Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Organized

Sarah Harris
Happy January! It’s that time of year when Moms everywhere make half-hearted promises to themselves that their cluttered, flustered, messy days are over. Next year, damn it, things are going to be different! I’m going to Clean Up this place! There will be No More Piles! I’m going to get our family On A Schedule! We’ll be On Time!  We’re going to Get Organized! And then, we’re going to Stay That Way!

But they never do.

Unless they already are.

I am That Mom: The mom online-moms love to hate because my house is always neat. I’m always on time and there has never been a field trip permission slip that has been lost, damaged, or returned unsigned.

Don’t hate me because I’m organized. In a lot of ways, I’m just like you. I’m doing the best I can to raise these kids, whom I love so fiercely, to be kind, conscientious, and generous members of our global society. Like you, I don’t pretend to have all the answers and I, too, rely on my Circle of Moms to get me through the darkest moments of motherhood. I drink altogether too much coffee and probably too much wine.

But my countertops are spotless. All. The. Time.

They’re clean because, when they’re not, I can’t play with my kids. Literally. I’ve tried to ignore them. I’ve moved Elsa, Anna, and the rest of their Disney coterie to the basement so I could play Princesses with my kids before cleaning up the breakfast dishes. It didn’t work. Faster than Anna could fall in love with Prince Hans, I was pretending I had to use the bathroom so I could run upstairs real quick and load the dishwasher.

It’s a sickness, I tell you, and I’m not proud of it.

To the moms out there posting e-cards and memes about how you demonstrate your level of friendship by how many piles of laundry the play date mom has to move before sitting on your couch? Well, you must think I have no real friends then, because, not only have my friends never had to move laundry to sit down in my house, they also enjoy the comforts of a pee-dribble-free toilet seat in my bathroom…and I have boys! If you tell me you’re coming over, you can be sure that the laundry will be hidden in the laundry room and the bathroom freshly Clorox-wiped. And if you show up unannounced, well, the same standards apply.

I’m a bit of a neat-freak and that’s not bragging. That’s an admission: clutter on my coffee table and dust on my baseboards make me nervous. But not nearly as nervous as that tick, tick, tick of the minutes passing on the clock. I am punctual. To a fault. To the point at which I am barking at my kids to Put. On. Your. Shoes! FASTER! before heading out to an appointment, only to arrive at the doctor’s or dentist’s office to sit. And wait.

But at least I’m the one waiting. The thought of making someone wait for me makes me sweat

And maybe, just maybe, I’m unwittingly raising my kids to be punctual to a fault, too. At the morning bus stop, I look with envy at the moms who fling open their front doors, pushing their uncombed, untied, unzipped kids, toast in hand, toward the waiting school bus. I stare, wistfully, imagining snooze buttons and sleepy heads, knowing that I, showered, dressed, and already through with my first cup of coffee, will never know the morning chaos of having overslept. Not because I’m Better at Mornings than you. No, it’s because there is, sadly, no need for alarm clocks in my house. Even with a bus arrival of 7:25 am, my kids (and, thus, I) have already been awake for more than an hour and a half. We’ve had plenty of time to leisurely prepare for our day. So if we’re standing at the bus stop and you’re about to complain about how long it took you to wake up your kid this morning, just keep it to yourself, okay?

I’m neat. I’m punctual. I’m more organized than the moms who can be laid back about overdue library books and homework folders. But don’t mistake that deeply-rooted, Type-A personality as a mark of superiority. At the end of the day, whether the dinner dishes are clean and tomorrow’s lunches are packed or not, we’re all just moms…sitting on our couches, sipping our wine, hoping we’re doing a good enough job in raising our kids…

Hang on. I’ll join you on the couch in just a sec…I just spotted a Lego under the coffee table that needs to be put away before I can relax.





This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media LLC.

When she's not building amazing Lego creations, replacing tiny shoes upon Barbie's feet, or dancing to the latest Taylor Swift album with her kids, Sarah, a former kindergarten teacher, is sipping hot coffee and Writing. Her blog, Live, Laugh, and Learn began as a memory-keeper of her young children's rapidly changing lives. Now, because it is a place to store all of the extra words in her head, her blog also serves the purpose of keeping her sane. In addition to her blog, Sarah has written for Scary Mommy and Mommy Hot Spot, will have her work included in a humor anthology, due out later this year, and is in talks to have her first children's book published in 2016.