Have you ever been in the middle of doing something and you stop yourself to think, "Why in the hell am I doing this?"
Yesterday I mopped the floors. We live in base housing, so we have this hideous, look-at-it-wrong-and-it-stains, white tile flooring downstairs. I have to mop this effing floor twice a week. Apparently, little spots on the white tile floor have become my largest pet peeve. Sticky spots- forget about it, I'll lose my head. I've been known to pull out the mop when company is over because a spot bothered me so much.
As I was mopping, I stopped myself to question why. The kids were going to be home in an hour, and they'd just defile my newly mopped floor with their nasty shoes. If I managed to catch them at the door and demand they remove the filth-spreaders, they'd just track the crap in on the bottom of their jeans, or then I'd have their smelly, sweaty feet all over my clean floor. And let's not even mention when they head into the fridge to get their after school snack. That's instant kool-aid and goodness knows whatever else dripped onto the kitchen floor.
That's when it hit me, and y'all have to believe me when I say that I think I'm coming down with something.
I don't mind most of the crap I do as a stay-at-home mom.
There's something about seeing a shiny clean floor and smelling the lemony goodness that has me looking forward to mopping day. It transforms the entire house from grungy feeling to welcoming and comfortable. I don't mind doing laundry now that we have our very own washer and dryer inside the house. (Well, there's currently a basket full of clean clothes that has needed folding for 2 days now still sitting in the living room, so I might be lying when I say I don't mind laundry as much- it still sucks.)
Dishes still suck, and cleaning the bathrooms still sucks. Those won't change.
I do these things every single week, some of them every day, and while it wears on me depending on my mood or how long something has sat in its spot waiting for the kids to pick it up, overall I'm pretty happy with my decision to become a stay-at-home mom again.
All of this- this freeing train of thought- from wondering why in the hell I was mopping a floor that my kids would just wreck in an hour and that I would be mopping again in 2 days anyway.
We moms do a lot of monotonous things for the sake of our families. Some of us are stuck in jobs we hate just to pay the bills and put food on our tables. Some of us sit still while a baby feeds, even though there are 5,000 other things that need to be done. And I'm sure all of us clean some section of the house and wonder why we even bother because it will just be messy again once the kids find out it's clean. Nothing ever stays clean for long in a house with kids, and I don't care how old your kids are.
We moms do these things out of love, out of habit, out of boredom, and out of fear of what would happen if we didn't do them. What if I decided not to do the laundry, my son has no clean underwear, so he goes commando to school, runs by the playground equipment at recess where his pants get snagged on a corner, and he rips a big hole in his pants, in his ass area, wearing no underwear, for all of the kids to laugh at him? Sure, that story is funny as hell and will definitely be used for blackmail or embarrassment in the future, but after I was done peeing my pants from laughter (shit, are there clean underwear for me now, considering I didn't do the laundry?), the guilt would set in that I was the one who decided not to wash the boy's drawers.
What if I decided to keep the house a pigsty for one more day, and that happens to be the day a friend pops by to say hello? Sure, if they are a true friend, they'll just push aside the pile of clothes on the sofa and make themselves at home, but that doesn't mean it's not slightly embarrassing having them stare at a bra that's hanging off of a lampshade because that's as far as I could reach the night before when I took it off while I was watching TV.
I had a cat drag a tampon out of the dirty trash one time because I didn't feel like taking the trash bag out before I went to bed one night. True story. That's a guaranteed way to vomit first thing the next morning.
These 'what ifs' (along with having cats that dig in the trash) keep me doing the things I do each week and each day. There are days I tell Hubby I'm not doing a damn thing so not to expect much when he gets home from work (those are the days you light candles in the kitchen and living room so the house at least smells nice- yes, an actual trick I use), and I'll catch up on my shows or go have coffee with a friend.
I'm one of those moms who takes great pride in what I do accomplish, even if it's just mopping a floor so the house seems a little cleaner. I figure if the kids can't bitch about their favorite shirt being dirty, or not having some kind of easy-grab snack after school, or that there's nowhere to sit in the living room because every surface is covered in laundry, I've done my job right for that day.
With all of these thoughts and a smile on my face, I finished mopping the floor, which I had strategically mopped in a way that my only footpath led me directly to the couch, where 'Game of Thrones' was ready to be played, and I would be forced to watch an episode while the floor dried (oh, damn). Being the mom, in charge of things like this, certainly has its perks every now and then...
And yes, as soon as I heard the front door open an hour later when the kids came home from school, I demanded shoes off immediately. What if the floor stayed clean for an entire week and I didn't have to mop it every few days? Good grief, that'd be a miracle... or a week my kids went on vacation somewhere...
~ Tatted Mom
The Inklings of Life
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