It’s no secret that very few men live in a clean place during their younger years. Coming home for college breaks to your parents’ place was the equivalent of checking into a nice hotel; you couldn’t remember the last time you were in a place where there weren’t random articles of clothing everywhere and where a filthy hybrid smell of sweat, weed, and shame wasn’t lingering.
At a certain age, it becomes unacceptable to live in a place where the floors are sticky due to dried beer and the dishes are never ever clean. A rite of passage for any young man is that transition from living in the bio-hazard filth to a more respectable and habitable environment.
Now most have the time to slowly immerse themselves in the ways of domestic, semi-clean living, but as you know, your boy is living single dad life, so my timeline has sped up. One can’t be responsible for another human being if he’s living like Oscar the Grouch. And you know what? I don’t hate it.
I wasn’t the cleanest cat on the planet in college. Freshly laundered clothes? Better put them on this chair and leave them there until they’re all in the dirty clothes mountain in my closet. That plate I just ate my dinner on? Yeah… better let that soak for a bit. My shower was pretty clean though, if you don’t count the disgusting pile of soggy wristbands sitting in the corner. Was I a fixer upper? Yeah, that’s fair to say.
Life teaches us to adapt, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. My pursuit of domestication is coming along slowly but surely, and I’m starting to enjoy it. Keeping a clean place and an environment that wouldn’t be flagged by the EPA is starting to become a daily way of life.
I’ve come to learn that the domestic house dad prime time is at night; that’s when shit gets done. My favorite outfit choice back in the day was whatever was wrinkled the least. House dad me could go pro in ironing. I think going pro in ironing might be similar to running a dry-cleaners, but you get what I mean. Tonight while enjoying a delicious Shiner Cheer, I’ve taken the liberty of ironing not only my work clothes, but my son’s school clothes for tomorrow as well.
Following that, it’s time to whip up a nice packed lunch for the little guy, and whoops, looks like I got some crumbs on the kitchen floor. Gotta hit the kitchen with the house dad 1-2 punch: my trusty broom and dustpan, because nothing is worse than a crumb-filled kitchen floor.
Of course, this is all following Crash Jr.’s night time routine. You’ll never feel more put together than when you’re making sure someone else is clean and ready for bed. Bath time while listening to some ’80s Pandora followed by some quality children’s book reading? You bet, and you better believe me and that little guy are tidying up those toys (to an extent) before bed time. All in a day’s work for a domesticated house dad.
With each day comes a new bit of progress into becoming a more homely grown adult. What’s great is that this blends perfect with my mediocre foodie life, as a house dad’s day isn’t complete until you try that new recipe.
While the process of becoming rapidly domesticated has been forced by circumstance, the self-love you get from it is all worth it. Stop me if I’m wrong (I’m not), but there’s nothing like the gratification of seeing a Monet-esque masterpiece of a vacuuming job that you did not because you were starting to be unsure of your carpet’s true color, but instead because you just felt like it would be nice to get some cleaning in.
It’s the little things that you grow to appreciate when it comes to #HouseDad life. While doing a quality round of grocery shopping, a house dad staple, I dragged Crash Jr. over to the candles aisle and spent at least 2 minutes smelling and searching for the perfect scent to accent the house. He stared at me like I was crazy, but I didn’t hear him complaining when the lovely aroma of “Willow Blossom” engulfed the house.
Now, I’m not perfect; not even close. My clothes still don’t seem to always find their way to the closet or dresser. I’m not the best at remembering when the trash or recycling day is, but you better believe this classy domesticated bastard uses his recycling bin. My bathroom sink may find itself covered in toothpaste residue, and the occasional shaved hair from my tragic baby-face, but the important thing is knowing I’ll clean it before reaching the point of no return.
Eventually, #HouseDad life comes to us all. You may have a wife/maid who takes care of things, but your duties will come. How you embrace those duties is up to you. You can either be good or bad at it, like anything else, with a little effort. I’m choosing to take pride in my duties. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to wipe down my countertops..
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