"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

The other day I hired a house cleaning service.

I'm a stay-at-home mom. Because of various school, meal, and nap schedules, it turns out that I'm even at-home a good portion of each and every day. At many, many points during the day I could grab a dust cloth and dust those baseboards. Or the Windex and clear some hand/Max's face prints off the windows. And I feel like I do. Well, maybe not a dust cloth, but I definitely run my socked foot along the baseboards once in a while. And though the Windex may stay shelved, I do pull my sleeve over the heel of my hand and rub Max's kisses off our back door. And I must, simply MUST, take a Clorox wipe to the toilet just about every day. I do have boys, you know.

But it's never enough. Because, unlike SOME crazy people I know (I'm looking at you, Mom), cleaning brings me absolutely no satisfaction. I can look at a sparkling shower and, instead of thinking about the accomplishment, I think about the fact that in less than 24 hours there will be spots on the glass again. And the toilet, my god, the toilet. Just once I'd like to walk into a bathroom in my house and find the seat down and no dribble (I'm looking at you, Evan and Max).

And so, I delegated. I decided that, even though I'm a Mom, I don't actually have to do it all.

And neither do you.

Because if you think about what you DO do (okay, I know I've lost the mothers of potty-humor-aged children who are all so conditioned and are therefore chuckling over the fact that I said doo doo), you do enough.

You feed, clean, clothe, and protect people other than yourself, before yourself.

you keep your spare-battery reserve fully-stocked so the fun of a remote-controlled car never has to stop
or you throw Pinterest-worthy birthday parties
or you clip coupons
or your kids eat vegetables
or you continue to purchase, cook, and present vegetables even though you know they won't eat them....because, some day, they will
or you only have to ask your kids to put their shoes on once and they do it
or you spent months researching and interviewing daycares/preschools to find the Best one for your family
or you make Weelicious-worthy school lunches
or you remember to send your kid to school with lunch money each day
or you nervously but silently watch your child climb to the top of the playground by himself for the first time because you know he's building his muscles and confidence
or you play Candyland four times in a row and don't sigh (audibly) when you pull the Gumdrop card. Again.
Or you manage to balance work and mom responsibilities...most days
or you have memorized how to rebuild Lego sets so it doesn't matter that you can't find the instructions
or you always send in the Field Trip money on time
or your toddler has never thrown a fit in a grocery store check out lane
or your kids' closets are ready for the change in season before the first warm spring day
or you manage to wait until the kids are in bed before cracking open that bottle of wine after a tough day
or you don't answer your phone, even when it's your best friend, with whom you've been playing phone tag for a week, because you're wearing your tiara and your kid has just deemed you Belle of the Ball and it's time to dance
or you do answer the phone because you know it's healthy to let those kids play by themselves sometimes, too
or you never leave clothes sitting in the washer or dryer over night...or for several days
or you know exactly what it means when your kid says he wants his bagel "no butty, no toasty" and you make it the right way every time
or you are the Room Mom
or you let your kids get muddy
or you let your kids "help" you cook
or you remember to schedule the kids' well-check ups and dental appointments
or you have 26 bedtime stories memorized so you can "read" to your kids while "resting your eyes"
or you make your kids' halloween costumes by hand
or you remember to set the DVR for the Sophia the First premiere and the Curious George special, even if that means that there's no room for The Daily Show reruns
or you let the kids eat cake for lunch every once in a while
or you know the magic words or Look to stop a tantrum dead in it's tracks
or you let your kids sleep in your bed
or you have taught your kids how to happily sleep in their own beds
or you know all the names and team affiliations of the guys from Ninjago or Skylanders or Fairies of Pixie Hollow or the NFL
or you arrange your weekend to accommodate a play date that your child insist you accompany them to
or you somehow managed to get your third baby's first step on video
or you are up-to-date on photo albums and baby books
or you remember to get all of your groceries in just one trip to the store
or you aren't afraid of creative messes
or you have perfected your macaroni and cheese recipe...which may or may not include opening a blue box
or you're happy to eat sandwich crusts and leftover grapes for lunch, while standing over the sink
or you can clean vomit off the walls in the hallway without gagging
or you have created a beautiful garden in your yard, yet you smile as your kids dig it up to search for worms or to "plant" dandelions
or you have memorized the phone numbers for school and your pediatrician, though you have to look up your husband's work number on your contact list
or you can clean a runny nose with your bare fingers and the back of your jeans in an emergency
or, even when you're bone tired, you can't lay your head on your pillow until you've checked on each one of your kids, asleep in their beds...and no matter how tough the day was...no matter how many drinks were spilled or tantrums were thrown or sibling disagreements were negotiated or pairs of underwear a single kid went through that day....seeing them sleeping there, so peaceful, so perfect, makes you wish the night away to hurry-up tomorrow. Because you love those high-maintenance little beasts more than life itself.

And, if you're like me, you don't do any of these things all the time, but you do most of them most of the time, which is worth celebrating.

Because you're a great mom.

Lesson Learned:
Happy Mother's Day, mamas! Now go enjoy a hot cup of coffee all by yourself!


  1. Best decision I ever made was to get a cleaning service.

    I'm a working mom (and admire the crap out of stay at home moms - no mommy wars here!) and think that giving yourself a break is an excellent idea.

    When you're home and your kids are asleep, drink, don't clean!