The Parenthood Percentage

If you are like me the math portion of your brain got derailed by Shakespeare and so you married an engineer ensuring your children would obtain equal parts English major, equal parts mathematical genius which is destined to produce some well-rounded offspring. I have come up with a formula that I will coin the Parenthood Percentage. As you will quickly notice these numbers do not add up to 100%, which means my formula is flawed, just like my parenting. Those of you looking forward to becoming parents or are living to tell the tale can refer to these like you do your vitamin label, but substitute 100% vitamin C for 100% love and chaos.

20% stepping on toys with your bare feet and trying not to curse.

67% opening your mouth and hearing your parent’s words come out.

92% repeating these phrases: please stop, because I said so, I love you.

30% hearing them play happily and waiting for the inevitable scream.

36% worrying about the next strain of bird or goat flu.

44% using words like “blessed” and “grateful” that in your former life would make you gag and roll your eyes.

71% enduring other people’s “words of wisdom” that you don’t remember asking for.

1% sleeping, but 99% complaining about not sleeping.

82% looking for shoes, 18% putting them on.

27% finding the karmic hilarity in all your quirks and stubbornness reflected so perfectly in your tiny human clones.

100% grateful that this is now your life.

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Motherhood: A Fine Line Between Humility & Humiliation

Just when I am starting to feel confident in my abilities as a mother or simply as a human being, my child will wipe a booger in my hair as I am tripping over a Lego. Just today I finally got ahead of the laundry only to open the washing machine and find that my oldest took it upon herself to change her nap time diaper by disposing of it in her hamper—which naturally ended up in the wash.

I’m going to go ahead and put it out there; many of the most dangerous and challenging moments in parenthood take place when I need to use the bathroom. I could probably rename my blog: Tales from the Toilet, but I'm not sure the kind of crowd I'd attract. These are the times when my children have stuck a bean in their nose, licked hand-sanitizer and attempted to ride the dog. Recently, on one such occasion I was cleaning our home for the 10 millionth time in two weeks. I thought I’d take a second to answer the call of nature when just over my head I heard the sound of tiny feet. I peered out from my seated position to see my oldest sitting peacefully on the couch, which left my only other offspring as the one venturing up the stairs (when she is not yet steady enough to be on the stair unattended). As a two-story home owner I can tell you, I’ve had nightmares about my children on the stairs, so I barreled out of the bathroom as pantsless as the day my children were born. I managed to catch my daughter at the top of the stairs, but didn’t pay any attention to my attire for the next few hours, since I was just so relieved she didn’t hurt herself.

After dropping my kids with my mom, I managed to finish cleaning. I was outside emptying the trash, mentally remarking on just how glamorous my life had become when my (male) neighbor (stay with me, I swear it's relevant) pulled up congratulating us on the sold sign on our front lawn. I told him about our plans to move and I went on to boast of our good fortune buying for the first time at the bottom of the market- even managing to throw around a fancy word like "equity". I wandered inside happy to have a second of adult interaction and it was in that moment I realized I had tucked my shirt into my plainly visible underwear. Now one might think this would be embarrassing, but see this is just a typical Tuesday for anybody with children.

In motherhood, we are constantly walking a fine line between humility and humiliation. My hope for you is always the former, but don’t be surprised when inevitably you get caught with your pants down.

I tell myself they are not laughing at me, but with me 😂

I tell myself they are not laughing at me, but with me 😂

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How to Clean your House with Kids

Obviously if it has come to this, you must be desperate and your attempts to hold car washes and bake sales to hire that live-in maid or sisterwife you’ve begged your husband for have failed. You have my deepest sympathy.

Step 1:

Lower your expectations. Your house will probably always smell like peanut butter. And there are no Pinterest boards that match a basket of stuffed animals with your French country décor, I've looked.

I don’t want to brag, but in the past week I’ve earned my Girl Scout merit badge in Good Housekeeping, when everyday my realtor texted requesting showing after showing. I’d answer from within a pillow fort while simultaneously picking crayon flecks out of the carpet and my child’s teeth. Needless to say my house just doesn’t happen to be clean at 3pm on a Tuesday, it takes some serious effort.

Even in the wake of careful planning your filthy dog may still find a way to dig out of the neighbor’s yard and come to your front door in the middle of your open house, while peeing on the welcome mat as a way of welcoming those potential buyers to their new home (true story).

Step 2:

Temporarily hand off your children and dogs to achieve a temporarily clean home. Post pictures of them on social media skipping in meadows or helping the homeless in hopes that someone will offer to take them off your hands for an hour.

Aren't they adorable?

Aren't they adorable?

Step 3:

Confuse your kids into thinking that cleaning is the same as going to Disneyland, using high pitched vocal intonations reserved for sorority sleep overs. When that fails, you’d be amazed what your kids will do for gummy bears.

Step 4:

Resolve that threatening to run away to Mexico if you have to pick up the toilet brush one more time is not a real solution. Cleaning is part of your past, present and future. Lastly and most importantly, even if you consider yourself a part of a highly evolved equal partnership, whichever way the cookie crumbles someone will ultimately have to vacuum it up.

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