Cyber Monday 50% OFF SITE WIDE! Check it out now | Free Shipping + Financing Available!

And If I Poop on the Potty, I Get a Skittle

by The Next Family August 20, 2010

By: Amy Forstadt

Back when Benjie was having trouble sleeping, I took the advice of a parenting book and made a bedtime chart. It had pictures of what Benjie was supposed to do and in what order – first, brush teeth, then pajamas, then books, then bedtime. According to this book, putting everything on a chart took away the power struggle between Benjie and me and put it on a nice, objective chart that neatly laid out the rules. If Benjie didn’t want to go to bed? Just consult the chart. We’ve brushed our teeth, what’s next? The chart knows!

In the meantime, a longstanding source of conflict between my husband and me has been the neatness, or lack of it, in our house. I know, real original problem, right? But we’ve got it. According to my husband (and for the sake of this blog post we’ll say it’s true) he’s neater than I am. He often informs me, often not too gently, that the mess in the house is driving him nuts. According to me, I’m busy and it doesn’t bother me and if it bothers him so much why doesn’t he do all the cleaning, etc.? The non-gentle, non-quiet, non-productive discussion proceeds from there.

But then I saw a friend reading a book. An 884-page book called Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson that’s all about housekeeping. As in, the most minute details about everything from your weekly cleaning schedule to the staples you should have in your pantry to the finer details of washing labels. When I saw that book, I had to have it. I love information and there’s a part of me that loves to follow instructions. I was drawn to it like a 50s housewife to a basket of rick rack. I bought the book that day, went home and cracked it open, determined to absorb every detail of those two-column, tiny-printed pages.

And voila, I don’t mind cleaning. It’s like someone took away the cleaning power struggle and made me a chart. Now I get it. Cleaning doesn’t have to be a big deal. A clean home really is an easier place to live in than a messy one. Clean, uncluttered surfaces in the house help me have a clean, uncluttered brain. Plus, it’s pretty doable. Every day I just add a few extra minutes of picking up here, de-piling there, and sweeping everywhere. It’s made a huge difference, both in my house and in my relationship.

Oh yeah and, not to bury the lead here, but I also was laid off a few weeks ago. Suddenly I have a lot of free time, and there’s nothing like spending it cleaning and organizing to make me feel productive, not to mention filling up some of those empty hours that might otherwise be spent watching our bank account shrink. Or catching up on back episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Or, say, looking for a job. So see that? A cleaner house is a hidden bonus of unemployment, the silver lining in a cash-poor cloud. And speaking of silver lining, I think I see some tarnish. I was going to work on my resume, but I think I better get out the polishing cloth first. See ya!

The post And If I Poop on the Potty, I Get a Skittle appeared first on The Next Family.




The Next Family
The Next Family

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

e13db90f29f21c3e81584d04ee44408be273e7d61cb710479cf7_640_fitness-300x214@2x

Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment

SidsFamily

By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →