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