Friday, March 29, 2013

Mom Jobs

Being a mom, and more specifically, a "mother of boys" (MOB), I have certain duties to fulfill.  I have the typical "mom jobs".  I am happy to report that my husband takes on many of the household chores without complaint and is not nearly as slovenly as some males.  He also does a great deal of the grocery shopping and the cooking - yes, I know how lucky I am!  But there are still plenty of things that need to be done to maintain the working order of our abode that seem to fall on my shoulders.

I am fully aware that I am not the first woman to complain about cooking, cleaning, laundry, childcare, and the rest.  I'm sure that some cave woman could be heard yelling, "Damn it Grog, you dripped mammoth blood all over the floor!  And why are you drawing on the walls again? I just ruined a perfectly good hide wiping off the last thing you smeared on there!"  Or something like that; you get the picture.  Often our 'work' is not recognized or appreciated despite hours of manual labor.  I wonder if the boys in my house think that dust and dirt magically disappears, clean dishes regenerate in the cabinets, and maybe the dogs lay down on the floor and scoot around until it shines.

My older son stumbled out of his room today at 11:35 am, complaining that the vacuum woke him up.  So sorry my liege!  He then wrinkled his face and asked, "What is that smell?".  Uh, maybe cleanliness is the word you're looking for???  I have to use cleaners with added scents to cover the nasty boy-funk smell that lingers when the windows have been shut for too long.  I don't really know what a pomegranate-acai-hibiscus-spring rain would smell like, but it has to be better than the dirty boxers-rugby-burrito combination we get around here.  The last time Zack had to stay home from school due to sickness he watched me cleaning the house and asked, "Who's coming over later?" to which I calmly yelled, "Nobody!  I'm cleaning because it's Monday and this is what I do!"  They have no idea because they think I sit around all day in my jammies watching shows and eating ice cream.  That's only on some days, alright?

Honestly, I'd love for any visitors to show up only on Mondays around 1 pm because the house would be clean for those two hours or so before the rugrats return and mess it all up again.  We used to have a maid service clean the house every two weeks and it would be heaven to come in and know that everything was clean and fresh at the same time.  When we realized we needed to save some money, there went the cleaners, but I was confident that I could do an even better job.  The problem with doing it myself is that not everything gets cleaned at the same time, and I tend to put off some of the more disgusting areas like the boys' bathroom.  Unfortunately we only have 2 bathrooms, which means that the boys' bathroom is also the everyone-else bathroom and I never know how bad it has become until after a guest leaves and I go in there and shout "Are you kidding me?  How do you get toothpaste and boogers all over a mirror that is 4 feet wide?".  My husband diplomatically said, "You've been doing a great job at keeping the place clean, and - not that we need it! - but how would you feel about hiring a maid service again?"  (He phrases it like this because we've been married almost 16 years and he realizes that I might throw the Lysol at his head if he were to make it sound like he's not appreciative.)  I'm not opposed to it, but I like saving money too.

That's the thing - nobody I know gets paid to do this stuff in their own house.  You just do it because you're the mom and it's part of the unspoken job description.  Now that my boys are getting older, they help out some, but I have to put up with the complaining and the half-assed final product.  If I can't get paid, some recognition would be nice. Instead of "You moved the stuff in my room and now I'll never be able to get Toxic Reapa to look the same again!" or "You ruined my experiment with the Silly Putty on the carpet!" how about "Thanks for everything you do around here.  We'd be lost without you"?  That might be too much to ask.

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