Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mom 'What Ifs'

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, The Ginger 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.

Courtesy of Demandware
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...

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  1. It never fails for me....whenever I mop my kitchen floor the dog either promptly pees, poops, or throws up on it.

    Glad all my hard work gave you a clean spot to defile. Freakin' dog.....

    1. I never even went into how my cats do the same thing. One of them has a hairball emergency on the newly mopped floor. Just like how one of them will go crap in the litterbox right after I clean that out, too. Sheesh, lol.

  2. I'm weird I guess, I'm addicted to my Swiffer its so instantly gratifying. I'm also okay with the constant sweeping and wiping I do. Crumbs on the floor means I'm able to feed my children when so many moms struggle to keep the fridge full. Muddy footprints on the floor mean my children are healthy enough to go outside and stomp in puddles, so many children spend their days in hospital beds hooked up to machines or restricted in a wheelchair. And I'm thankful I have a car that's currently home to a seriously smelly dirty diaper that got lost under the fast food wrappers and papers from school. That's my rant for the day. Toodles.

    1. Your outlook on life is amazing! I love when you comment!! =)

      I wish I had the attraction to the Swiffer that you do. We had a swiffer, but with these weird ass floors, it leaves this film that I can't stand the feel of on the bottom of my feet. So I have to fill the sink up with water and do the whole 9 yards to mop. Blah, lol.

  3. I can understand it, I get a sense of satisfaction when I've finished all my cleaning too. There's just something about looking around and knowing that everything is exactly the way it's supposed to be.

    1. I completely agree. I relax a little bit more in a clean house. I can relax just fine in a cluttered house, too, but I don't have so much of the guilt when it comes to a clean one, lol.

  4. Yep, I think that every time I go to school! I'm attending college to finish up my Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and it is a pain with 5 kids. I completely understand that feeling. I just keep pushing forward ticking off one day at a time. :) Really enjoyed my visit to your site.

    1. Thanks for visiting! Good luck on the degree- that's quite a feat you've taken on and I wish you well with it!! =)

  5. And I thought I was the only mom that did the Candle trick! I should have known better! very glad to know I am not alone on that one though!

    I totally feel ya on the floor though! I have to sweep every night. The hubby is a farmer, and I HATE not being able to walk around in my house with my shoes off. So dirt MUST go. I do wait for him to get home though! haha

    P.S. If it makes you feel any better, I have 4 baskets worth of laundry piled on my couch. I will eventually invent a dryer that folds too. Be on the look out! ;)

    1. Girl, Target has had this sale going on where you buy 5 Glade candles and you get a $5 gift card. I use Target coupons with manufacturer coupons which end up making the candles buy 1 get 1 free, but I have 3 freaking gift cards from taking advantage of that deal, lol. I'm stocked on candles for the days I don't feel like doing anything. ;)