The other day as I was walking down the hallway to the bedrooms, I looked down and noticed a few combination dust/fur balls had formed. Nothing new. We have two dogs and a cat and light wood floors. It’s hard to miss Black Labrador fur on anything. But, what was new was the fact that I didn’t reach down and pick them up. Nor did I run to get the vacuum cleaner. I just kept walking. When I got to my bedroom I sort of froze. Did I really ignore those pesky balls of dust and fur that normally drive me crazy? Yes, I did. It was at that moment I realized something very important, life-changing almost. I wasn’t Monica anymore!
Yes, Monica. As in the obsessive-compulsive clean freak character from the TV show “Friends.” My family and friends have lovingly referred to me as Monica for years. Now though, my days of being her were gone! Okay, I shouldn’t get carried away. I’d be mortified if anyone other than my husband and kids saw those bundles of filth. I’m still neat and clean; I’m just not a FREAK about it anymore. As I sat thinking about this, I realized over the past four and a half years I had slowly let things go. However, there was no asking why this happened. The answer was clear and they were both looking right at me. In that timeframe, I had two kids.
I’m not saying that motherhood made me a slob, far from it, but it made me not care so much. Time went from being somewhat frivolous to very precious. Long gone are the minuscule messes my husband and I made. We now have two kids to contend with. We’ve always had pets, so constantly vacuuming up fur and cleaning nose marks off our sliding glass door are nothing new. With kids though, it’s a whole new ballgame. They are MESSY! I’m not just talking about picking up toys off the floor. I’m talking about poopy diapers, snotty noses (and the mounds of tissue that form as a result), tons of dirty dishes and bottles, spills and stains, endless loads of laundry, rips, tears, dirt, sand, puke and the smell of urine (if you have a boy toddler, your bathroom will always slightly smell like pee. No joke). Who has time to be Monica when all of this is going on? Not me.
I used to clean my house weekly. I don’t mean I ran the vacuum cleaner; I deep cleaned. Back when I was working, we were fortunate enough to have someone clean our house every other week and even then I still cleaned. Now, I just run the vacuum. Well, not really, but cleaning doesn’t consume me anymore. I have too many other responsibilities including a house that is work in progress (that’s a topic for another day) and not enough time. I have two wonderful children and a husband that I’d rather be spending time with, plus a million other things I’d rather be doing than mopping floors. I’ll always be neat and clean (it’s part of my DNA), but I’ve learned there are more important things to focus on. What’s one more ball to juggle anyhow? So for now the balancing act continues. The combination dust/fur balls can wait.
I wonder about one thing though. When “Friends” ended, Monica and her husband, Chandler, had just adopted twin babies. If the show had continued, would they have changed Monica’s character to reflect her mom status? I certainly hope so. If you think about it, the life of a mom is quite comical. Well, if you have the right attitude that is. I think audiences, especially moms, would have enjoyed seeing her go from placing furniture at just the right angle to having stains on her shirt, toys all over her floors and dishes piled in the sink. I also hope that at some point, her character would have learned to just roll with it. I know I have.