Rugs are great because you can just keep buying more and more to cover up all the carpet stains your kids keep making! Greetings! It is Hot Mess week here at ParentalGrit; if you missed yesterday’s entry, please click HERE to get some insight on what in the health ‘hot mess’ means, where does it come from, and why it is so popular across social media and parenting circles. Today we’re talking about the Hot Mess way to do housework. So how does a hot mess do housework? They don’t. Simple as that. I thought about leaving those words as a single sentence for the entire post, but I’m too longwinded to let readers get by with such a brief overview. Without further ado, let’s dive into domestic engineering and how one can possibly survive as a Hot Mess…
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Hot Mess lifestyle from moms all over the internet, it’s that a shortcut is always appreciated. A Hot Mess parent will have no issues using beach towels at the pool and in the bathroom; in fact, if you walked into my guest bathroom at this very moment, you would see my daughter’s beach towel hung up from her last bath and a kitchen dish towel hanging by the sink for hand washing. We don’t discriminate; if it gets the job done (and saves or procrastinates laundry) then we’re more than happy to use it. Hot Mess laundry sometimes means cutting your losses and ditching an offending item; do I really want to scrub, wash, and re-wash this horrifyingly blown out outfit from the newborn…or do I want to accidentally misplace it in the trash and pretend it never existed? The possibilities for laundry shortcuts are really limitless.
When a Hot Mess isn’t finding creative ways to postpone laundry, they’re busy screwing it up. A true Hot Mess will somehow always manage to do laundry only in the evening; this usually means that the final load will be forgotten and sit in wet solace overnight, needing to be washed again. It also means, as it occurred in my house last night (thanks wifey!), that sheets will always be taken to the laundry and forgotten about until bedtime…when the mattress lies bare and we’re drop-dead tired. That’s fine, we can always throw down some multipurpose beach towels and sleep on those.
Cooking for the Hot Mess family should probably be referred to as ‘feeding’—let’s be clear, there’s rarely any cooking actually going on. The microwave sees more use in a day than the stove and oven find in a year. Cereal is not just a breakfast staple but a delectable dinner when needed. The Hot Messiest way of all to feed your family is to simply discard the pizza boxes and the burger bags; if you place the fast food on a plate next to silverware and click your heels together three times, it magically means it’s a home cooked meal. Don’t feel guilty about not cooking; it’s not laziness, it’s an effective utilization of outsourcing.
A Hot Mess understands that a house is ultimately judged on the living area where guests might visit and the bathroom closest to this room. Therefore, great detail is placed on making sure those two areas are kept in slightly embarrassing condition rather than hazardously disgusting like the rest of the house. We carve out our entry living room as our ‘safe room’; give us 20 minutes, and we can stuff all the disarray into closets and other rooms to give the appearance of livability to our guests. Hot Mess living means that vacuuming a 4 ft. x 4 ft chunk in the middle of the room means the entire room has been vacuumed and is spotless. If all else fails, a great Hot Messian way to deal with the filth of family life is to create stock responses that rationalize everything. “Yeah, there’s Sharpie drawings all over the wall, but we really don’t believe in suppressing our children’s creativity like other parents.”
The most important thing to understand about this guide to Hot Mess housework is that there truly are no rules when it comes to getting by. When you start having children, you are basically forfeiting the privilege of an organized and well decorated home. Let the chaos not lead you to anxious feelings of inadequacy but rather provide your home with the ‘character’ it needed all along. Or some other nonsense like that. Housework and Hot Messes aren’t exactly soul mates so forgive yourself if there’s a line of ants moving underneath the dining table and feasting on the toddler’s throwaways from last week. It’s okay if the floors are dirty, the showers are grimy, and the carpet is discolored; all that matters is that there is a loving home underneath all the dust. Well that and you NEVER invite guests over….that matters too.