Towels, a poem

My life revolves around the towels

I know, because, within my bowels

I can’t but hear, in hopeless growls,

A noise that sounds like feral fowls

As all my smiles turn down to scowls,

When faced with folding yet more towels.

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Photo Credit:
LumenSoft Technologies

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Cleaning Tip 2

I’m not a big cleaner. Despite my main career being that of mother and housekeeper for over a decade, I keep it casual so I don’t have to admit that I actually do those activities all day.

That aside, I still need to wipe counters and tables and such. A couple of years ago, I noticed that necessity was quickly draining our name-brand counter cleaner. A friend of mine who cleans houses for her job gave me this tip:

Make your own cleaners.

A specific mix she gave me that is safe on most surfaces is: equal parts vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle. I initially made it with untainted, all-natural Dawn and whatever vinegar Wal-mart had on the shelf. Most recently, I mixed the regular Dawn with …well, the same vinegar.

It’s rather sudsy, so I prefer more vinegar than dish soap. It also smells like vinegar (go figure), so you may want to add a scent if that scent bothers you. Overall, the cost difference is worth it.

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Photo Credit: JESHOOTS.COM

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Make Time for Yourself (A Parenting Myth)

“Make time for yourself” is my second-favorite parenting advice. It comes right after “Enjoy the moment and don’t stress about the little things like housework, etc.”

Hah.

The problem with making time is that I haven’t achieved that superpower yet. The problem is that, last time I checked, there are still 24 hours in each day. The problem is that I have to care for the physical and emotional needs of human beings and the house they live in during 56 of those 24 hours. I’m already over-booked.

This topic came up tonight in our couples conversation time -you know, another thing I need to make time for. My husband said I am accruing a deficit by working when the children are in bed. He suggested that time ought to be for winding down; working on things that make me happy.

I felt I had enough supporting argument in the unmade bed we sat upon, surrounded by the unsorted laundry, near the still-whispering children we’d sired. He did not.

Half an hour of discussion later and we were no closer to resolution.

So, what do you think? How expensive is a time-stopper on eBay anyway?

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Photo Credit: Roberto Nickson

©2019 Chelsea Owens

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“I need a new maid because the current one sucks. Also, she is me.”

Kids Can Work!

My husband grew up without chores. I kid you not. His mother had some philosophy about her husband’s household (13 kids by the time they stopped) having far too many jobs, and somehow equated that with her children needing none.

My upbringing was more typical: keep your room clean, rotating dishes assignment, and more labor-intensive Saturday Jobs. Even with that; my mother did the floors, toilets, laundry, and decorating.

When I first birthed a child, I had no plans or outlines for his future chores. When he started being mobile and ‘helped’ anyway, I began formulating rough ideas.

My first assisted me with:

  1. Unloading the dishwasher
  2. Sorting and folding laundry
  3. Watering or weeding the yard outside
  4. Vacuuming
  5. Dusting
  6. Toy pick up

In practical application; that meant:

  1. Putting some plastic items away and being chased after for removing a glass dish and running
  2. Swimming through the clothes, usually without any on his person
  3. Playing with everything, especially mud, and needing a bath within five minutes
  4. Fighting over how to run a vacuum over carpet, since he did not want to follow any sort of grid
  5. Waaaay too much polish
  6. “I’m too tiiiii-iiiiired to pick up!”

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Not that I didn’t persist. After all, he always tailed me and wanted someone to do something with him all day.

What’s been interesting to me is that years and years of chore expectations and (sometimes sporadic) patterns of assigned jobs has led to them all (A) knowing chores are expected and (B) teaching the younger brothers by example.

Today, I can whip out a chore chart my FIVE YEAR OLD can do; jobs that include:

  1. Clean the bathroom (toilets, sink, counter, mirror, floor; refill soap and TP; empty garbage)
  2. Fold and put away your clothes (including hanging up dress clothes)
  3. Dust and polish the furniture (they still use enough polish to slide off the railings)
  4. Unload and load the dishwasher (a lot of spilled water, but they do it)
  5. Pick up and vacuum a room

The moral of the story? No matter how tiiii-iiiired the kids think they are, they actually are capable. No matter how reticent you feel to assign something as monumental as toilets, they can learn to do it.

Most importantly: no matter how much of a favor you think you’re doing your children by not assigning jobs, THEIR WIVES WILL WANT TO KILL YOU IF YOU DID NOT TEACH THEM.

 

Photo Credits:
Image by LaterJay Photography from Pixabay
Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens