Motherhood To-Do List


The job of Mom is an infinite scroll of large and tiny responsibilities. Once I’ve fed them, hydrated them, schooled them, broken up fights, bathed them (semi-periodically), read to them, rocked them (not with real rocks, my Dad always reminds me), changed diapers, and allowed them to sit mindlessly in front of Dora the Explorer while I mentally check out to recover for a second, I cannot possibly remember all of the little details of my job description.

Here are the top ten duties that I most often let lapse.

10. I totally forget about clipping my kid’s fingernails until they start looking like an Emerald Dragon’s Talons out of Mystic Warlords of Ka’a. The act of cutting Noah’s nails is similar to breaking a Young Mongolian Wildebeest, and Ali’s were much more convenient before I convinced her to quit chewing them off. What was I thinking??

9. Toddler teeth. I’ve got nighttime brushing down pat (most days), but I sincerely hope that some shoemaker somewhere has donated his elves to my family and they come in every morning just to brush Noah’s teeth.

8. I find sweeping up crumbs under the table to be a worthless endeavor, seeing as how they regenerate three times a day. And anyway, eventually the toddler gets hungry enough to take care of them himself.

7. Sheets. I’m supposed to change my kid’s sheets? I mean, the toddler’s get changed when his diaper overfills and fountains out. But the kid’s? She’s totally changing her own once a week…right? Maybe the elves are taking care of that, also.

…Or I could go with the Hordes of Angry Stuffed Animals defense. There are 157 of them that would attack and smother me if I attempted their relocation to exhume the sheets.

6. The brushing of hair. Noah’s magically returns to the same position no matter what happens to it, but Ali screams like scorpions are eating her toes off if I try to brush her hair. We prefer the trendy waif look anyway.

5. Teaching my second child. By this point, Ali not only knew her alphabet and sounds, but she knew all of her states. Noah knows a few letters. And that’s only due to the beautiful law of osmosis.

4. Wearing actual clothing on days that we don’t leave the house. Then the question begs, if you’re getting the children ready for bed and they’re still in pajamas, do you change them into new pajamas or not?

(Only if there are breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snot stains on their sleeves.)

3. Clean Kid Rooms. Seriously? Do you not know how fast a child’s infinite possessions can re-convene themselves in the middle of the floor?

2. Sorting, properly packing, selling, and/or handing down kid’s clothes in a timely fashion. Sad but true fact – Noah has an entire dresser full of clothes that are too small for him – I simply started putting wearable clothes on his closet shelves.

1. Ear wax. Twice a year or so I remember that my kids have THAT orifice that requires cleaning, too. And my retrieval results in enough ear wax to be mistaken for a Pumpkin Pie.

I’m positive that my performance review will not be pretty. How about yours?

41 thoughts on “Thoroughly Shirking my Duties.

  1. So glad I’m not the only one! I just changed the sheets this weekend, don’t ask how long it’s been. And I realized this morning how badly their nails need cut!

  2. My girls have bunk beds, which makes changing sheets similar to changing the clothing of an angry elephant…if said elephant actually wore clothes.

    I’m horrible at clipping nails. I made sure I did it the night before school started so the teachers wouldn’t judge me :)

    And about the crumbs under the table, we bought a dust buster, so now the girls FIGHT to clean up under the table!

    Now, if only I could trick them into changing their own sheets…

    1. Let me know if you figure out the sheet thing. I hate them!

      And I would totally try the dustbuster, except that my six-year-old hates even semi-loud noises.

  3. Thank you for your honesty, it makes us all feel a lot better! I agree with everything you listed and I could have written this blog, if I had a blog that is. :)

  4. Okay.. usually? I’m awful. But for the past two weeks, we’ve been doing a great job with this stuff, having declared Sunday “cleaning day”. That includes their rooms, and their bodies, so if at no other time, they will be tidy and sweet smelling on Sunday night. (Don’t ask about Saturday though.) And of course, now that I’ve bragged about my non-smelly children, it’s all going to fall apart again. :]

  5. Welcome to my life too, girl! :-) Most days lately I let my three year old run around in a t-shirt and a Pull-Up. No pants unless we need to leave the house. Why dirty a perfectly good piece of clothing if we don’t need to? And I rarely bother cleaning up their toys because the room will look like a toy bomb went off thirty seconds after my children walk in anyway. And it’s that way with so many things. I kind of surrendered to it. My house is not going to look perfect on a regular basis – or ever – until my kids are grown up and moved out. I am at peace with that.

    1. So true! I despise the days when I have to dress my kids around 5pm to run to the store or something – wasted effort and laundry for two hours’ worth of wear! Two hours in which they’ll certainly spill something on them so I can’t just leave them in it until the next day. ;-)

  6. How did you get Ali to quit bottom her nails? AK does it when she is bored or trying to relax. I tried painting them and putting the cute nail art on them. She just ate them all off during the next days nap time. :( As far as the ears, doctors say not to put anything smaller than your elbow in them. I figured they were telling me I didn’t have to clean them.

    1. I kept bugging her about it and told her that if she bit them wrong, she could really hurt her fingers. She bit them off too low a few times and learned her lesson.

      And how is your elbow supposed to fit in an ear?!?!

  7. Oh yes, yes yes yes. Sheets? You have to change those? Fingernails only get clipped once I’m afraid she’s going to poke her eye out with her talons. Teeth? I try so hard to remember (especially since I have a case right now about a pediatric dentist) but in the rush of mornings, I’m lucky if it gets done every other day . .. . maybe. Ear wax I’m slightly better with since we got this liquid that you can squirt in the ear. Our pediatrician recommended it because my daughter grows ear wax like our yard grows weeds. So I remember to squirt it in there once a week or so, and apparently it’s helping, because my pediatrician can now actually see what’s going on in there.

    Brushing hair? I sometimes spritz it with water and scrunch it, but that’s about it. It looks insane no matter what.

  8. Those are 10 items that I abandoned after having my second child, until they were upwardly mobile enough to do it themselves, so hang on.
    There will be a time that the sheets are a saturday ritual that they will complete themselves with ecouragement (nagging); same goes for the teeth, and clean rooms.. My goal for clothing is balanced between getting my son to put on CLEAN clothes and reminding the daughter that only one outfit a day is acceptable.
    The nails only get clipped when I hear my son scream in agony in trhe midst of an arguement that I refuse to breakup until it annoys me.
    They feed and hydrate themselves for lunch and snacks so that is off my list too now. My only true issue is Rapunzel’s hair. She has it now below her belt line and still doesnt follow the song she loves to sing so very much (brush and brush and brush my hair…).
    Soon you can assign some of that list to yours and play it off like you planned it that way all along too. :D

  9. Regarding clothing: it’s much easier if your kid prefers to be naked at all times. Mine only gets dressed if she’s going outside. She strips from her pajamas sometime around breakfast, and if I dress her she just sheds the clothes piece by piece throughout the morning until she’s naked again. I really don’t know why I bother dressing her if we aren’t going somewhere. Bonus – no stains on the clothes! I would say that there is less laundry, but she does put on clothes, she usually ends up putting on about five layers in various, non-standard configurations.

  10. Oh my goodness. Did you read my mind? I can so relate. I did finally go through all the old clothes a few weeks ago (and had two huge yard sales to get rid of 5 years worth of stuff), and my daughter has trouble with her ears and harasses me to clean them every day (even though they still magically remain gross) but otherwise this is me to a T!

  11. Did you look into my brain to write these down?? This list so perfectly describes my thoughts! Except the sheets. Thankfully for some reason my girls only like to lay on top of the quilt so they never touch their sheets! Now I just have to remember to wash the quilts…:P

    I only do the ears with my fingernails when I see the wax starting to come out and realize I can’t remember when I last cleaned them. Yuck.

    1. My 4yo old only sleeps on the quilt, under her favorite baby blanket. I haven’t washed her sheets in months. When she had a bloody nose a few nights ago, one of my first thoughts after I stopped the bleeding was, “Wow, I guess I have to finally wash that quilt!”

  12. I totally agree with this list. My 7 year old girl sometimes brushes her hair and I usually do it a few more times but that is a recent development in our house. I do change sheets pretty often, but then I have a bedwetter who refuses to wear a pull-up, so….. my hand is kind of forced on that one. But the other kids’ beds is a different story. I saw something the other day that said, “The only thing I hate worse than a dirty house is cleaning.” That is ME!

  13. I used to dress my 3rd child for the next day when I put him to bed. On the nights he didn’t wet through – it was lovely!. Not sure if that was epic laziness or extreme efficiency. I’m going with efficiency and he’s a teenager so I’m thinking the statute of limitations has run out on judging that one!

  14. That is a truly comforting list! I’d have to add: getting my son’s hair cut. It’s curly so it doesn’t really get in his eyes, it just gets bushy. I hate the job the barber does and we can never keep an appointment with the lady who I like, so it just grows and grows and grows…

    1. Yes, I’ve been promising to take Ali to get her hair cut for WEEKS. But we haven’t done it yet. The only reason I don’t have this problem with Noah is that my Mom cuts it every time he goes over there. It’s fantastic!

  15. I never remember fingernails till one of the kids complains about the other scratching them, they have bunk beds so if anyone has ever wrested with the fitted sheet on the top mattress you will understand why and as for crumbs, I hope to get a dog for that one day!

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