#3: I have only one child but…

desertToday’s installment of Search Terms of the Sad and Desperate, where I offer advice to visitors whose search terms hit my blog: “I have only one child but laundry and housework never end.

Stop right there, all you parents of multiple children! Do not mock the poor soul who posed this thought! Instead, think back to how overwhelming it was to have that first child, back before you let your standards slide to unthinkably low levels.

Take it from me – I am the Queen of Relaxed Standards, as evidenced by the fact that one of the search terms used to hit my blog is, in fact, “relaxing your standards”. The only way to cope with housework is to accept that it will never be done, you will never like it, and even if you can find someone else to do it for you, they will not do it the way you would do it. Standards are based, at some level, on averages, right? Someone has to be below average.

Still, I wonder about the motivation of this reader. Are they contemplating a second child, but feel as if they are staring into an abyss of laundry and dishes? Are they questioning their ability to cope? Are they measuring themselves against someone else’s nearly impossible example?

Laundry and housework never end. It is one of the immutable laws of nature. There is a poetic beauty to that first shirt deposited into the empty hamper. That lone dish in the sink. The dust motes in your newly-vacuumed living room.

Embrace housework and laundry, oh sad person, they reaffirm our existence. They remind us that we are here to live another day, dirty another pair of socks, track grass clippings into the house, spill a bottle of nail polish on the furniture. These events, these items, are the very stuff of life.

Yeah, right. Even I can’t drop my standards that far. Just get out that dust cloth and get to it.

Read the series:

Anxiety dreams involving my kids 

How do I talk to my surly teen? 


A disclaimer: While it perhaps shouldn’t need saying, let me remind you that I have no credentials, training or certifications of any kind that would qualify me to mete out advice to anyone. This is a humor blog. If you don’t find it funny, well, that’s another issue.

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