Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My 4-step Program to a Better Self and a Dirtier House

There is nothing relevant for me to write today, not that I always come up with something profound, but today's just one of those days when my brain feels like cheese.  It's hard to blog about anything of significant value when you're stuck at home with 2 loads of laundry to fold and plenty of clutter to shove back in the closet.

But hey, for the heck of it, here's one:  DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

Isn't that the most original phrase you've ever heard?  This is really something I have to remind myself again and again because yes, I spend a good amount of time worrying about things that should have been non-issues to begin with, like:  "Have I showered?"  "Where did my smart husband leave the goddam bottle cap??"  "Who left the bottle cap on top of the changing table?"

Washing Bottles

To make my life easier, I use the Playtex Drop-Ins, the ones that come with disposable liners so that we don't have to worry about washing and sterilizing bottles.  Sounds simple, right?  Well, if you think your days of bottle washing are over, hold it right there.  You still gotta wash and sterilize the nipples, which in reality is really no big deal, but for some wild reason, I stress over washing the nipples.  I absolutely cannot stand seeing nipples unwashed, and though I know that I have more important things to do, I am driven by my neurotic compulsion to wash the nipples after each use instead of gathering them around and wait until the end of the night to wash them altogether.  I also have to add in here that I never, EVER use the dishwasher.  Now you may go ahead and say, "YOU FOOL! Why the fuck don't you wanna use the stupid dishwasher?!" but to you, I will calmly reply: "Because I trust my hands and my scrubbing powers way more than I will ever trust that machine".  So yea, I have a knack for making things difficult for myself.  The same principle applies to dishes left in the sink, or rather, anything left in the sink.  You can leave your grandmother  in the sink, and I assure you, she will be washed.

Sanitizing for Sanity

Thanks to Yuna's dad, I was reborn a germophobe. My hands are dry, scaly and pruned out due to over-washing and over-sanitizing.  I have all sorts of wipes you can imagine: paci wipes, hand wipes, facial wipes, butt wipes, booger wipes, all of which I consider as my daily weapons in this warfare against icky germs and bacteria.  Everything that touches my daughter need to be either marinated in anti-bacterial solution or freshly laundered.  It was fairly easy to keep this up until the time she decided she wanted to crawl.  When she started doing that, I had to add another fresh clean blanket beside her play mat to cover the areas she can possibly crawl to, because God forbid she touches that dirty carpet and contract an infectious disease unknown to man.  Anyway, I realized I don't have the capacity to protect her every single second of the day.  This awakening came about when she formed the habit of scratching her crotch, freshly iced with a nice thick layer of diaper rash cream then placing the same fingers in her mouth.  When she lived to see another day, I decided that it's time to let her crawl around the house sans the blankets and let her get used to our friendly neighborhood germs.

Laundry Folding

I have yet to meet someone who is enthralled by the idea of laundry folding.  Though this is my least favorite part of the 3 hour process, my brain tells me that it MUST be done.  Because soon enough, you have another pile of dirty stuff you need to wash and the vicious cycle starts again, so the old me would probably allot a good hour ignoring my baby while I neatly fold our clothes and divide them up in piles depending on its color, season and frequency of use.  These days, I just let the dried clothes chill in the dryer until I find myself bored during the rare moments when Yuna feels absolutely content with playing inside her playpen alone.  Sometimes, I find that the dryer also conveniently doubles as extra closet space- which, by the way, is always welcome in this household.

Clutter Control

Clutter, being my top nemesis, finally won the battle.When I look around and see all the baby stuff around me, triggering memories of earlier vows to keep all these things at bay, I realize how big a liar I've become.  I still stress about this a lot, and I try to minimize the toy traffic every now and then by disassembling, flattening and throwing any toy that has been consistently ignored for 3 straight days.  But then, it comes to a point where I have to concede to the fact that babies come hand in hand with clutter.  There will always be toys lying around in every single corner of the house and they will appear and disappear whether your like it or not.

It looks like I've created my own 4-step program on how to rid myself of this neurosis when the only thing I want to say is to not freak out when you find yourself immensely overwhelmed by the undone chores around you.. Go pop an Ativan, take a deep breath, and let the dishes swim around  in the sink for a bit.  It's okay.   It's not gonna grow fungus until the 3rd day and maggots until the week after.  So there.  Just don't go crazy trying to accomplish everything all at once just so you can spend more time with your growing baby stress free.  My daughter is turning 7 months in less than 2 weeks and I really want to shoot myself for focusing all my energy on keeping the house clean. I could have observed her cells multiplying with all the time I spent washing her nipples one by one.


Greta: From Transparencies of Motherhood said...

I actually LOVE to fold my kids clothes. My clothes are a different story. I wrote this post about it actually... :)

Unlikely Origins said...

Hah! I love your blog, as it makes me feel somewhat less like a neurotic freak mom ;-)

I'm totally with you on the sanitizing thing. I was always kind of a bah-humbug, "our obsession with cleanliness/antibac soaps/antibiotics is leaving us vulnerable to evvvvverything!" kind of person... and then I became a mom. Hello, hand sanitizer. By 9 or 12 months (I can't even remember anymore!) K knew to ask for "losh" (her version of lotion/anti-bac stuff!). So much for that "germs are a good thing!" attitude.

She's in part-time daycare now so I'm learning to accept that germs are a part of life and, in the long run, good for her, but --

yeah. I'm with you.

kitten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kitten said...

Wow, is that you!? Don't be too hard on yourself. If you see our place, you will give yourself a pat on the back for doing such an awesome job! :)

Tina@ said...

Greta: You're more of a freak than I am! Wooohooo! Put it there pal! :)

Tina@ said...

Karinya: Couldn't agree with you more. I have to pull the stick it out and face the fact that I can only do so much in protecting her. If anything, I may be doing more harm than good by not preparing her enough for the germs she will be facing in daycare.. *gasp*.. pre-school.

Kitten: Yes it's me!! Possessed by Shi's manic, compulsive cleanliness!! He had a lot to do with why I'm such an uptight twad now so I'm trying to take it a step at a time to save my sanity :)

Tina@ said...

Karinya again: I meant to say pull the stick out.. or maybe not. Maybe I meant to confuse you. Or myself.

Nikki Cupcake said...

my favorite part of clothes washing is the folding, it's the only thing in the whole world i am OCD about

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