A couple of weeks ago, I was at a gathering of mothers. The discussion of child-training was among us, and one of the examples used was the age at which a child had the ability to make their own bed.
There was much nodding and murmuring of agreements as one Mom shared her own experiences with bed-making as a benchmark in personal responsibility and effort.
And I sat quietly, trying to blend in, to not lie with my body language, and to still appear to be a decent mother being.
Because my children do not make their beds.
Nor do I.
And, to be more shameful, (because that’s what I do here at this blog), the only time any bed in our household gets made is when our fantastically angelic cleaning fairies visit us every other week.
Except for Ali’s – because she has actually asked them to not ever make her bed. Because it would ruin her painstakingly-created Fellowship of Cotton-Filled Friends.
And I’m okay with that.
(As is Noah anytime he can sneak into Plush Paradise, where he could go for days without being detected.)
Let me know when you breathe again now that you’re fully aware of my severe lack of household discipline, then we’ll continue.
Here’s my bed-making negligence excuse: Motherhood is engorged with jobs that have to be repeated over. And over. And over.
Diapers MUST be changed.
Dishes MUST be washed (unless you want to use all paper and plastic and have an Environmental Task Force knocking down your door.)
Children MUST be bathed (thank goodness not as often as diapers need to be changed.)
Food MUST be cooked (or at least thrown on a plate and pitched to the children.)
Bedtime songs must be sung, teeth must be brushed, books must be read, toys must be picked up, naps absolutely must be sought, clothes must be washed, shoes must be found but good luck with that, car seats must be buckled and unbuckled and re-buckled, and noses must be wiped.
It’s a job of rinse and repeat. And as such, I prefer to eliminate any and all unnecessary repetitive parts of my life.
And bed-making is the flagship derelict of this group.
Because who sees my bed? How does it benefit me or anyone else to have a made bed between the hours of 8am and 11pm?
(Yes there’s another shameful admission in that last sentence.)
And how many compiled years of my daughter’s life would be wasted if I made her move 156 stuffed friends every morning simply so that she could pull her blanket smoothly across the plane of her mattress?
Or maybe I’m just lazy.
So tell me. What do you do? Do you make your bed, do your kids make their beds, and at what age did you begin to require it? I think we might just need a scientific study.