Because I’m grumpy today (told you it would be back!), here’s a list of all the crap parents do every day that takes way, WAY longer than it should. So, the next time a friend asks “What have you been up to lately?” chances are it’s one of the following inexplicably time-consuming tasks:
1. Maintaining your family’s calendar.
Because if you forget who has Sharing Day when, your kid will never stop talking about that one time you forgot Sharing Day.
2. School drop-off & pick-up.
Once you’ve signed in, performed your daily minimum of small talk, and peeled a weepy kid off your leg, you’ve already blown 20 minutes of the precious few hours your kid is actually at school. And if you don’t arrive at pick-up early, you know you’re never going to get a parking spot…
3. Putting away ALL the laundry.
Washing and folding are actually vaguely satisfying, but putting away clean laundry takes f**king forever.
4. Ditto for groceries.
Even if you streamline grocery shopping (holla, Instacart and Good Eggs!), putting away said groceries is a mystifyingly-involved process that no one else can ever get right. Or maybe this is just me?
5. Signing your kids up for sh*t.
Preschool, extracurriculars, summer camps. I’m very grateful we can do these things for our children, but MAN, it’s a never-ending stream of exhaustive research followed by a mountain of forms. Ooops, just spilled my G&T on that emergency contact list!
6. Sweeping the kitchen. Hourly.
Because cracker crumbs and crayon shavings and playground sand. I’m basically Lady Macbeth forever sweeping those grey hardwoods that will never, EVER be clean.
7. Dealing with children’s art.
Because teachers dutifully save every scrap of paper your kid so much as breathes on, parents then have the excruciating task of 1) deciding what merits saving, 2) figuring out how to store the keepers, and 3) trashing the other 80% like spies in the night so their kids are none the wiser.
8. Carrying shoes upstairs. And downstairs. (Repeat to infinity.)
Because we don’t do shoes in the house, my children routinely remove their shoes upon entering. (Brooks also yells “No shoes in the house!” at guests, of which I am equal parts proud and mortified.)
So then we have messy mountains of shoes at every point of ingress and egress to our home, which (sorry) I’m just not down with. Then I proceed to carry armloads of shoes upstairs and rage organize them in everyone’s closets. (Yeah, this is probably just my thing.)
9. One word: Garage.
“Cleaning the garage” is my husband’s favorite and it seems to require doing CONSTANTLY. Guess who gets to hang with the kids solo while he’s “cleaning” and listening to sports talk radio? Oh. Right. ?
1o. Maintaining your kids’ wardrobes.
Even if you’re not especially fussy about your kids clothing, staying on top of what fits, what doesn’t, and what is paint splattered beyond recognition is essential. Because if a stained, two-sizes-too-small “Star Wars” shirt ends up in your kid’s drawer, your husband WILL say she can wear it to school and then you have to be the killer of dreams.
Whew. That feels better. Feeding into grumpy mom rhetoric isn’t my jam, because in between doing all these crap chores I get to build forts, snuggle kids, and color in my RBG coloring book. But sometimes, especially when a kid hasn’t been sleeping much for no reason whatsoever (BROOKS!), a girl’s gotta vent. So thanks for that.