I’m not even going to pretend that I’m some sort of 1950’s housewife, I promise.
I don’t own a set of pearls, my feet have grown too big from my last two pregnancies to even fit into any of the cute heels I have (and actually I’m quite devastated by this, to be honest, because some of them were really, really cute), and swear to God, I have never ironed anything in my entire life.
I will say that I am guilty of doing all of these things in the minutes before my husband walks in the door for the evening, because let’s face it — I’m a stay-at-home mom with four young kids and it’s just what we do. (Sometimes.)
1. Completing the “Daddy Dash”
That impromptu game that you can trick your kids into playing to pick up all the toys with the help of a timer that somehow makes things much more exciting for them. “First one to pick up all the toys wins!!” Suckers.
2. Lighting a candle
Does the house smell like dirty diapers? Nothing a delicious cinnamon candle or a modern trendy essential oil diffuser can’t fix. Bonus: it might even smell like I cooked something, when I totally did not.
3. Combing the children’s hair for the first time all day
I mean, really, we spend the majority of our time at home anyways, so it’s not like anyone sees us.
4. Combing my own hair for the first time all day
Please see: isolation, motherhood. Sometimes, I even get really ambitious, depending on the level of trauma that the day has inflicted upon me, and throw on some makeup, too. Not for my husband’s sake, but more for my sake, because it kind of forces me to remind myself that I am a person, not just a mac-and-cheese-making (“but only the shell kind, Mom!”), baby-holding milk-maker. Who knew?
5. Changing from pajamas into my evening wear
And by “evening wear,” I mean from my pajama yoga pants into my lounging yoga pants, the only noticeable difference being one pair has a tear and a weird bleached spot. Kate Middleton, eat your heart out.
6. Folding a load and leaving it on the kitchen table
Normally, I fold all of our clothes on our bed, but if I’m feeling particularly unproductive and it’s just been one of “those” days, it brings me some level of comfort to fold a load of laundry, preferably an “easy” load like towels, and leave it strategically placed on the kitchen table so it’s obvious I was working hard all day. Again, not for my husband’s benefit, but my own.
7. Herding all the children outside
So what if it’s the first time we’ve been out all day? Now if only I could stop myself from looking down the road every two seconds for my husband’s truck, that would be greeeeaaaat.
8. Doing the breakfast dishes
Do I sometimes not even get anything done all day and do I sometimes have to do an entire morning and afternoon’s dishware in the span of 20 minutes? Yes, yes, I do. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth. I just think of it as a two-for-one, really. Why clean the kitchen three times a day if you can just do it in once in one frenzied half-hour?
9. Starting to vacuum something
Oh, you’re home? I didn’t even notice what time it was, I’m so busy vacuuming, as you can see. Hey, want to change the baby’s diaper? She must have just pooped …
10. Leaving out a cleaning product
There’s just a certain little mental boost I get from leaving out a strategically placed cleaning product, like the bathroom cleaner on the counter or bleach spray by the kitchen, that makes me feel like all of my hard work will never go unnoticed. Because apparently, I’m pathetic like that and I derive my self-worth from how much cleaning I can get done in a day …
11. Doing a wet-wipe wipedown
You’d be amazed, truly, by how much cleaning you can get done with 10 minutes, two toddlers, desperation, and an entire package of your baby’s wet wipes.
12. Sitting the kiddos down with a craft
Look at these well-behaved children we are raising who just love sitting here calmly doing creative crafts! You would never have even guessed that 10 minutes ago I caught one of them trying to stuff the other in the deep freezer, those little darlings.
13. Making a batch of cookies
Yes, OK, I admit it. I have totally been a wifely cliche and baked up something delicious before my husband walked in the door. It’s like I love and appreciate the man and think he may enjoy walking in to the smell of freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies or something. Or I could just really want to eat the cookie dough when no one is looking. I guess it’s a toss-up, really.
14. Ambushing my husband at the door
Not in nothing but plastic wrap (hahahaha, as if), but in my exercise clothes, gym bag packed and ready to go, with baby in hand. And the second he walks in — bam! — I complete a hand-off like a professional Olympic sprinter passing off that baton and I’m out the door faster than you can say, “What’s for dinner?”More On