Confessions — Cutting Mommy Corners

So on this Thursday morning, the last day of January (Praise God!), I’m going to list 5 things that I do to cut corners on a somewhat regular basis.  It’s a hard time of year right now.  Days are short, and the darkness and cold and grey skies seem never ending.  Kids are sick.  Moms and Dads are sick.  And while we live in a rather large house, every winter it feels just a little bit smaller.

The builders have been e-mailing each other in the past few weeks, and these e-mails have titles like, “I want to run away,” or “I’m not whining, but…”  So yeah, it’s THAT time of year.

And in honor of THAT time of year, I’m going to list 5 things I do to cheat on a regular basis.  These aren’t things that I have skipped once, or twice, or on a rare occasion when life is crazy.  These are things I often or almost always choose to not do.  I’m sure you have things like this.  So here’s your chance to join in and admit it publicly in the comments.  Corner cutters of the world unite!!! and take February by storm.

Things that I choose not to do on a very regular basis–

1)  Make beds.  If we are not having company (almost every day), EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of our beds remains unmade.  Sometimes the kids will feel like playing a cleaning game and they make some beds.  I am shocked and delighted at this, but is has never inspired me to actually take the time to make my own bed or ask them to make theirs.  I don’t go upstairs often during the day, so for me, this is easy to ignore.

2)  Go to the Dentist every 6 months.  I know, some of you think this is super gross.  And yes, I hate the dentist.  I’d rather visit the OB than the dentist.  I have issues and I’m probably passing these on to my children.  Fortunately, Mr. Red has beautiful teeth and just loves to go to the dentist and have them compliment his beautiful teeth and oral hygiene, so at least he is setting a good example of dental pride.  But for me, I just can’t stand having someone scrape at things in my mouth, and yes, as a child, every time I went to the dentist or orthodontist, I left in pain.  I try really hard to take my kids once a year, but if I’m honest, it’s more like every 18 months.

3)  Dry Dishes.  When I wash pots and pans by hand, I let them air dry on our stove top for about 1 minutes (the time it takes me to clean the next pot), and then I put them away wet.  The only time I dry dishes is when my mother is here.

4)  Give my toddlers a bath.  I have delegated this task to my older children.  I oversee it at least once every week or two to make sure the kids are really getting cleaned, but it’s pretty much a free for all up in that bathroom after dinner.

5)  Tuck in my older children.  Once you are big enough to stay up past 8pm, you are big enough to put yourself to bed, read your own story, and brush your own teeth.  I sit with my butt on the sofa and simply say goodnight to my older two kids.  And sometimes, I bribe my younger children to allow the older kids to tuck them in.  I hate a long bedtime routine because by 7pm I’m ready for my work to be finished.

This list could be longer.  These are just the first 5 things that popped into my head.  Anyone else want to confess?

"Thank you for all your years of blogging. It has been such fun and a ..."

A Final Post
"Just for anyone researching this subject, I teach elementary music and most pop songs, lyrically ..."

Pop Music and Kids
"MA, it took me forever to comment on this post, but wanted to thank you ..."

Christmas to-do list
"Way to go, MA! That's the spirit, just one step at a time. I started ..."

Christmas to-do list

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Juris Mater

    Great post, Kellie. Yes, Lord have mercy! And tomorrow begins the “F-bomb” that strikes fear in the heart of every stay-at-home mom: February. The winter is dragging on, the weather keeps getting worse, the only holiday is lame Valentine’s Day where I eat sick quantities of cheap chocolate, and February tends to be our family’s stomach virus month. And, in case that’s not enough, Lent!! : ) But, as MaryAlice always says, “hang on until St. Patrick’s Day!” And then comes Easter and we’re home-free.

    Love your corner-cutting confessions, Kellie. I’d say that, instead of cutting corners, our Jan-Feb are characterized by a “drop-everything-and” mentality. We drop everything when it’s time to do two things:
    (1) get sunlight
    (2) eat salad.

    If the sun comes out, I’ll stop mid-nursing, mid-book, mid-activity and race everyone outside into the middle of our cul-de-sac (where the sun is brightest) and sit on the asphalt with our faces pointed into the sky until someone gets too cold or the clouds cover the sun.

    And at lunch, I don’t care if the lunch routine takes 2 stop-and-go hours, I will make time to prepare and eat a salad. Otherwise, by 4pm I’m grumpy and/or asleep.

    Good luck, moms! This is a challenging time of year… hang on ’til St. Patrick’s Day : )

  • Bethany “B-mama”

    On the bed-making front, I am really horrible about washing our sheets. As long as no one has a bedwetting accident, we can go for a month plus before I tackle the sheets. It is enough just to accomplish the regular laundry! Last year before the new baby came, though, I was on such a good schedule where I did family laundry during the week and then sheets and towels on the weekend. I would divide the beds into two weekends, so everyone had a clean bed every 2 weeks. Perhaps I can find my rhythm again… someday… or not. 😉

  • Kellie “Red”

    F-bomb is hilarious. And I love your two things, get sunlight, eat salad! haha! I might have to add, drink wine to that list.

  • Kellie “Red”

    I’m terrible with the sheets.

  • In my past life as a prolific babysitter, I noticed that every parent, no matter how relaxed generally, has their “things.” Some parents want constant hand washing, and others say that germs are healthy. Some insist on organic food, and others say it doesn’t matter. Some demand a regular bedtime, and some let the kids go to sleep when they are tired.

    Some parents will be horrified about irregular dental visits, but then they will be lax about TV time. You can’t be militant about everything – or you’ll go crazy and your kids will be in therapy for ever. And if someone doesn’t like the areas where you are relaxed, then they are just throwing stones.

  • AWOL Mommy

    1- iron
    2- teach handwriting
    3- I second the sheet-washing problem
    4- baseboards, I notice them every time I vacuum, feel guilty and turn a blind eye
    5- blog, I am a train wreck

  • AWOL Mommy

    I am a nutball about both of these things too! Must come from being raised in warmth and then trying to raise one’s own family in cold, huh, JM? For awhile I tried to convince myself that salads could not be a part of my reality and I substituted a multivitamin and the leftover macaroni and cheese in the pot as my lunch… not the same. Back to salads. I ate my lunch at 1615 today, but it was a salad, d#%n it!

  • Catie H

    Hahaha! This is great and much needed.

    We don’t do winter sports, and thus don’t get that sweaty in the colder months, so… I only bathe the kids once a week. In Spring, we’ll welcome warmth, flowers, and multiple baths. 🙂


  • Lucy

    Ha! Love this list and the freedom to confess to some corner cutting. I, too, skip the bed-making and frequent sheet washing. I had a bed-wetter for 6 1/2 years, so “as needed” washing was often during those years. Now that “as needed” isn’t so frequent, I sometimes realize it’s been over a month since I changed anyone’s sheets. Yikes!
    Even though I make home-cooked meals a pretty big priority, I spend almost no time on side dishes most nights. I may have made a yummy chicken or soup or something for the main dish, but the sides are probably apple slices or carrot sticks or a plain lettuce salad. Often in the winter, canned peaches are a go-to side for us.
    And here’s my worst one of all: my kids eat Eggo Waffles for breakfast. I work at a school, and the big kids leave for their school on the bus early in the morning. Something had to give in our morning routine. We just couldn’t fit homemade pancakes or eggs in anymore, and none of my kids have ever been big on cereal. I buy the whole-grain kind to try to soothe my guilt, but really, it’s still an Eggo waffle. (The other way I soothe my guilt is remembering that my own mother bought us Honey Buns when I was a kid, and I turned out all right. Surely a whole-grain Eggo is better than that, right? =) )

  • 1: ironing – my poor husband
    2: wash sheets regularly
    3: brush the kids’ teeth in the morning – I always forget!
    4: washing the windows
    5: weeding the flowerbeds – I do this sometimes, but not often enough!
    6: cleaning the plantation shutters
    7: making albums – I’m 5 years behind
    8: updating picture frames with current pictures
    Oh wait, there were only supposed to be 5 – I could go on and on!

  • texasmommy

    Cleaning up the backyard. If I don’t supervise it doesn’t get done and I am in the warm house with the baby instead of running outside with my crazy boys. Balls/trucks/shovels can stay there until March.

  • texasmommy

    Yes, We are all going to think of this month as the F-bomb for the rest of our lives!

  • Kathleen

    I don’t separate dark and white loads… Can’t handle it.

  • AWOL Mommy

    This is pathetic, Tex, I knew you were perfect! Balls in the backyard? You have got to be kidding me. Please never come to my house unannounced.

  • Mary Alice

    I serve only peanut butter and jelly for lunch. Every. Single. Day. I am sure my kids are totally sick of it, but I have not thought about lunch in 10 years. There just has to be something about our life that doesn’t require thought.

  • Kellie “Red”

    haha! You are hilarious AWOL. You know Tex makes those beds every day. hehe.

  • Juris Mater

    Drop everything and drink wine, Kellie? I’m calling Child Protective Services.

  • Juris Mater

    I thought it was official that ironing is a thing of past generations. Sort of like margarine.

  • JMB

    I never clean out my email inbox.
    I rarely clean out my refrigerator or my freezer.
    I never bake.
    After 2nd grade I don’t check my childrens’ homework.
    I don’t volunteer for Girl Scouts or Class Mom or Librarian lady anymore.
    Now that I have a driver (whoo hoo!) I am not leaving my house to run any child to any activity after 6pm. My 17 year old chauffeer can do that.
    Iron? Ha ha. What is that? Shirts go to the dry cleaner. Sewing pointe shoes is the ballerina’s job.

  • Ana

    This post made my month! I am also terrible about the sheets. So glad to know I’m not the only one! Don’t clean my floors too much either, just a little sweep here and there but mopping? Once a month maybe.

  • KC

    Have to agree that this is a great post! Rather than putting dishes away wet, I just never put most pots and pans away–there’s a corner of the counter that’s a huge heap that I just cycle through. I washed my kitchen floor today for the first time in about two months. It was gross, but we’ve been sick (and pregnant) and I just couldn’t do it. It makes me so happy to hear that everyone doesn’t make their kids make their beds. My oldest is six so there’s not a lot of skill for that yet anyway, but I wonder if I’m raising a slob by not making her make her bed. She never leaves her blankets tucked in, so it’s always a mess. I never fold underwear–just throw it in the drawer (for me and the kids, DH’s I fold). I’ve also given up folding kids wash cloths–they just have a drawer in the vanity that they get thrown in.

  • AWOL Mommy

    not in Europe

  • JM and AWOL, could you explain the salad obsession please? 🙂 I know that salads are totally healthy, but is there something specific about salads and wintertime other than all of the vitamins and fiber that you’re getting? Please do share your secret!