Moms (or Dads) with Sticky Floors

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.

chace newborn

All right, my absence explained, let’s get to business.

Moms (or Dads) with Sticky Floors

great moms

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.



  1. Congrats on your new baby! This is one of my favorite meme’s but I don’t use it to excuse my laziness – I think it’s simply a quote trying to let moms (and dads) know it’s ok if your house isn’t spotless all the time.

  2. I see where you are coming from. And I actually really dislike this meme, but not for the same reason. I dislike the meme because we shouldn’t put down one kind of parent in order to make another kind feel better. This is in the same vein as those campaigns, meant to make women feel better about themselves, that talk about how “real women have curves.” No, *all* women are real women, whether they are fat or thin or curvy or straight, and we shouldn’t be putting people down in order to make ourselves feel more secure. Same with this meme. Great moms (parents) have sticky floors. Great moms/dads have clean floors. Great moms/dads may or may not have dirty ovens. As long as your home is safe and sanitary (a little floor sticky or spill in the oven is not unsanitary), as long as your children have the emotional support they need from you and basics like food and clothing (and even those can be in short supply when resources are limited in a way that is beyond your control), you’ve covered all the necessary bases and can call yourself a good parent. I envy that it is so easy for you to just clean up. Not everyone works that way. I, for example, get overwhelmed and shut down to the point where I can’t do anything if I go about my day with the idea that I have to keep my house clean. Plenty of parents work the same way, and there is nothing wrong with it. Plenty of parents are overwhelmed with double shifts and homework and really can’t spare the mental or physical energy to clean. Plenty of parents have mental or physical limitations, like my anxiety and my fibromyalgia, that make it a lot harder for them to just clean up the spill when it happens. These parents need to know their homes can be messy, and that it doesn’t make them bad parents. But this should never come at the expense of parents like yourself, who keep their homes clean with no fuss and are still, I’m sure, perfectly good parents. It’s not an either-or thing.

  3. Congrats on your precious bundle of happiness! I was raised by a neat freak and am also a neat freak. I have very happy kids and a clean house as well. This one gets me as well. I just do not think we need to give up an orderly home to have happy kids.

    • Thats my feeling too!! It’s a happy medium. My kids like to HELP us clean. The littler ones don’t use real cleaners, but they can still help wipe baseboards and we are able to shorten the mop handle and vac handle for them to help. We turn the radio on and dance together

      PS congrats on Chace. He’s darling.

  4. Aww, how precious is your little baby boy?! He is darling–congrats!! I love to clean, and try to keep up with my three kids daily!!

  5. What a precious little bundle you have there, congrats!!! I totally get what you are saying about the meme. I see what they are trying to say, but yes… it can be gross, too. I think they need to reword it a bit. 😉

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  1. Ever have one of those mornings?

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