Oh Crap! Grandma’s Coming!

Posted by on June 15, 2009

One might have thought, from the title, that this was one of those wacky, sitcom-esque “Oh no! My mom’s on her way. Hide the porn/bong/vice of your choice!” kind of posts. Heh. If only…

The real story is that my stepmom will be here in TWO days. She just called me up out of the clear blue and told me she was coming for my son’s birthday on Wednesday. I’m glad she’s coming because she hasn’t seen my kids in two years. TWO YEARS!

I’m not glad, however, that I only have two days notice to prepare—that just isn’t enough. You see, my house has become something of a craphole in the past year. There. I said it. And I have way too much crapholey-ness to address and no time to do it:

• my carport only needs an old sofa, or perhaps a bench seat from a long-gone car, to make it truly white trash—it’s crammed with bikes, scooters, a spaghetti pot (WTH?), leaves, spider webs, a rusty old wagon, empty chalk containers, old jump ropes, a couple traffic cones and numerous pairs of dirty, outgrown fake Crocs that I keep saying I’m going to clean and give to Goodwill but probably never will

• the status of my backyard is what used to be a “work-in-progress” (soon to be downgraded to “abandoned-project” status) and it looks like complete crap.

• 98% of my grass died over our cold, dry winter and thanks to the recent weeks of torrential rain, bajillions of monster-sized weeds have taken up residence EVERYWHERE, even in the cracks of my driveway

• Earlier in the week, in a feeble attempt to address the clutter, I started going through stuff and getting ready for a yard sale. I have stacks and containers of yard sale shit everywhere

• I have about 15 loads of laundry to do to get the giant piles out of the bedrooms and hallway

• my sofa slipcovers are profoundly filthy. I tend to resist washing them because they’re the biggest pain in the ass to put back on but now I have to…

• The dustbunnies on my baseboards and in the corners probably have teeth

• every door, doorframe, glass door and mirror in this house needs a good wipe down thanks to sticky, dirty little hands that must. touch. everything.

• my kids…they make messes faster than I could ever hope to clean them up and getting them to do it? Puh…don’t make me laugh. The drama, the crying… They win every time.

• the clutter. OMFG…the clutter.

When did everything get so out of control? Ugh…I don’t know. I just know I have more work than I can possibly get done and two birthday parties to get ready for (one for school and one for home) And? I haven’t gotten birthday presents yet, either. How did I let everything get away from me to this degree? Where do I even start?

I’m not kidding about any of this.  I swore we’d never be those people who had kids and then became filthmongers and yet here we are, mired in it.  I’m truly overwhelmed and disgusted with myself and I can feel the anxiety building. Thank God for Xanax

All I really want to do is take a nap.

Someone please tell me I’m not alone. Lie to me if you have to.


So what happened? Read the follow-up here


  • Becky says:

    First: Call a maid service and have them come do the wiping and the cleaning. Sometimes it’s worth it to drop a little cash to get something off your plate.

    After you’ve scheduled the maid, start a load of laundry. After all, the machine does most of the work, once you take the first step.

    Admit now that you aren’t going to touch the yard or the project. Deciding to just let it go will take a huge load off. Life is a work in progress, not the finished look.

    Do your best to declutter. This is the hard part for me, too. I usually end up with piles of crap all around my office, but at least I can close the door.

    Try to let go of the resentment of not being visited for two years. We had this exact thing happen to us, and frankly, it’s hard to let it go. It’s her loss more than yours, so maybe try feeling a bit sorry for her. After all, she’s not just missing your sweet lovely kids now, she’s diminishing the relationship she’ll get to have with them in the future.
    .-= Becky’s last blog post…Hairs cut =-.

  • beachmom says:

    trashbags are your greatest friend. I do major cleanup with three trashbags … one for trash, one for “it goes somewhere else” and the third for giveaway … 90% of the time I throw out all three (or donate the giveaway and throw away the other two) because the de-cluttering feels so good I don’t want to re-distribute it. You can even put the trashbags in the back yard, if you want to wait until SM leaves to figure out what to do with it.

    Most importantly (from my humble opinion) if she hasn’t visited in that long, don’t invest too much time trying to impress her – she isn’t worth it, your kids are!!
    .-= beachmom’s last blog post…Monday monday =-.

    • IzzyMom says:

      When I do actually clean (clearly not often enough) I do something similar with laundry baskets. Of course, because I don’t do laundry often enough either, they’re usually full :\

  • Mayopie says:

    How can I say this without sounding opportunistic at your expense? So… you say you have an old spaghetti pot you’re not using. I don’t know…. I might be interested in something like that, you know, to help you out with your clutter issue. It’s not like I need one really bad or anything. Does it have handles? A lid? Do you have pics? I mean, it’s not like I need pics. It’s a spaghetti pot, right? You put water in it, boil it and bam! Pasta. Ok, I want it. What do we need to do for me to drive that pot home today?
    .-= Mayopie’s last blog post…Encyclopedias, Manginas and Pancreatic emanations =-.

  • Or you could hire a cleaning service. I did. The clutter is still here, but the dirt is gone. *grin*

  • Jessica McKee says:

    I like the idea of hiring a cleaning service, abandoning the outdoor project, and starting a load of laundry.

    Now, choose one room at a time to tackle. The most embarrassing room, the room you’ll spend the most time in, whatever, and get it satisfactory. I can always think a little more clearly when I have one tidy room to sit in.

    I think you also need to call on the hubby to help out, after all, it’s his mother. If he and the kids can really be helpful, put them to work! If not, send him away with the children for many hours so you can clean without them making more messes.

  • love, love, LOVE the idea of hiring someone to come in and clean for you! Let them deal with the “dirty” and you can deal with the “messy.”

    And because I haven’t seen anyone else make you feel better by either telling the truth about their own personal shitholes or outright lying about being a filthy swine family, I’ll help you out…

    I have about 4 loads of laundry to do – not counting the loads currently sitting in the washer AND dryer.
    My garage smells like a litterbox – no joke – and the treadmill in said garage has more cobwebs than the corners of my ceilings (a difficult feat, believe you me).
    My husband actually tucked an old fleece blanket onto my baby’s bed to act as a sheet…srsly. And I’m too lazy to trade it out. :S
    I have 2 stacks of clothes I’m hoping to give away to my nieces…that are in LOUISIANA and I’m in PORTLAND…I’m betting that won’t EVER get done.
    I have so many baby bouncers, swings, clothes and toys that need, need, need to be donated to some family/person that will enjoy them but I just don’t have the time to get around to it.
    My yard is a joke. For real. The areas that DO have grass are so overgrown it’s comical and the areas that DON’T have grass (and there are more than these than the other) are pathetic. And weeds – are you kidding me? I can’t find the weeds from the dog poo littering my yard!

    So there – I hope that helps. You’re not alone, you’re not a pig, you’re not a terrible person – you’re a busy mom who is most likely more worried about the well-being of her children than the fastidious cleanliness of her home. And rubber couch and floor covers are over-rated so OWN IT GIRL! ; )

    Oh – and to heck with SM. She can’t drag her butt over to see your wee ones in two years then a little mess is just what she deserves – in fact, you could crumble cheetos on the chair so she leaves with an orange ass….hehehe…Yep. I’m goin’ to hell.
    .-= PineappleBabble’s last blog post…sucked into the TWILIGHT zone =-.

  • Cara says:

    I’m not going to go into details, but let me just say that you are NOT alone. My husband came home today and said, “WHAT HAPPENED?!” because the house had degenerated, in one day, beyond all recognition.
    .-= Cara’s last blog post…The Time Has Come =-.

  • Michele says:

    I’ll spare you the torrid details, but no. You’re not alone.
    .-= Michele’s last blog post…Look – Shiny! =-.

  • Jessica says:

    DEFINITELY not alone! Great post.
    .-= Jessica’s last blog post…Totally Plugging Myself =-.

  • Jodi says:

    I so feel for you – definitely not alone! I have all the same yard/carport/laundry/kitchen (you didn’t mention dishes and pantries!)/clutter/WTF how did this happen??? issues that you do:-) But a few years ago I decided that I was going to own 3 areas of the house…the entry, the living room and the dining room. Since then I never, ever let these areas have any clutter. I make the kids clean up their stuff from those areas every evening. If they don’t or I for some reason give up – I move their stuff into the hallway. And we have no paperwork or anything there…that all goes into our (very messy) office space. So the dishes stay in the kitchen, the paperwork/mail stays in the office area, the crazy messes stay in the playroom, the kids clothes stay in their rooms, etc. So at the end of the day, I sit down in my living room and appreciate how i have NO CLUTTER anywhere in my view:-) It is honestly really easy to keep these few spaces clean of clutter and messes. GOOD LUCK!!!
    .-= Jodi’s last blog post…White House Veggie Garden =-.

    • IzzyMom says:

      I love the idea of having a clean, uncluttered space to chill in… Once I have this damn yard sale and unload a bunch of crap, I’ll try it.

  • Christina says:

    You’re SO not alone! While reading I was starting to wonder if you somehow looked in my windows. We have mountains of clothing in various piles in the upstairs. You can’t see the top of my dresser due to the piles of clothing.

    And wow do I need a carpet cleaning. There are so many stains from kid spills, cat vomit, etc.

    Our backyard is also nothing but weeds. Our crappy soil couldn’t keep the grass growing, and now the yard is filled with crabgrass and thistles. Ick.

    I’m slowly trying to find time to clean one little area at a time, but it’s not working. As soon as I clean an area, I get stuck moving other stuff to that area when I clean the next one.
    .-= Christina’s last blog post…Unwanted on 1st Day of Camp – A New Record! =-.

  • Tracey says:

    You are so not alone and I am not lying. Are you sure you’re not describing me and my house? Especially the part about getting round to taking stuff to Goodwill. In fact, there are probably enough of us, that we should band together, and defend the right to be messy!

    With my place, I’m too embarrassed to have a cleaner come in. Our clean-ups, too, are visitor driven – in fact, if I start getting stuck into any sort of cleaning, the kids ask if we are having visitors.

    Like me, you probably need a long term plan to systematically dejunk your life – but it isn’t going to happen in two days, so.. there’s no point stressing. Take the advice some people give me – the visitor is coming to see you, not your house.. or should be. Do a quick whip around before she comes, and then shrug the rest off for the visit and concentrate on good food and good company.

    I’m in the middle of trying to do something about our place, and I’ve decided the only approach is to try to clean up or chuck out something every day. Somedays it will only be something small, others something more major. (Today I’m cleaning out the plastics cupboard. Arggh!) Instead of having a big yard sale/garage sale (as we call them here), I’m putting out stuff on the kerb with a ‘free’ sign. Got rid of a pile of unused beach toys like that the other day.

    Good luck!
    .-= Tracey’s last blog post…I can see clearly now. =-.

    • IzzyMom says:

      I looove getting rid of stuff. It’s a great feeling. And if I ever decide I’m masochistic enough to try Freecycling again, I’ll get rid of tons more stuff.

  • Aprylsantics says:

    From the comments it sounds like we’re all kindred spirits who should only hang out with each other and make firm commitments to NOT cleaning up for when we get together.

    I know exactly how you feel. Sadly, I’m too late to the party to give you any suggestions because she’s coming TODAY. Since I know who she is, I say just fuck it. But, I know you won’t and I wouldn’t, either. I spend a lot of time making it look like we don’t live here when “people” come to visit.

    Hopefully, she will spend more time making up for time with the kids–which she SHOULD be doing.

    I wish I was there to help!

  • Swear to God, I found in my hall closet the other day a HUGE WAD of bed linens—-with half-eaten Jello cups in the middle of the pile. Nice. So it looks like my kids HAVE learned how to clean the house from their mom. I am such a good role model.

  • Don’t even get me started on my carpets. I live in one of those nice, suburban houses in a nice suburban neighborhood where every other mom on the block has a neat and spotless house. And then there’s me, too busy to give a crap if my house is fully decluttered.

    My floors are dirty enough you can’t eat off them. Yet I do from time to time. :)
    .-= Jeannie Anderson’s last blog post…Crack you up, huh? Pun intended? Maybe I should ha… =-.

  • Virginia says:

    Heh, heh, heh. You had me laughing out loud! And than, I realized you were not talking about my house! Oh gawd! The clutter has a mind of it’s own. It just piles and piles and piles. I smelled a funny smell one day (well, actually I could not locate and it was there for months) and it bothered me. Sniff, sniff….sniff. Finally found it in the hall closet – the moldy tube of cream cheese! UGH! If you really find the solution to all this that does not involve moving and starting over by leaving it all…………let me know.

  • Poppy Buxom says:

    Crisis cleaning and I are old, old friends. This is what I find works best:

    1. Hire a maid service if at all possible.

    2. Prioritize. Clean the kitchen and the bathroom she’ll be using. The living/family room where you’ll be hanging out. The entry way where she’ll walk into the house. Don’t worry about your bedroom, the kids’ bedrooms, or the office.

    3. Declare at least one off-limits area. In my case, it’s the basement. My office works, too, because it’s out of the way. Move the overload into the off-limits area and close the door.

    4. It’s not too late to Freecycle big crap. After we had air conditioning installed, I freecycled four huge hulking window units in a matter of two days.

    5. Can you hire someone to mow the lawn/whack the weeds?

    Good luck!

  • Elisa says:

    You are not alone! I’m so glad my mom lives in the other side of the planet. And when she comes, like you, I’m in a panic. And then I sit down and blog ;-)
    .-= Elisa’s last blog post…Everyone is a “don’t” sometimes. Or: the one where I was in such a hurry I left all my glamour at home. =-.

  • Jane says:


  • Blogging is brutal on a girl’s house! When I started blogging in 2006 my house went to ruins. I finally gave in and hired someone to clean, but the clutter – oh the freakin never ending clutter! I just want to move to get away from it. Pack up the essentials and abandon the rest. I am pretty sure we will live without it all… but I don’t know… that spaghetti pot might come in handy… you never know… (and that is why I live in clutter.)
    .-= Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)’s last blog post…5 Minutes for Books: Summer Bridge Activities =-.

    • IzzyMom says:

      Oh man…I daydream about moving and leaving 90% of our crap behind. Unfortunately, I, too, suffer from “I might NEED this someday” syndrome. It’s a sickness…

  • Cirrus says:

    I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE! I was starting to think I was the only one who couldn’t keep up with the house, the kids, work, hubby, etc. Thank you!

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