Writer’s Workshop: Becoming Your Mother?

There was always that one thing that your mother did while you were growing up that was so annoying that you swore that you would never do. That one thing that she always did that would just make your skin crawl every single time that she did it. And come hell or high water, there was no way that you would ever going to put your children through that.

But then it happens when you least expect it. That phrase slips. That behavior just comes out. You can help it. And then you realize that you are becoming your mother.

Well, I am here to tell you that this has not happened to me and its not going to. Now, before I tell you what this annoying trait was that my mother had. I would like to take a minute to say that I love my mother very, very much. I am really proud to be her daughter. She is an amazing woman. Her good heart and her faith never ceases to stop me in my tracks and make me rethink things. I could not ask for a better mother and friend. I cherish her and our relationship.

The one thing that I said that I would never do that my mother always did is spend Saturday cleaning.

Growing up, the one thing that I remember about my mother is that she seemed to spend every waking moment on Saturday cleaning the house. I understand that Saturday was her only day home because she was a working mother but what I don’t like about this it that the memories of her cleaning greatly out weigh the ones of her spending time with us kids.

I have more memories of her showing me how to vacuum a chair or washing base boards than I do of her playing with us. My Dad was the one that took us to have fun while my mom stayed home to clean.

So now I am the mom. I have children and it is my job to keep the house. So do you think that I am a cleaning wonder just like my mother? Nope, quite the opposite. I like to say that my mother cleaned the clean right out of me.

When I went off to college, my first ever experience living on my own, I didn’t clean my dorm room for a whole year. It was FABULOUS! No dusting. No walls to wash. No chairs to vacuum. No base boards to scrub. Total cleaning freedom.

And the fact that I had triplets plus one aka 4 kids under the age of 4, pretty much nailed the lid on the coffin on the whole cleaning thing. I just don’t do it. Well, thats not true, I just don’t do it often.

I can’t remember the last time the floor was vacuumed, the last time the bathrooms were cleaned or the last time I dusted. I have a precise method of knowing when I have to clean. It is when the kids bring me pieces of dried food from the carpet, the toilet will change from white to black and I will be able to make a snow man in the dust.

And my reason for this besides the fact that I truly hate to clean is that I want my kids to remember me as a mother who had fun with them and did things with them. Not the mother who had a perfectly clean house.

I may be lacking balance here but I truly think that there are more important things in life and I can clean when I am retired and the kids have left the nest. Maybe.


Writer’s Workshop is a production of Mama Kat.
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