That Cinderella Life:
It ain’t for me Growing up, Saturdays was the day you cleaned the entire house. The house literally shined from top to bottom. The smooth stylings of Gerald Levert, or whatever my mother was in the mood for, woke me up at 7 am. I think just about every person in my generation can agree that Saturday was “THE” day to get it together. My mother is the Queen of Clean. Her favorite adage was “everything has its place.” Listen, she would change the outfits on my babydolls and do their hair. Dishwasher. What is that? I was the dishwasher. Want to make a Black mama mad, put a SINGLE fork in her sink after she has done dishes and I guarantee you, she will teach you how to fly! Let’s just say the bar was set high!
During my teenage years, I would drive her crazy with my anti-organizational antics. Before she would get home, I would carefully turn a picture frame just three inches to the right. The anxiety of waiting for her to get home would kill me sometimes. I would time how long it would take for her to notice. Y’all, I swear she has super powers! My mother would walk through the door, set her keys down, adjust the frame ever-so-perfectly and in the same breath ask me how my day was. She’s amazing! Our house was always decorated beautifully! People would visit and always compliment her decorating skills. She’s so amazing at it, she turned her home designing skills into a full blown business.
Now with that background, let’s get to my story….
Before kids, I was the “Princess of Clean.” Leaving the house without the bed being made was unheard of. My poor boyfriend would be overwhelmed by the 20 decorative pillows that would adorn my bed. He would often joke that he would have to take a screenshot to remember how to make it. I vacuumed twice a week and on Saturday. Dusting was my jam! Toilets are my nemesis. To this day, I can’t stand scrubbing a toilet. Saturdays required a good playlist. Cleaning while listening to some Soca or Calypso music made the time go by faster.
Enter the children…
The Princess of Clean can have her crown back. I don’t want it!
I hate cleaning. No, I mean it! Saturdays are my days to sleep in. At 7 am on a Saturday, you will find me in my bed either scrolling through my phone or burrito style in my covers. Do not bother me! Once I am awake, I casually stroll into the living room and wait for my youngest to arrive. Now you know with kids, they’re usually your alarm clocks. They don’t want to get up for school at 6 am roll-call. Let them find out it’s a Saturday. That Monday morning energy arrives with a quickness. Even during winter break, they’re up early with a quickness.
Y’all. They don’t tell you about this in the manual (there isn’t one so we are clear). These jokers are some messy busy bodies! I swear I wash dishes like four times a day. Why must they eat all the time? And why didn’t anyone tell me that I am the one who has to feed them? The laundry. Lawd, can we talk about the laundry? My oldest refuses to wear the same pair of pajamas more than once. The boy leaves his socks behind the couch. I don’t even try to find matches anymore. My youngest takes after my mom. She hates a mess. If her placemat gets dirty, she wants it replaced that same day. Life truly changes when you add kids to the equation. The rate at which a mess accumulates is astounding. Crumbs appear out of nowhere! Why is everything always sticky? Cleaning toilets is still my least favorite thing to do. If you have boys in your house, you will quickly understand why! Aiming! Even if you tapped a “bullseye” in the toilet, there’s going to be a guaranteed miss. Now don’t “at” me! My family helps for sure. My husband has crafted “jobs” for the children so they can learn about how the real world works. “Domestic Home Engineers” can now be added to their resumes. We collaborate as a family and attack any area of the house that needs attention. My youngest loves to dust! You should see my baby with the Swiffer, it would bring tears to your eyes. Just magical! My oldest sometimes wakes up before all of us so he can get his chores done. Playing his video games serves as his motivation. We’ve passed down the tradition of the Saturday playlist to our crew. I am proud to say that both of my children can sing New Editions “If It Isn’t Love” with matching choreography!
Don’t get me wrong, my house isn’t dirty. It is maintained. Some days are truly better than others. There aren’t potatoes growing in my tub or anything. It is just exhausting to try to keep up with it all. Motherhood holds a lot or responsibility. Decisions. So many decisions! Meal plans, homework, housework, chore charts and the list goes on. Whether you are a single parent, work from home or stay at home, it can be taxing at times. The pandemic has extended our time at home so things are more noticeable.
Virtual school requires more of my attention now.
At times I feel like a ping-pong ball bouncing between my children to make sure that their assignments are being completed. You can add “lunch lady” to my catalog of many hats I wear. Again. Dishes. All the dishes. Spending time together has become more of a priority. The outside world feels like it is imploding at times. If there are days where the laundry seems a bit heavier than others, it’s ok. While I am on the floor playing Legos, I may see that sticky spot on the floor. It will get wiped. Cinderella can have it. I don’t want to be a Domestic Diva. From time to time, it would be great to just sit down on my couch and not worry about if someone’s sock is on the arm rest. Having a sink emptied of dishes for more than a day would be nice. At the end of the day, I love the “hot mess of it all” that is called my life. It’s chaotically beautiful. Abundantly blessed. I wouldn’t trade it for a glass slipper any day!