I’m not saying working moms don’t deal with bullsh*t. Of course they do. All parents do, on some level. But as the designated “primary caregiver” who is at home 24/7, many of the ridiculous, some seemingly fake, but all totally necessary tasks regarding childcare end up falling completely in my lot.

I’m not talking about the regular day-to-day grind. I’m talking about the kind of stuff you describe to your childless friends who ask you about your day, then they respond with a polite uncomfortable chuckle and a wide-eyed expression of “please don’t ever tell me about your life again.”

I’m hoping the working moms out there at least get acknowledgement, if not assistance [or, I daresay, a full split?], in these absurd mom jobs.

  1. Clip the kid’s fingernails and toenails. It’s as if my husband has never noticed they grow on people other than himself.
  2. Clean up basically all the nail remnants off the floor because nails never clip directly into a garbage can. I could probably have my kids stand directly in the garbage can and the nail clippings would still somehow fly all over the floor.
  3. Periodically go through the kids’ closet and swap stuff they’ve outgrown for appropriately sized stuff, sourced from one of the many boxes I originally packed and labeled. This one is even more riveting than the daily stuff, like laundry.
  4. Manage to cram the outgrown stuff back into different labeled boxes just in case we decide to have another kid.
  5. Clean the bath toys. Yes, it actually needs to be done. Especially if they’re the kind that squirt water. Don’t ask me why I know this; some things are better left undescribed.
  6. Tape together books that have been ripped, chewed, or otherwise partially destroyed (but not destroyed enough to get rid of them. I’ll get my money’s worth out of that $5.99 Sandra Boynton book, damn it!).
  7. Peel old stickers off the inside of the dryer. No matter how thoroughly you search for them before throwing clothes in the wash, they always appear in the dryer.
  8. Really, peeling stickers off every surface in the house. Floors, walls, windows, the toilet, your socks…
  9. Pack lunches and snacks that are devoid of nuts, seeds, or anything processed in a facility that also processes nuts. Yes, I know it’s dangerous for kids with allergies. It doesn’t mean it’s not a pain in the a** for the rest of us. I get it, I do it, but I still get to complain about ever using sun butter in anything.
  10. Sniff clothes left on the floor of the kid’s room to determine whether they are clean or dirty.
  11. Sometimes sniff the clothes in the closet too. You never really know how many times a kid will wear the same shirt before you force her to wash it.
  12. Put together boxes of children’s puzzles to determine whether or not they are missing any pieces.
  13. Weigh the decision to search for [inevitable] missing pieces or give up and throw the puzzles away.
  14. Deal with the [inevitable] meltdown from kids when they discover you threw the puzzles away. I can let a few gaps slide, but the accountant in me sets the acceptable level of missing pieces at 5% of the total.
  15. Come up with fun activities that require absolutely zero help or involvement from me for when I need to get something done and the kids suddenly decide they are unable to play in another room by themselves.


Did I miss any?


About the author: Anna Gracia was a CPA and a teacher in her former life. She is now a writer and stay-at-home-mom to two kids who are home all day. Literally. All. Day. She runs the movie review and commentary website The Snarky Reviewer. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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  1. Haha! Great list! I have one for you – gather all of your strength to pull out the hair in all household hairbrushes. Gross, yet satisfying. 🙂

  2. Hahaha! So true. Oh and we allergy moms appreciate #9. I respect your right to complain about it. Shhhh, I complain about it, too!

  3. Yeah, as a working mom (9-5), I deal with all of these too. They are bullshit and there are so many more you could add to the list. LOL. Nail trimmings gross me out.

  4. Yep, I do every single one of those generally gross things. And I don’t mean to be a jerk, but I also work full time. Alas, the stuff has to get done and has nothing to do with whether mom works or not.

    • I feel like SAHMs with working husbands think that if they worked outside of the home, their husbands would suddenly, magically see all the little things they should be doing and they’d do their fair 50% share. It’s cute.

  5. Lisa Bickford Reply

    This stuff doesn’t magically happen all by itself when the mom works, either. The mom still does most of if.

  6. As a work from home mom, I do all of these tasks. I run home daycare so I have up to 5 children at any given time.

    I’ll add to the list:
    Packing for anything
    Refilling everything (wipe containers, stocking diaper bags, etc)
    Making grocery & shopping lists
    Planning all parties
    Buying all gifts for birthdays, birthday parties, etc
    All appointment related tasks (booking, gathering any needed info or forms, follow up, etc)
    All school/ preschool/ daycare related tasks

    I could go on!!

  7. The bath toys, so icky. We squirt everybody out before exiting the tub. Though my moms house has a few that don’t get squirted out when other grand kids visit.
    I’m always playing Doc McStuffins, fixing the toys. I got interrupted in reading this to reasseble barbies bike.

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