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Funny Cleaning Guide for the Too-tired-to-care Mom

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I used to adhere to strict sweeping and mopping standards. You could eat off my floor. It wasn’t required, but if you ever had to it would be clean enough. Those days are gone. Now, it’s literally a sweep of the foot and a wet washcloth to pick up leftover banana chunks from breakfast before one of three things happens:

A. The baby crawls by and decides to eat it as a snack four hours later.

B. The banana chunk slithers off by itself.

C. The banana chunk slithers off with the baby.

Substitutions or neglect are part of my current house cleaning policies, not because I’m a slob but because I’m too tired to care. Here’s a list of how my top house chores have changed since having kids:

As a general rule I don’t dust because I’ve always hated dusting. If the occasion calls for absolutely having to dust (e.g. we have guests coming or my dining room table resembles a petri dish growing a very dry, fur-like substance) I will use my hand or fingers to quickly clean it up.

Bed Making
If anyone questions the condition of your sheets I think a better question would be to ask them what exactly they’re doing in your bedroom.

You can’t fake vacuuming. If there’s cereal hanging out on the carpet there’s only three ways to clean it up:

1. Vacuum.

2. Crawl around and pick them up while the cat rubs against your head, because this is clearly the time for love.

3. Step on the cereal grinding it back into molecular form.

Dish Washing
Somewhere along the way I moved into a frat house consisting of one male adult and two tiny people that generate so many dishes they have to be done daily. I use the term “frat house” because you wouldn’t believe where and how I’ve found some of these dishes.

Bathroom Cleaning
The sad reality is if someone didn’t poop in the bathtub it usually gets pushed down the list. Note: The pooping in the tub only applies to toddlers. If you are not a toddler and you poop in the tub, you have bigger concerns to contend with than simply cleaning it up.

I have started loads of laundry and consciously made the decision to not follow through to the drying and folding stages. It causes a pretty massive pile up of laundry called: laundry castles.

Here’s how this happens:

Step 1: I ambitiously start the laundry with the washer.

Step 2: Once the cycle is complete I move the clothes into the dryer for sixty minutes.

Step 3: Once the dryer is finished I add another hour.

Step 4: Once that hour is up I add thirty more minutes or however much time it takes to conveniently forget there’s clothes in need of folding.

Step 5: The next day I ambitiously start the dryer again to de-wrinkle the clothes.

I repeat steps 3-5 as many times necessary until no one in the house has anything to wear but mismatched socks.

If you have children or have been around any then you know they leave a wake of destruction in their path – usually in the form of mashed snack foods and toys. Childcare has less to do with taking care of a child than it does taking care of the mess your child has made.

I don’t consider cooking housework because the only cleaning required is after it’s all done. This is also known as “doing the dishes.” If you were hoping to read what I had to say about this, you’re going to be pretty disappointed; much like how my husband is pretty disappointed when he comes home and dinner still isn’t ready.

Christina is a stay-at-home mom who lives near Denver with her husband, two daughters and a cat who’ll never forgive her for having children. You can find her lurking around at:

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  • comment avatar Amber Johnson May 16, 2013

    OHMYGOSH, now *this* is a cleaning schedule I could adhere to!

  • comment avatar Kari May 16, 2013

    I’m pinning this on my wall. For inspiration. Hate hate hate laundry.

  • comment avatar Tina May 16, 2013

    You are my soul sister! I have pretty much adopted your cleaning standards since having children. And another genius mom, who’s initials are AJ, taught me that me that there is no reason to clean before a party, especially a kid’s party. I raise my rinsed-out glass to toast you all!

    • comment avatar Christina May 16, 2013

      Props to you for rinsing out your glass and not just shaking it out until it looks mostly clean and blaming your dishwasher for having an off day.

  • comment avatar Anna May 16, 2013

    Laundry gets done in much the same way in our house. Once it’s taken out of the dryer it usually just sits in the laundry basket and we take out what we need as we need it. We also use a lot of paper plates so we just have to “take out the trash” more often, which usually just consists of tying the trash bag up and putting it in the garage until it piles so high that we have no choice to but to haul it to the dump (no trash service in our area).

  • comment avatar Shari November 10, 2013

    LOL! That is sooooo true. What really helped me with my housework is having the RIGHT equipment… AKA. Hello Vacuum!! Happy dust busting ladies 🙂

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