09 April 2015

Domestic Goddess? Yeah, Not So Much...

I am a crappy house keeper.

It's true.

There's no other way to say it.

When I first quit my job to become a stay-at-home-mom I had all these fantasies of finally having the time to really clean my house every week. My home would look like those homes you see in magazines. Clean. Organized. Beautiful.

I'd finally have the time to really learn how to cook. My husband would be so grateful and happy about eating wonderful home cooked meals. Meals I would cook Every. Single. Day. AND I'd pack his lunches. I'd plate everything so it looked like it was cooked in a restaurant. Elegant. Refined. I'd learn to bake homemade bread!

I would do it all!

I would be the next Martha Stewart...only a whole lot nicer. And with a sense of humor.

Yes. I would be a Domestic Goddess!! I would finally have the TIME to do it all.

What I didn't count on was having the time, but not the inclination.

Or the ability.

Here's what I've learned about myself as a stay-at-home-mom:  I don't do well when I have to do the same task over and over and over again.

It's boring. Monotonous. And it drives me crazy.

Quite frankly, if my job as a stay-at-home-mom was an actual JOB for which I received pay, my ass would have been fired long ago. Don't get me wrong, I'm good at the mom part of my SAHM job. My kid is engaged, happy and we have a blast together. I'm good at keeping her happy.

It's the at-home part of my SAHM job at which I suck.

The thing is, when I get on a cleaning tear I do pretty well and I sort of like it. It's nice to see chaos become order and dirty become clean. In a few hours I can have our home - the public areas anyway - looking ship-shape and ready for company.

But the cleaning never lasts. Ever. I just can't seem to MAINTAIN it.

Today I look at the living room with the dirty sippy cup and breakfast dish on the coffee table and four pairs of dirty kid socks strewn on the floor along with 463 toys, two pairs of pajamas, the junk mail that my daughter keeps taking out of the recycling bin, a random box or two, three flashlights (daughter is obsessed with them) and the empty blue bin that is supposed to contain the toys in the living room...It's then I think to myself, "For f*ck sake! Didn't I JUST clean this place like 6 days ago??? And now I have to do it AGAIN???"

It's the "again" part that always ruins it for me.

Again. Again. Always again.

Kind of like laundry.


The laundry. How do three people generate so much EFFING laundry??? It just needs to get done again and again and again. It's NEVER EVER done. Ever. Didn't I JUST fold that pair of rainbow stripe kid leggings like yesterday and now they're dirty AGAIN???

And then there's dinner.

Does it have to happen every single night???

I only know how to cook like 4 things. And if I want to cook something new that means finding a new recipe, grocery shopping and then actually cooking something that requires me to focus on the recipe while my daughter hangs on my leg begging for snacks. I can BARELY cook the stuff I KNOW how to cook, but to do a new recipe AND manage my kid??? Not so much.

So instead I usually just make something easy for the kid, grab a bowl of cereal for myself and leave my poor husband to fend for himself

Yeah, my poor husband cooks his own dinner when he gets home from a day of meetings and work stress. Really. I am totally not kidding about this.

He should fire me.

I am NOT a Domestic Goddess.

Martha Stewart, I hate you.

07 April 2015

Purple Jacket

Some kids have blankies.

Others have binkies.

Yet others have their thumbs.

And still others have a favorite stuffed animal. A lovey. A snugglie.

My daughter has Purple Jacket.

Not "a" purple jacket.

Not "the" purple jacket.

She has "Purple Jacket."

The amazing thing about Purple Jacket is that he so so much more than a jacket.

Oh yes. He.

Purple Jacket is a "he."

Purple Jacket is my daughter's friend, snugglie, partner in crime and primary source of comfort...absolutely necessary for bedtime for close to two years now and also for anytime that we are just hanging out.  We used let my daughter wear Purple Jacket other places, but now he stays at home because if he were to be lost....

Life. As. We Know. It. Would. Be. Over.

Despite having to stay at home, Purple Jacket apparently leads quite an active life.

A typical morning conversation with my daughter...

ME: How's Purple Jacket this morning?

ESME [shaking her head]: Not good.

ME: Not good? What's wrong with Purple Jacket?

ESME: He had bad dreams. Very bad dreams. He's tired.

ME: Ohhhh. Poor Purple Jacket.

ESME: Poor Purple Jacket. So tired.

And a typical afternoon conversation with my daughter...

ESME [upon walking in the house]: Where is Purple Jacket?

ME: I think he's in the bedroom where you left him.

ESME [flies to her bedroom to retrieve Purple Jacket]

ME [upon her return to the living room]: How is Purple Jacket?

ESME: Good!

ME: He had a good long nap while you were at school?

ESME: No! He had a party!!

ME: Purple Jacket had a party??

ESME: Yeah! On my bed! He had cake and ice cream and tato chips and cake and ice cream and lots of friends. He had a big party!

ME: Wow. That's amazing. Purple Jacket leads quite a life when we're not home.

ESME: Yeah! Amazing!

Recently we've had a bit of a Purple Jacket emergency. When Esme is taking him off, she breaks Purple Jacket's zipper. Now for most kids this wouldn't be a tragedy, but for my daughter...well, one of the main features of Purple Jacket is The Worry Spot....that part at the waist where the two jacket halves comes together and the zipper starts. Purple jacket always has to be zipped so with her fingers Esme can gently "worry" at the fabric and the start of the zipper. And when she is super tired or in need of extra comfort she gently rubs the Worry Spot under her nose. For some inexplicable reason this soothes her and calms her down.

So when the zipper is no longer functional...

And my daughter is distraught at having no Purple Jacket for bedtime and for self-soothing...

Yep.  You bet. I rush him the next day to our lovely seamstress (because I am useless with a sewing machine) and beg her to fix him. Gotta give the woman credit. She looks at this somewhat ratty old fleece jacket, takes in my request to have a new zipper put in, and doesn't bat an eyelash at what is obviously a ridiculous fix.  It takes a week and four times the original cost of the jacket (which I picked up for $4.99 at a re-sale shop), but Purple Jacket is good as new.

Life as we know it is not over.

I'm looking forward to getting home today to see what new adventures Purple Jacket has had while we've been out of the house.