5 Lessons Learned During My Mom Strike

While surfing through the FirstTimeMomandDad Archives, I found the post on my Mom Strike. I laughed so hard at myself, I had to repost it.

Posted in April of 2015, I'd just spent two-weeks focused on a project, not on my house. In that time, left up to the husband and child, the house became a proper shithole. There were toys everywhere, socks and shoes thrown about, dishes piling high, laundry piles that resembled the great Alps, a toddler bedroom that looked like a tornado hit it. It was like I was living in a frat house that runs a daycare.

 I cracked.

And rightfully so.

Why in the hell should I have to do it ALL?  Why am I the only one racing around keeping the frat house with a daycare, tidy? I'd hit my limit and needed the boys to step up to the cleaning-plate.

Starting immediately.

Those two were going to help me, or be in big ass trouble! So, I announced that I was going on mom strike. I was no longer jumping to cook or clean. I was no longer going to do it all! I was going on a mom strike.

My mom strike lasted five days, and coincidentally, taught me five life-long parenting lessons...

1. I created the filthy beasts living in my house. 

I like things cleaned and organized a certain way, so I just did it myself. In the process, I screwed myself. I wanted the house cleaned to my standards, and I was sure the boys couldn't come close.


It turns out, with direction, they can. Kind of. Yes, I stood over them one or two times, but after that, they managed to sort their own laundry, clean up their own dishes, and work together to load and unload. Now, I just let them grumble and walk-off. They know what they're doing. Clean is clean, who cares how the shirts are folded, their put away and dammit, that's what matters.

Goats, husbands, toddlers. Same thing. 

2. My Timing and my husband's timing are WAY OFF. 

Every night after dinner, I do the dishes and clean the kitchen straight away. I can't stand having a messy kitchen. My husband, can. But only for so long. He prefers to wait until later that night to tackle the mess. While it killed me to wait, thanks to the strike I learned a very valuable lesson, my head and kitchen will not explode if the dishes aren't done immediately. In his words, "There are no Dishes Police coming to get you. Relax. It can wait." Let me tell you when my husband is the one doing the dishes, the wait is definitely worth it.

3. There is NO reason my three-year can't pick up his own damn toys.

I had a girlfriend who taught her toddler that the 'Clean-up Fairy' will come and take the toys not cleaned up at the end of the night. It worked for her son, and now it's working for mine! The trick is to hide the toys left out. The next night, when your child cleans up fearful the fairy will be back, put the stolen fairy toys back by morning as a reward for keeping his toys tidy.

4. I don't want a damn cape; I want a cocktail.

I'll be the first to admit, I need to chill the F*$k out. I run around like a crazy person trying to keep my house in tip-top shape. It's like I have something to prove to myself and the world. I waste so much time picking up and cleaning things that get wrecked 30-seconds later.  WHAT THE HELL?

It's so not worth it. It's like I think if I have a perfect house and a well-behaved child, then I get to go to the Hero Mom Ball at the end of the year and claim a super-hero cape. Well, screw the cape. I'll take a cocktail and a better use of my time.

5. Mom strikes are so awesome; I'm already planning my next one.  

If you're worn out, feeling under-appreciated, sick of being the one that does everything while your partner and child are having a blast watching you, then call a strike! Clean up after yourself ONLY! When they start complaining... FIVE DAYS LATER. (Filthy beasts.) Make a list of things you do, hand it to your family and leave. Go to the park with a good book. Let them realize just how much effort it takes to keep the house cleaned, cupboards stocked, laundry in the drawers, bills paid and any of the other four million things you do in a day to keep your family healthy and happy.

I'm sad it took me flipping out and letting my house turn into a shithole to get to this place. But, in the end, it was worth it.

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com