A Dust Cloth and Some Tunes: A Working Mom’s Experience of Motherhood and Control

When life feels like it's spinning out of control, what do you do? One mother shares how she's able to get a grip on motherhood and control: cleaning.

Motherhood is one heck of a an emotional roller-coaster. You voluntarily get on the ride, knowing there will be hills, dips, and loops, but have no control over when, and in what sequence they will come. Between policy and procedure changes at work that cause me stress, to my children picking up the weekly bug at daycare, much of my life feels entirely out of my control. Sure, I control how I react to unforeseen life stressors, but at times, I’m still left feeling pretty powerless.Cleaning shtuff

This past year has brought a myriad of life changes for me: a move across state lines, short-term unemployment/short-term stint as a stay-at-home-mom, a second child, a new job, and another move (this time, within the state).

This year challenged me, in many ways, and left me wondering what I do have control over. I never fancied myself a “clean freak,” and before this year, you would NEVER catch me dusting and/or polishing in my free time, but that has since changed. Albeit minor, cleaning has helped me balance motherhood and control when life feels like it’s spinning out of control.

With some circular motions and elbow grease, I can control the sparkle of the bathroom mirror. A few sweeps of the broom across the kitchen floor, and the crumb feast that littered the floor is gone.

Cleaning not only gives me the feelings of power and control that I desperately need sometimes, it also give me immediate results, which are hard to come by with most things. Working your way up to the top at work takes effort, time, and perseverance. Implementing behavior techniques with your toddler takes time and consistency to see changes. Cleaning is simple. If you do A, you get B. I like it.

 

After cleaningWhile I would like to think this crazy, change period of my life is slowing down (for now), I still rely on late night cleaning sessions to keep me sane. Give me a dust cloth, some tunes, and sleeping children, and in minutes, I’ll be a new woman.

We all handle life stressors, and motherhood, in a variety of ways. With that in mind, what do you do to manage stress and maintain feelings of power and control in your life?

 

 

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