I am a bit of a neat freak when it comes to my house. Ok, fine, I admit it…psycho is more like it. I’ve gotten better about it over the years, realizing it’s not realistic to have everything in its place all the time, and admittedly, I have slight OCD, which doesn’t allow much room for sanity when it comes to a messy house. I have had to learn to walk away, close my eyes, take deep breaths and count to ten. White tile floors and smudged sliding glass doors are not my friends. So, how do I cope without being a nagging wife and mom, but also avoid being the maid, the middle man, or Momerella? Very carefully, and with much strategy. Here are just two of the mommy phrases I use to keep the sanity level up:
1. “Cut out the middle man.” This is a phrase I use when the dishwasher is empty and dishes are tossed into the sink. This is definitely a pet peeve of mine. There is no reason, when the dishwasher is prepared to receive dirty dishes that they can’t take 2 extra seconds to rinse and put their dishes in there. I have informed my family on many occasions, “My name is not Momerella!” When dishes are left in the sink, who will ultimately be the one to take them from the sink, turn and place them in that wonderful dish-cleaning machine? Who is the middle man? ME! So, ‘cut out the middle man’ is a way to get my point across quickly, sanely, and with little frustration for everyone involved. (The same phrase can be applied to clothing left on the floor just feet from the hamper, or using the last of the t.p. and not replacing it!)
2. “Your maid is on vacation!” I throw this one out there when various items are left around the house like coats dropped on the floor in the foyer instead of being hung up, socks on the couch, cracker wrappers left on the table…you know , it’s a familiar scene, I’m sure. When I see these things, I call out the name of the mess-leaving culprit, and announce, “Your maid is on vacation!” The familiar response is, “Where?” I can then direct them to the room, or mess in question. It’s much more pleasant than the all-too familiar “You left your socks on the couch, again…how many times do I have to tell you…” Blah, blah, blah… They only end up hearing the Charlie Brown grown-up voice anyway. You know, ‘wa-waa-wa-wa-wa’! Much nicer, and it gets the job done!
So, ladies, take ‘em or leave ‘em. These little tidbits work for me, so I thought I’d share. Having the ability to get things accomplished with less frustration is a beautiful thing. Of course, you will have to explain these little phrases to your own lovely crew so everyone can be on board. Cleaning up is certainly not my girls’ favorite thing to do, but being given a quick reminder is much more tolerable than an hour-long lecture about dirty dishes in the sink!