The “rage clean” — also known as having a normal day where everything is going swimmingly, and then you decide to vacuum, and as you are vacuuming, you have to kneel down to pick up a rock your child brought inside and placed on the floor, where it has stayed for a few days. At the time, it didn’t really faze you, but now you have to suck up the debris that has been floating around your house. You have ignored it for the past few days, but you can no longer stand it. Ignoring this rock would mean sucking it up in the vacuum, and you can imagine how delightful that would be. And as you are kneeling, you notice something, or should I say, you notice everything.
And with that, you have arrived: a woman who is about to freak the fuck out.
The fingerprints on the wall, the dust on all the picture frames, the contents of the entire toy box under the sofa, the crackers in the cracks of the cushions, the scuff marks on the stairs, the pile of dirty laundry (or is it clean laundry?), and dammit all, there is fucking strawberry jam smeared on the windowsill. Is that an ant? It better not be a fucking ant.
It’s time to get down and dirty on your knees. No, not that kind of down and dirty, folks. Get your mind out of the gutter. Nobody is going to enjoy this shitshow.
Before you can say “Please pass the Mrs. Meyers,” you are spewing fancy profanities. Suddenly everyone in the family is hiding in the corners, afraid to breathe because they know what’s coming. They have seen you in the midst of a rage clean before.
I bet you can rip up Magic Erasers while wiping down the baseboards like you own the place, because you do fucking own the place and are the only one living here who acts like you appreciate these four walls that keep you warm, safe, and dry.
And if anyone even thinks about standing in your way as you blast through the countertops in vigorous circular scrubbing motions, you will plow right over them.
Every cleaning rag gets mistreated, and the special steamers you had to have (but that only make an appearance during the rage clean) get all steamy and shit as you try to get a spot out of the carpet that has been there for 10 years, but this time it’s coming out because you are going to scrub it within an inch of its life with your fancy gadget until your shoulder burns.
With each room your temper gets hotter, your voice gets louder, and your grip on the Swiffer tightens so much that you could break that handle in half with one hand.
You decide you must move the fridge and clean behind it this very instant, or you will lose your goddamn mind, and no, you don’t need any help thankyouverymuch.
You have superpowers during the rage clean equal to the brawn of 10 men who have trained for the Iron Man. And when you get to the bathroom, watch the fuck out! Shit gets real when a mom cleans a toilet during the rage clean.
Just go with it. Let it all out. No need to hold back when you are cleaning and pissed off. What better way to deal with your anger than by scrubbing the shit out of the stove, all the while thinking, This is going to be the cleanest fucker that has ever roasted a chicken.
When you grab a garbage bag and start throwing crap away because you feel like you can’t breathe in the fresh hell known as a kid’s bedroom, you start plotting how you will lie your way out of why you got rid of some of their prized possessions.
There is no discretion during a rage clean.
You have no idea how you got to this point, and you really don’t care. You are in too deep, but it feels good. So damn good. You like it: the reckless feeling, the “I don’t give a shit if I scrub paint off the wall” attitude.
You need to scrub. You long to see your reflection in the kitchen sink. You are determined to make the doorknobs shine.
You are unstoppable. Your mind is racing, thinking about what you will tackle next. You will keep going until you can’t stand up straight, have broken all your fingernails, and have to reach for your husband’s favorite T-shirt because you’ve used every rag, sponge, and towel in your home.
There was screaming, and there was crying. You used all the bad words, and you went to a bad place, I’m sure of it. But from one rage cleaner to another: You feel better now, don’t you?
And hey! Look at your fucking house! You could eat caviar off the toilet seat.
Well done, mama.
We are Scary Mommies, millions of unique women, united by motherhood. We are scary, and we are proud. But Scary Mommies are more than “just” mothers; we are partners (and ex-partners,) daughters, sisters, friends… and we need a space to talk about things other than the kids. So check out our Scary Mommy It’s Personal Facebook page. And if your kids are out of diapers and daycare, our Scary Mommy Tweens & Teens Facebook pageis here to help parents survive the tween and teen years (aka, the scariest of them all.)
This article was originally published on