Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Does Your Husband Suffer from HHS?

There is an epidemic sweeping through the homes of families all around the world.  Very few homes are safe from this epidemic, and there is no cure.  It begins relatively small, with only a few symptoms, and then escalates to the point of no return.  Wives everywhere are baffled as to how this is possible.  While the symptoms of this syndrome are at times humorous, they can also be irritating.  Because there is no cure, we, as wives, have to somehow embrace these symptoms and view them as endearing as opposed to annoying. 

Let's discuss the symptoms.  In the beginning, the symptoms are relatively small.  Sometime after saying "I do," he starts leaving socks on the floor, underwear and t-shirts are thrown on the back of the chair.  At first these seem like isolated events, not the beginning of this wide-spread epidemic.  Casually and patiently you explain to your new spouse where you have put the hamper for the dirty clothes in hopes that he will remember where it is located the next time he gets undressed.  Unfortunately, this does not happen.  Instead, he leaves them on the floor.  Because you are newly married, you start picking up his dirty clothes for him and put them in the hamper.  After all, why start an argument over something so small?

Now skip forward a couple of years.  You are tired, it was a long day at work, and you and hubby just finished dinner. You ask him to please do the dishes while you go take a shower to relax.  He agrees.  After taking a shower and upon returning to the kitchen, you are astonished to see that all of the dishes are in the sink, NOT the dishwasher.  When called out, your husband simply replies with, "you do a much better job of putting them in the dishwasher than I do.  At least I put them all in the sink."  Defeated, you put them in the dishwasher yourself, at least he appreciates your dishwasher-loading skills, right?

Ok, now you have kids.  Maybe more than one.  Let's say you now have three.  And they are all sick.  Because they are sick, you cannot go to the store so you ask hubby to go for you.  He obliges, asks you the best way to go (really, he doesn't know this?!), and goes only to call you as soon as he gets there because he has no idea where anything in the store is.  And then he can't believe how much everyting costs.  It is then that you realize that this man never goes to the grocery store.  He has not shopped for food since he was single.  Suddenly, you start to put the pieces together.  He thinks the floor is his hamper, he has no idea where the washer and dryer are, the thought of cleaning the house sends him heading for the hills, the dishwasher is a mythical object, food just appears in the pantry by magic and then magically onto his plate, he has to ask you where everything is in the house because he has no clue.  The list goes on and on.  It is at this time that it slaps you in the face and you realize that the epidemic that is sweeping the world has come into your home.  Your husband has Helpless Husband Syndrome.  He can't do anything for himself.  Nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.

This has happened at my house.  I do not know how it happened, but it did.  My husband, love him dearly, cannot do one thing for himself.  Thing is, he will admit it.  He is proud of it.  It is almost like a status symbol.  What made me realize it tonight was a commercial.  There is a TV commercial that depicts a husband asking his wife to hand him the TV remote control that is literally about 5 inches from his hand and she is across the room; so she has to walk over to get it for him.  That happened at my house tonight, only I was in a different part of the house taking care of a sick child, and I had to come into the room to see what he wanted.  Seriously, true story.  Don't get me wrong, I love my husband, but he is helpless.  I'm not sure what he did when he was single, how he survived, how he ever had clean clothes or knew the directions to where he was going.  Thank God he found me before he had to suffer with this affliction and stumble through his life lost.

Does your husband suffer from Helpless Husband Syndrome (HHS)?  Here are the signs, see if he tests positive:

  1. His dirty clothes are not put in the hamper.
  2. He hasn't done laundry in this century.
  3. He hasn't set foot in the grocery store since that last meal he cooked you before you were married.
  4. He doesn't know that the dishwasher exists.
  5. He wakes you up at night to tell you that the baby is crying so you should go check on her/him instead of going himself.
  6. He doesn't know where anything is in the house and has to ask you where things are.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MSD, It's Real and It's a Problem

I don't run.  It's not that I can't, I just don't.  I don't like it.  I never have and I never will.  Plus I've got excuses.  I have a 1 year old that can't stand staying in a stroller for very long (nevermind that she stayed in her stroller for 4 hours yesterday while I was shopping at the mall, but that was different).  I also have bad knees (one of my knee caps got chipped in an accident on some ice back in college) and bad ankles.  Oh, and I don't like to run.  So running is out.  I know it's trendy (it's like the powerwalking trend of the 80s and 90s), marathons are trendy now.  So are sparkling vampires, but I'm not going to try to find one.

I guess I need to find some sort of exercise routine to do here at home because I am not joining a gym, I'm not that committed.  And unless Nordic Track is going to deliver a free Nordic Track x7i Incline Trainer complete with Jillian Michaels to kick my butt and make me climb Mount Everest in my own den, I guess I need to come up with the motivation on my own.  Maybe I'll start P90X on Monday.  I'll let you know how that goes.

I think I suffer from MSD or Mom Slob Disorder.  Celebrities even suffer from it.  However, when celebrities suffer from it, we criticize.  This obviously makes us hypocritical as we stare aghast at the People magazine in the checkout line in the grocery store while dressed in our finest sweat pants and least-stained T-shirt with our unwashed hair and no-makeup face muttering to ourselves "I can't believe she went out in public like that."  Only to be brought back to reality when the kids are trying to grab all of the candy that the manager of the store maliciously placed at the checkout where you can no longer deal with constantly saying "no, put that back."  That is when you realize, "Oh, I just came out in public like that."  Truth is, pictures of these celebs with no makeup are hard to come by.  I'm living in an unparallel life.  It's hard to catch me with any makeup on.  So much so that my kids are shocked when they see me in jeans and a non-T-shirt top.  I can't tell you the affect when I put on mascara.  They are so shocked that you would think they just saw the Tooth Fairy driving Santa's sleigh while singing "Here Comes Petter Cottontail."

There has to be some kind of support group for this.  I can see the 12 step program now. 
Step 1: Brush your hair. 
Step 2: Put on make up. 
Step 3: Don't wear sweatpants. 
Step 4: Throw away all stained T-shirts.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-3. 

I cannot be the only mom who suffers from this, there have got be more unmotivated, sweatpants-wearing mothers out there.  Hi, my name is Audri and I am a Mom Slob.

Friday, February 3, 2012

5 Things to Do to Make Your House Feel Clean Everyday (even if it isn't)

I know, I know, who has time to clean their house every single day?  I don't, and I don't expect anyone else to either.  However, it is nice for your house to be "presentable" even if it isn't immaculate.  I struggle with this everyday.  I have three kids (1 yr, 6 yrs, and 8 yrs) and I am a stay-at-home-mom; so no matter what the expectation is of me, I feel as if my home must at least be "presentable" (you never know when the neigbors, neighborhood kids, or unexpected guest will show up at your door).  As a result of feeling this way, I have compiled a list of 5 things you can do daily so that your house can feel clean (even if it isn't):

  1. Make up the beds.  When the beds are made the bedroom automatically looks cleaner and less cluttered.  If your kids aren't old enough to make up their own beds. do it for them and teach them how as soon as possible.  Also, doesn't it feel better to get into a bed at night that has nice tight sheets?
  2. Do the dishes.  If you unload the dishwasher in the morning then it isn't hard to put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher as the day goes on.  Nothing makes a kitchen appear dirtier than dirty dishes piled up in and around the sink.
  3. Open the blinds/curtains.  When you can see the outside, the home feels more open and less cluttered.
  4. Put dirty clothes/towels in the hamper.  Make sure that everyone puts their dirty clothes or towels in the hamper and not on the floor.  When there are not dirty clothes or towels tossed on the floor or counters in the bathroom, your house won't feel as cluttered.
  5. Make everyone responsible for their own clutter.  Whether it is your kids' toys, books, shoes, etc, your stuff, or your spouse's things, make sure everyone puts away their own mess.  I have found it helpful to keep a "pop up" hamper in the den for each kid to put their things in to so it is not covering every surface of our den.  At the end of the day (or sooner if it is really bugging you), the kids take each of their hampers to their room to put up the day's mess.  This also means that you are responsible for your mess as is your spouse responsible for their mess.
While these tips won't make your home immaculate, it will make your home seem neat and easier to clean when you get around to it.  Please share this page with others so that no one is ever caught off guard again with a messy house and unplanned visitors!  Oh, and make sure to keep the closets closed and the laundry room door shut....this can do wonders!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Finality of It All

I have never had a problem with cleaning out my children's rooms.  I have never had a problem with putting things away that they had outgrown.  Whether it was toys or clothes, I had not one problem with putting it away.  Until now.  We have three girls.  My youngest child is one, and I am unable to get rid of the things she has outgrown.  It's harder this time around, her things aren't going into the attic.  I really have to give these things away.  Before, with my other two children, I would put these things in the attic with the thought "maybe someday I will use them again if we have another baby."  Not this time.  We aren't having anymore.  Never again will I have a need to use the baby swing or the bouncy seat or the baby bathtub or need the newborn clothes.  These things will not be needed again at my house.  And that is the problem.  The finality of it all.  I can't deal with the thought of "I will never have a baby again."  Something about that just seems so sad to me.  It's not even that I want another baby, I'm so blessed to have the three that we have that I would never complain.  I just don't know how to deal with this feeling.

By looking at my garage, I'm not dealing with this, I am pushing it away in a corner and plan on dealing with it later.  Maybe by the time "later" happens, my youngest will have hit "the terrible twos" and I won't know why I had such a problem with this in the first place.