Being a mom took me by surprise. Not the actual becoming a mom part – I had many months to prepare for that – but the actual day to day “being a mom” grind. I knew there’d be diapers to change, boo boos to kiss and stories to read at bedtime. That’s the sort of stuff that everyone expects. One thing I wasn’t prepared for though, was the number of times I’d have to remind my kids of basic stuff. Who knew you’d have to repeat yourself so much? Don’t wipe your snot on the couch (seriously, if I invite you over, don’t sit on my couch). Wash your hands after going to the pisser. Cutting your brother’s hair behind my back is not cool. That sort of stuff. I still watch my 9 year old like a hawk when he’s crossing the street because he doesn’t always remember to look – and I’ve been trying to hammer that one into him since he was a toddler! You see? Whether it’s about health and safety or just common courtesy, some things take a ridiculous amount of time to finally sink in.
Lately, their underwear etiquette has been making me crazy. I grew up in a household with very traditional gender roles. My mom was expected to wait on and pick up after my father. Their arrangement did 2 things for me: firstly, it made me throw up in my mouth pretty regularly and secondly, it made me realize what I wanted in a relationship. Things worked out great! Scott is my partner not only in life, but also in housework. Score! Fast forward many years and these absent-minded boys of mine regularly leave their dirty goods lying wherever they happened to be when they got dressed for the day. And of course it automatically gets my back up. I don’t want to pick up anyone’s dirty underwear but my own. They know this. They know this because I remind them regularly. When I holler “Hello? Underwear!”, they know they’ve fucked up. They come quickly, grab their skivvies and rush off to the laundry room mumbling, “oops…sorry, mama”. They’re sweet. They fix it. But shouldn’t this be automatic by now? I’ve only reminded them 600 times.
I know that my kids aren’t the only ones who need gentle (and sometimes loud, obnoxious) reminders about the same things, over and over. What’s one thing you constantly have to remind your kids to do? Come on, show me that my kids aren’t just trying to break my spirit (or completely ruin my couch).