Chores of the Childless

I have heard it said before that having a baby changes everything. I knew this was true when I found myself incredibly grateful to be able to sleep in until 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Pre-parent me would have died a little inside if someone had told her that there would come a day when she would view a 7 a.m. wake-up call or an unaccompanied trip to Target as major things to look forward to, but three years of parenthood does strange, awful things to our psyches.

Much like war.

We even start to miss some of the household chores we did before we spawned, surely a sign that we’re more foregone than we thought. Right now, if given the choice between mopping my kitchen floor without my three-year-old’s “help” and going to the spa, I’d choose the mop. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Join me as I lust after the altogether sexy chores only people without children enjoy.

chores of the childless

1. Ironing

I have not ironed anything since my three-year-old was born because the act of ironing implies you care about how you look, and since I’m a parent I obviously don’t. I have earned my mom jeans, my mustard stains, and the bags under my eyes, dagnabbit, and I won’t have unwrinkled clothes belying my look. Sloppy Mom Chic is a look and I must #WerkIt.


This image from the Betty Crocker website is a complete and utter lie and must be stopped.

2. Baking

I always want to punch my friends in the face when they share photos on Facebook of the culinary creations they claim to have baked with the assistance of their children. This is because it is absolutely, totally impossible to bake anything other than processed tubes of cookie dough when you are in the presence of a child. Whether they know it or not, all children (especially babies) have a death wish and want to crawl inside the oven. So that’s out.

3. Folding Laundry

In my freewheeling childless days, I used to fold all my laundry, including my underwear and socks. I even created little dividers in my closet to keep things organized, doubtlessly while sipping cosmos in kneehigh boots. Now, if the clothes make it to the room they (theoretically) belong in without my daughter kamikaze jumping into the hamper and/or ripping out all the seams of our clothing, I call it a day.

happy duster

Look at this lady who is just pumped to do some cleaning. Notice that there are no children around her. Her duster is her child, and my guess is that it isn’t going to demand snacks that it has no intention of eating.

4. Cleaning Upholstery

Before my daughter was born, I fancied myself Mrs. Adulty Adulterson and I washed our sofa slipcover every week, whether it needed it or not. (It never actually did since I know how to eat a Goldfish cracker, unlike some people I know.) Now that my sofa is covered in years-old spittup, juice, crumbs, possible dead rodents, and a variety of other bodily fluids, I lack any energy to toss it in with the laundry. Instead, I have simply placed a ban on all blacklights in my home. What you can’t see won’t hurt you.

5. Polishing Silver

Instead of caring for my belongings that have actual value like my grandmother’s silverware, I now spend my time duct taping our $3 copy of The Pokey Little Puppy back together for the 37th time. Mimi’s heirloom chafing dish is just going to have to tarnish ad finitum because my child has not yet mastered the concept that if she loves something, she shouldn’t, y’know, destroy it.

She's laughing all the way to the bank.

She’s laughing all the way to the bank.

6. Going to the Dry Cleaners

Once upon a time, I had money to spend on cleaning my niceish, dry-clean-only clothing. Then, on a day that will go down in infamy, my daughter developed a taste for Babybel. Congrats, Laughing Cow, for being the proud recipient of 90% of our yearly household earnings.

7. Yard Work

My husband and I have tried to include our daughter in the care of our yard. We’ve shown her how to pull weeds, pick up sticks, and water the begonias. But the instant we break out the 18″ pruning sheers that could slice her in half, she wants nothing but to be in on that action. And thus, our backyard jungle flourishes.

8. Cleaning Out Closets

I would love nothing more than to perform a colon cleanse on all the closets in our house. We are knee-deep in Boppy pillows, baby carseats, and the roughly 72,000 items of clothing Cee has outgrown, and all I want is to get that crap out so we can make room for more crap. Unfortunately, three-year-old’s have this real neat habit of screaming like their toenails are being pulled out the moment you threaten to throw out their old stuff. That’s a battle I’m just not choosing. Go ahead, judge me.

So, what do I do now? Here is a list of the chores that now occupy my time:

1. Laundry

2. Laundry

3. Laundry

4. Laundry

5. Laundry

6. Laundry



  1. Yes there is a lot of laundry with children. I did three loads everyday over a twenty year period wore out the agitator of my washing machine. It does get better.

    1. Washing machines are the unsung heroes of parenthood. We all really should raise a glass to them.

      1. You are so right! Cheers to my Inglis washing machine. It last almost 30 years and was outstanding.

        1. Ingles washing machine, I salute you!

          1. Thumbs up!

  2. I know that laundry never ends. You’re never done with that one! Funny post, Em.

    1. Thanks, Amy. Laundry and the vacuuming. The endless, endless vacuuming of things you never thought you’d have to vacuum up, like the paper labels off mayonnaise jars.

  3. Hehe! Punching fake bakers in the face is hilarious! I have a 15,12 & 10 year old, and know the Betty Crocker ad to be a total sham! It’s possible, and great now though!

    1. I think they told all those kids they would get a pony if they just acted like they were having fun during the photo shoot.

  4. Love this. Great piece that had me laughing from start to finish.

  5. So true!! 😄

    1. I speaketh the trutheth. Or something.

      Thanks for reading.

  6. Hahaha! My sister is pregnant and she’s been hogging up all the attention from family for a while now. I can’t wait to show this post to her ;)

    1. Oh, she has a pretty rude awakening coming her way. It’s all fun and games until a baby spits up on your crotch.

  7. Ha! The only thing that happens more than laundry in our house, is…dishes. I STILL think you can consider yourself Mrs. Adulty Adulterson btw even if you don’t clean the upholstery. And closet colon cleanse? HA! We need a few of those…

    1. We do an ungodly amount of dishes too. You’d think we were feeding a small army.

  8. Whenever in the future I start to think I might want a child, remind me to come back and read the intro to this post. Thanks in advance ;)

    1. Pretty much my entire blog is fantastic birth control.

  9. Mine are 20 and 23 now, I still do a lot of laundry but it’s a lot nicer when there aren’t any little onsesies to fold.

    1. I never quite knew what to do when it came to folding onesies. It’s kind of like cleaning the attic: you *could* do it, but why?

  10. Haha! This made me laugh and cry! I love this! Everything you said resonated with me and is so true! Gosh, we had it good before kids, didn’t we?!!? THank you for sharing me and reminding me that I’m not the only Mom who feels like she’s totally lost her mind. :) I love your writing and look forward to reading more!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I have totally and completely lost my mind. You certainly aren’t the only one.

  11. Hahaha all of this is true. My girlfriend managed to bring her 5 and 3 year old girls around to the idea of discarding their old things, she showed them an amazing out door play set and said if they wanted it they would have to earn the money. So she “bought” their toys that were broken or they didn’t want anymore and any clothes that no longer fit and for each one she would put the money into a piggy bank. Come Christmas time they got their play set (Santa helped out, but they had to leave their money with the cookies and milk) and over a couple of months my girlfriend got a cleaned out house hahaha. She is so clever :) I don’t think that would work with a few other kids I have met, but a cool idea none the less :)

    1. That is genius! Stealing that idea!

      1. I know right?! She is so smart! I am in awe of her clever Mum abilities and ideas :)

  12. I can’t help thinking, after reading this, that there ought to be a “Would You Rather” version for parents. It would include such dilemmas as… Would you rather have an uninterrupted night of sleep or an uninterrupted night of love making? Would you rather go unaccompanied to Target or the doctor? Oh we could go on forever… Or at least until Cee gets peanut butter all over the cards…

    1. Dude, that is one high stakes game. Would you rather have a day where no one tells you “no” or no one asks you “why”? ETHICAL DILEMMA.

  13. Ha! I am reliving all your joy right now as I have Lillian for four nights. FOUR NIGHTS???!!!! What was I thinking?

    1. It’s a good thing she’s so cute! And that you eventually get to give her back to her parents!

  14. When my kids were toddlers my favorite chore was vacuuming because it was the only thing that would drown them out. Now that they’re 5 & 6, we took the leap and bought a new couch (leather composite that has turned out to be nearly indestructible) because I could no longer allow guests to sit on a couch that had been peed on more times than the actual toilet. It does get a little better as they get older but the laundry just gets worse!

    1. Dude, I LOVE vacuuming! Sometimes it’s the only way I can get her to clear the room. I hope an indestructible sofa is in our future!

  15. I waited until my son was asleep and then threw his (old) toys out. Yes, I threw away Legos. I did, I did, I did. And I would do it again. Of course, I donated anything that was serviceable, like the complete Millenium Falcon kit. But, I figured if he didn’t stuff it under his sleeping body, then how much could he really want it, right? Save that duct-taped book. (I will admit to being the mom who could bake with her kids. Don’t judge. I would rather suffer cooking with my son than playing Hot Wheels.)

    1. I throw away toys all the time, especially if I’ve told her a billion times to put it away and she doesn’t.

  16. The laundry and dirty dishes – a never ending task…Polishing silver and dry cleaners…haha..what are these anyway? :( ;) :P

    1. I don’t know but I think they exist at the end of the rainbow.

  17. I understand the heart of this post, Emily. I do (despite the fact that I am not part of its target audience). As a woman who has suffered 7 years of infertility and 4 miscarriages, I would give anything for a three-year-old’s “help”. Quite honestly, I would give anything for a living three-year-old.

    With heart,

    1. Dani, I’m sorry if this post was insensitive. Despite my jokes, not a day goes by when I am not intensely grateful for my daughter.

      1. It really wasn’t insensitive, Emily. I know I’m not your target audience. I just wanted you to know that I’d give anything to sit in your Mother’s seat and have your view. Truly.

        With heart,

  18. Ha. I love this. I’m glad you pulled it from the drafts folder. Or from beneath the laundry piles. Wherever it was hiding.

    1. Probably behind my seldom-used sexy underwear. That’s where dreams go to die.

  19. 2 and 8 hit home like whoa. Especially 8.
    Somehow, after moving twice and then becoming a mom and after not working for 1.5 years, I have a ton of clothes that I no longer wear or no longer feel fit my new sense of self. But finding time to clear it all out? Ugh.

    1. So do I! And what clothes I do still have left from the pre-kid days don’t even fit, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of them. A girl can dream.

      1. It took until my son was 13 before I finally got rid of the “old me” clothes. He is now 20. I find myself buying “old me” clothes again. I had some really nice old me clothes; the new ones aren’t quite so nice. Oh, well. The kids are priceless.

  20. Reblogged this on frazzled, but blessed and commented:
    I just had to share this page! Wanna know what Mommyhood is all about? Read on! Hilarious!

  21. I laughed while reading this! My non-mommy friends never understand my need to relax. “But you are at home…like all the time, every day.” Thanks for bringing a fresh look into parenthood!

    1. OMG, do people still really believe that stay at home parents just hang out and eat bonbons all day? SMH

  22. Reblogged this on fashion.

  23. Oh my God…the Goldfish cracker line. BAH HAHAHAHAHA! And for the record, I never ironed. Also, Babybel. Michael also loves those. He needs to get a finer taste in things aren’t so expensive.

    1. Seriously! One morning Cece is going to wake up to discover that she’s morphed into a disk of cheese. She’ll basically be the preschool version of Gregor Samsa. (Feel free to write that children’s book, BTW.)

  24. At one point when my children were little I considered swapping laundry with a neighbor because my own clothes bored me to death! Sadly this is true.

    1. I totally get it. Cleaning anybody’s house other than my own has real appeal.

  25. Lol.. Great list! Laundry definitely seems never ending with kids.

  26. Reblogged this on Viaje de mami and commented:
    My baby is still 2 months old, but after reading this post I know what I can expect! Good one!

  27. My baby is only 2 months old, and already laundry is the number one list! Good one!

  28. bisimodupe1975 · · Reply

    A mum’s job is a 24/7 work. You manage to close your eyes for a restful sleep only to hear the alarm go off when your body and mind are just settling into bed. Blessings to all Mums!

  29. Very clever and sadly true! Hope to see you in NYC?

    1. I will be there with bells! Can’t wait to see you!!!!

  30. I love this!!! Every bit of it is so true. Especially the chore list at the end! I have three little girls so you can imagine what that’s like!

  31. Loved your writing style! So fresh and fun!
    In India we do have the support of maids who help out with laundary! There are of course so many other different challenges here as a mom!
    Its amazing how culturally we all have our different styles and yet universally are bonded by the fact that we are moms :)

    1. Amen to that!

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