Friday, September 13, 2013

baby wipes, dust and the vacuum

I was chatting with a close friend of mine the other day and she said she remembers coming to my house and seeing me sitting on the floor with a box of baby wipes cleaning my baseboards.  (That was shortly after we moved into our new house after Matthew passed away.)

Well... I sure did that ALL of the time!  I was still too weak to stand and clean, so I would sit and drag myself to each room cleaning the baseboards.

Why baby wipes?  Well, let's see, I had no baby to use them on so this was my weapon of retaliation against the dust on my baseboards.

I can boldly admit that when I lost Matthew, I lost every sense of not being able to control anything... not one thing!  So for me, cleaning was a way to focus my loss of control over anything and be productive at something.

I was going to win over the dust...

I was going to control the dirt by wiping it away if it took me ALL day and four boxes of baby wipes!  Yes, I had many boxes, so I wasn't worried about wasting one single baby wipe.

I think that many moms who have experienced the loss of a child will be able to relate to this.  Maybe it is exercising, cleaning, or something that we are able to control doing, that gives us a fix at that moment. 

I am not sure if there is a greater feeling of being out of control when you lose a child.  No matter what the circumstance surrounding you is, was or will be.

I know we cannot control many, many things... most everything!  But as a mama, you always want to protect your baby.  And when that is taken from you and you can no longer control being a mother to him or her, something is going to get that energy, that aggression, that frustration of feeling so helpless after loss.  There are days I channel that through my words and days I channel that through housecleaning.

I am still a bit of a freaker-outer (my school teacher sis, I know that is totally not appropriate English but it was the only word that fit for me!)  when there is dust on the baseboards.

But I am out of baby wipes. 

Now, I vaccuum like CRAZY!!!

If I am having an emotional low moment, or feeling overwhelmed with grief or pain, I organize.  I clean.  I throw stuff out and rearrange... I try to fix something to make it better, to make it prettier and to make it cleaner.  I can walk in my closet and freak out if it is a mess on days like the above.  I will clean it and for a brief moment I will feel better and like I can breathe a while longer.

Obsessive?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It is what it is.  And if I sit on the floor to clean the dust or straighten my shoe rack five hundred times to get through that day, then so be it.

This is how I have to roll.  This is how I have learned to survive when all else is so out of my hands! 

I don't even take the time to roll the cord back nicely on the vacuum anymore... I know I will be using it too often for that! ;)

I am going to go and vacuum now!

Wishing you all a happy day!

Love to all,



  1. You do whatever you have to do to get through! Btw, I still have wipes and some diapers and ...... Haven't done a great job of the cleaning out. (still have some clothes in the dresser drawers. Pathetic, I know)

    1. Jamie, not pathetic at all friend! I still have some diapers too...XOXO! (and I probably will the rest of my life)