My Way or the Highway

I’m not an especially consistent housekeeper.  But I am a recovering control freak.  I really like things to be done my way.  You don’t have to do things my way, but I’d rather not be in the room to see you not doing things my way.

I have a system.

I have a system.  It does NOT look this way when the boys cook.  

Sometimes I let the kids make breakfast.  I can’t be in there when it happens.  My oldest reads a recipe just fine, his daddy is a laid back supervisor, so they don’t need me hovering.  It’s fine; I should let them do it more often.


One of my boys – the one who can read – asked to make cupcakes by himself and then got pretty upset with me when I mise en place(d) nearly all the ingredients and had an adult make the frosting.  And he was right.  He could have done it with me sitting in the other room, nearby for consultation.

I realize that, being well past the age of thirty, it isn’t fair to blame my parents but I am this way because my mother taught me to clean the bathroom.  She has a system.  It begins with a mostly dry rag (because the bathroom is already damp) to wipe along the edges of the room to get up all the hairs that accumulate there, folding the rag as you go to keep the dirt inside and a perpetually clean side wiping the floor.  Other steps follow in precise order.  It’s a good system.  The bathroom gets clean.  But other methods work as well.  And rebel that I am, sometimes I sweep instead of wiping.

So how does one teach excellence, a job well-done, without getting stressed?  Without being a nag?



3 thoughts on “My Way or the Highway

  1. Julie says:

    Me too! I struggle with this – like the boys cleaning their bathroom. I try to leave them alone to do it, but it has to pass inspection. And the kitchen? If they would just – for the love of Pete – clean up after themselves! I leave notes: “When you do the dishes, finish by emptying the drain-catcher-thing, wipe up all the water around the sink, and wipe the crumbs off the counter.” But I still have to remind them. I wonder if their future wives will think I never taught them anything.


  2. anitvan says:

    Recovering control freak here, too. It’s why I hated baking with my own kids. The mess, you know? Oddly, with the grandkids, I could care less about the mess and the less than perfect results. It’s a process…

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