Here are five things I have chosen to give up on in life.
I share this with you because I know the struggle. Try letting these things go; not everything can be ideal.
1 | Putting away the laundry.
Maybe one day, when everyone does his or her own laundry, it will actually get put away. For now, we have Mount Clean Clothes on the laundry room floor. Every week, I scream, “EVERYONE SORT CLOTHES!” and my four kids pile in and toss the laundry into color-coded baskets. It’s like a treasure hunt for missing shirts, so it’s a fun and educational activity as well!
The baskets live in the upstairs hallway, permanently, but at least I can see the laundry room floor occasionally. It works for me.
2 | Matching my kids’ socks.
In the long run, does it even matter if one sock has pink stripes and the other blue dots?
No. No, it does not. If the socks don’t stink and they cover all the toes, they’re good.
My solution: throw all the kid socks in my laundry room sink. The kids can each reach in there and semi-match things. It’s fine. I didn’t need to use that sink to run actual water or anything. They have to stand on Mount Clean Clothes to reach the Sink of Socks, but that’s good for their balance. They’re like little mountain goats now.
I never look at any unknown kids’ feet unless they’re covered in mud or bleeding. No one cares about your kids’ feet (Except, perhaps, their grandmothers. You can parlay this into getting help sorting the Sink of Socks. By help, I mean she will do it).
By now you’re probably getting a mental pic of my laundry room. Feel free to follow my organizational plan.
3 | The ideal of living without a kitchen junk drawer.
Oh, junk drawer. I wish I could quit you.
Your charms are great. Unexpected guests? Sweep everything in you. You accept it all. You’ve saved me many times. People think I’m neat because of you.
Well, probably they don’t think that but I like to think they think that. And it doesn’t hurt anyone for me to think they think that, so.
Close that junk drawer and enjoy the instant magic of neat appearance. You’re welcome.
4 | The dream of taking a shower/bath/poop without being bothered.
The impossible dream. Maybe when the kids are in college. There will still be my husband asking me where the can opener/club soda/Band-Aids are, though.
Because of the constant interruptions, I’ve gotten really good at solving kid fights through the bathroom door. I yell out, “What happened?” then, “Okay, tell me your side now. And she hit you first? Okay then, go watch TV until I’m done and then I will deal with it!”
By the time I get out, they’ve hopefully become mesmerized and I don’t have to hear anything more about it. This is one of my Parenting Methods.
5 | Shaving my legs perfectly.
I’ve shaved my legs for decades and still miss hairs every single time. Even before kids were banging on the bathroom door as I try to shower, I missed hairs.
The thing about those hairs is, you can’t see them until you’re actually at the beach or pool or in the car on your way to the place for which you wanted to look decent. They need natural light to be seen, and even then, they hide until you’re not home anymore. I’m pretty sure I read a scientific study about that, probably done in Australia or Iceland or somewhere.
Just pretend you didn’t see them. Everyone else will, too. That’s how it’s worked out for me, at least. And anyway, when was the last time you got close enough to a another mom’s legs to see an errant patch o’hair? You have children to chase.
Sarah Broussard Weaver lives in Portland, Oregon, with her spouse, four remarkably loud children, three untrained dogs, one hedgehog, a handful of fish, and one angelic kitten who rules over them all. Her parenting essays have been published at Parents, Mom.me, Mommy Nearest, and Parent.co. She blogs on rare occasion at sbweaver.com and tweets @sarahbweaver.