Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What I Don't Do

I must be firing on all cylinders lately, because I have had a few people tell me that they don't know how I manage to make everything look so easy. They "don't know how I do it."

After looking around to make sure they were speaking to me, I quelled the urge to laugh. It never reflects well on your sanity when you meet a compliment with hysterics. I wanted to say: Oh honey, you just caught me in a good hour! There's no way I could maintain this level of organization without some live-in help or some serious pharmacological intervention. I'm a total path-of-least resistance gal on the inside!

Instead, I just said: Thank you! Please keep this moment in mind when you see me dragging one of my screaming children to the back of the church.

Over at Faith and Family Live!, Danielle Bean talks about dispelling the super-mom myth. Let's be honest, we all know that no one does it all. We try, but in the long run, something's got to give. And everyone's something is different. Danielle 'fessed up to hers, and I started thinking about my own shortcuts.

Here's what I don't do while I'm busy projecting the image of doing it all:

  • I don't do bath time. I mean, I bathe myself, but I don't do the whole evening wash-up routine with the children. I abdicated that responsibility to Rob and I have never looked back. It's not that I don't enjoy it, but I am so tired in the evenings that the thought of one more hoop before bed is enough to send me around the bend. I do bathe Bun during the day, but I'm thinking his days are numbered.
  • I don't do outside. The mowing and trimming are anathema to me. I enjoy flowers and I'll plant and pull weeds, but I'll run over the lawnmower before I succumb to using it. I also don't do anything with the big rolling trashcan. Rob has that job until one of the children is big enough to maneuver the cart.
  • I don't do crafts. Or art projects. Or scrapbooking. Or anything that involves glitter. I have come a long way in my aversion to crafty messes with the children, but I have come to embrace the fact that I am not the glue stick kind of mom.
  • I don't do any needle-work. I don't knit, crochet, sew, tat, embroider, crewel, make lace, nada. I can make small repairs to clothes but that's the extent of my prowess with a needle.
  • Like Danielle, I don't iron. I admit it, I wait for the dryer to buzz and then hang the clothes to avoid the iron. I've been known to steam, spray, smooth, stretch, put the whammy on it, whatever it takes to make something wearable without having to resort to the iron. Somewhere, my mother is weeping. I readily admit that this is the one area in which I feel like I am somehow failing. I should iron more, but the truth is that I just don't.
  • I don't always wear a clean shirt. Sometimes, if we've had a quiet day and my shirt doesn't have any noticeable stains, I will lay it over the chair in my room and then wear it again. I do, however, wear clean underwear every day.
  • I don't clean under my refrigerator or oven. It's scary. Don't go there.

There's more, so much more, that I skip, but I don't have all day for this kind of thing. I have to go wait for the dryer.

How about it? Anything you skip?


  1. I don't do any of the things you don't do ... although occasionally I do help with the kids baths.

    I love not having to iron :) !!

  2. Aimee, I have sat across the conference table from a mother or two who THINKS she can do it all. Usually, the veins in her neck look like they are going to explode from the tension and they seem like they might cry any second. You are being so smart here. Somethings have to give and glitter is highly over rated.

  3. Anonymous5:30 AM

    LOVE this post - I don't do those items either (except for outdoors stuff). And I've been known to wear an unclean shirt once in a while too. :-P

  4. You know everyone has a list just as long but aren't nearly brave enough to speak of it. You go girl!

  5. Not only do I not clean under the fridge or oven, I apparently do not clean under ANYTHING as was evidenced when we moved furniture this week and I swear the dust bunnies could have swallowed me whole.

    I was just discussing this very thing with Tigerfan last night. I get up at 5:00 usually do not go to bed before 10:30 or 11:00 on a good night and my house is a wreck and my to do list a mile long!

    And, by the way, the unclean shirt is a great idea--I do it all the time--it means less laundry! My boys however try to use the same idea with underwear but it just doesn't cut it!

  6. Glad to know I'm not alone in being "un-crafty"!

    Oh, and everything else? I am right there with ya.


  7. I don't do the outside, either, and I don't do the cars. I told my husband early on that keeping the house clean was a big enough job without adding two vehicles to the equation.

    Also, if the boys are running low on their school uniform pants, I'll let them wear the same pair the next day. All I do is throw them in the dryer with a gazillion dryer sheets...voila! instant dry cleaning!

  8. Oh, Aimee, this is a timely post! I've had a couple of so very kind compliments lately about me being organized... Like, HA! Right! ~ They just don't know that the dustbunnies under my bed are really Scully-sized monsters, and my closet is positively jangling with the bones of the many housekeeping skeletons I've stuffed in there! Like you, I'm totally lax on the bathtime thing; hubby takes care of it, or the Littles just go dirty (Except for Sunday mornings when I sometimes have to scurry...). Most outdoors stuff, except my pet projects, I leave to the gang, or it goes undone. We're having central heat installed this week, and one of my skeletons is literally coming out to grab me by my collar ~ The "underneaths" and "behinds" and "nooks and crannies" of my house are totally horror movie fare. What must the heating guy be thinking? I'm glad I'm not the only one trying to decide how much of this truth to hide behind gritted teeth...

  9. Anonymous1:12 PM

    My one wish is to have a well-organized,freshly-painted and decorated, clean, neat house -you know, like the ones you see on HGTV or THIS OLD HOUSE...before I die (actually WHEN I die, so I'm not embarrassed for all eternity when my family comes to clean out my stuff...!) After almost 35 years of marriage and housekeeping, I am somewhat resigned to the idea that "it ain't gonna happen" I'd much rather use any free time from my work at the hospital to visit with my family (mom, siblings, grandchildren/children). I duly confess-I am a poor housekeeper, much to my chagrin. I do try, but it will never be the way I had hoped...
    As for favorites...I love mowing, digging, anything with landscaping...except shoveling snow...and I love to iron clothes...especially men's shirts...I love to watch the wrinkles go away...I love sharp, crisp creases...my children think I am crazy. I am, but that's how it is...!

  10. I could just cut and paste your list to my blog and be done. :)

  11. Anonymous3:03 PM

    If clothing has to be ironed or dry cleaned it does NOT enter my house, unless it is a rarely worn special occasion dress/suit. I don't have time for that kind of nonsense.

    And I have been caught pressing the collar of a polo shirt with my hair straightening iron.

    My big cheat though is not fretting over de-cluttering and putting everything away before cleaning a room. I focus on removing the dirt and if the stuff stays in place then so be it. At least I get around to removing a layer of dust, cobwebs and dog hair.

  12. Anonymous5:29 PM

    When people ask me "How do you do it", I usually respond, "I just find a way." And it’s the truth. Women are resilient, wonderful creatures. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Don’t sell yourself short, the list of your do’s is ten times longer than your do not’s.

  13. Anonymous7:54 PM

    Baths happen bi-nightly (except for the grown-ups). Sometimes if I work on a Sat morning I just throw the hair in a ponytail and don't wash it. I vacuum regularly to keep the ants out but dusting is not so much. We do bathrooms regularly too. I HATE ironing but, have more these days w/ the job. I let it stockpile and do one big ironing marathon! I thank God for hubby and my sister--when she is here with the kids she will straighten up--makes the vac easier and she does dishes too! Hubby is a big help too!! TEAMWORK! :)


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