Whenever I am scrolling through Facebook and see someone share an article called something like, “How to Make Cleaning Day More Fun,” I can’t help but yell at my phone because every single day always is “cleaning day” for me. Then I immediately unfriend that person for posting cleaning tips in my feed, because I don’t need that kind of pressure in my life.
Back when my husband and I were kid-free, Saturday mornings were the designated time each week to bang out a few sweaty hours of scrubbing, sweeping, purging, mopping, dusting, and organizing. We went out all weekend and were at work every weekday, so as long as we kept up with the dishes on a daily basis, we never really fell all that behind in the housekeeping department.
Then we began breeding crumb-confetti-tossing gremlins who were able to destroy a 1,000 square foot living space in the blink of an eye. Seriously. I can sit them in a chair with clean hands in a spotless room, spin on my heel, and by the time I’m facing them again, there will be inky smears on the ceiling, beads I didn’t even know we owned littering the carpet, and all the throw pillows will have gone missing, replaced by various filthy socks.
This means that I am in a constant state of cleaning. And I am SO CRANKY ABOUT IT. Of course they have their chores and I make them clean up after themselves, but it’s some sort of Groundhog Day here in my suburban home, but instead of Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil, I’ve got weird stains and a lot of questions. Questions I now only bother to ask myself over and over again while I attack the relentless mess because there is no reasonable answer to them that could soothe my poor nerves.
Here are some of those questions, along with the many other things us mothers think while cleaning constantly:
1. Do they ever actually get any food into their mouths? How are they even alive if the food only ends up under the table?
2. Are those footprints on the wall?
3. Why is there underwear on the kitchen chair?
4. How many cups do two kids possibly need to use each day?
5. EW EW EW. Note to self: Teach the boys how to aim better and restock the disinfectant wipes in case they don’t listen.
6. Why are cracker crumbs on the toilet seat?
7. So THERE’S the $20 bill that went missing from my wallet. Of course I’d find it in the overalls pocket of a stuffed bunny.
8. Why is there underwear under the coffee table?
9. Goodbye, stray LEGO.
10. Goodbye, lone Barbie’s shoe.
11. I’ll do the windows another time [laughs, knowing she’ll never do the windows, ever].
12. Is this chocolate or poop? IS THIS CHOCOLATE OR POOP?
13. Why is there underwear on the lamp?
14. I would literally sell my soul for a maid. Or at least one of my kids. Or my husband.
15. NO! MORE! TANGLED! UNDERWEAR INSIDE OF PAAAAAAANNNNNTS!!!
16. The next grandparent who gives my kids stickers is getting shipped off to the cheapest nursing home available when the time comes.
17. Where did all this stuff under the bed even come from?
18. Why is there underwear in the fish tank?
19. WHY [tosses a stuffed animal aside] MUST [tosses a stuffed animal aside] SHE [tosses a stuffed animal aside] NEED [tosses a stuffed animal aside] ALL [tosses a stuffed animal aside] THESE [tosses a stuffed animal aside] FRICKIN’ [tosses a stuffed animal aside] STUFFED [tosses a stuffed animal aside] ANIMALS [tosses a stuffed animal aside] ON [tosses a stuffed animal aside] HER [tosses a stuffed animal aside] BED [tosses a stuffed animal aside]
TO [tosses a stuffed animal aside] SLEEP [sweeps arm to knock all the rest of them aside]?
20. Did something die in here?
21. OMG, I HAVEN’T EVEN PUT THE VACUUM AWAY YET. WHO THE HECK JUST MADE THIS MESS?
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