- Doing the dishes. You are playing in a tub of soapy water. ‘Nuff said. If you lower your standards enough, this is a great area where kids will happily help out. Bonus: Water splashed out of the sink helps give the floor a slapdash mopping!
- Folding laundry. Another great area where kids can help out. But for me, I like to handle everyone’s clothes myself and reminisce over how small they are/how big they’ve gotten, and the memories I have of the girls wearing each outfit. And, I remind myself how blessed I am to be the woman who gets to fold my husband’s underwear (bear with me). I mean, it could be some other woman folding his undies, and that just isn’t acceptable. (Okay, actually, I like to listen to podcasts when I fold laundry. Nobody bothers me for fear they may also be made to fold laundry, and it’s like a one-hour vacation.)
- Grocery shopping. Consider a grocery delivery service like Amazon Fresh. Some of your local supermarkets may offer this service. I order my groceries from the comfort of my jammies and then anxiously await my delicious food. Sometimes I rush home from work because I know it’s there!! A grocery box can be just as gratifying as a Zappos box. Trust me.
- Exercising. If you don’t enjoy exercising, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t like running? Don’t run! Don’t like the gym? Don’t go to the gym! Personally, my jam is a long walk (an hour if I have the time) and the kind of yoga where I don’t have to try too hard. Life is too short to do exercise you don’t enjoy.
- Homework. My understanding of homework is that it’s meant to be performed mostly independently with light parental supervision. Notice the emphasis on light. I also believe in natural consequences. If you don’t do your homework, you will suffer the natural consequences. If natural consequences have no effect, that’s a different issue. And if a child consistently can’t do homework mostly on her own, that probably merits a discussion with the teacher. But in most cases, homework time is a great opportunity for mom to catch up on some reading.
- Driving to soccer/birthday parties/Target/Disney World. Figure out what music everyone likes and make it a group sing-a-long. There are also tons of audio books that the whole family can enjoy during a long drive.
- Paying Bills. Okay, nevermind, this one sucks. But maybe one of you enjoys bill paying more than the other?? My husband sees our finances as a puzzle to be mastered, which I don’t get, but it works to my advantage. Even if you completely doubt your spouse’s financial competence, remember that they married you of all people, so they are obviously operating with pretty solid judgment.
- Bedtime. As the years passed and our family grew, I began to really dislike bedtime. It wasn’t so much the stages where one (or all) of the kids refused to go to bed and stay there. It was just the monumental task of giving three kids a satisfying tuck-in – teeth, books, songs, hugs and kisses, one more glass of water because I’m dying of thirst all of a sudden – all while I was also completely exhausted. This is where that change of perspective comes in. Bedtime still challenges me, but I also realize it’s easy to customize. Tonight everyone gets three books, tomorrow we read one book all together in my bed. If you don’t wet the bed, you can keep a cup on your nightstand. What I focus on instead is using bedtime as the one last opportunity to connect with everyone before this day comes to a close and all the challenges of the next day begin. And your focus may be something completely different. There are no federal laws mandating a certain bedtime routine.
So many of our “mom” problems are a matter of perspective. And it certainly isn’t natural to think in the way I’ve described above. I’d actual say it’s completely opposite of human nature. But it absolutely can be done as we begin to rewrite the scripts in our head.
As moms and women we have real, true, solid problems. More than enough. And we don’t need to create more. These “false” problems that we manufacture can usually be chipped away by asking, “What’s the worst that can happen?” But…that’s another post for another day.