Hey, Trippin’ with Tara readers, I’m back (again)! While I wasn’t expecting another lengthy hiatus, I at least have fun news to report: Amy and I have another happy and healthy baby boy at home. Chace Everett joined the world on February 5 and he evened the household score at 2 girls-2 boys. He’s obviously kept us pretty busy. He’s also a pretty handsome fella, if you ask me.
All right, my absence explained, let’s get to business.
Moms (or Dads) with Sticky Floors
I’m friends with a bunch of moms on Facebook and I see this meme pop up in my feed pretty frequently that reads, ”Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens, and happy kids.” I’m positive you’ve seen it too, or something very similar. For some reason, the other day it really struck a negative chord with me, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I know what the meme (or its author) is attempting to say, and maybe I’m just nitpicking, but by his or her definition, my wife and I are crappy parents. And I don’t agree.
I’m looking around the kitchen as I write this. First, obviously, I’m not a mom, but I believe I’m still included in the target subject of the meme, having now been a stay at home dad for the last 15 months with (now) four kids. Secondly, we don’t have sticky floors. It can’t be shocking that when we spill something, we wipe it up, right? Is that ridiculous? We don’t have a messy kitchen right now. There are a few dishes from dinner in the sink, but I don’t think that makes the whole room messy. I’m going with it.
For the first time in weeks, I legitimately don’t have any laundry piles, but that’s because I busted my butt and did all the laundry the last couple of days. However, laundry piles are just part of doing business. I have a really hard time putting them in the same category as sticky floors. A dirty oven? No. I cleaned the front with Windex and the top with 409 yesterday. It took about 30 seconds. Happy kids? Check. Even our moodiest kid, our six year old first grader, only consistently complains about having to get up early for school, which unfortunately I can’t help her with.
Again, I’m pretty sure I know what the writer was trying to say: that a parent should be focusing on his/her kids and not whether he remembered to polish the dining room table today. I get that, but that’s not the same thing as having sticky floors and dirty ovens. Isn’t that kind of…gross? Although my opinion is that many people are using this meme just to excuse their own laziness, I think we can agree that middle ground is very easily achieved here: do you have to eat your sandwich over the sink? No. Do you have to clean up your crumbs? Yes! Do you have to steam clean your kitchen floor every day? I doubt it. Should you sweep it? Probably.
Doing stuff like that doesn’t make you a bad parent. You can even wait until the kids are taking a nap or in bed for the night so you’re not missing out on quality time. That’s what my wife and I do. It’s what adults do. No, it’s not what we want to be doing – it’s what has to get done.
I have a feeling this is a pretty divisive topic. Where do you stand? Sound off in the comments.