Mom lives the dream: quietly quitting household chores to see if her family notices

Practically every mom I know occasionally daydreams about quitting-doing-all-the-things. Sometimes the impulse is born of exhaustion. Sometimes it's the relentless daily tedium of cleaning, cooking, reminding, over and over and over without end. And sometimes it's the desire for someone else to notice that these things actually need to be done and someone has to actually do it.

Even moms who share chores with spouses and kids often find themselves carrying the mental load of figuring out what needs to be done, monitoring whether it's getting done, and organizing who's doing what, and reminding/nagging/harassing her family members until it gets done. Sometimes moms just want to let all of that go and see what happens.

That's what a mom who goes by Miss Potkin on Twitter did this week. Channeling the fed-upness of mothers everywhere, she just up and stopped doing household chores to see what would happen. Two days later, she began sharing the saga in a Twitter thread that's as entertaining as it is satsifying.

Letting go and letting your family sit in their own filth until they can't take it anymore takes patience and discipline. There's a reason moms generally do-all-the-things regardless of how cooperative the family is. We don't want to live in a mess. But she stuck to her guns.

For a minute, things were looking promising with the garbage being taken out.

However, the dishes still remained mysteriously undone. As did the laundry.

"There is a pan on the cooker with a single sausage in it," she wrote. "It's been there for two days. I can't look at it because it's turned the colour of the man that washes up in Cast Away."

Oh, and the downstairs bathroom is out of toilet paper.

Those who might feel judgy at this point likely live with people who are naturally neat, or just can't fathom themselves how someone could let a sausage sit for two days. But take it from a mom who let go of policing her kids' bedrooms to see how long it would take them to decide to clean on their own—some human beings are willing to overlook all manner of mess and filth before it becomes too much.

And sometimes they have to learn firsthand the amount of extra work such obliviousness leads to.

Hilariously, even though the dishwasher finally did get loaded, that's basically all that happened. Miss Potkin shared a video tour of the kitchen with the extraneous things that didn't get done or got half-done.

Of course, the negative Nancies showed up to voice their judgmental opinions about her experiment, her home, her family, her choice of husband, and everything else because moms literally can't catch a break. It's a silly, fun exercise to make a point that millions of moms can relate to. If it doesn't apply to you, move along, Nance.

"We do not 'live like this,'" she wrote. "This is a lesson in wanting to be heard and respected and not having to repeat yourself when things slip. We're navigating the day-to-day in extraordinary times and for me, the past two days have been funnier than anything else. I think we're all entitled to run our own experiments, be amused, push a situation to its limit if we so choose. No one needs to be lectured by those that have failed to see the silly joy in what's happening here."

And the experiment slowly started paying off as someone replaced the toilet paper.

But the dishwasher...

"We keep our homes tidy because love," Miss Potkin wrote. "We cook food and set tables and fill the air with scents of roses and fresh laundry because love. Love is patient but love is also fucking tired because she works 14 hour days."

"I know we are ALL tired," she added, "but I am most tired. Me. I AM ALL THE TIRED."

All the moms are all the tired.

Miraculously, it only took three days of being completely hands-off for her family to take note and clean the house.

Lesson learned. Mission accomplished. Let's hope it sticks.

Moms are not always the ones who pick up most of the slack in a household, but they usually are. And when that work is taken for granted, it sucks. When everyone in the house pays more attention and takes the initiative to tidy, neaten, clean, replace, launder, put away, etc., moms are less stressed and tired and everyone benefits. If it take up and quitting for a while to help the family see it, so be it.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

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