A Note to My Children, Aged 43 and 5/12

Disregard my previous missive.

While that advice may have been sound – in a low-level survivalist sort of way – it was ordered toward others rather than centered on you.

Yes, it suggested simple ways to keep the lid on things at home with small children – and you would be the one responsible for completing them – but that’s the only part of YOU that factored into that equation.

It put you at the center of others’ judgment of you – via your home and your housekeeping skills.

Rather than giving you the legacy of neurosis founded on society’s standards of good parenting and homemaking, I challenge you to give yourself the gift of not caring what unexpected guests think of your house; of not deriving your own worth based on how the physical place you share with a slew of other people with their own free wills and sets of hands and collections of things looks.

And if you want to stay in your pajamas all day, please do so without explaining yourself to anyone. You work damn hard and deserve a comfy pair of pants when you want them.

A Note to My Children, Aged 34 and 7/8

Always wipe the table free of crumbs after dinner.  You will not have time to do it in the .5 second panic tomorrow morning when someone unexpectedly rings the doorbell.

Likewise with sweeping the crumbs that got knocked onto the floor.  Toys strewn across the floor you can blame on kids; crumbs may have been made by the kids, but people start thinking you’re unclean if you leave them lying around.  I know, it’s unfair.

As much as you enjoy staying in your pajamas, your flannels should not see 2PM.  It’s kind of hard to explain that away unless you’re sick – again, to the unexpected visitor.

Clean your stairs.  Well, the parts that don’t get swiffed clean by stampeding feet.  The corners where Dust E. Bunny and his wig making factory reside.  This is especially essential if you live in a cape like your mother has chosen to do two times over (!?) as your front door opens directly onto the stairs.

In other words, keep a modicum of clean in your house.  You know not when the unexpected visitor ringeth.

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