I’m Missing the Domestic Gene

Last week I attended SheCon12, a conference for women who are looking to grow their blogs, their community and their influence in the blogosphere. I connected with a lot of great women, learned some new things and really got a better understanding of what I need to do to keep myself moving forward.

It was really cool to be in a place surrounded by women bloggers. I was glad I was able to take off the time to attend the conference. The program kicked off with a woman named Dr. Mommy whose sole purpose on stage was to help us get over the Super Mom image we have of ourselves. She reminded us that ‘we are not the Bionic Woman with replacement parts’ and that we have to take care of ourselves first.

Then she launched into this whole rant about how ‘you don’t want your kids to remember you as the crazy mom, trying to be Super Mom. The house doesn’t have to be just right and cleaned only the way you think it should be done.’ I looked around the room at all the women I can only assume were mom bloggers. They were all nodding their heads enthusiastically to show her they understood her point. I believe I even heard an ‘amen to that’ from someone in the crowd.

All I could do at that point was just lean back in my chair and think, ‘sorry Dr. Mommy. That’s not what happens in my house.‘ I’m pretty much domestically impaired when it comes to matters of the home. We all know about my culinary challenges. I guess what I’m saying here is that same mentality applies to cleaning the house too.

It would be easy to blame this on being a single mom and having no help to keep things running in the house but its sad to say, that’s not the truth. I remember when I was pregnant and read all these books about how you should learn to not make cleaning a priority. All of the books would tell us to put the scrub brush down and enjoy this precious time with your baby. I just laughed and thought that I didn’t have to worry about that problem when Jake was born. I’ve always known I was missing the domestic gene and I didn’t need a book to tell me not to clean the toilet.

Before anyone calls child protective services on me, I’m not living in a home ready for the TV show Hoarders to show up and film their season finale. My OCD forces me to eventually schedule a cleaning day and then everything ends up in its own sorted pile. But in between those moments of forced cleaning, you will see an occasional dog hair tumbleweed roll through the living room while you’re watching TV.

Some days it just seems like I have 1,000 things to do and five minutes to do them in. Everyone needs something right now and the cleaning just slips even further down the priority pole. Some days there’s just not enough energy in the day to even pretend to be Super Mom.

So to all those women who sat in the room with Dr. Mommy and nodded their heads, I just can’t be there with you. It seems like it would be really cool to connect with you all on that level and be a part of your world. But that’s not the case for those of us born without the domestic gene. While you worry about when you’ll find the time to get your cabinets scrubbed down and how you’ll get every little plastic Lego piece back into those fancy baskets you bought at Pier One, I’m wondering what kind of science experiments are growing in the back of my fridge and what’s that weird stain at the bottom of the stairs.

While I truly enjoyed what Dr. Mommy had say, I honestly subscribe to Erma Bombeck’s theory on housework:

If the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?

Photo credit: Cleaning Cycle

7 thoughts on “I’m Missing the Domestic Gene

  1. Pingback: In Medias Res: Into the Middle of Things « My journey to live an authentic life

  2. Honestly it’s a relief to visit someone’s home when it actually looks LIVED IN. Takes the pressure off when that person comes to visit ME. Our homes aren’t for display, they’re for living, and as long as they’re not so untidy that the ‘living’ gets difficult, I’m all for the imperfection!
    Thanks Penny for saying what a lot of us are thinking.

    • Good to see you stop by again! Thanks for your comments – good to hear I’m not the only who feels this way. It just seems like there’s not enough free time to worry about whether my home looks like its ready for a Martha Stewart photo shoot. Besides there’s just way too much on my DVR for me to catch up on so I always figure the cleaning can wait ….

  3. I am the same way. Housecleaning and cooking are not top priorities for me. I’m glad I’m not the only one! But after many years of neglect, de-cluttering has become a necessity. I guess I couldn’t escape it forever!

    • No you’re not the only … and its so good to hear from others that they feel this way too! We all have our own version of the domestic gene, guess some women have more of it while others (like us) have less. AND I’m not going to even admit to what’s in the ‘room where everything comes to die.’

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