mother and I have an ongoing debate about sheets. She comes over to my house and sees baskets of clean sheets and asks if I need help folding them, which is what she does with her sheets the second they come out of the dryer.
But I’m okay with letting those clean sheets sit there until it’s time to put them on the bed. The wrinkles stretch out when you put them on, and I’ve never once lain awake at night because a stubborn wrinkle was poking me in the back.
3. I don’t iron unless the President or the Queen is coming over. One of the things motherhood has taught me is that some things just have to slide. For me, ironing is on that list – not only because it’s difficult and time consuming – but also because it requires a hot iron, and I’ve been known to burn myself in much less threatening situations.
My arm is still red from last week when I managed to burn myself removing a bowl of soup from the microwave. So you can see why wielding an iron might not be a great idea. I just re-fluff things in the dryer and call it a day. If the President or the Queen ever wants to come for a visit, I’ll risk the burn.
4. I don’t fold underwear. I just don’t see the point. If God had intended us to fold underwear, he would have made them squares or rectangles, like towels.
5. I let the dishwasher do the heavy lifting. You know those commercials for dishwashing detergent that claim to get off even stubborn, stuck-on food? I’m the one testing those claims to find out if they’re true. You’re welcome.
6. I live with a contained and concealed clutter pile. Generally speaking, I’m tough on clutter. It drives me nuts. But I have one small basket in the kitchen which holds miscellaneous things I need to deal with but don’t have time to deal with right that minute. When the mess rises above the basket’s height, I deal with it. But as long as it’s contained and concealed, it can wait.
7. I only dust the top of the kitchen cabinets once a decade. For an explanation, refer to No. 3, specifically the part about “some things have to slide.”
There they are. Judge me if you must. But if these confessions help even one busy mom feel better about the corners she cuts in her own house to save some time and her sanity, then my job here is done.
Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.
Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography