Care and Feeding

I am in a mood, by which I mean I’ve got a serious case of the why-do-I-even-bother’s? Some days nothing feels as pointless as being a stay at home mom, especially when it’s February and we’ve barely left the house in days and neither kid is sleeping through the night and they openly scoffed at the super cute macaroni craft I was counting on to keep us from strangling each other on Monday. Stop rolling your eyes at me and make a damn necklace already. 

The second I pick up a room it gets destroyed. As soon as I make a snack it’s gone and Caroline needs “somethin’ else eat”. I get 90% of the clothes laundry done and realize every sheet and towel in the house is filthy and needs to be washed. 60 seconds after I scrub the bathroom floor Evan has peed on it. Again.

It doesn’t help that I am losing – desperately – the fight against clutter and kids’ toys. For every box I take to Goodwill or basket I drop off at the consignment shop with a note that says “DONATE ANYTHING YOU WON’T TAKE FTLOG GET IT AWAY FROM ME” it seems like 5 more things appear in the house. I am totally out of places to put toys, so piling them up and shoving them into corners is the current strategy and that strategy sucks. Permanent removal is the only feasible plan of attack. I need 3 uninterrupted hours, a dozen trash bags and a memory-wiping device so Evan doesn’t ask “Mommy, what happened to my broken fire truck? I LOVED my broken fire truck!!!”

But that’s not going to happen. Instead, I’m going to put clean clothes on children, wash dirty clothes, feed children, wash dirty dishes, put away clean dishes, clean floor, clean other floor, clean other floor, clean first floor again, wash dirty children, put children to bed, clean the kitchen, wash myself, collapse. Because even though at the end of the day I have practically nothing to show for it, I’m exhausted. And that’s the worst part – nothing to show for it. I don’t have a spotless house or an organized pantry or a freezer full of meals or anything else beyond a headache. How come I can never get ahead?

I realize most of my angst is a result of a long, cold winter and a particular stage of childhood that requires maximum assistance. (Obviously a newborn requires a lot more full-time care but a newborn is incapable of dumping 200 Legos out on the floor. I’m looking at a ratio here.) There’s only so many cleaning-up games they’re willing to play before they realize those aren’t very good games at all. Closeness and familiarity are the enemies this time of year and a change in routine is the only solution. We need to be out of the house, if only so I can end the day with the same mess I woke up to, not one that’s 10 time worse. I’ve pretty much given up on February and I’m hoping too much TV, too many granola bars and too many dust bunnies don’t do the kids any permanent harm for the rest of this week.

C’mon March, I know you can do better.

p.s. We did manage to get Caroline’s room clean today – floor vacuumed and everything! – which is enough of a dent in the disaster that I’m already feeling better. This is how the kids “helped” me clean:

cleaning day


cleaning day-5


cleaning day-2


cleaning day-3

More posing

cleaning day-7


cleaning day-8


cleaning day-6 copy


cleaning day-9


p.p.s. The gingers can even make February bearable. I love them to pieces.

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19 Responses to “Care and Feeding”

  1. Liz says:

    Your kids are always dressed adorably in the pics you post here, if that counts. :-)

  2. Sarah says:

    I am WITH you – I’m so done with winter. I need way more than 3 hours for my disaster zone, though!

  3. Stacia says:

    Yes, this. The sheets, the pee, the snacks, the TOYS. I need a lot more than three hours though, probably weeks. Love your blog, and love Caroline’s shirt.

  4. I feel like I could have written this post. Only my kids are currently 2.5 and 8 months and I was really really hoping that once the baby became more independent that I would feel a little less wheel-spinny. Guess not. Thanks for ruining my dreams. It is, however, really good to know I’m not alone.

  5. Yes THIS. So much THIS! Add changing diapers to the deceptively pointless looking along with feeding and cleaning. Way too much of that going on over here.

  6. Kristi says:

    Okay, so I have barely read any blogs lately because I am so tired of listening to how awesome their kids are, how pretty their houses are and how yummy their dinner was last night. But, you I read. I read because I get it. I relate to it. I am living it. And I spend so many hours fighting the same frustrations.

    Bins and cubbies have been our best friends for toys. We cycle toys in and out and store them away so that we don’t look at the chaos constantly.

    Thanks for keeping it real!

  7. Kimberly says:

    I am totally with you on the never-getting-ahead-ness! A positive of having the boys in daycare full time is that we aren’t home all day making a mess, so in theory, if I had time to clean, the house would stay cleaner. Ugh! I’ll feel so much better about it when I can say, “go play outside while I clean this up,” instead of, “watch another show while I clean around you”.

  8. Mama Durso says:

    Wow, just… wow. This post totally pinpointed my major issues with my life. The why-do-I-even-bother’s?. It’s a syndrome on WebMD. For sure. You’re not alone! I live in San Diego, CA, where the weather is NOT nuclear winter and I still get all mopey and icky about the state of my life. I feel ya, girl!

  9. Audrey says:

    I love it when you post things about Caroline that are exactly what I was thinking about posting about Delilah. I feel so normal when that happens. lol! I’ve been getting frustrated lately because she wants “something else” constantly. She never finishes what she asked for and it drives me craaaaazy.

  10. alana says:

    I feel your pain. I never seem to catch up on anything these days. And I have realized that the more clutter and mess, the more irritable I am about it! Like it drives me mad!
    I live in a sea of newborn and 3 year old laundry! And I am lucky if I get my own done! I am hoping I figure out the balance soon or I might just donate it all and say to hell with it!
    It’s currently 70 in LA. You could always come visit! I will clear off the laundry on the guest bed! :-)

  11. Elaine A. says:

    It can absolutely drive you crazy and be extremely mundane. No denying that! I hope you all can go on some sort of outing soon. I bet that would help a LOT! :) In the meantime, hang in there with those sweet gingers!

    p.s. and don’t worry about being caught up… just live life the best way you can… (but I know that feeling too).

  12. emily says:

    Man, I am totally with you on this post! I am so over winter and desperately needing to get the kids outside. Its been non stop cold rain here, weve all been sick, the kids are over the toys, Im fresh out of indoor ideas, pinterest fun looking crafts definitely end up not being worth the time and effort as I always end up more excited than them. In the end kids just want to be outside and out of the house, and so does mom (most of the time). Heres to hoping March brings some sunnier and warmer days!

  13. Margot says:

    So true! Nothing feels as pointless as cleaning up the same thing over and over and over!

    PS the picture of your little girl reminded me of when my now tweenie girls were that size. Thanks for the happy memory :-)

  14. Erin says:

    This is so right on!!! This is how I feel all of the time! I want to do some “spring cleaning” in which I get a big dumpster and dump half of everything we own in it! I feel like I’m constantly just shuffling crap around. P.S. I might also have a serious case of cabin fever.

  15. merin says:

    AMEN Sister.

  16. MKP says:

    This might be an over-reaction solution, but is it anywhere in the Davis budget to get an xbox kinect? Pros: hours of jumping around games, it takes pictures of said jumping around, and little kids can figure it out freakishly quickly and maybe would even do it without needing your direct immediate ALL EYES ON ME supervision for minutes at a time.

    • bebehblog says:

      We have one. Also a Wii. The kids are still sort of little to understand it – Caroline just gets in the way and Evan gets frustrated after about 10 minutes. But I’m willing to keep trying.

  17. Kendra B. says:

    We live in Maine and I am sooooooooo with you on being CRAZY DONE WITH WINTER IN NEW ENGLAND! Gahhhhhh. My daughter is Caroline’s age and I’m five months pregnant with daughter #2, so it’s been crazy toddler action plus exhausted preggo mommy plus endless snowstorms, etc. I totally get the “we need to get out of the house” feeling, we stayed home for five days in a row last week and I thought I was going to lose. my. mind. Being a mom of toddlers is hard, especially this time of year. I think you’re doing a great job, you really love your little family and my theory is that if they kids are still in one piece at the end of the day than that’s an accomplishment. ESPECIALLY in the middle of a New England winter :)

  18. I am so done with winter, also. Kids are stir crazy, we have NEVER had this much illness, and they are just over doing the same things inside all day long . I still somehow, get NOTHING accomplished and I just want to fall in a pile.

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