Tag Archives: parenting blog

A Messy Girl’s Guide to Making Your House A Little Less Disgusting

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“Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens and happy kids.”

I love this quote. Not because I think bad moms have clean houses, but because I have yet to master the whole “being a mom, being an employee and keeping a clean house” thing and this quote makes me feel better about myself. But here’s the thing: while sticky floors and piles of laundry are okay, mold on your dishes, muddy dog footprints on your sheets and trash that spills onto the floor are not. Therefore, at some point in life we moms do have to do some sort of cleaning. I’m sure your favorite mom bloggers have been giving you cleaning tips for years. Some of you may actually be using those tips and you might have a decently clean house most of the time. You’re good moms and you have a clean house. Kudos! This post is not for you. This post is for the rest of us. Those of us who have permanently given up on “clean” and instead strive for “a little less disgusting.” Here’s what you’ve got to do.

Prioritize

You will never have time to get all the chores done, so you’ve got to prioritize. Here’s how I determine which chores to do first

  1. I look around my house and think  “If child protective services came right now, what would they consider a health code violation?” Those issues get taken care of first. Hint: that moldy maggot filled apple at the bottom of the toy bin is probably violating some sort of parenting law.
  2. Then I look around my house again and ask myself “If that stuck up mom from play group came over right now, what would she comment on?” It’s not that it’s important to impress the stuck up mom, it’s just that she says what everyone is thinking so if I don’t want my friends to be silently gagging as they hover above my toilet seat, I should probably clean said toilet seat.
  3. If by some miracle you have time to more chores, do something that will make you feel like a good about life. For me, that’s clean sheets. The entire house could look like a tornado rampaged a muddy thrift store, but if I have clean sheets on our bed and the baby’s crib, then its all okay.

Psych yourself up

I usually do my cleaning on Saturdays (oh the joys of being a working mom) but I start mentally preparing myself on Friday night, usually by watching an episode of Hoarders. Nothing will get me to clean my bedroom closet faster than seeing what will happen if I let it spill through the living room and out the front door.

Keep the kids safe and contained

This is pretty important. If you don’t contain the kids, then they will make messes literally seconds after you clean. If you don’t keep them safe, you’ll waste valuable cleaning time with annoying things like bandaids and trips to the ER. But don’t let the kids trick you into thinking that safe and contained means happy and entertained. It doesn’t. You’ve kept those little darlings entertained for a week straight, that’s why your house is a wreck. This is the day ish gets done! If you can find something easy to entertain them, like a movie, then great. If not, just contain them in some sort of fort/prison and clean as fast as you can before they break out.

Find some audio entertainment

Cleaning is sooooooo boring. Gah, just thinking about it makes me nod off. For years I tried having the t.v. on while I cleaned, you know, for background noise. But then I had a kid and realized that I could not take 30 minutes to vacuum, so I had to find some other sort of entertainment. Music, of course, is is great entertainment. And if you dance while you clean then that counts as exercise. I’m also a fan of listening to comedy stations on Pandora, or books on tape. Anything that will keep me from poking my eyes out with the broom handle.

Hire some help

Try as we might, there are just some days, months or years that we can’t do it all. So don’t be afraid to get some help. You could hire a professional housekeeper, but that’s expensive and let’s be real, your standards aren’t that high. Instead, I suggest asking the highschooler down the street or the college kid from church that’s home for the summer. I’ve asked my sister who is nursing school to help out. She enjoys the flexibility and extra money, I enjoy being able to see the beautiful hardwood floors my husband installed. It’s a win win. Another idea is to chore swap with a neighbor. Everyone has those chores that they hate more than others. Maybe your most hated chores don’t seem that bad to your neighbor and their dreaded tasks don’t seem that bad to you. You could go over and clean their windows while they wash their dishes. Granted your still cleaning, but its easier and faster to do chores that don’t feel like Chinese water torture.

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Well Hello There

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So for the past few weeks people have been assuring me that I’m not showing yet. I felt like I was, but since I’m the only person who has spend the past 20 ish years meticulously analyzing my stomach everyday, it made sense that I was the only one who had noticed. Even though I could tell I was getting bigger, it still just looked like I ate a large Thanksgiving meal…everyday…for 14 weeks.

But today, something changed. I looked in the mirror and was like “oh hello there, belly.” What had once looked like a flabby inter tube keeping me a float on the crazy Life River, now looks distinctly like a round, child holding melon. I definitely look pregnant. Which, of course, calls for a freak out! My first thought was:

“It seems way to early to be this big. Damn you, Joe! Your mammoth seed is going to make me HUGE! I’ll be like one of those big Russian dolls where tons of smaller dolls keep popping out of it.”

And then I was like

“Holy Crap, its real. This baby is real. I’ve known for a while it was real. But now its really making its presence known. This is happening. O gosh. I need to sit down.”

As I recovered from my mini breakdown, I suddenly sympathized with every pregnant woman who has ever walked the earth. I never understood why pregnant women worried about their weight or felt bad about being “fat.” I always thought “Hey, your growing a kid in there. Everybody knows it and nobody is judging you, so cheer up.” And of course, I vowed never to be like those women. But today I realized that isn’t really about the size, and it isn’t about what other people are thinking. Its about the fact that your body is no longer your own and no matter what you do that stomach is going to continue to bulge to sizes you have never seen in your life. It’s about the fact every day you have a very physical reminder of what has, and will continue, to change your life forever. And, lets be real, a little bit of the worry really is about your actual size. Society has embedded those skinny girl dreams pretty deep in our minds, and two pink lines on a pregnancy test won’t instantly flush them out.

My freak out is now over, and its time to look at the bright side. First, I get some new clothes which, maternity or not, is always exciting. Second, I have a Dr. appt next week and when she confirms that my uterus is a normal size I can stop having horrific visions of Russian dolls. Third, it a few more weeks it will become obvious to everyone that I am pregnant and the Thanksgiving dinner phase will officially be over. And lastly, I am thankful that I’m this big because of a baby and not because of an actual Thanksgiving dinner. Because that would be gross.

PS I hate baby bump pictures but since I’m talking about it, I figured I show you. The one in the white shirt was taking on Monday. The one in the pink shirt was taken today. Do you see what I mean? It has definitely rounded out in the past few days.

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I never know what face to make in these pictures. Gah, so awkward

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I think I need to start wearing make up for these bump photo shoots.