Every now and then a friend will say something to me like, “How do you do it all?” or, even worse, refer to me as a “Supermom.” It’s totally mind boggling. It really is. I do NOT have it all together, I certainly don’t do even close to half of it, and I still haven’t gotten around to making my Supermom cape (though the fabric is purchased and stacked nicely among all the other piles of fabric for all the other projects I keep meaning to do but never seem to make their way out of my craft closet).

On these occasions, I usually chime something back like, “What? Me? Oh, honey. It’s all smoke and mirrors.” Truly, it is. I’ve actually always been pretty good at faking it, glossing things over, tidying up at the last minute, disguising and distracting. All skills that I’ve found to be massively helpful since becoming a mom, and even just since becoming a home-owner.

Truth be told, my house is never as clean as it is the mornings I host play group. So, the charade should be up now for all the play-groupie friends reading this. That level of sterile, the environment free of animal hair is not normal. My secret is out.

I’m a big believer in the power of a good spot clean. Why take the time to scour the whole thing when only a part of it looks dirty? Don’t get me wrong, the germs that live on the clean looking parts meet their match about once every week or two, but the rest of it gets special attention more often only if it actually *looks* dirty.

My husband and I have worked out a bit of a system over the last two years, dividing jobs. He loads the dishes since he can’t stand the way I don’t pre-rinse them enough (hey, only trying to save the environment), and I unload them because I can’t stand the way he has no regard for the order of things around here. I pretty much do all the laundry, including the diapers. He cleans the cat box, and the toilets. I vacuum (because I still love my Dyson so much I could lick it) and he mops. That last part is what I love the most. He mops this worst-idea-ever-thank-you-stupid-bachelor-with-no-pets-or-kids-who-lived-here-before-us WHITE TILE KITCHEN FLOOR that shows everything. I despise this floor almost as much as Ann Coulter.

However, from time to time, like when he’s traveling and it’s my week to host play group, the tile floor desperately needs attention. So what do I do? Well, I sure as hell don’t lug that nasty ass mop out of the garage and start a sink of mop water. Instead, I take a cue from my old pal Pippy. You remember her, right? Pippy Longstocking? Who among us DIDN’T want to skate around on a floor of suds?

I slip on my super cool, hot pink MOP SHOES!

Not very much unlike these (on sale at LillianVernon.com for only $4.98)

I grab my spray bottle full of water, vinegar and a dash of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, spray, spray spray, then slide, slide, slide, doing side lunges back and forth across the floor. It’s quite the workout. When I come across a particularly stubborn spot, I do a little twist. I guess if I really wanted to let lose, I could try out all sorts of dance moves, though the running man might end in disaster.

It takes all of about 5 minutes, and Viola! The white tile floor is sparkling…sorta… if you don’t look too close… especially at the baseboards. But, hey, it’s enough to feel like the kitchen is presentable, and I don’t get nearly as frustrated at the first person or animal who drops a ball of hair/cup of milk/pool of drool on it, knowing such minimal effort went into it all.

So that’s one of my little tricks in my bag of smoke and mirrors. What about you? Come on, ‘fess up. What do you do to “fake it”?

Kendall is less than 2 weeks away from turning 2. Holy. Moly.

36 thoughts on “Faking it”

  1. If Swiffer sells it, I use it. That’s my shortcut secret. I claim to mop every week, but I use the term ‘mop’ loosely. The Swiffer Wet Jet is a GOD SEND. Our kitchen floor is hideous white linoleum (please god let us someday be able to afford laminate wood flooring) so EVERYTHING shows on that bad boy. If I didn’t have the Swiffer Wet Jet, I’d probably have to rip up the floor.

    As for the Swiffer dusters? They can be used on any surface and all my dusting is done in 5 minutes. LOVE IT.

    Now if only Swiffer could make a product that made cleaning the bathtub easier…

  2. I think I need a pair of those mop shoes.

    My secret has a proper name. It’s Teresa. I love her. She was the answer to my husband’s prayers when it became obvious not much cleaning was going to get done with these two boys. Highly recommended.

    1. I DREAM of the day I can have a housekeeper come, even just twice a month to clean the floors, toilets, showers and dust. That would be amazing. So jealous!

  3. I’ve stored dirty dishes in the oven, when I KNOW I won’t be using said oven, taken everything that is out of place downstairs and put it on my bed or in the laundry room and shut the door! And I LOVE the shoe-mops!! What a grand idea! I may have to get some of those and make my 6 1/2 year old start earning her keep. 🙂

      1. uhm, yeah, the whole pre-heating thing HAS happened, but after a half dozen times you somehow remember to check the oven 🙂 And thanks so much for reading and commenting on my blog!!

  4. I have yet to find something I can’t clean with vineger and a mr. clean magic eraser. That thing is seriously brilliant. I agree about the swiffer, too.

    I’m a big believer in the $5 closetmaid fabric bins from target. They fit in all kids of places, under my coffee table, on a bookshelf and are FABULOUS for stashing all the toddler toys to it looks like grownups still live here too. So far my 18 month-old has yet to destroy one.

    1. Yes! The Magic Eraser is truly magic (in fact, I need to re-stock) and those bin are fabulous. I think every mom I know owns at least 5.

    1. I keep trying to tell my husband he should try them sometime. He thinks I’m crazy. That’s okay. He can use the mop all he wants to. I’ll stick to my shoes.

  5. Oh Jill, what a fabulous post. And now I want mop shoes.

    I fake a few things:

    1. I take all of the mail, papers & random crap that winds up on our bar and throw it in a close when guests come. Voila! clutter-free kitchen.

    2. I bought a bunch of storage bins that are cute and fit tons of random crap so everything appears to be put away *it TOTALLY isn’t.

    3. I use clorox wipes on everything, especially random spots on our tile floor.

  6. I hear you on the white tile floors. We have them to. (And, no, we did NOT put them in!)
    I’m pretty sure I need some of those slipper, sponge thingys. Maybe I could cancel my gym membership, too.

  7. I simply place anything that is stacked up in random spots EVERYwhere in our bedroom and shut the door. Our bed is usually stacked pretty high and NO one is allowed in there!

    I will vacuum and vacuum our nasty living room carpet until it’s as fluffy as possible in hopes that no one will notice the color it really should be on the edges. Ugh I loathe our living room carpet – I steam it quite regularly, but it must have been cheap (when the previous owners installed it) because the fibers are completely stripped and it no longer will go back to it’s “original” color – who the hell puts cream carpet in a high traffic area anyways?!

  8. We have a stand up shower in our bathroom with glass shower doors. I know better then to think I can keep that presentable at all times (have you tried getting soap scum off lately?) Plus, when you are 9 months pregnant trying to do the feel, hope and shave to your muffin, you don’t want your husband to see – So I rigged it with a “shower curtain”. I put strips of velcro on the insides so the door can still open etc. and had fabric sewn to fit on each door. Voila! Homemade stand up shower curtain.

    Warning to guests…if you snoopers peep inside, you could be in for a dirty surprise.

    1. Lucky for us our shower stall door is sort of textured, I guess. So it really disguises the soap scum. That’s a pretty inventive idea, though.

  9. I don’t even have kids, but I cannot stand cleaning. I have recently decided our house is too big and we need to move to a 1 bed/1 bath place with 600 sq ft. That way, I won’t have as much to clean. We don’t need a guest room! If it weren’t for the damn guests, I wouldn’t have to clean as often.

    So, uhm, yeah, after years of education and work to be able to afford a nice house, I’ve been reduced to a frazzled mess who wants to live in a small hovel to avoid cleaning. Where the hell is a dorm room when you need it?

    1. No kidding! Whenever I envy someone’s 3,500 sq. ft home with 4.5 bathrooms and a built in wine cellar, I just remind myself that there’s no way in hell I’d want to or would be able to keep that place clean.

      1. I’ve now decided that if you have more than 1500 sq ft, you need a maid.

        So, all you future homeowners out there… If you determine that you can afford a 2500 sq ft home, take it down a notch and factor in the price of weekly maid service.

        PSA for the week. I feel better.

  10. When last minute company arrives, I’ve been known to wipe down the sink, toilet and bathroom floor with a damp wash cloth and just pull the shower curtain closed and pray it stays there – hiding the shameful amount of mildew that accumulates in the caulking around the tub. ew.

  11. For the kitchen (ok, and dining room / entry, bathrooms, laundry room, and breakfast nook, ALL of which are tile – not white, thank God) I swear by my Shark steam mop. I got it at Costco… love it.

    1. Back when we lived in an apartment we had a steam mop, and can you believe we got rid of the darn thing?! I don’t know what we were thinking. Something about it being too much work for the small amount of tile in our tiny apartment kitchen. Ugh.

  12. Ha! I love the mop shoes! Just might have to get me some of those – I’m sure my husband would get a kick out of the fun I’d most likely have scooting around the kitchen floor. I have the clorox version of the swiffer mop, but I’m beginning to despise it.

    Also, haha, I went and took that True Mom style quiz on JBJ from the post you linked to… tried to do it based on what I know from how I dealt with kids when I kept them a few years ago. Haha it says I’m a “Mosh Pit Mama” – how funny, because the things it says couldn’t be more true about my personality. Very interesting.

  13. Yes, we got the shark when it was on coupon a few months ago. Love it…or should I say my husband loves it because he does the mopping (thank goodness!).

    I have been known to toss everything into the bedroom or a plastic storage tub when guests are eminent.

  14. This isn’t exactly related to this post, but wanted to share this video of my daughter with you Jill.

    She was being really cute with her rocking her baby so I decided to take some video. I see her then instructing her baby and finally figure out what she is saying. She says “feel it…put your hand right here baby…he’s kicking” LOL! I am almost 7 months pregnant and I have had her feel the baby kick a few times. Thought this was just cute.

    Here is the video link –
    http://s925.photobucket.com/albums/ad95/brandileethomason/?action=view&current=MVI_2279.flv

    P.S. She was taking her first “swim” in the bath tub with her new bathing suit – if you were wondering why she had it on.

  15. My baby isn’t even here yet, and I still fake it. The house is never as clean as when somebody is about to come over. My favorite fake it tricks?

    Well, the floor of the closet in our bedroom *conveniently* has a spot that is the exact size and shape of our laundry basket, in case it isn’t folded yet. I just pop it in the closet, and no one can see it. Yeah, I’m quite the closet cleaner…

    When I’m in a rush, I only mop with the Swiffer wet – I skip the sweeping step completely, since the little pad grabs the dirt for the most part.

    OH – and scrubbing bubbles bath & shower cleaning pads – those things ROCK. Not only are they great at cleaning the tub and tub surround, shower door, etc. with just a few wipes and a rinse – they clean the sink to perfection. Run a bit of water, wipe the sink out with the scrubbing bubbles pad, rinse again – SPARKLING!

    Everybody fakes it. I mean, I run a business, clean the whole house by myself (hubby does almost NO housework) and I’m growing a child right now. Soon I’ll be running the business, cleaning the whole house myself, and RAISING said child.

    I’m sure after baby is born in August, I’ll have plenty more fake-it tips for you 😉

  16. I feel you woman. I have had people say that to me…and I do NOT want people to think it can all be done. Something is always sacrificed…usually my sanity. 🙂

    I fake it by throwing all my stuff I don’t want to find a home for into my bedroom and then shutting the door and then miracously the baby is always sleeping up there by the time the party/playgroup starts so it’s off limits. I don’t think my m-i-l saw our bedroom for a year after we moved in. ha!

  17. White slipcovers on the couch. I can’t count the number of times people have gasped, “White couches? With kids??” Damn straight, peeps, they’re washable, Shout!able, and bleachable! (They’re pretty much the one thing in our living room that has remained looking spotless in the past five years since the kids were born.)
    :o)
    Great post, per usual!

  18. I did not think those mop shoes were real. I MUST have a pair! I love that you hate mopping more than Ann Coulter…that cracks me up. I need to go look up LillianVernon now…

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