By Kirby Trahan
The Saturday morning scene: the house is upside down, dishes to be done, laundry to be folded and floors that most definitely need a good mopping. The kids have been in school all week, so it’s our first full day off together, and I’d like to spend it taking them on an adventure, not playing Martha Stewart.
Whether a working mom or stay-at-home-mom, the balance between keeping up a tidy home and creating memories with our children often comes into play. Are our babies going to remember that the house was always spotless and sparkling? I say they will remember the laughter and joy of moments in time, while embracing the inevitable mess surrounding them. Because ladies, the mess is inevitable.
How many times have you cleaned up the living room or folded a perfect pile of laundry before you leave the house, just to have the toy bin dumped over? Or shed a tear as you watch your toddler swipe his imaginary sword of an arm over a mountain of tediously folded shirts? Instead of envisioning waterboarding my kid when this happens, I’ve simply learned it does not matter. Better yet, I’ll leave the house in its perfect mess and walk out the door into a day of new experiences that have zero to do with a vacuum or sponge.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a housewife is a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs and doing housework.
Somehow in this day and age we still feel, with insurmountable personal (and often outside) pressure, that we must strive to be that perfect 1950s housewife even while maintaining a career, and of course still have the energy at the end of the day to want to have sex with our husbands. In the same vein as choosing playtime with our kids, why not also choose it with our partners? Most women I know would be in favor of skipping tomorrow’s meal prep to head upstairs instead and have their biscuits buttered.
A friend recently told me that in a therapy session with her ex-husband, while each was discussing major key points for discord in their marriage, she spoke of lack of communication and connection, while he spoke of wanting her to spend more time tending to the house, rather than taking the children out and about. This idea baffles me.
They say it takes a village. Ain’t that the damn truth? Danny Tanner may have had three kids and not a drop of mess on the floor at any given time, but he also had Uncle Jessie, Joey and Aunt Becky around to help. The picture-perfect representation of pristine homes on TV shows (and all the unseen production assistants in the background) makes us feel like we need to be superheroes.
And mothers are superheroes, no doubt. The fact that we create, birth and raise little adorably psychotic humans without checking into an insane asylum ourselves is proof enough. But magical wizards we are not. We can’t wave a magic wand and create more hours in the day.
Take a breath and prioritize. Are the kids fed? Breathing? Happy? If you answered yes, then congratuf*ckinglations. You’ve survived another day. Now pour a drink, put down the broom, turn on some tunes and dance with them in the middle of your disorderly home and make some messy memories.