That sticky soy sauce stain stares me down. It’s only been two days since we had stir fry, but the saucy spot taunts me. I grab my mop.
Let’s do this.
I fill the mop with water, plug it in, and wait for that steamy sound. Ah, music to my ears; the sound of clean! The steam mop is my BFF. She makes my life a little easier. I just pray the kids are busy long enough for me to mop the kitchen. But you know, getting 10 minutes of peace and quiet is a miracle. Honestly, mopping the floors was the last thing on my mind. I’m very pregnant, tired, sore, and bloated.
I start mopping near the fridge and continue on my usual cleaning route. Moments later my daughter runs downstairs to show off her airplane made of mega blocks.
“Look, mama! Swoosh, swoosh! An air-o-planeee!,” she shouts.
Her little brother follows behind her. He holds up his smaller block creation.
“Meow!” he squeals.
They quickly run back upstairs to build more airplanes and animals.
Back to work.
I see some stickers stuck to the floor. Yeah, they’ve been there for at least a month, much longer than that pesky soy sauce. I hold the mop over the alphabet stickers until the adhesive melts away. A twinge of satisfaction fills my soul. The mop glides over a chocolate milk stain by the bottom of the stairs. The kids had a chocolate milk fight on Monday. Oh, what fun! Ah, I’m finally done. Just in time. Here come the kids.
“Careful, kids! Floors are wet! Let’s go play outside,” I say with a tired smile.
Does anybody even care that I mopped the floors today?
Will anybody notice how shiny the tile is?
I had a face-off with the soy sauce, chocolate milk, and alphabet stickers. Me and Mop=1 Stains=0.
Yes, I won the battle of the sticky floors this afternoon, but does it make any difference?
I could’ve left the stains. My husband wouldn’t care. He’s always happy for a clean house, and he’s the first one to help tidy up. But he rarely complains about the messes of life and parenthood. (He’s a good one like that.) The mop is my BFF; a constant companion in the tiring days of toddlerhood. We will tackle stains together for many years to come. And no matter how many times I mop, there will always be another sticky spot on the floor.
This is motherhood–sticky soy sauce stains and little victories. It’s doing the small things that go unnoticed day in and day out. Motherhood means loving your people in all the little things, even mopping the floors. Yes, mopping is motherhood. And it’s important.
How many messes will we make during dinner tonight?
What memories will I mop up tomorrow?
Yes, I’ll mop, and mop, and mop some more. And then I’ll go build a cat out of mega blocks.
P.S. If you don’t already have a steam mop, get one! It’s life-changing.
Originally published November 2019.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.