This morning I found myself in awe at how much my house resembles the aftermath of a tornado. Or the result of a deranged burglar, turning everything upside down and inside out on his quest – not for jewelry or money, but for toys and snacks.
My older kids are theoretically big enough to clean up after themselves. (Theoretically being the operative word here.) However, I’m certain we’ve reached a new level of messiness as they enter their tween and teen years.
I had my son (M) when I was 18 years old and my daughter (E) at 20, so I’ve never actually had a roommate of my own. Despite my lack of real world roommate experience, the kid-to-roommate comparison entered my mind today. Of course they’re not my roommates. They’re my children and I love them dearly. But hey… I have to find the comedy in what would otherwise be my daily undoing in this mess of a house.
Here’s my Top 10:
1. They leave dishes everywhere.
Never mind the sink. What’s a sink? Who needs it? This coffee table works just fine! On the floor or under the bed? Sounds like a plan to me!
I am constantly going through our house, rounding up dishes from every room and every surface. I’m sometimes mind blown at what could only be described as a science project growing on some of them. That was food at one point, right?!
2. Hampers are invisible…
How hard is it really to just put the clothes in the hamper? It requires no more effort than dropping them on the floor right beside the dang thing.
3. Trash cans are invisible too.
Wrappers, water bottles, paper towels, etc. They’re everywhere. It doesn’t matter how many times we address this, it still happens daily.
My son has this odd habit of tearing up anything he can. His fave is styrofoam cups. He’ll sit there and deconstruct the entire thing into a pile of confetti. This isn’t limited to styrofoam by any means, don’t get me wrong. While that may be his preference, equally satisfying are paper cups, plastic cups, or pretty much any disposable item in his vicinity. He’ll gladly reduce any and/or all of those things into unrecognizable piles of paper crap all over the house. I like to call this behavior peculiar. I’m positive I will continue to find tiny chunks of styrofoam long after he’s moved out. It’s everywhere. No matter how often I sweep or vacuum or clean out cushions. There’s always more.
4. If they do locate a trash can and it happens to be full, they begin construction of the trash tower.
This is yet another little annoyance that defies all logic. You are creating a new problem simply because you’re not in the mood to change the bag. WTF?! Get with the program, peeps!
5. They never replace the toilet paper.
Sometimes, I think they do this because they want to see me lose my shit. This would definitely do it if it weren’t for my unwavering determination to show no weakness. They can’t break me! On the outside, I’m cool as a cucumber. On the inside, my blood boils.
6. They eat all of your groceries.
I know this goes without saying. They’re kids. It’s my job to feed them. Still, I’d like it to last at least until I can have a bite too. That empty fridge would actually be an improvement at our house. Our kids like to put the empty containers back in there. Are you really fooling anyone with that? Great idea! Let’s just put it back in there, pretend it’s not empty, and it’ll be like it never even happened. Oh so NOT clever…
These days, if I want something, I have to hide it somewhere or put it where they can’t reach, which usually means I can’t reach it either. Otherwise I’m S.O.L.
7. They always find your candy/cookie/goody stash, no matter how clever you thought it was.
Yeah… That just sucks. And I can’t even come up with a tactful way of addressing their sneaky ways. After all, I was trying to beat them at the sneaky game by hiding it in the first place. Not to mention the entire “lead by example” failure I become by stashing candy so I can binge on chocolatey goodness in quiet solitude, when the need arises (the need WILL arise, make no mistake). As soon as I’m made aware of such a breach, any anger I feel quickly turns to guilt when I really look at the situation. They usually get a pass on this one.
8. They use your stuff without asking.
To avoid reliving this nightmare for the tenth time, I’ve mostly given up wearing makeup. Not entirely, but it’s usually minimal. The basic, boring stuff isn’t nearly as appealing to an inquisitive toddler. Plus, I refuse to spend that much money to replace everything again. Such a waste.
This applies to pretty much anything you find important. Cell phones, laptops, jewelry – nothing is safe.
9. Privacy is a foreign concept.
Need I say more?
You know what I’m talking about. We are all in this zero privacy boat together.
10. They’ve taken over your DVR, canceling scheduled recordings, deleting shows you have yet to watch, and replacing it all with their stuff.
The same goes for your Netflix account…
Kinda like a bad roommate, right?
No but seriously, I found myself really getting locked in on these small annoyances. It seemed like every time I walked into a room one or more items on this list would be glaring back at me. It was becoming the only thing I could see and it was driving me crazy!
Life with kids does get overwhelming and this morning I just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and yell “I give up! Good luck with your trash tower! I’m out. Peace…“.
But just as I felt like throwing in the towel, there was a segment on the morning news about how to tell if you’re a good or bad roommate. The nightmarish stories were hilarious, and I definitely needed the laugh. Reflecting on my situation with a whole new perspective, I realized it’s not so bad. Overall, I’d say I have some pretty great roomies!
These tiny things are nothing to freak out about. It’s life. They’re kids. Our house is going to be a mess, despite my best efforts. It’s time that I accept and embrace this reality, because if I’m lucky, I’m going to be cleaning up this shit for a good long while. 🙂
I would love to hear your stories! It’s always good to know we are all in this motherhood thing together. It’s liberating to share the stuff we usually keep to ourselves, for fear of being judged by the mythical Super Mommy. This blog is 100% judge-free, and I’m definitely not Super Mommy. 🙂
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