10 Futile Tasks That Parents Keep Doing Anyway

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 

There are so many moments in the day of a typical parent where we wonder–why bother? Why clean that mess, why issue that directive, why try at all when kids seem intent on thwarting us at every turn? They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. Does that mean all parents are losing it? Probably. Does it stop us from continuing to persist with the more futile tasks of parenting? Not even a little.

1. Arranging Throw Pillows And Blankets. Every day, several times a day, I straighten the couch pillows and refold the throw blankets. Why do I bother when they just become building material for couch cushion forts?

2. Folding Kid Laundry. My son, in his never-ending quest for the perfect outfit, rifles through his drawers and unfolds everything so he can see which shirts he is dealing with. I should just start stuffing them in unfolded, yet, I persist.

3. Trying To Make A Kid Go Back To Bed. Once a toddler is up at 6AM, they probably aren’t going back to bed. It doesn’t stop a parent from trying.

4. Wiping Fingerprints From Windows. It was fingerprints when they were little. Now, it’s full-blown drawings they make in the condensation. I keep wiping. They keep drawing. Who’s the fool?

5. Trying To Keep Socks On A Baby. I only kept this up in public or around my 80-year old grandmothers. Anyone who might question my commitment to keeping my babies warm. At home, I just turned up the heat a little and let them go barefoot. There is no point in trying to keep socks on a baby who wants them off. Even I’m not that dumb.

6. Wiping The Bathroom Sink Clean. Between the toothpaste, fluoride rinse spit and stray blobs of hand soap, the sink is one constant mess. That I clean up every single day. What’s the definition of insanity again?

7. Sweeping The Kitchen Floor. After suffering through the high chair years, I found that it gets no better as they get older. Crumbs and children go hand in hand, it would seem. At least I have a dog to help.

8. Trying To Keep A Drooling Baby In A Dry Shirt. My kids were heavy droolers. I used to pack several onesies and bibs in the diaper bag in my quest to keep them dry, but it was honestly pointless. They would drool through the dry stuff within 10 minutes. I simply don’t learn from pain. Or massive amounts of laundry.

9. Wiping A Toddler’s Nose When They Have A Cold. The snot flows like a waterfall and they act like you are torturing them by wiping it anyway, so why do moms bother? I know some don’t and that is why I no longer question the kids I see with noses completely caked in dried boogers. Those are the smart moms who know when to quit.

10. Trying To Keep Barbies Dressed With Their Heads Attached. My daughter strips them naked and pops their heads off. I reattach and clothe them. Over and over and over again. Is it too early for wine?

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