Mother’s Day is upon us, and if you are reading this because you just realized it, it’s not too late to give her exactly what she wants, you just don’t want to do it. No guys, it’s not that, it’s not Father’s Day. What your wife wants, you will need the kids help with, and no it’s not little heart felt pictures and notes (although we do love those). It’s a clean house. And I mean really clean. It’s a break from the everyday grind. It’s some relief from the part of motherhood that feels like a job sometimes.
The Mother’s Day Phenomenon
Many people are surprised to hear the number one day for restaurants across America is Mother’s Day. It’s because people want to take mom out, let her not cook and clean and just enjoy herself. Unfortunately, for many people that means a restaurant because they don’t want to do those little jobs themselves. This year with restaurants limited as to operations, go support them by getting take out meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bring them to mom. But clean up the mess at home that goes with it. I mean it. That’s what she wants.
The gift of a Lifetime
You want to give your mom a gift of a lifetime, gather together and do all the chores. I’m guessing lots of you don’t even know how to do that, so I’m here for you with a primer.
Top to Bottom: Cleaning top to bottom isn’t just a euphemism, it’s directions. Start at the highest points and work your way down. If you don’t do this, you will dirty areas you’ve already cleaned. So, Dust ceiling fans and tops of cabinets and shelves first. Dust that falls to the floor will get cleaned up later. Work your way down to dusting (yes, you really have to dust, especially now during allergy season) the counters, tables, and leaves of large plants (you hadn’t thought of that, had you?).
Don’t Forget the Baseboards: You know that little runner of wood that encircles the floor throughout the house? No? Take a look, it’s there. It’s probably got an accumulation of dust on it too, get rid of that dust.
Sweep, Then Mop: Stop right there. Pull out or move all the furniture and start with the areas you normally ignore first. Sweep the corners, under where the couch sits, the chairs. If you don’t have hard floors, you don’t get a pass, this means pull out all the furniture and vacuum. After sweeping, go over everything with a mop. Then put everything back where you started with it (I shouldn’t have to say that, but I’m subbing in for mom here, right?).
Do the Laundry: A long time ago, when you were but a wee thing, someone else had to do your laundry. But somewhere around the ripe old age of ten, you were plenty old enough to operate the washing machine. So do your laundry, but don’t stop there. Do ALL the laundry: the linens, the towels, the wash cloths. And remember, you get no points at all unless you actually FOLD IT and PUT IT AWAY.
Don’t Stop: When you are done cleaning, look around. What’s left? Pretend someone is going to white-glove test your house by running a finger in a white glove over every surface. If they might pick up some dust, you’re not done. Maybe you need to run the vacuum hose along the drapes? Consider things you would never normally consider.
Now bring her those restaurant take-out meals, and clean up after that mess.This all sounds a bit exhausting doesn’t it? Now you get it. So mix up mom a delicious cocktail, let her relax for a while and give her a gift she will not only remember, she will hope for it every year.
Laura has been writing and editing for more than 25 years, a fact which more than a source of pride, sends her running to the wrinkle cream aisle of CVS. She has worked for CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, The Economist Intelligence Unit, and CBS radio. She has three children, and you will either find her thoroughly enjoying their company or yelling at them to clean up after themselves and turn off the lights.