Let’s face it , Mom’s need play dates. Whether the people come to you for the fun and coffee, or you go to them, it’s often a life saver. You can sit among all the chaos and get a few half sentences in most of the time. You get to unwind and let the children play. By playing, this always results in a huge mess. Because they are kids, they are the worlds best DE-organizers.
I used to be THAT parent that would push aside my friends wishes for me to ” leave it alone, I’ll clean when I get the kids down for nap.” and ” You really don’t have to clean all that up, it was messy before you even got here.”
I plowed through play rooms and ordered my children to clean the mess up. I tried my best to put things away where it LOOKED like they went. I was only trying to help, but in the end I created more of a mess for the Mothers to organize later.
In my house, as long as toys are put away, OFF the floor then I could care less where they are. Where is that Barbie they got last year for Christmas? It’s somewhere in one of the twenty toy bins we have around the house. Have fun trying to find it. It’s not about the fact that we aren’t teaching our children to take care of their things, it’s about my sanity.
I chose many battles daily, and this one is not one that I have enough ammo for. I ran out when the children learned they had to brush their teeth at least twice a day. If I could pay someone to wrangle my children up and brush their teeth, I would.
But a couple weeks ago , a friend of mine told me the truth about all my ” helping”. We were leaving their house and I told the kids to clean up the toys, and I started helping as well.
” Rach, remember when I said I don’t care where stuff goes? Well, I guess I do. Just let me clean it up.”
I thanked her for her sweet honesty! MY GOSH! How many other people have I made work harder when I leave? It’s kind of hilarious in a rude way, all my helping.
We should never assume that other Mothers want us to help them clean.
I think I had it ingrained in my mind that if I left a mess, then I was a rude guest. In reality, I ended up being rude anyway by my stubbornness to help. I do realize there are other Mom’s like myself, in which case I will be happy to pile a bunch of crap into a bucket and call it a day. If you are one of those Mothers, hi . Nice to meet you. You probably also throw away toys that you hate when the kids aren’t looking. You may throw an occasional sock or shoe in the mix while cleaning up because it happened to be on the floor next to a Barbie. Welcome.
Instead of automatically jumping in to help clean, next time I will ask if they really WANT my help. By ” overly helping” we can be annoying friends. I don’t want to be annoying. I want people to be honest with me when I am.
I mean, how many times have I left someones house and they want to blow my brains out because I put toys in the wrong place. I mean, for the love of everything fermented… why didn’t I just ask?!
What if they can’t find the pink Barbie shoe that goes to the new doll, because of me?